This paper analyzes the internal mechanisms of the individual positive and negative attitude towards appearance, the description of which is under-represented in the psychological literature. The process of creating a consistent image of the physical «Self» and maintaining a positive emotional evaluation of the body and appearance particularly seen through the idea of assigning the individual components of appearance, committed throughout the whole course of life, and is understood as a specific psychological problem, addressable only in human personality as integrative unity, preserving and maintaining its integrity. The hypothesis of the study made by the assumption that a positive attitude to their external appearance is ensured, actualization processes semantic and symbolic mediation of the physical and expressive features, and on the contrary, a negative attitude toward the appearance indicates the failure of such processes. The following characteristics of body image were considered: emotional assessment and the nature of the work on the body, the internal means of maintaining a positive attitude to their appearance, and also the broader context of personal characteristics, particularly the motivational sphere, psychological defenses, the general harmony, integration of personality structure. Differences were demonstrated between conscious and unconscious relation to the external appearance among the subjects, presented significant correlations between the non-integration of personal organization and the negative attitude towards appearance, and between the presence of supervaluation group needs and the negative assessment by the subjects of their appearance. The subjects who accept their appearance are characterized by a greater representation of mediation systems as the assignment of funds in the structure of the physical image «Self», as compared to subjects not receiving their physical appearance.
Available Online: 03/30/2017
In this paper we develop the criteria for evaluating scientific and academic publications and such qualification works, as diplomas, master theses and Ph. D. theses carried out using qualitative methods. The criteria are the result of a research seminar on qualitative methods held by A.N. Krichevets and O.T. Melnikova at the Department of Psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia. The detailed steps are described and corresponding standards of planning research, preparing the target and theoretical sample, collecting and analyzing quality data, interpreting and presenting results are shown. Particular attention is given to such criteria as transparency of result interpretation, result analysis documentation, validity, availability of author’s reflexive position in the text and availability of respondents’ judgements and opinions. In addition, we show the necessity of choosing methods for analyzing the results (e.g. thematic analysis, grounded theory method, hermeneutic or descriptive phenomenology, narrative and discourse analysis), how they conform to the goals and objectives of the research, and also the adequacy of studying a particular subject area.
We discuss the key validation strategies included into the research process (validation by respondents, analysis of deviant cases, triangulation, etc.), ethical principles and sampling, communicating with respondents, working with their personal data. Developing “quality standards” is an important factor in establishing a qualitative research in the Russian national science of psychology.
The basic domains of qualitative social psychological research, namely social representations, social identity, attitudes, values and ideology, collective memory, the psychology of the environment are considered. Based on the fact that the range of problems of modern social psychology is largely determined by the so-called “social cognition paradigm” the author puts forward an idea about the psychology of social cognition, i.e. everyday consciousness, its functions, values, specific features of studying. The relation between theory and method in psychological research in the context of cognitive, linguistic and historical “turn” in the history of social psychology is discussed. The definition of qualitative research in the paradigm of social cognition is given.The theory of social representations by S. Moscovici is analysed. The cases of qualitative research carried out in the paradigm of this theory, as well as studies of social identity, attitudes, values and ideology, are reviewed. A theory of discourse is outlined and the author’s own method of discourse analysis is worked out. The author also dwells on the subject of innovation in social psychology. New directions of qualitative research development related to spatial and temporal aspects of social cognition are set, that is the way of “vital” environment and the collective (social) memory.
To sum up, the conducted theoretical and methodological analysis of the subject areas of qualitative research in psychology allows us to consider the relationship of subject and method. Thus, the definition of the subject of qualitative research is the starting point of the discussion of methodological problems.