Exploring Psychological Systems with the 'Method of Units'



The paper considers the units of psychological systems proposed in the works of the founders of activity theory (L.S. Vygotsky, A.N. Leontiev, S.L. Rubinstein and others) from the perspective of a fuzzy logic model of the unity of opposite sides of the units developed by the author. A clear distinction is drawn between the concepts of 'unit', 'basic unit' and 'cell' of a psychological system. The paper also reviews some goals, outcomes and means of exploring psychological systems with the 'method of units'. This method is aimed at finding com¬ponents in a system that have significant features in common with this system, features which can turn into each other through the 'moments of their equality' or unity. Describing such transitions (for example, of con¬scious actions into unconscious operations) helps to reveal the mechanisms of the corresponding psychological processes. The paper draws a comparison between the 'chunks of information' in cognitive psychology and the 'units of psychological interaction' in activity theory.

General Information

Keywords: units, basic units and cells of psychological systems, unity of opposite sides of a system, Vygotsky's 'method of units'

Journal rubric: Problems of Cultural-Historical and Activity Psychology

Article type: scientific article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/chp.2015110201

For citation: Bespalov B.I. Exploring Psychological Systems with the 'Method of Units'. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2015. Vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 4–15. DOI: 10.17759/chp.2015110201. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Boris I. Bespalov, PhD in Psychology, senior researcher at the Department of Work and Engineering Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia, e-mail: bespalovb@mail.ru



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