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Methods of studying relationships in a military team
The head (commander, head) of the unit is undoubtedly interested in the greatest efficiency of its functioning. To do this, he needs to constantly influence the processes taking place in his psychological sphere. However, as practice shows, this is not easy to achieve. An officer will not be able to effectively manage his subordinates if he does not have sufficiently complete and accurate information about the contents of each of the elements of collective psychology, and the characteristics of the relationship between military personnel.
Modern domestic military psychology offers a fairly large arsenal of appropriate methods for studying the psychology of the collective. They can be conditionally combined into three relatively independent groups:
1. The universal method (dialectic), implemented to study all phenomena of objective and subjective reality, including intra-collective ones, but providing only indicative information.
2. General methods include those that allow you to get more accurate information about the content of the studied phenomenon. Most psychologists include methods of observation, study of documents (content analysis), analysis of performance and independent characteristics.
Observation is a focused perception of the behavioral characteristics of a soldier, due to the task of identifying a predisposition to hazing. This method involves registration, fixing the peculiarities of a soldier’s behavior during communication, business interaction with his comrades in combat and humanitarian training, especially in non-standard situations, in an informal setting. It is necessary to be guided during the observation by the following criteria: the nature of the interaction, the level of mutual understanding, the presence of approvals and reproaches, readiness for mutual assistance or hostility. Observation should be systematic, systematic and purposeful, this allows you to see and record changes, the dynamics of the development of behavioral characteristics, helps to study processes that are hidden at first glance through direct contact with the warrior in various service and non-service situations. In the interests of diagnosing misconduct, the unit commander draws up an observation program. It includes: the selection, placement, instruction of officers, junior commanders, the intensification of the impact (individual and public) on a soldier predisposed to anti-regulation manifestations.
A large role in identifying deformations in the relations of warriors can play a conversation. The commander should strive to conduct the first conversation with the soldier as early as possible, on the very first day of the arrival of the warrior in the unit. In order to study the identity of the newcomer, such a conversation will give the best result. The result of the conversation is recorded in the workbook, and later, with their systematic conduct, the results are compared, conclusions are drawn, and possibly forecasts. Conversations are limited. Fear of "exposing" the conversation with the officer prompts some soldiers to conceal negative phenomena and facts. In addition, for fear of getting the label of “informant,” “scammer,” and being rejected, a group person, as a rule, behaves insincerely in conversation.
An analysis of the documents allows, based on the recorded information, to make an assumption about the tendency of some military personnel to deviate in communicating with their comrades. In conjunction with the methods of observation, conversation and other methods of identifying a predisposition to hazing, he gives positive results. The most informative documents include:
• characteristics of the military commissariat;
• conclusion of a medical institution;
• The psychological and pedagogical diary of the unit commander in which the soldier previously served;
• sheets of orders;
• sergeant books;
• combat training journal;
• official card;
• reports on disciplinary practice, etc.
3. Special methods make it possible to obtain sufficiently complete and accurate information about the studied socio-psychological phenomena. Among them, the survey method has been most widely used in recent years, which involves the study of the socio-psychological phenomena of a military team based on an analysis of respondents' answers to a specific list of questions. This method is implemented in various techniques. The survey is usually carried out by staff psychologists, sociologists, lawyers, but any initiative commander can do this. The purpose of the survey is to identify in the team, especially during the period of arrival of the young replenishment, the main focus of the relations of old-timers on arrived soldiers, their intentions in training and assisting in the formation of newcomers. In addition, it is important to know the attitude of the young soldiers themselves, their interest in the service. Based on the information obtained during the survey and using other diagnostic methods, a work plan for harmonizing relationships is developed.
Significant opportunities in comparison with other diagnostic methods are available from the sociometric technique of the American social psychologist and psychiatrist Jacob Moreno - a set of techniques and tools used to quantify and graphically represent interpersonal relationships in groups and collectives based on an analysis of the choices made by military personnel for various types of joint activities.
Sociometric survey technique allows you to:
• to identify the structure of interpersonal relations by determining mutual feelings, likes, dislikes, indifference among military personnel - members of this group;
• determine the level of authority of the leader, as well as the place (status) of each member of the group in the structure of interpersonal relations;
• determine the presence and composition of microgroups, the relationship between them;
• give an assessment of group cohesion.
In military practice, the sociometric technique is used in two versions: parametric and nonparametric.
The essence of parametric sociometry is that the subjects are invited to make a strictly defined number of choices according to a given criterion. For example, to name the five military personnel who have the greatest compatibility and conflict-freeness or who can make up the most reliable team to perform a special task.
Nonparametric sociometry allows you to choose and reject any number of people, provided that the military is positive about the survey. Otherwise, there may be answers “I choose all” or “I reject all”, which significantly distort the results.
The advantages of sociometry are: the ability to collect significant material in a short time, which can be processed statistically and can be presented visually; the ability to register relationships between all members of the team (group). At the same time, one of its shortcomings includes the fixation of predominantly emotional relations, expressed in the likes and dislikes of military personnel; the inability to identify the true motives of the election; reflection in the number of elections is not so much cohesion as friendships.
In addition, to study interpersonal interaction in some units, the method of interpersonal diagnosis of interpersonal relationships T. Leary is used. This technique was created by T. Leary, G. Leforge, R. Sazek in 1954 and is intended to study the subject's ideas about himself and the ideal “I”, as well as to study relationships in small groups. Using this technique, the prevailing type of relationship to people in self-esteem and mutual evaluation is revealed. In the study of interpersonal relationships, social attitudes, two factors are most often distinguished: dominance-submission and friendliness-aggressiveness. It is these factors that determine the overall impression of a person in the processes of interpersonal perception. They are named by M. Argyle among the main components in the analysis of the style of interpersonal behavior and in content can be correlated with two of the three main axes of C. Osgood’s semantic differential: assessment and strength. In a long-term study conducted by American psychologists under the guidance of B. Bales, the behavior of a group member is evaluated by two variables, the analysis of which is carried out in a three-dimensional space formed by three axes: dominance-submission, friendliness-aggressiveness, emotionality - analyticity. To represent the main social orientations, T. Leary developed a conditional scheme in the form of a circle divided into sectors. In this circle, four orientations are indicated along the horizontal and vertical axes: dominance-submission, friendliness-hostility. In turn, these sectors are divided into eight - respectively more private relations. For an even finer description, the circle is divided into 16 sectors, but octants are used more often, oriented in a certain way relative to the two main axes.
Timothy Leary’s scheme is based on the assumption that the closer the test results are to the center of the circle, the stronger the relationship between these two variables. The sum of the points of each orientation is translated into the index, where the vertical (dominance-submission) and horizontal (friendliness-hostility) axes dominate. The distance of the obtained indicators from the center of the circle indicates the adaptability or extremeness of the interpersonal behavior.
The questionnaire contains 128 value judgments, of which 16 points are formed in each of the 8 types of relationships, sorted by ascending intensity. The methodology is structured so that judgments aimed at clarifying any type of relationship are not arranged in a row, but in a special way: they are grouped by 4 and repeated through an equal number of definitions. During processing, the number of relations of each type is calculated.
T. Leary suggested using the technique to assess the observed behavior of people, i.e. behavior in assessing others ("from the side"), for self-esteem, evaluating loved ones, to describe the ideal "I". In accordance with these diagnostic levels, the instruction for the answer changes.
Different directions of diagnosis allow you to determine the type of personality, as well as compare data on individual aspects. For example, the "social" I "," real "I", "my partners", etc.
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Methods of studying relationships in a military team
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