The Teacher: a Few Words of Appreciation for Iosif Markovich Paley



The article explores I.M. Paley, one of the most prominent representatives of the Ananyev psychological school. The scientific life of I. M. Paley focused on studies of individual differences. He made a significant contribution to the constitution of the Leningrad / St Petersburg differential psychological school. His intensive scientific communication with representatives of Moscow and Perm differential psychological schools (especially with V. D.Nebylitsyn and V. S.Merlin) contributed to the integration of Russian differential psychology and the creation of common theoretical guidelines and comparable diagnostic methods. His psychological and psychophysiological studies were devoted to describing individual differences, explaining their origins (based on inter-level associations), and predicting behavior (how differences in properties of the nervous system, temperament, intelligence, and personality lead to variation in behavioral responses). His research interests addressed the structure and functions of personality with specific interest in the developmental stability and plasticity. Paley believed that an analysis of interlevel relations in the structure of the personality, as well as the elucidation of reasons for the relationship, are the key to understanding the integrity of the individual. In studies conducted under his leadership not only nomothetic, but also idiographic methods of analysis were used, especially micro-longitudinal studies, which allowed the estimation of intraindividual variability. He paid much attention to the methodology of psychological research: the analysis of research schemes, the development and adaptation of diagnostic methods, and the adequate use of statistical methods. Paley was a talented lecturer who taught people to see both the variety of personality manifestations and the variety of their determinants. He designed the first course of lectures in Russia dedicated to differential psychology of the personality. Perhaps his greatest strength was his scientific supervision, in which professional competence, scientific honesty, and genuine interest were combined with an amazing ability to enthrall the students. Science is a dialogue between nature and humanity. Paley knew how to hear the questions that arise in this dialogue and helped us, his students, to master this ability.

General Information

Keywords: differential psychology, personality psychology

Journal rubric: History of Psychology

Article type: scientific article


Received: 03.12.2021


For citation: Egorova M.S. The Teacher: a Few Words of Appreciation for Iosif Markovich Paley. Vestnik of Saint Petersburg University. Psychology, 2022. Vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 96–103. DOI: 10.21638/spbu16.2022.108. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


Ananyev, B.G., Paley, I.M. (1970). On the psychological structure of the personality. Personality problems. Materials of the symposium, 39–51. (In Russian)

Lasko, M.V., Paley, I.M. (1977). Individual characteristics of the efficiency and structure of intellectual functions at different intensities of motivation. Problems of integral research of personality, 109–122. (In Russian)

Paley, I.M. (1967). On the study of the strength of the nervous system in connection with the tasks of complex diagnostics of individual-typical characteristics of a person. Chelovek i obschestvo, II, 213–225. (In Russian)

Paley, I.M. (1971). To the psychophysiological study of the structure of individual-typical characteristics of a person in connection with the “information-energy” relationships in neuropsychic activity. Chelovek i obschestvo, VIII, 150–154. (In Russian)

Paley, I.M. (1974). To the differential psychological study of students in connection with the tasks of studying the developmental potentials of an adult. Modern psychological and pedagogical problems of higher education. Leningrad, 133–143. (In Russian)

Paley, I.M. (1976a). Methodological issues of diagnostics in differential psychological research. Psychodiagnostic methods in a comprehensive study of students, ed. A.A.Bodalev. Leningrad, Leningrad University Press, 52–68. (In Russian)

Paley, I.M. (1976b). On the relationship between differentiation and integration in the psychophysiology of individual differences. Differential psychophysiology issues in connection with genetics. Materials of the All-Union Symposium. Perm, 14–21. (In Russian)

Paley, I.M., Magun, B.C. (1979). Psychological characteristics of personality and prerequisites of its social potentials. In: Social psychology. Leningrad, Leningrad State University Publ., 90–105. (In Russian)

Paley, I.M., Shafranskaya, K.D. (1969). Complex characteristics of individual-typical characteristics of students during emotional and intellectual stress on exams. Chelovek i obschestvo, IV, 145–153.

Paley, I.M., Zyryanova, N.G. (1972). Neurodynamic properties. Development of psychophysiological functions of the adults, eds B.G.Ananуev, E.I. Stepanova. Moscow, Pedagogica Publ., 44–103. (In Russian)

Teplov, B.M. (1985). Psychologist’s notes when reading fiction. Selected works: in 2 vols, vol. 1. Moscow, Pedagogica Publ., 308–309.

Vekker, L.M., Paley, I.M. (1971). Information and Energy in Psychic Reflection. Experimental and Applied Psychology. Series of Psychological Sciences, 362, 48–52. (In Russian)

Zhamkochian, M. S., Paley, I.M. (1977). On the connections of intelligence with individual characteristics of anxiety and extraversion. Experimental and Applied Psychology, 8, 78–87. (In Russian)

Information About the Authors

Marina S. Egorova, Doctor of Psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia, e-mail:



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