«Self-Changes» of Person: Possible and Necessary



One of the most important topics of modern personality psychology is studying of how modern reality changes’ influence on personality. A problem of human variability refers to fundamental themes of psychology: parameter ‘variability — immutability’ is included in a system of basic characteristics of personality’s description. Rubinstein formulated it as a problem of correlation of variability and identity of a person. Traditionally, the problem of changes in psychology is examined through the theme of human development. Awareness of who/man’s role him/herself as a source and factor of his/her own development and his/her own changes leads to the emergence of the concept of self-processes and active study of them. In domestic psychology, the most developed and represented are the concepts of self-regulation and selfdevelopment. Typical for most studies focused on sources of human changes is the localisation of changes in personality traits of a person, their ‘inscription’ in an internal structure of an individual. At the same time, a notion of challenges of changing context is widely recognised in modern psychology. They are becoming a source of changes, requiring new ways and strategies for interaction with the surrounding world. We propose a notion of a self-change potential of personality which includes (1) ability and readiness of a person to understand ‘challenges’ of the situation and need for changes, (2) readiness to accept this need, and (3) willingness to act in accordance with perceived challenges. All together they constitute a potential that reflects a possibility of human variability. In modern conditions, preservation of stability, ‘an identity’ of individual requires his/her constant changes and development. Counterposing of adaptive and transformative strategies of human behaviour, of ‘survival’ and ‘life creation’ ones (in which a ‘survival’ is considered as necessary for normal life activity, and a ‘life creation’ — as its possible component) is irrelevant in modern conditions. ‘Life-making’ becomes a necessity and a condition for human survival in modern conditions, and such characteristics of an individual as ability and readiness for changes start to play an increasingly important role in people’s lives.

General Information

Keywords: development, change, self-processes, self-regulation, self-development, self-changes, self-change potential of personality

Journal rubric: Theory and Methodology of Psychology

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Grishina N.V. «Self-Changes» of Person: Possible and Necessary. Vestnik of Saint Petersburg University. Psychology, 2018. Vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 126–138. (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: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6763-7389, e-mail: n.v.grishina@spbu.ru



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