Background. The study of moral disengagement is due to exacerbating deviant behaviour in Russian society, including social groups with cognitive and personal qualities required for adequately assessing the situation of moral choice. An analysis of the ways to ensure moral freedom will help to clarify the conditions and factors for implementing a model of behaviour within moral choice.
Objective. Analysis of moral disengagement in adolescence and identifying main areas of empirical research to ensure «moral freedom» are highlighted.
Design. The paper analyses the concept of moral development proposed in the works of A. Bandura including the model of moral disengagement that ensures personal moral freedom; the main directions of empirical research are considered, the relationship of the mechanisms of moral disengagement and moral freedom of the individual are identified.
Results. The main insights into mechanisms of moral disengagement are identified, the age-based mechanisms of moral disengagement, the possibility of using the mechanisms of moral disengagement in the medium and long time perspective are highlighted, the relationship with the components of moral development are determined. The role of moral disengagement in implementing the «moral freedom» of the personality is determined.
Conclusion. The analysis showed that the mechanisms of moral disengagement identified by A. Bandura can be used as a way of gaining moral freedom within immoral behaviour, taking into account certain conditions. In adolescence, the intensity of using moral disengagement mechanisms is higher than in youth. Gender differences in preferences for using mechanisms of moral disengagement were highlighted. There is a relationship between the intensity of using mechanisms of moral disengagement and cognitive and personal characteristics that ensure the moral behaviour of the individual.
Background. Today, the problem of addiction is very relevant. Addicted persons may act against themselves, often becoming an enemy to themselves. Therefore, it is very important to develop effective psychotherapeutic methods of working with addiction. There are different models of working with addiction, but this problem has not yet been resolved.
The Objective is to present an existential-analytical approach to the therapeutic work with addiction.
Design. Addiction is deemed as an obstacle to Person-Being. This extremely strong mental need regularly makes free will obey it. The Will submits and plays along. It brings a person relief. The problem is in the fact that the Will acts against its own Person-Being, i.e. the person acts against himself. A person falls into a state of selfdestruction. In order to get out of this self-destructive state, a systematic correlation with one’s own Person is proposed, in order to strengthen relations with it and gradually begin to live a fulfilled life. In contrast to the behavioural model, where the stimulus immediately causes a reaction within the method developed in the framework of the existential-analytical approach, another model is established, that implies that an attempt is made to interpose the Self as Person between the stimulus and the reaction, due to which it is activated, which leads to a psychotherapeutic result.
Results. The main stages of the implementation of this model in psychotherapeutic work with addiction are considered. The exercises and methods for outlining the personal strengths of an addicted person are described, starting with the adoption of addiction, so as to try to provide the Person with more freedom of action and overcome the addiction.
Conclusion. This paper can contribute to the development of a personal and existential view of an addicted person.
Introduction. Without hope, there is no motivation, no desire to live, suffering becomes stronger, and there are less chances for recovery. Hope plays a major role in treating a patient both mentally and physically.
The Objective of the study is to find answers to the most important questions concerning the gist of the notion of "hope": What is hope? What can we do to help hope live?
Procedure. The author believes that hope is more than just a feeling; he regards it as an existential act. Our activity is in the fact that we remain active, we take a firm position that will not shatter when one is unhappy, miserable, suffering fron a disease, or being institutiolisedia, etc. The ontological approach shows that hope means something that has not happened yet cannot be to exclude, i.e. hope is not self-deception and not a defense mechanism, it gives a chance to whatever events to happen. The following issues are revealed: the connection of hope with the attitude to the values of life, hope as a meaningful concept and deals with transcendence, the opposite of hope resignation (rejecting value, giving the things the free rein, losing ties with the events happening) causes desperation and despair. The so-called “false hope” is also highlighted, its positive and negative sides are shown and tips how to treat it correctly are given.
