Will: The Lost Link of Contemporary Foreign Psychology



The article presents the results of a review of publications on the problem of will in foreign psychology over the past 40-50 years. The main reasons for fluctuations in research interest in the problem of will in the 20th century are analyzed, as well as the main directions of research of volitional regulation in modern foreign psychology and related phenomena, methodological approaches and theoretical concepts. The main approaches to the definition of will in modern foreign psychology are described: will as control of impulses, will as a mechanism for the realization of intention in action, will as control of action’s determination. The results of the analysis made it possible to substantiate the need to refer to the concept of will in modern psychology, as well as to formulate the main criteria that distinguish the will from other mental phenomena. The main prospects for the further development of will are outlined, associated with the transition to the study of will in the process of transformation of the system of relations between a person and the surrounding worlds in real life situations.

General Information

Keywords: will, volitional regulation, self-regulation, self-control, free will, arbitrariness, meta-analysis, intention, purpose, personality

Journal rubric: Psychology of Personality

Article type: scientific article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/exppsy.2022150105

Funding. The reported study was funded by Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR), project number 20-113-50123.

Received: 17.08.2021


For citation: Shlyapnikov V.N. Will: The Lost Link of Contemporary Foreign Psychology. Eksperimental'naâ psihologiâ = Experimental Psychology (Russia), 2022. Vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 72–87. DOI: 10.17759/exppsy.2022150105. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Vladimir N. Shlyapnikov, PhD in Psychology, Head of the Department of Personality and Individual Differences, Moscow Institute of Psychoanalysis, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4301-4229, e-mail: shlyapnikov.vladimir@gmail.com



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