Human Self-Creation — a New Stage in the Development of The Subject’s Psychology



Three interrelated directions of research of the psychology of the subject are analyzed, in which procedural, metapersonal and spiritual-practical bases of development of human subjectivity are presented. In the first direction it is emphasized that in recent studies of the subject and the individual there is a rethinking of the category of “procedural” by psychologists, and in scientific knowledge more often used procedural approach to the analysis of mental phenom- ena than structural. In the procedural approach, the cultural and philosophical basis of which is not the ontology of being, but the ontology of becoming, the attention of psychologists is focused on understanding the processes and variations within a person, as well as on their temporary transformation. The most important is the analysis of the formation, dynamics and novelty of personal formations. Second, the metapersonal direction of the subject’s research: the theoretical and conceptual understanding of the metapersonal self-interpretation of the subject is developed. It is defined as an identity that transcends the individual Self and encompasses broader aspects of being, such as humanity, life, the psyche, or the cosmos. With metapersonal self-interpretation, the subject feels its indissoluble connection with all man- kind and realizes itself as a part of the natural and social world. The third direction of the subject’s research is spiritual and practical. In the psychology of the subject, the embodiment in one phenomenon of activity, self-reflexive and transcendental components is presented in the category “spiritual and practical knowledge”. The general socio-humanitarian context of its development was the reflections of M.Foucault and P.Ado, and specifically-psychological — publications of Brushlinsky. The basis of the scientific views of these scientists were two fundamental considerations: 1) to understand the world, the knowledge of the truth, the sub- ject cannot remain as it is: having reached the highest level of activity, integrity, autonomy, a person must still be transformed, to surpass himself; 2) knowledge is inextricably linked with activity, and declarative knowledge (I know “what”) — with procedural (I know “how). From these bases in psychology not subject, but subject-activity approach develops.

General Information

Keywords: subject, two stages of research, change, self-creation, human self-transformation

Journal rubric: Theory and Methodology of Psychology

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Znakov V.V. Human Self-Creation — a New Stage in the Development of The Subject’s Psychology. Vestnik of Saint Petersburg University. Psychology, 2019. Vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 112–122. DOI: 10.21638/spbu16.2019.201. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


Antsyferova L. I. Razvitie lichnosti i problemy gerontopsikhologii< /em> [Personality development and gerontopsychology problems]. 2nd ed. Moscow, Institut psikhologii RAN, 2006. (In Russian)

Rafaeli-Mor E., Gotlib I. H., Revelle W. The Meaning and Measurement of Self-Comlexity. Personality and Individual Differences, 1999, no. 27, pp. 341–356. (In Russian)

Brushlinskii A. V. Problema sub”ekta v psikhologicheskoi nauke (stat’ia pervaia) [Problem of the subject in psychological science (first article)]. Psikhologicheskii zhurnal [Psychological Journal], 1991, vol. 12, no. 6, pp. 3–11. (In Russian)

Brushlinskii A. V. Izbrannye psikhologicheskie trudy [Selected psychological works]. Moscow, Institut psikhologii RAN, 2006. (In Russian)

Tul’chinskii G. L. Lichnost’ kak uspeshnyi avtoproekt [Personality as successful autoproject]. Ot sobytiia k bytiiu: grani tvorchestva Galiny Ivanchenko [From the history of creativity of Galina Ivanchenko]. Compiled by M. A. Kozlova. Moscow, Izd. dom Gos. un-ta — Vysshei shkoly ekonomiki, 2010, pp. 49–63. (In Russian)

Harter S. The construction of the self: Developmental and sociocultural foundations. New York, Guilford Press, 2012.

Chepeleva N. V. Samoproektirovanie lichnosti v diskursivnom prostranstve [Self-designing of a person in the discursive space]. Chelovek, sub”ekt, lichnost’ v sovremennoi psikhologii (k 80-ti letiiu A. V. Brushlinskogo) [Man, subject, personality in modern psychology (to the 80th birthday of A. V. Brushlinsky)]. In 4 vol., vol. 3. Eds A. L. Zhuravlev, E. A. Sergienko. Moscow, Institut psikhologii RAN, 2013, pp. 342–345. (In Russian)

Korbut A. M. Obrazovatel’naia sub”ektivnost’ i tekhnologii sebia” . [Educational subjectivity and “technology itself ” ]. Universitet kak tsentr kul’turoporozhdaiushchego obrazovaniia. Izmenenie form kommunikatsii v uchebnom protsesse [University as a center of culture-generating education. Changing the forms of communication in the educational process]. Ed. by. M. A. Gusakovskii. Minsk, BGU, 2004, pp. 122–134. (In Russian)

