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The main directions of knowledge of the subject of military psychology

The period of the beginning and the middle of the XIX century, associated with the great combat experience of the Russian army on the southern borders of the country, in Central Asia, the reflection of aggression in Kamchatka, Arkhangelsk. This made it possible not only to generalize, but also to develop military-psychological systems that are developed in the works of N.D. Butovsky, I. Maslov, M.I. Dragomirov and especially L.N. Tolstoy. Note that for only less than 70 years of the middle of the 19th century, Russia participated in 4 major wars and 3 military companies, the total duration of which was 11 years 3 months.

The conditions for the formation of military psychology as an independent science were: socio-economic - the formation and development of statehood; ideological - the formation and consolidation of the dominant ideology (religiosity, monarchism, nationality); military - the creation and strengthening of a regular army (training, education, advance training of troops); scientific and theoretical - the development of human science (philosophy, pedagogy, medicine, physiology, psychiatry, psychology).

The stage of scientific development of military psychology is characterized, firstly, by a transition to the study of the essence of psychic phenomena, their material basis and mechanism (the psyche acts as a complex structure, as a set of processes, states and properties); secondly, at this stage, military psychology is being formed as an independent branch of psychological science.

The main directions in understanding the subject of military psychology are: the psychology of the personality of soldiers (individual psychology); group psychology, socio-psychological phenomena in the army; psychology of military activities in peacetime; psychology of battle and war.

The development of the personality problem of a warrior in the second half of the 19th century was caused by military reforms of 1860–1870 that greatly changed the face of the army: public consciousness democratized, service life was reduced from 25 years to 6 years in the ground forces, to 7 years in the navy; new weapons came into service; actively improved methods of warfare; the social and material situation of the military has changed. In other words, there appeared humanistic traditions of the moral and ethical basis for studying the personality of a warrior, a need arose to create a system of military education based on scientific ideas about the psychology of a warrior, the level of development of general psychology was quite sufficient to study the psychology of a warrior.

The study of the personality of a warrior was carried out on 3 levels.

The first reflected the expression of the most general that is inherent in the Russian warrior: the research was more descriptive than explanatory; the person was represented by her morale. Thus, L.N. Tolstoy gave a capacious psychological characteristic of the distinctive features of the Russian warrior: “The spirit of the Russian soldier is not based as the courage of the southern peoples on quick-igniting and cooling down enthusiasm. It is also difficult to ignite, as well as to make you lose heart. In a Russian real soldier, you will never notice boasting, cunning, desire to fall out of thin air, become heated during a danger, on the contrary, modesty, simplicity and the ability to see in danger is completely different than danger, are the distinctive features of his character ”(Tolstoy L.N., 1855, p.63).

In the Russian army, the main object of work was the personality of an officer, commander, lower rank, teacher, uncle. For M.I. Dragomirov: “A soldier is only good when he is a man in the full meaning of the word. Only a person is capable of growing into masses when the consciousness says that this is the key to success. Only a person can get mad at the last atrocity, if circumstances force him to do so. Only a person can forget the enemy and share the last piece of bread with someone who, several minutes before, encroached on his own life. ” M. I. Dragomirov said: “When dealing with a person, you need to take it as a whole, what it is, and not create a hypothetical person, that is, representing one will or one mind, or, finally, one physics” (M. Dragimirov ., 1956, p. 52).

The second level of the study of the personality of a warrior is associated with the appearance of attempts to move from general to particular, to structure the personality of a warrior. So, P.I. Izmestyev related to the structure of the personality of a warrior: will, character, sense of duty, honor, love for the Fatherland, the conviction of the need for reasonable initiative. He reveals some psychological laws between tactics, combat methods and psychological qualities of a fighter: “Modern tactics require not only the boss, but also the ordinary fighter, knowledge, initiative and the ability to influence others” Izmestiev P.I., 1911, p.4) .

PF Lesgaft in his works “On the relation of anatomy to physical education” (1876), “The program for teaching gymnastics at universities” (1877), “The value of physical exercises for the army” (1886) develops the idea of ​​the unity of mental and physical processes in the human body, the need to connect the physical education of warriors with mental, moral and aesthetic. He wrote: "All changes in a person are closely connected with the physical and mental life of a young person, so this must be taken into account when evaluating the actions of the latter."

N.A. Korf in his work “The Connection of Military Sciences with the Social” (1897) goes further than its predecessors. He believed that the warrior, before and during the war, is a member of a particular social group, therefore he distinguishes the identity of the warrior in the subject of studies of military psychology, in particular: individual data, social data.

And the third level of the study of the personality of a warrior is associated with the names of I. Maslov, M.V. Zenchenko, who are trying to build a theory of the personality of a warrior, based on the history of the state, the social system, the development of science, culture, the qualities of a warrior’s personality, and the characteristics of manning the army, which was determined social order.

In general, the personality of a warrior is considered as a generalizing category, as an individual, as a set of social qualities, as a specific person, an active being.

At the beginning of the XX century, a second direction appears - socio-psychological. N.A. Korf wrote - “Psychology at the beginning of the 20th century is divided into 2 independent parts, which can be called individual psychology, which treats the mental phenomena of individuals and another - collective psychology, which explores the same in relation to groups of people” (Korf , 1897, p. 421).

