A.N. Leontiev's Ideas and their Significance for Modern Psychology



The paper analyzes several ideas from the works of A.N. Leontiev and reflects upon the effects of these ideas on the development of general psychology and in particular on the understanding of animal and human behavior through the concepts of activity, perception and motivation processes, voluntary regulation. Thus, the paper analyzes the concept of 'sensory experience' and the role of activity in transforming experiences into senses; discusses Leontiev's contribution to the understanding of motivation in terms of his introduction of the concept of an object of need and his new interpretation of the motive of activity; analyzes the role of the con- cept of meaning in creating a temporary derivative of goal valence and in voluntary self-regulation. Finally, the paper explores the connection between the ideas of Vygotsky and Leontiev and the relationship between cultural-historical psychology and Leontiev's activity theory.

General Information

Keywords: subjective experiences, activity, object of need, motive, motivation, meaning, volition, higher mental function, cultural-historical activity

Journal rubric: Memorable Dates

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Ivannikov V.A. A.N. Leontiev's Ideas and their Significance for Modern Psychology. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2013. Vol. 9, no. 4, pp. 29–35. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


  1. Vygotskii L.S. Sobranie sochinenii. Tom tretii. Problemy razvitiia psikhiki. [Works. Third Volume. Рroblems develop- ment of the mind] Moscow. Pedagogika. 1983. Moscow. Pedagogy.
  2. Ivannikov V.A. Psikhologicheskie mekhanizmy volevoi reguliatsii [Psychological mechanisms of volitional regulyat- sii]. Moscow: Piter. 2006.
  3. Ivannikov V.A. Osnovy psikhologii. Kurs lektsii. [Prin- ciples of Psychology. Course of lectures.] Moscow: Piter. 2010.
  4. Leont'ev A.N. Problemy razvitiia psikhiki [Problems of development of the mind]. Moscow: MGU. 1981.
  5. Leont'ev A.N. Deiatel'nost'. Soznanie. Lichnost'. [Activities. Consciousness. Personality.] Moscow: Politizdat, 1975.
  6. Leont'ev A.N. Filosofiia psikhologii [Philosophy of Psy- chology]. Moscow: MGU, 1994.
  7. Rubinshtein S.L. Problemy obshchei psikhologii [Prob- lems of general psychology]. Moscow: Pedagogika.1973.
  8. Sechenov I.M. Izbrannye sochineniia [Selected Wri- tings]. Moscow: Minpros. 1953.

Information About the Authors

Vyachslav A. Ivannikov, Doctor of Psychology, Professor at the Personality Psychology Department, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia, e-mail: vaiv@mail.ru



Total: 5662
Previous month: 43
Current month: 40


Total: 4516
Previous month: 7
Current month: 5