Petrova G. I. Sovremennyi konstruktivistskii otvet v reshenii klassicheskoi pedagogiko antropologicheskoi problemy .zaboty o sebe. [Modern constructivist answer in solving classical pedagogical and anthropological problems of “caring for oneself ”]. Vestn. Tomskogo gos. un-ta, 2013, no. 12 (140), pp. 131–134. (In Russian)

Kritskaia V. P., Meleshko T. K. Patopsikhologiia shizofrenii [The pathopsychology of schizophrenia]. Moscow, Institut psikhologii RAN, 2015. (In Russian)

Grishina N. V. .Samoizmeneniia. lichnosti: vozmozhnoe i neobkhodimoeoye [“Self-Changes” of the Personality: Possible and Necessary]. Vestnik of Saint Petersburg University. Psychology, 2018, 8 (2), pp. 126–138. (In Russian)

Kostromina S. N., Grishina N. V. Protsessual’nyi podkhod v psikhologii lichnosti [The procedural approach to the psychology of personality. Psikhologiia cheloveka kak sub”ekta poznaniia, obshcheniia i deiatel’nosti [Psychology of man as the subject of knowledge, communication and activity]. Eds A. L. Zhuravlev, V. V. Znakov. Moscow, Institut psikhologii RAN, 2018, pp. 506–512. (In Russian)

Kharlamenkova N. E. Opisanie, ob”iasnenie i obosnovanie teoreticheskogo znaniia v sovremennoi psikhologii lichnosti [Description, explanation and justification of theoretical knowledge in modern psychology of personality]. Psikhologicheskoe znanie: sovremennoe sostoianie i perspektivy razvitiia [Psychological knowledge: current state and development prospects]. Moscow, Institut psikhologii RAN, 2018,pp. 431–453. (In Russian)

Giordano P. J. Being or becoming: Toward an open-system. process-centric model of personality.Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science, 2015, vol. 49, iss. 4, pp. 757–771.

Giordano P. J. Individual personality is best understood as process. not structure. Culture and Psychology, 2017, vol. 23, iss. 4, pp. 502–518.

Shtompka P. Sotsiologiia sotsial’nykh izmenenii [Sociology of social change]. Moscow, Aspekt-Press, 1996. (In Russian)

Smirnov A. V. Soznanie. Logika. Iazyk. Kul’tura [Consciousness. Logics. Tongue. Culture Meaning]. Smysl. Moscow, Iazyki slavianskoi kul’tury, 2015. (In Russian)

Leont’ev D. A. Il’ia Prigozhin i psikhologiia XXI veka [Ilya Prigogine and Psychology of the 21st Century]. Psikhologicheskii zhurnal [Psychological Journal], 2018, vol. 39, no. 3, pp. 9–14. (In Russian)

Petrovskii A. V., Iaroshevskii M. G. Osnovy teoreticheskoi psikhologii. [Fundamentals of theoretical psychology]. Moscow, Infra-M, 1998, pp. 80–98. (In Russian)

DeCicco T. L., Stroink M. L. A Third Model of Self-Construal: The Metapersonal Self. International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, 2007, vol. 26, iss. 1, pp. 82–104.

Mara C. A., DeCicco T. L., Stroink M. L. An Investigation of the Relationships Among Self-Construal. Emotional Intelligence. and Well-Being. The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, 2010, vol. 29, iss. 1, pp. 1–11.

Fuko M. Germenevtika sub”ekta: Kurs lektsii, prochitannykh v Kollezh de Frans v 1981–1982 uchebnom godu [Subject Hermeneutics: A course of lectures given at the College de France in the 1981–1982 school year]. St. Petersburg, Nauka, 2007. (In Russian)

Ado P. Dukhovnye uprazhneniia i antichnaia filosofiia [Spiritual exercises and ancient philosophy]. Moscow, St. Petersburg, Stepnoi veter; ID .Kolo., 2005. (In Russian)

Vasiliuk F. E. Tipy dukhovnogo sovladaniia [Types of spiritual mastering]. Konsul’tativnaia psikhologiia i psikhoterapiia [Consultative psychology and psychotherapy], 2014, no. 5, pp. 139–151. (In Russian)

Porus V. N. Chto znachit .poniat’. khudozhestvennyi tekst? [What does it mean to “understand” an artistic text?]. Vopr. filos. [Questions of Philosophy], 2016, no. 7, pp. 84–96. (In Russian)

Maksimova E. V. Dukhovnaia praktika kak predel’naia .praktika sebia. [Spiritual practice as the ultimate “practice of the self ”]. Vestnik Novg. gos. un-ta. Ser.: Gumanitarnye nauki, 2013, no. 73, vol. 1, pp. 122–125. (In Russian)

Information About the Authors

V. V. Znakov, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Senior Researcher, Development Laboratory, Institute of Psychology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia, e-mail:



Total: 154
Previous month: 5
Current month: 4


Total: 65
Previous month: 2
Current month: 7