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The ratio of scientific and everyday psychology
Long before the emergence of scientific life psychology has developed, because each of us is a psychologist for himself. Throughout the history of evolution, man has learned: to observe other people, to explain the reasons for their behavior. According to the American psychologist George Kelly, a person explores, studies others and constructs them in his mind. So, all nations have similar observations of people, expressed in proverbs. For example, the French say: “Do not immerse your hands or even a finger in a quiet stream,” and the Russians: “Devils are found in the still waters.” The figurative meaning of these proverbs is similar.
Each of us has a stock of everyday psychological knowledge. There are even outstanding everyday psychologists. These are, of course, great writers, as well as some (although not all) representatives of professions that involve constant communication with people: teachers, doctors, clergymen, etc. But an ordinary person also has certain psychological knowledge. This can be judged by the fact that each person in some way can understand the other, influence his behavior, predict his actions, take into account his individual characteristics, help him, etc.
Let's think about the question: what is the difference between everyday psychological psychological knowledge? There are five such differences.
1) First: everyday psychological knowledge, specific; they are confined to specific situations, specific people, specific tasks.
They say that waiters and taxi drivers are also good psychologists. According to the German philosopher Wilhelm Dilthey, good everyday psychologists are writers, artists, and actors.
But in what sense, for what tasks? As we know, often - quite pragmatic. Also, the child solves specific pragmatic tasks, behaving in one way with the mother, the other with the father, and again quite differently with the grandmother. In each case, he knows exactly how to behave in order to achieve the desired goal. But we can hardly expect from him the same insight towards foreign grandmothers or mothers. So, everyday psychological knowledge is characterized by concreteness, limited tasks, situations and persons to whom they apply.
The scientific psychology, as well as any science, tends to generalizations. For this she uses scientific concepts. The development of concepts is one of the most important functions of science. The most essential properties of objects and phenomena, general connections and relationships are reflected in scientific concepts. Scientific concepts are clearly defined, correlated with each other, are bound in laws.
For example, in physics, thanks to the introduction of the concept of force, Isaac Newton was able to describe thousands of various specific cases of motion and mechanical interaction of bodies using the three laws of mechanics.
The same thing happens in psychology. You can describe a person for a very long time, listing in everyday terms his qualities, character traits, actions, relationships with other people. The scientific psychology, on the other hand, seeks and finds generalizing concepts that not only economize the descriptions, but also, behind a conglomeration of particulars, make it possible to see the general tendencies and patterns of personal development and its individual characteristics. It is necessary to note one feature of scientific psychological concepts: they often coincide with everyday ones in their external form, that is, to put it simply, they are expressed in the same words. However, the internal content, the meanings of these words, as a rule, are different. Life terms are usually more vague and ambiguous.
Once high school students were asked in writing to answer the question: what is a person? The answers were very different, and one student replied: "This is something that should be checked on the documents." We will not now talk about how the concept of "personality" is defined in scientific psychology, we only note that this definition strongly disagrees with that suggested by the aforementioned schoolchild.
2). The second difference in everyday psychological knowledge is that they are intuitive in nature. This is due to a special way of obtaining them: they are acquired through practical tests and adaptations.
This method is particularly clearly seen in children. Already mentioned about their good psychological intuition. And how is it achieved? Through daily and even hourly trials to which they subject adults and about which the latter are not always aware. And in the course of these tests, children discover from whom it is possible to "twist the ropes", and from whom it is impossible.
Often, educators and coaches find effective ways of educating, teaching, training, going the same way: experimenting and vigilantly noticing the slightest positive results, i.e. in a certain sense, "going to touch". Often they turn to psychologists with a request to explain the psychological meaning of the techniques they found.
In contrast, scientific psychological knowledge is rational and fully conscious. The usual way is to put forward verbally formulated hypotheses and verify the consequences that follow from them.
3). The third difference is in the ways of transferring knowledge and even in the very possibility of their transfer.
In the field of practical psychology, this possibility is very limited. This directly follows from the two previous features of everyday psychological experience - its specific and intuitive nature. The deep psychologist F. M. Dostoevsky expressed his intuition in the works he wrote, we all read them - did we then become equally astute psychologists? Is everyday experience transmitted from the older generation to the younger? As a rule, with great difficulty and to a very small extent. The eternal problem of "fathers and children" is precisely that children cannot and do not even want to learn from the experience of fathers. Each new generation, each young man has to “fill the bumps” to acquire this experience.
At the same time, in science, knowledge is accumulated and transferred with a large, if I may say so, efficiency. Someone has long compared the representatives of science with the pygmies, who stand on the shoulders of giants - eminent scientists of the past. They may be much smaller, but see further than giants, because they stand on their shoulders. The accumulation and transfer of scientific knowledge is possible due to the fact that this knowledge crystallizes in concepts and laws. They are recorded in the scientific literature and transmitted by means of verbal means, that is, speech and language, which, in fact, we began to do today.
four). The fourth difference is in the methods of obtaining knowledge in the fields of everyday and scientific psychology.
In everyday psychology, we are forced to limit ourselves to observations and reflections. In scientific psychology, an experiment is added to these methods.
The essence of the experimental method is that the researcher does not expect a confluence of circumstances, as a result of which a phenomenon of interest arises, but causes the phenomenon itself, creating the appropriate conditions.
