Experience Integration: between the Past and the Future



This article explores issues of relations between personal experience and internal time (I. Prigozhin). Personal experience is the space where the person can constantly move around the different modes of time. There is continuity of past, present, and future and the person’s ability to move between time modes. The personalization of experience points to its belonging to the personal life history and the necessity of studying time not as movement but as history. It is indicated that the problem of time in the human’s dimension (historicity of time) turns out inextricably linked with the event problem. Eventfulness creates the time asymmetry in the personal internal space leveling the role of initial conditions and circumstances. This allows the event to be considered as element which separates and connects time in the flow of experience at the same time. Experience, in turn, acts as a mechanism through which the event is integrated into practice. The results of the empirical research of person’s movement fixation between past and future in the process of experiencing significant life events are presented. Georgie’s phenomenological psychological approach was used to study the experience practice. The sample consisted of 15 people (M = 24.6 ± 2.22 years). It was found that the depth, detailed description of experiences, the representation of the event meaning for person were related with the freedom of movement between past as well as with the integration and complexity of experience. Freedom of movement and deep practices will speak in favor of integration and complication whereas difficulties with movement and superficial experiences may indicate weak integration. Present contains the experience of past and future and “traces of the past possible future” which was not realized. The idea of the fact that people try to integrate disparate values in the experience, so integration is always local, but in the same time freedom of movement will promote greater integration.

General Information

Keywords: experience, life experience, time, event, experience/practice, past, future

Journal rubric: Empirical and Experimental Research

Article type: scientific article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21638/spbu16.2022.207

Funding. The study was supported by the Russian Science Foundation, grant no. 22-28-00460 “Complementary model of personality self-determination: theoretical foundations, diagnostic tools, implementation practice”.

Received: 27.02.2021


For citation: Zinovieva E.V., Kostromina S.N. Experience Integration: between the Past and the Future. Vestnik of Saint Petersburg University. Psychology, 2022. Vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 186–203. DOI: 10.21638/spbu16.2022.207. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


Abbey, E., Valsiner, J. (2005). Emergence of meanings through ambivalence. Forum Qualitative Social Research Sozialforschung, 6 (1). Available at: https://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/515 (accessed: 14.02.2022).

Information About the Authors

Elena V. Zinovieva, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, Department of Personality Psychology, Saint-Petersburg State University, St.Petersburg, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1052-103X, e-mail: e.zinovieva@spbu.ru

Svetlana N. Kostromina, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Head of Personality Department, Department of Psychology, St. Petersburg State University, St.Petersburg, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9508-2587, e-mail: s.kostromina@spbu.ru



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