Self-Changes: Situational Determinants



One of the trends in modern psychology is the study of self-processes as a result of recognizing the role of the individual in the process of development and creation of his own living space, including self-changes as a response to the challenges of a changing reality. According to the results of modern research, the readiness and ability of a person to change plays a crucial role in its effective functioning. Based on our research, a conceptual model of the process of self-change was proposed, the concept of the potential for self-change was developed, and a methodology for its diagnosis was proposed. The actualization of the potential for self-change is determined by the target and situational determinants, which require studying how the possibilities of the situation are assessed in terms of its correlation with the goals of a person. To identify a person’s desire for change, various methodological solutions are used that, however, are criticized for the decontextualized nature of the data obtained. Attempts to overcome this compel researchers to search for tools for describing situations and context. The article provides examples of studies conducted using the scale of situationism (lay situationism), which revealed two significant aspects — the susceptibility (sensitivity) of a person to environmental influences and attention to the situation; research focused on the study of personality changes, taking into account the context (WAC — Within and Across Context Variability); when describing a situation, it is proposed to be based on information about the structure of the situation, its psychological characteristics and the category (class) of the situation, the formulation of the principles for studying situations (processing, reality and circularity principles) is proposed. Studies of situations with a description/measurement of its individual parameters, however, can be effective in solving particular problems, but do not provide complete information about the situation as a regulator of human activity, since a person interacts with the whole situation, and not with its individual characteristics. The task is to search for concepts of an integral description of the situation as the basis for the target determination of behavior, one of which is Bernstein’s “model of the required future”.

General Information

Keywords: self-changes, decontextualized nature of data, situational determinants, image of the future

Journal rubric: Theory and Methodology of Psychology

Article type: scientific article


Funding. The study was supported by the Russian Science Foundation grant no. 22-28-00871.

Received: 20.02.2022


For citation: Grishina N.V. Self-Changes: Situational Determinants. Vestnik of Saint Petersburg University. Psychology, 2022. Vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 172–185. DOI: 10.21638/spbu16.2022.206. (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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