Then he purposefully varies these conditions in order to reveal the patterns by which this phenomenon obeys. With the introduction of the experimental method in psychology (the discovery of the first experimental laboratory at the end of the last century), psychology took shape as an independent science.
5) The fifth difference, and at the same time an advantage, of scientific psychology is that it has extensive, diverse, and sometimes unique factual material that is inaccessible in its entirety to any carrier of everyday psychology.
This material is accumulated and comprehended, including in special branches of psychological science, such as age psychology, pedagogical psychology, patho-neuropsychology, labor psychology and engineering psychology, social psychology, zoopsychology, etc. In these areas, dealing with various Stages and Levels of the mental development of animals and humans, with defects and mental illnesses, with unusual working conditions - conditions of stress, information overload or, on the contrary, monotony and information hunger, etc., - siholog not only expands the range of its research tasks, but also faced with new and unexpected phenomena. After all, consideration of the work of any mechanism in terms of development, breakdown or functional overload from different sides highlights its structure and organization.
In Zagorsk, there is a special boarding school for blind and deaf children. These are children who have no hearing, no sight, no sight, and, of course, originally no speech. The main “channel” through which they can come into contact with the outside world is touch.
And through this extremely narrow channel under conditions of special education, they begin to get to know the world, people and themselves! This process, especially at the beginning, is very slow, it is deployed in time and in many details can be seen as if through a “temporary magnifying glass” (the term used by well-known Soviet scientists A. I. Meshcheryakov and E. V. to describe this phenomenon. Ilyenkov). Obviously, in the case of the development of a normal healthy child, much passes too quickly, spontaneously and unnoticed. Thus, helping children under the conditions of a cruel experiment, which nature has set over them, help organized by psychologists together with teacher-speech pathologists is at the same time becoming the most important means of learning the general psychological patterns - the development of perception, thinking, and personality.
Olga Skorokhodova (1911–1982) - Russian deaf-blind writer and poetess, psychologist, author of numerous popular science articles and several books. Student I.A. Sokolyansky. In childhood, at the age of eight (and not at the age of five, as indicated in her books), she suffered meningitis and completely lost her sight, and then her hearing. In 1922 she was sent to the school of the blind in Odessa, and in 1925 she was accepted into the organized by I.A. Sokolyansky school-clinic for the blind and deaf-and-dumb in Kharkov (practical and research institution). There, thanks to special exercises, her almost-broken oral speech was restored and systematic classes began with the use of a daktilny alphabet (finger-alphabet of the deaf) and a relief Braille script for the blind. At school, they not only examined children, conducted careful observation of them, but also directed their development. At a certain stage, she was given the task of learning how to observe the events around her and keep diary entries. The ability to observe and describe certain events developed in parallel with S. Sokolyansky, she repeatedly returned to the records of her observations in search of the most successful and accurate literary forms of their presentation. These classes continued in Moscow, where S. moved in 1944 and ended with the publication of her first book, How I perceive the world around me (1947). Since 1946, S. - Researcher at the Institute of Defectology. Her publications and speeches are becoming very popular. In 1954, a new, enlarged edition of her book “How I perceive and imagine the world around me”, reprinted in 1956, is published. In 1961, S. protects the dis. for the degree of cand. pedagogical sciences (in psychology) and becomes a senior researcher the laboratory for the study and education of blind and deaf children, headed by A.I. Meshcheryakov. Takes an active part in the organization of the Zagorsk orphanage for the deaf and blind (1963). In 1972, the 3rd revised edition of her book entitled “How I perceive, imagine and understand the world around me” (reissued in 1990).
So, to summarize, we can say that the development of special branches of psychology is the Method (method with a capital letter) of general psychology. This method is, of course, devoid of everyday psychology.
Thus, everyday psychology is a psychological knowledge drawn by people from everyday life.
Scientific psychology is sustainable psychological knowledge obtained in the process of theoretical and experimental study of the psyche of people and animals.
And now it is appropriate to raise the question: what position should scientific psychologists take in relation to the bearers of everyday psychology? The Strugatsky brothers find this idea:
“Of course, being determines consciousness. This is usually. However, fortunately, it often happens that consciousness is ahead of being. Otherwise, we would still be in caves. ”
The history of science, including psychology, knows many examples of how a scientist saw the big and the vital in the small and abstract. Thus, the eminent Soviet psychologist L. S. Vygotsky saw in "curious" actions like tying a knot for memory, ways to master a person’s behavior.
You will never read about how to see in small facts a reflection of general principles and how to move from general principles to real life problems. You can develop these abilities in yourself by soaking up the best samples contained in the scientific literature. Only constant attention to such transitions, constant exercise in them can form a feeling of "life beat" in scientific studies. Well, for this, of course, it is absolutely necessary to have everyday psychological knowledge, perhaps more extensive and deep.
Ultimately, a scientific psychologist must be at the same time a good everyday psychologist. Otherwise, he will not only be of little use to science, but will not find himself in his profession, quite simply, he will be miserable.
Scientific and everyday psychology are not antagonists, they cooperate, complement each other. So, the relationship of scientific and everyday psychology is similar to the relationship of Anthea and the Earth; the first, touching the second, draws its strength from it. Those. scientific psychology
• First, it relies on everyday psychological experience;
• secondly, extracts its tasks from it;
• finally, thirdly, at the last stage it is checked.
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