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The concept of personality in foreign and domestic psychological science.

Along with a number of basic research and original experimental facts, modern psychology of personality is characterized by many unresolved issues, disparate empirical data and not intersecting with each other scientific fields. Here the collision of views between the representatives of different directions begins from the very startingpoint of a psychological analysis of personality and appears in the issue of what phenomenology is in the field of psychology.

The first interest is the psychological concept of personality. The definition of personality, structure, mechanisms and factors of development in psychology has always been a complex and multifaceted problem. As far back as 1937, the American psychologist Gordon Allport in his first book, "Personality : a psychological interpretation " gives more than 50 different definitions of the personality. An attempt to synthesize them was not successful and Allport had to refuse giving the definition of the personality, admitting only that "a human is an objective reality" [ 1].

A half-century later, the famous Soviet methodologist P.G.Schedrovitsky had to state that in the vast majority of cases, the problem of personality psychology remains at the narrative level, but the concept of personality exists only as an everyday notation [2].

In this regard, at the beginning of the XX century psychology of personality , an independent branch of psychological knowledge emerged and developed in psychology. As noted by Stern , psychology of personality as a science emerged in response to the crisis of the traditional Wundt psychology, which resulted from self-exhausted atomistic ( elemental ) approach to explain the human personality. "The Psychology of the elements appeared to be helpless in considering the human personality" wrote V.Stern [ 3].

V.Stern believed that the personality is a self-determining, consciously and purposely acting integrity, possessing a certain depth (conscious and unconscious layers). The study of the complete personality, the laws of its formation was the purpose of his theory of personalization.

V Stern was one of the first psychologists who put the analysis of the development of the child‘s personality at the center of his of research interests. This was particularly important at that time that is in the second decade of the XX century, as the study of children’s development at the time were limited to the study of the cognitive development of children. The scientist also paid attention to these issues by examining the stages of the development of thinking and speech. However, from the very beginning he wanted to explore not an isolated development of individual cognitive processes, but the formation of a coherent structure, the person of the child.

V.Stern started from the premise that the mental development is selfdevelopment, self-unfolding of existing human instincts, which are directed and determined by the environment in which the child lives. This theory got the name the theory of convergence, since it took into account the role of two factors in mental development - heredity and environment . Their influence is analyzed by V. Stern on the example of main activities of children, mostly games. He first identified the content and form of the game activity, proving that the form is s invariable and is associated with innate qualities, to exercise which the game is created. At the same time, the content is given by the environment, helping the child to understand in what specific activities he can realize the qualities inherent in him. Thus, the game is not only for the exercise of innate instincts, but also for the socialization of children.

V.Stern understood the development itself as growth, differentiation, and transformation of psychic structures. When speaking about differentiation, he and representatives of Gestalt psychology, understood the development as a transition from the development of vague, indistinct images to a clear structured and distinct gestalt of the environment. This transition to a more precise and adequate reflection of the environment passes through several stages of transformations that are common to all the major mental processes. Mental development tends not only to self-development , but selfpreservation , that is, to the preservation of the individual innate characteristics of each child, first of all save the individual rate of development.

The preservation of specific features is possible due to the fact that the mechanism of mental development is introception , that is the child’s connection of internal purposes to those set by others. V.Stern believed that the potential of the child at birth is quite uncertain, he himself is not aware of himself and his inclination. Environment helps the child to understand himself , organizes his inner world, giving him a clear, structured and conscious structure.

The child tries to take from the environment everything that corresponds to his potential inclinations, putting a barrier in the way of those influences that contradict to his inner inclinations [4]

In the course of further development of personality psychology in the XX century, different theories of personality were formed, which present carefully verified inferences or hypotheses about what people represent , how they behave and why they do so, and not the other way. Among them there are at least nine destinations in the Western theory of personality:

psychodynamic (3.Freud ) and the revised A. Adler and Jung K. version of this direction;

dispositional (G. Allport ,R.Cattell;

behaviorist ( Skinner ) ;

socio- cognitive ( Bandura ) ; humanistic ( Maslow ) ;

phenomenological ( Rogers ) ;

ego psychology (E.Erikson, Erich Fromm , Karen Horney );

cognitive ( Piaget, J.Kelly ) [5].

