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Contemporary methods of investigating psychological characteristics of adolescents 1612
Modern adolescents grow up in the situation of self-sufficient search for characteristics and qualities constituting an ideal. Exploring the coordination between the real and the ideal in adolescents' notions can be performed by analyzing arts using the narrative approach. In order to develop the technique of studying ideals of modern adolescents, the author addresses the research by K.N. Polivanova and A.I. Burtseva (2003), who showed that features of experiences specific to adolescent age can be revealed through conversations about movie characters using the narrative approach. In her research, the author let a group of adolescents aged 12–18 years see the cartoon “Shrek” and interviewed them after that. All 203 participants were students of Moscow schools. Data analysis showed the following: first, the main character is not always the one that adolescents identify themselves with; second, the most attractive character for adolescents is the one whose personality, actions, and behaviour help him to be in the centre of attention; third, critical perception is very important in forming adolescents' attitude towards the chosen character. Difficulties in finding their ideal among the film characters can be explained by the fact that the adolescents' image of and requirements to the ideal character go beyond those represented in the film. The research facilitates the search for methodological techniques that are adequate to studying adolescents and makes it possible to define the gap between the real Self and the image of ideal character in adolescents. It also gives certain information about modern adolescents and modern social situation. The author states that the technique she used fits for studying ideals of modern adolescents, and that the obtained data on multi-faucet ideal character is promising for further research.
Column: Developmental Psychology