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Self-development as the highest form of development

Self-development in modern psychology is usually considered along with such phenomena as subject, subjectivity, subjectivity, personal growth (V.I. Slobodchikov, V.A. Petrovsky, K.A. Abulkhanova-Slavskaya, A.V. Brushlinsky, etc. .). P0, apparently, psychology can no longer develop without accepting that a person is not only an object of influence of various biological and social factors, but also a subject (i.e., a carrier of activity). In the concept of “subject”, the active principle of a person is emphasized in the first place, by realizing which he realizes his real relationship with reality.

Let us consider this in more detail using the scheme proposed by Yu. V. Slyusarev [10]. He introduces the concept of “psi-space” as some finite set of factors influencing a person, and builds in this space a coordinate plane, the axis of which are external, internal, natural, social factors, and the person himself is in the center of the coordinate plane.

The author defines three forms of development: maturation, formation and self-development.

These forms of development can be defined as follows. Maturation is characteristic of both animals and humans. It is provided by the genetic program of the individual, and dominates in the prenatal period and in the first years of life. Formation is also characteristic of animals and humans. It determines the part of development that is carried out under the influence of external factors. Its influence prevails from the first years of life until the emergence of subjectivity. Unlike other forms, self-development, inherent only to man, begins to manifest itself with the emergence of subjectivity, the possibility of development based on the internal activity of the individual.

The transition of one form of development to another is due to a change in the determination of development. Therefore, in the case of self-development, we can talk about self-determination, i.e. about the prevalence of internal determination over external, which is revealed in two aspects.

1. External and intersystem contradictions, only giving rise to internal contradictions, can act as a causal factor in development (S.L. Rubinstein was the first of the psychologists to realize this at the general philosophical level). Even when a person is influenced by strong psychosocial factors, his internal mechanisms and sensations impede the direct mechanical effect on the psyche (for example, hypnosis).

2. Although the internal source of activity and development is formed under the influence of social and biological factors, it itself transforms external determinants.

This is confirmed by many examples:

the formation of a small environment (the closest medium of communication and activity) - a change in factors;

limiting oneself in food and rest (fasting, asceticism, creative inspiration) - a change in factors;

change of residence - a change in factors.

Consequently, in the activity, a kind of double liberation of the subject takes place - from the states of his immediate environment and from his own simple needs. Let us consider in more detail the conditionality of self-development by the conditions of life. As L.I. Antsiferova notes, any social influences can act as factors:

1) actualizing, supporting, stimulating, guiding;

2) inhibitory, blocking, deforming psychological efforts of the individual [11].

The main psychological condition that determines the degree of effectiveness of various social influences on a person is the level of mental activity: various social influences are effective to the extent that they are included in the structure of a person-significant task and depending on what place they occupy in it. The same can be applied to education and training: a person at any stage of mental development is not only controlled from the outside with the help of pedagogical influences, but also actively transforms them taking into account the subjective experience he already has.

The psychological role of social interactions in self-development is that:

this is the initial determination of personality (the basis of self-development);

socio-economic conditions of the family, the level and characteristics of the socio-cultural development of the environment, life activity determine the development of the child’s personality, affect the area and time of occurrence of self-development.

In addition, as we will see later, interaction with the social environment serves as a source of replenishment of experience important for further development.

Many researchers consider determination, not including it in the model of self-development. For the first time, an attempt to combine these two aspects was made by L.M. Popov [12], although he considered determination as a frame of his complex. The role of determination is that it attaches to internal processes in each case:

individual identity;

positive or negative color;

the changing direction of action both outside and inside the person himself.

Three components can be distinguished in it:

d) the nature of causal relationships. On the one hand, any consequence can have a direct cause, but often the consequence arises as a result of many events that replace each other. It arises when this information reaches a critical mass;

2) communication;

3) mediating links (for example, signs and sign systems).

The main difference between the selected components is that they are mechanisms of internalization - the transition of the external into the internal. In addition, it is necessary to separate into a separate structure the internal (or “proper psychological”) determination. This is a characteristic feature of this model, since all other researchers do not share self-development and internal determination.

So, we can conclude that self-development is a form of development that arises, replacing formation, and is determined by the foundation that the previous development sets.

The following characteristics can be considered distinctive features of self-development: there is an internal source of activity; a person can change the external determination and create a development environment for himself.
Thus, self-development is a form of development, the engine of which is the subject itself.