In psychoanalysis, the beginning of a child's personality is connected with the inclusion into activity of basic life (biological) needs of the child , with the emergence of the conflict between the desire to meet their social and cultural values (traditional Freudian theory ), or with the appearance of the first vital failures in meeting the critical needs that lead to the appearance of the complexes ( neo-Freudianism ) . In this and in other cases, the beginning of personality development is dramatically associated with deep psychological trauma and a strong emotional experience affect, traces of which remain and are kept with the child throughout his life. Further development of the child as a person is determined by how he manages to survive the appropriate trauma and get rid of complexes. Personal tumors are considered to be the outcome and the result of the corresponding struggle. The role of socio-educational influences comes to the formation of the protective mechanisms of the individual.

Understanding the development of the personality in Freud's theory is based on the fact that in most cases of the life we do not know for sure or are not able to determine why people act so but not the other way. The background of behavior is seen in ‘It’ unconscious . Regulator of social behavior is "SuperEgo". In the process of individual development of the child, these three levels of personality functioning - "It" , "Ego" and " Super-Ego » do not occur simultaneously. "It" is ontogenetically the first, that is present from the moment of birth. "Ego" develops in the process of a child’s growing efforts directed to satisfy basic needs through interaction with other people. This component includes everything that is inborn, first of all, the instincts. Libido, the power supply connected with the instinct of life, exists within the "It" and it is a certain means of pressure on the psyche and behavior of the child that creates

tension, requiring discharge. Blocking the release of libido energy is experienced by the child as suffering . Psychologically libido takes the form of requirements. The child experiences positive feelings when they are satisfied and he acts on the basis of the "principle of pleasure ", trying to get as much satisfaction as soon as possible, avoiding the displeasure or suffering. Among the requirements, forming the basis of the "It" there are, by Z.Freud, the need for food, water, heat, and others, which are usually referred to as organic or physical.

A few years later " Super-Ego " appeared as a kind of internal representation of social values and norms. Practical ways of transformation of "It" , "Ego" and " Super-Ego " intertwined in a complex way with the stages of psychosexual development of children . As far as 'Ego' orients on the needs of the "It" in making vital decisions, on the one hand,, and on the other hand, Ego has to take into account the real conditions in which an individual acts , the basic function principle of the structure "Ego " is the reality principle . It is an awareness of the conditions and objective requirements of the real world , the search for ways to meet these needs , which are socially and morally acceptable in these conditions. Acts of solving life's problems at the level of "Ego" are called secondary processes. Individual features of perception, memory , thinking and behavior develop in a continuous interaction between the needs of the "It", forming by sensory organs , and the realization of the "Ego" of the world complications. Far not all the provisions of Freud's theories of children’s development are accepted by modern scholars of age psychology. Especially great objections are caused by Freudians’ tendency to remove the development of the personality from the biological needs of a person , ignoring what society gives to the person for his development as the personality.

In contrast to Freud K.Jung, the founder of analytical psychology, considered the mental world of the person as a natural whole phenomenon , not limited only to treatment of neurosis or pathological features. He saw the purpose of analytical psychology , both theoretical and practical discipline, along with the development of psychological theory, in the creation of mental development of technology applicable to ordinary people .

The central concept of analytical psychology is the "individuation ", which is used by K.Jung in a slightly different meaning than in medieval theology. It is about the movement from fragmentation to wholeness of the soul, about the transition from "Ego" - the center of consciousness to the "identity" as the center of all mental system. Individuation is based on the assimilation of individual and collective experience , thus forming the balance and integrity of the personality.

Thus, the basis of all constructions of analytical psychology is the assertion that a holistic mentality can not be shown using a single element, as in the mind, in addition to the rational conscious element there is still unconscious and irrational aspect. Accordingly, the ultimate goal of Jung's psychological concept is to comprehend life in its internal and external manifestations in the human psyche as any coherent reality. The leitmotif of the analytical and psychological approach can be considered the postulate that a mental disorder characterized by disconnections of personality, whereas psychological health is a manifestation of the personality unity. The unity of the personality provided transcendental function, which overcomes the ambivalent tendencies in the development of one-sidedness, internal conflict, linking polarity through the symbolic expression of mental content, and as a result opens up new prospects for personal development [6].

In the individual psychology of Alfred Adler main idea is the notion that the human is one and self- consistent organism. The Latin word «individuum» is translated as indivisible, that is the essence of meaning that can not be separated. A. Adler based on the fact that none of the manifestations of vitality can not be viewed in isolation, but rather only in correlation to the personality as a whole. The individual is an indivisible whole in regard to the relationship between the brain and the body, and in terms of mental life. A. Adler believes that the main purpose of individual psychology is to prove this unity in each individual : in his thinking , feelings , actions, consciousness and unconsciousness, in every manifestation of personality. The structure of the self consistent and unified identity A. Adler defined as a style of life. The human has creative power, which ensures possibility to control their lives, free, conscious activity is a defining feature of the personality. As we see in this concept more than any other, the attempt to treat the person as a whole creative "Ego" is expressed [7].