The development of the group’s psychology problem was due to: a change in battle tactics, transitions from linear constructions to a loose formation (the feeling of an elbow weakened); the transition to new types of weapons (artillery, armored vehicles, armored trains, machine guns), where there were crews and naturally the collective use of weapons; an increase in the size of the army, the creation of new units, collectives and groups; a change in the national composition of units (75% of the soldiers were Russian, which included Ukrainians and Belarusians); changes in socio-psychological conditions as a result of reduced service life.
With a 25-year term, soldiers, drafted into the army, actually broke off all relations with his family, with a 6-year term - the barracks became only a certain period of life.

The subject of the study, representatives of the socio-psychological direction saw the mental processes that occur in groups of military personnel, the mass phenomena that occur during war and battle, the influence of groups, the masses on the personality of a warrior.

A.S. Zykov was the first to introduce into psychology the concept of a "small group", a collective unit, expanded understanding of the subject of military psychology, not only as the human psyche, personality, but also the psychology of the collective. He identifies the following structure of group psychology: collective moods; sensations; traditions; public opinion. Zykov considered military units as social groups in which activities are regulated by public opinion, where there are social principles - norms that are governed by the activities of group members. To social norms, he attributed: the concept of duty, honor regiment, uniform; willingness to lay one’s head “for one’s own”; authority of the chief; love of subordinates and care for them; ideas of Slavism and Christianity (Zykov A., 1898).

The position of A.S. Zykov was supported by G.E. Shumkov. He wrote: “What is the difference between a crowd of people mechanically connected and a crowd of people psychologically connected? It is distinguished by the absence of common interests, common actions and actions. But since only a group of people begins to show common interests with general emotional responsiveness, do actions and actions common to all. This group of people unites psychologically and begins to live according to the phenomena of the psychology of the masses ”(G. Shumkov, 1905).

A.M.Dmitrievsky defined traditions: “Traditions are hereditary, successive from generation to generation transmission of principles that are characteristic of a moral element of a given nation or family, moreover, it will be traditional only that which will be repeated in action by each generation” (Dmitrievsky A.M. ., 1909).

A significant contribution to the development of the socio-psychological direction was made by Ukhach-Ogorovich, who repeatedly emphasized that the psychology of the crowd and the psychology of the army differ from each other, primarily the goals, nature of activity and controllability. A. Rezanov singles out the varieties of the “collective” depending on the presence of the following features: unity of action; unity of will; unity of consciousness; unity of place and time; the presence of public opinion, characterizing communication and spiritual connection. NN Golovin reveals the psychology of the crowd (Golovin NN, 1907, p.113).

V.M. Bekhterev, A.M. Dmitrievsky, P.I. Izmestyev, A. Rezanov studied the group phenomenon and, in particular, panic. Panic is an epidemic of fear that has swept the mass of individuals and has taken the most powerful expression, since in collectives all emotions are expressed much more intensely than in individuals. The causes of panic are: inculcation of suggestion of helplessness or imminent death caused by both real and fraudulent perceptions; deception of feelings; surprise appearance of the enemy; decline in the moral and physical strength of fighters.

The third area of ​​research is military discipline, and in particular the problem of suicide (L. Prozorov, 1914). E. Erickson examined the causes of suicide: neurasthenia in a more or less severe form; spirits and syphilis; remoteness of duty stations from cultural centers (lack of prospects in life undermines self-confidence); bad news from home (shows that many military personnel have a very strong spiritual connection with the house); internal causes. Based on them, E. Erickson proposes measures to prevent suicide: “The closest bosses must reckon with the mental abilities and physical abilities of subordinates and enter their inner life outside of service more carefully. Secondly, it is necessary to raise the knowledge of nervous diseases and especially psychopathology among all the bosses. ... In addition, measures are necessary against alcohol abuse in the troops, which will prevent many suicides ”(E. Erickson, s1915).

The fourth direction in the development of military psychology in Russia is that it (psychology) developed both the psychology of peacetime and wartime. Very much attention was paid to the role of psychological stability of soldiers, the role of psychological impact on the enemy. N. Korf noted: “To prepare a battle, to prepare an offensive is equivalent to the concept of undermining, undermining, and killing the mental forces of the enemy.” N.A. Korf identified 4 groups of factors affecting the psyche of a fighter during a battle: a group of external and material battle factors (weapons, strength, etc.); battle control; the presence of a warrior education system; general social factors (Korf N.L., 1897).

In general, the factors affecting the combat activity of soldiers and representatives of those who studied them can be represented as follows:



Along with the factors of battle and war affecting the identity of warriors, military psychologists in Russia saw their task in studying the conditions of a human fighter during his activity in battle.

G.E. Shumkov suggested that the state of soldiers in battle be considered in three periods:

1. Status pending battle. The state of anxious expectation dominates, although the degree of its severity varies from person to person. Other temporary conditions may arise: fear, sadness, joy, and anger.

2. States during the battle. Excitation prevails, thoughts of danger, which turn into a transitional state or “dreams,” when thoughts of oneself prevail and culminate in apathy or indifference, due to oppression of the nervous system.

3. Post-combat conditions were characterized as post-stress. “Modern battles using advanced machines for mutual destruction create such an extreme tension of neuropsychic forces and health in general that will not pass without a trace for the participants of the battle” (G. Shumkov, 1905).
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