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Collective socio-psychological phenomena

Some of the results of the joint mental activity of the military - common views and positions on fundamental issues, agreed decisions on the current problems of the service, as well as the process of their formation are called collective opinion. Sometimes in this case they speak of collective thought or collective reason. At its core, collective opinion is an aggregate value judgment expressing the attitude of a military collective or its greater part to objects, phenomena or events of the surrounding world. It expresses the position, views, beliefs and value orientations of military personnel. Its main types include, first of all, the official (expressed openly) and unofficial (hidden from other persons, primarily from among the top management) collective opinion. It should be borne in mind that it is the unofficial opinion of the collective that most significantly affects the formation of other socio-psychological phenomena in a given social community (group or collective).

The opinion of the military collective is being shaped and developed under the influence of various factors. Therefore, it can be evaluated as an indicator of consciousness, ideological orientation and maturity of the team, an important component of the pedagogical impact on the personality of each of its members. A collective opinion of a positive orientation helps to strengthen organization and order in the unit, to improve the quality of solving the problems it faces.

Collective opinion, as a socio-psychological phenomenon, passes through three stages in its formation. At the first stage, military personnel perceive, analyze and evaluate an act or event,

each of them has its own subjective assessment and individual opinion (judgment). At the second stage, military personnel exchange thoughts and individual assessments. This stage can occur either calmly or in disputes, depending on how much the information affects the interests of each person, and the judgments of others correspond precisely to his point of view. At the third stage, groups of military personnel are involved whose opinions (individual value judgments) at least coincide in principle. The more strongly the interests of various groups of military personnel are affected by the event under discussion, the more actively, and possibly more conflicting, the process of forming a collective opinion takes place.

In psychology, it is noted that the first person to report an event or phenomenon is much easier to form a group attitude to it. This is due to the so-called phenomenon of inertia. Knowing the authority of communicators (sources of information) and their influence on the formation of a collective opinion, at the first stage it is easier to influence its formation. This task is complicated at the second stage, when the majority of the team members have already developed a certain judgment regarding the events or phenomena being evaluated. In this case, it is already necessary to make efforts to change the formed judgments, which, moreover, have a certain inertia.

The socio-psychological climate of the team is always imbued with a complex range of emotions, feelings and passions that take hold of its members and significantly affect its life and work. This phenomenon in psychology is called the collective mood.

The collective mood is the emotional reactions of the collective to the phenomena of the objective world that occur in a certain period of time. It has great infectiousness, impulsive power and dynamism. The phenomenon under consideration mobilizes or restrains the collective consciousness, determines the nature of the general opinion and interpersonal relations. Consequently, the mood of the team is interconnected emotional reactions and experiences that have a certain color, are characterized by more or less intensity and tension, and on which the degree of readiness of the military personnel for certain actions depends. It happens that the group mood takes the form of excitement, which exceeds safe limits and becomes the dominant factor in behavior, poorly amenable to rational control by the commander (chief).

Studies of military psychologists in recent years have shown that the main reasons for the formation and manifestation of certain moods in the teams of units, as a rule, are: the quality and focus of military professional activity (success or failure); the nature of the relationship between members of the same unit (goodwill, exactingness, humiliation, etc.); individual psychological characteristics of military personnel (personal orientation, temperament, etc.); mood and leadership style of commanders and commanders; ergonomic and social conditions for solving military-professional and other tasks.

The mood of the team can be very different, but for its general characteristics it is enough to distinguish two diametrically opposite types: positive and negative. Positive mood

("major") includes emotions and feelings such as satisfaction, vitality, inspiration, optimism, joy, etc. A negative mood ("minor"), on the contrary, is characterized by dissatisfaction, uncertainty, pessimism, despondency, depression, despair, panic, etc. Most often, a negative collective mood arises as a result of dangerous situations, hyperstress, and shock. Consequently, a negative mood is a kind of alarm signal, a sharp discomfort of the situation, severe stress, poor relationships and a low level of cohesion.

The officer also needs to take into account the particular manifestations of the mood of the military team. These include: inconsistency (the possibility of the formation and manifestation of emotions that do not correspond to the objective situation); conditionality by direct social and other factors (climatic or social conditions); irrationality, spontaneity, spontaneity; high speed of formation of the opposite emotionality; low controllability.

The collective mood exerts a rather strong influence on the organization of the military unit and the effectiveness of its functioning. At the same time, some of them contribute to the success of solving official, shift and other tasks (enthusiasm, enthusiasm, elation), while others, on the contrary, sharply reduce the team's capabilities (disbelief in the strength of colleagues, general despondency, depression).

