Variability and Constancy of the Scientific School, or Harmonization of Interrupted Identity



This article examines the connection between the formation of St Petersburg, Petrograd, and Leningrad schools of psychology and the social context of the development of science in Russia. One important role in this development was played by university departments, laboratories, journals, and scientific societies in the formation of relevant issues and problems and of circles of opponent. Camps in the development of psychology at St Petersburg University — humanitarian, historical-philological, and natural scientific — from the beginning were associated with the names of the first professors of the Faculty of Psychology, M.I.Vladislavlev and A.I.Vvedensky. At the same time, the connecting thread between their concepts was the priority of scientifically based and objective knowledge and scientific honesty of scientists themselves. This line in subsequent works of psychologists of the St Petersburg — Leningrad school remained fundamental, and it became the foundation on which theories developed in various paradigms in the 20th century. The ideas of N.N.Lange and N.Ya.Groth were connected with the traditions of the University in St Petersburg, from which they graduated. Their roles as leading circles of opponents to professors of the St Petersburg school of psychology — A.F.Lazursky, A.P.Nechaeva, M.Ya. Basov — is a central part of this history. The article explores the specificity of the approach to activity in the works of M.Ya. Basov. The significance of theoretical and practical psychology inherent in the works of A.F.Lazursky, N.A.Nechaev, V.M.Bekhterev for the development of psychological science in Russia is also analyzed. V.M.Bekhterev was a crucial figure in the creation of a “face of uncommon expression” of the St Petersburg school, and these ideas were further developed by V. N.Myasishchev and B.G.Ananyev. Despite moments of crisis in the history of the formation and development of the Leningrad psychological school, scholars managed to preserve their scientific identity, combining research on attitudes and motivation, behavior, and activity. Thus, the constancy of the value orientations of the school and the traditions laid down by its founders were combined with the variability and transformation of scientific priorities and methodological and methodic basics necessary for modernity.

General Information

Keywords: scientific school, methodology, psychological experiment, reflexology, relations, activity

Journal rubric: History of Psychology

Article type: scientific article


Funding. The study was prepared within the framework of the state task FNRE-2021-0001.

Received: 20.05.2022


For citation: Martsinkovskaya T.D. Variability and Constancy of the Scientific School, or Harmonization of Interrupted Identity. Vestnik of Saint Petersburg University. Psychology, 2022. Vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 8–18. DOI: 10.21638/spbu16.2022.101. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


Basov, M. Ya. (1975). Selected psychological works. Moscow, Pedagogika Publ. (In Russian)

Information About the Authors

Tatiana D. Martsinkovskaya, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Director of the Institute, Institute of psychology named after L. Vygotsky, Russian State University for the humanities, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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