The problem of the conceptualization of context in modern psychology



Modern psychology is characterised by its interest to a topic of context, based on a growing influence of changing reality’s factors. In connection with this, the actual task is a conceptualisation of a context as a differentiation of basic units of its description. Modern psychology proceeds from multidimensionality of human existence world. The article describes situational, vital and existential contexts presented in different fields of psychology. The situational context has the oldest traditions of its description in psychology, related to search of explanatory models of relations between situational and personal determinants in human behaviour. In the situational level studies, a reality is reduced to a specific situation, a concept of situation is a basic one, describing an interaction of a person with an outside world. Descriptions of life context in psychology are represented by two areas — descriptions of a world of person’s everyday life and his/her way of life; respectively the concepts of social situation and life space of person are proposed to be considered as the units of analysis. The existential context being irreducible in Russian psychology to person’s life way and his/her everyday life, is a subject of attention in psychology of human existence and existential psychology. The concept of life-world can be a unit of existential level description.

General Information

Keywords: concept, levels of concepts, situation, social situation, life space, life-world

Journal rubric: Theoretical Research

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Grishina N.V. The problem of the conceptualization of context in modern psychology. Sotsial'naya psikhologiya i obshchestvo = Social Psychology and Society, 2018. Vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 10–20. DOI: 10.17759/sps.2018090302. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Nataliya V. Grishina, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Department of Personality Psychology, Saint-Petersburg State University, St.Petersburg, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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