Special studies show that collective mood can take the form of arousal exceeding safe limits. In this case, it becomes the dominant factor in controlling the actions of the military and is difficult to rationalize (persuade). As a result, panic can arise, for example, which causes disorganization of collective psychology, weakening and loss of its regulatory role.
In this case, a unit from an organized group can turn into an uncontrolled conglomerate of aggressive and irrational (as opposed to instructions and common sense) active soldiers. That is why the management of the formation and manifestation of a collective mood should always be in the officer’s field of vision.

The next socio-psychological phenomenon that manifests itself in the course of interpersonal interaction is collective needs. At its core, this is a psychological reflection of the objective or subjective needs of the collective in material or spiritual products (values). Their content is formed under the influence of various objective and subjective factors affecting the functioning of a certain social community of people. The basis for the formation of the content of collective needs is quite specific objective interests, goals and aspirations, the achievement of which is necessary for the full solution of the tasks facing the military team. However, they become a real force only when they are transformed into the subjective need of most military personnel of the unit. The enrichment of the arsenal of the needs of military personnel is facilitated by the breadth and harmony of their attitude to military service in general, their military professional activity, to commanders and commanders, colleagues, etc.

One of the forms of expression of needs and an indicator of their level of awareness are collective interests, which are a selective, emotionally colored attitude of the collective to certain phenomena and facts of reality arising from its needs. That is why the incitement and consolidation of the interest of subordinates to certain processes of military professional activity (combat or shift service, improvement of skill, etc.) is an important task of the officer’s professional activity. In this regard, it is necessary to constantly increase the personnel’s interest in military service, their specialty, weapons and equipment, and to form an awareness of each subordinate’s role and place in the unit.

Collective goals are inextricably linked with interests in the structure of the unit’s orientation, and aspirations are also one of its forms. They show the general orientation of the activities of military personnel, the scope of application of their physical and spiritual forces. That is why it is important that the goals and aspirations of subordinates maximally correspond to the unit’s orientation towards the successful solution of socially significant military-professional and other unit tasks.

The formation, development and implementation of positively directed interests, goals and aspirations of military personnel as structural elements of collective needs is largely facilitated by the psychologically sound and pedagogically expedient organization of the functioning of the military unit, the targeted educational activities of the officer. It is these and some other subjective factors, determined by the duties of commanders and commanders, that have a decisive influence on the completeness and quality of the solution of combat, duty, duty, and other military professional tasks by their subordinate personnel.

An equally important influence on the functioning of the collective is exerted by collective traditions. They are relatively stable rules, norms and stereotypes of behavior, actions and communication in specific conditions (situations) that have become the need of each or most of the members of the team based on the long experience of joint official (watch, combat) activities. The main types of traditions include service (watch, combat), professional, social, sports and several others.

It is believed that the formation and development of traditions is largely determined by their nature and effectiveness. They become sustainable forms of collective behavior if certain conditions are met. So, emotionally attractive traditions stimulate the development of the team, contribute to increasing consciousness and discipline. Their loss, on the other hand, significantly complicates the development of the team, just as loss of memory becomes an obstacle to the full development of the individual.

The traditions of military units and units are very diverse.

Conventionally, they are combined into several groups according to a number of signs:

- in direction (positive-negative; progressive-regressive, etc.);

- by content (historical, watch, military, etc.);

- in the sphere of manifestation (moral, national, domestic, etc.).

The officer, understanding the diversity of existing traditions, should, first of all, pay attention to the formation and implementation of the most significant of them. These, for example, include love of the maritime service, pride in belonging to the Navy, a particular ship or its combat unit, partnership, mutual assistance, etc.

Most of the collective traditions are realized in the corresponding military rituals, which are symbolic actions of military personnel regulated by charters, customs and collective opinion. Among them, one should single out the military servicemen taking the oath of war, presenting the Battle Banner, raising the flag, accepting young replenishment, presenting weapons and military equipment, etc.

Military and naval life shows that the educational opportunities of a military collective are directly dependent on the direction of the traditions formed in it. Consequently, commanders and commanders of all categories must constantly take care of the formation and realization of the possibilities of positive traditions, their selection, consolidation and increase.

Unfortunately, a number of traditions of a negative orientation (informal traditions) that contradict the statutory requirements and moral and ethical standards of a modern civilized society (primarily generated by the so-called “hazing” phenomenon) are manifesting in military units. They negatively affect the emotional state of many military personnel, military discipline, which, in general, reduces the effectiveness of the military unit. Moreover, as A.S. Makarenko emphasized, such a tradition cannot be canceled by order - it “should be supplanted by a new tradition, stronger and more useful. Such work requires a lot of patience and deep thought. ” That is why the prevention of the formation of informal traditions, their destruction in recent years is a serious problem of the pedagogical activity of commanders and commanders.

A very important socio-psychological phenomenon of the military unit is leadership.
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