If Freud considered the human nature as biological, the same and invariable in all people, on the basis of which the culture gradually developed on the principle of expediency, but by Karen Horney human nature is more complex. He rejects Freud's idea of biological determination and defends the ontological concept of the "here and now". It is peculiar for it to believe in the human capacity for change and that the educational environment for each of the individual is more important than his biological heredity.

Karen Horney notes the cultural dimension of human development as the most important. On the one hand, human activity is determined by instincts, which pacified upbringing and moral laws. On the other hand, there is a split in the nature of the human to "good" and "bad." The "good" consistently wins through positive of attitudes. In contrast to Freud, who claimed that the inner core of personality is a destructive force, covered with a thin layer of civilization, Horney sees in people constructive core, which tends to self-realization, and believes in the ability of a person to develop himself , to own his forces, in the release of potential that is embedded in him, in spite of pressure from family , society and culture [8].

The theories of personality traits (G. Allport, R.Cattell, Eysenck and others) recognizes the presence of people’s resistant inner qualities that persist over time in different situations, and investigates the formation and changes of these traits in a child. In line with this trend the formation and development of the personality is considered as a process of formation of individual personality traits and their connection into complexes and further transformtion of these complexes in the whole system features reflecting periods of the age of the child. It is assumed that there is a certain sequence of occurrence of style, instrumental and motivational traits of personality. People have a wide range of predispositions to react in a certain way in different situations (i.e., personality traits ) , which causes a certain consistency in their actions , thoughts, and emotions [9].

It is believed that the personality traits start to form quite early in infancy; their special role is in early, pre-school childhood, when the child's organism and his brain are sufficiently plastic and are in the process of maturation.

At this time the personality traits are formed and fixed quite quickly. Their life stability as psycho - physiological system is determined by the fact that the personality traits are formed under influence of multilateral environment on the brain of the child being in the process of maturation.

Sociodynamic approach is a process of personal development as formation of individually typical forms of the social behaviour, the role behaviour, in particular. In accordance with it the child as a personality begins to develop actively from the moment when he first acquires a learning ability, including learning through imitation. Since then, the child acquired certain habits and skills. In the development of the personality within this period the certain stages and steps are allocated which are associated with the emergence and fixation of various forms of external behaviour.

Humanistic interpretation of a person as the subject is opposed to understanding him as a passive creature that responds to external stimuli only using a system of reactions. Each subject due to his uniqueness, originality, indispensability is involved in the development of culture of the whole society.

This is manifested in the fact that thinking of any individual is at least minimally creative, productive, self- reliant, in particular. In contrast to the Freudian the humanistic psychology studies healthy, harmonious personality, who reached the top personal development and self - actualization .

Basics of the personality development is presented in the form of the personality growth, selfdevelopment. Thus, according to Maslow's theory , every person has a motivational set that helps him satisfy the requirements of five levels.

Only after satisfying the requirements of the highest level , a person can become a healthy, creative and independent personality . And then he will be able to solve successfully various issues and better understand himself and others , it is wiser to build interpersonal relationships and completely devote himself to his favorite things. A. Maslow gave the characteristic of self - actualizing person, including such components as self-development , the manifestation abilities, potential abilities, self - actualizing creativity in work, love, life. "Self - actualization is not only the final state , but also the process of updating one’s f potentialities. This is, for example, the development of mental potentialities through intellectual studies. Here, self-actualization means the realization of their potential abilities .



  1. Allport G. Identity formation. - M.: The meaning of 2002.
  2. Schedrovitsky G.P. Fundamentals of psychology and logic. - M., 1999.
  3. Stern W. Die differentielle psycho-logie, 1911.
  4. Stern B. Psychological teen struc-ture / per. with it. - Leningrad: State and. Ped. Publishing House, 1961.
  5. .Rean A.A. Psychology of personality in the works of foreign psychologists. Reader. - St. Petersburg, 2000. - 320C.
  6. .Freud Z. Psychology of the Unconscious / - M., 1989. - p. 431.
  7. .Jung C.G. Analytical Psychology. Past and present. - M., 1995.
  8. .Adler A. Practice and Theory of Individual Psychology. - M., 1995
  9. . Horney K. The Neurotic Personality of Our Time. - Moscow, 1993.

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