Having determined the content of the phenomenon of self-development, we turn to a discussion of what is its outcome, what level of organization of a person it corresponds to. As already noted, during maturation, a person develops as a biological individual.

The following form of development (formation) is interpreted differently. Modern researchers are faced with a dilemma: on the one hand, everyone recognizes the important role of the environment in human development, and on the other, the question has still not been resolved to what level of human organization correspond to the changes generated by external factors. To overcome this contradiction, it is necessary to consider the process of socialization. If we single out self-development from this process (which, although it is noted by researchers as part of socialization, is rarely described as a separate factor), then we can introduce the concept of “social individual” (according to V.V. Stolin) as the result of the formation process, that is, a person forms “a certain set of psychological traits, attitudes, knowledge, abilities that allow him to correspond to existing social relations” [13].

What level of human organization does self-development correspond to? We can say that it refers to the internalized social level, which has its own internal source of activity.

This source of activity can be represented in two aspects.

1. The contradiction generated in the internal external influences (they are also the driving forces of self-development); the contradiction between the I-real and I-ideal or I-mirror (I in the eyes of others); the contradiction between the abilities and opportunities that the environment provides; the contradiction between “can” and “want” or “between reflection and initiative” [12].

Another, perhaps the most important contradiction, is that man is a dual, spiritual, material, finite-infinite, timeless-temporal being, eternally striving to go beyond its limits (hence the need for development).

2. The subject, as defined by V. A. Petrovsky, is itself causa sui - “cause of himself”. “Subjectivity allows us to imagine a person as a biased screenwriter of his actions (at the highest levels of development - even a director), who are inherent in certain preferences, and worldview positions, and the determination to transform” [14]. It is necessary to dwell on the differentiation of the concepts of “subjectivity” and “subjectivity”. Subjectivity is a meaningful and effective characteristic of activity that emphasizes the intentionality of the subject, and subjectivity is a peculiarity of the results of a person's display of external conditions and mental processes. Much has been given to him in a unique, accessible form to him.

The considered aspects of the source of activity are interconnected, since when solving important contradictions for oneself, a person becomes a subject of his development and, on the contrary, only being a subject, he can realize these contradictions.

Let us return to the question of what is the subject of self-development. According to V.V. Stolin, the highest level corresponds to a person [13]. This is also confirmed by L.I. Antsyferova, in the opinion of which the personality creates itself, the personality is the subject of its own development. It follows that self-development and personal development are one and the same process. But then the concepts of “personal development” and “mental development” should be separated. As noted by V.A. Petrovsky and M.G. Yaroshevsky, the literature provides a number of concepts of age development without differentiation of objects of analysis - mental and personality types of development. In 1993, V. A. Petrovsky proposed to separate the problems of the development of the individual and the development of personality: the process of development of the psyche is the most important component (side, aspect) of human development, included in the system of social relations, but personality development is not limited to this [14].

Speaking of personal development, unlike many other approaches to this topic, we focus on the activity of the individual and reveal not what affects its development (community, team, etc.), but the mechanisms of its self-development.

So, we can conclude that three types of development are simultaneously present at each stage of development, but only one of them dominates, creating a certain level of human organization: maturation is a biological individual; formation - a social individual; self-development is a person.

Moreover, as G. A. Zuckerman rightly asserts, although the process of self-development begins with life, a person - often his whole life - does not become his subject [15].

In order to prevent this from happening, targeted support is needed for the development of human subjectivity. How should it be carried out? Of course, relying on one or another model of self-development. In the description of the models, most authors represent the stages of self-development and the mechanism. With regard to the mechanism of self-development, everyone unanimously recognizes personal reflection, but there are significant differences in the content and sequence of stages. So, N. G. Grigorieva presents the following model: reflection and self-esteem, the formation of needs for self-education, self-development programming, self-correction and self-action, self-control, reflection and self-esteem [16]. N. R. Bityanova in the process of self-development identifies four processes that replace each other: self-knowledge, self-motivation, programming of personal and professional growth, self-realization [17].

Other self-development models are described in the literature, but, as it seems to us, they are too difficult to transfer the model to real life.

In the meantime, we note that the main feature of self-development is that the necessary changes in the personality come of her own free will, the personality is responsible for its development. Thus, self-development is an endless multidimensional and individual process.
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Self-development as the highest form of development

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