Conclusion. Hope means treating something as valuable. Hope is realistic as the forthcoming future can never be predetermined entirely. Hope is paradoxical: it makes you do something where nothing can be done. Therefore, hope has great potential for resilience. False hope is regarded as a defense reaction of the human psyche, but since it performs a certain function in this way, you should not simply take it away from a person. Where there is hope, there is meaning, hopelessness means loss of meaning.
The paper presents the ideas of P.Ya. Galperin on the nature of moral behaviour and the basic patterns of internal responsibility in childhood and adolescence. Distinctive features of objective and subjective responsibility, internal and external responsibility are highlighted. It is argued that internal responsibility expresses the person’s attitude to society and social groups and might be developed only if involved in certain relations and implemented in socially useful activities, i.e. if it is significant for other people. The psychological roles of cooperation for of responsibility are compared in J. Piaget’s works and P.Ya. Galperin’s scientific theory. The research results of internal responsibility in primary school students and adolescents conducted by P.Ya. Galperin and T.V. Morozkina are discussed. The decisive role of value orientation and motivation in solving «affective type» problems and in moral behaviour is shown. According philosophy issues, responsibility is considered as a perceived necessity, which assumes a free moral choice. Three criteria of moral responsibility are introduced: the causal relationship between the subject’s behaviour and its consequence, subject’s ability to predict the possible consequences of his/her behaviour, the possibility of free choice. The psychological content of responsibility is the subject’s commitment and further response regulated by a certain system of norms and regulations on the basis of moral choice and self-regulation. The distinction between the action device and motive as the accepted moral basis for behaviour has been introduced. Accordingly, responsible behaviour is considered as willful behaviour. The genesis of strong-will behaviour is associated with social relations and moral values and is developed in the course of cooperation. Conditions of orientation in moral choice as a prerequisite for actualizing the individual’s internal responsibility are discussed.
The paper is devoted to the study of representations of the ideals and anti-ideals in secondary and high schools students. The study is important due to connection with the peculiarities of modern adolescent socialization in the context of contemporary social cultural realities. Shaping the world view in students is significantly influenced by the choice of values and the social role model. In this regard, the aim of this study was to examine gender and age dynamics of different groups of personalities related to the politics and spiritual culture in the structure of ideals and anti-idials in modern adolescents. Aggravation of the internal and external political situation, politically-oriented media content and society as a whole, the introduction of information technologies in various spheres of life, the «western» background of cultural values and information environment, the shift of sex-role identification has a significant influence on gender-specific and age-specific dynamics and significance of different groups of personalities in the structure of ideals and anti-idials in modern adolescents are based on the data of content analysis and a questionnaire survey of 2,273 students, grades 5-11. The features of the structure of ideals and anti-idials of boys and girls, which are formed under the influence of gender identification are characterized.
The analysis of the students’ groups of ideals and anti-idials is held depending on their belonging to the Russian and foreign cultures.
The students’ representations of the ideals and anti-idials are of a mixed structure, dominated by the personalities of the real people in comparison with the images (characters of works of literature, cinema, cartoons). The sphere of political culture and ideology (politicians, historical figures) that presents male personalities is significant for boys. For girls, besides politics, the literary field (writers and movie actors) is more important, where the proportion of male staff increases substantially when getting on years. Analysis of ideals and anti-idials representation of «male» and «female» characters in the literary and artistic field has allowed to confirm the trend identified in previous studies: getting on years girls more and more build an image of themselves in positive samples, choosing the «female» characters as perfect role model. The «male» characters are often referred by girls among their anti-idials.
age dynamics of higher mental functions;
«male» «female» personalities;
personalities of domestic and foreign cultures;
By: ; Kalashnikova, Ekaterina A.;
Available Online: 10/10/2017
The paper discusses the role of the movement in the process of shaping the personality, its importance as a mechanism for personality development is considered. The issue of the movement has always occupied a central place in Russian psychology. However, subsequently the movement began to be considered primarily as an executive action in human life. The role of movement in personality development can vary depending on the level it occupies in the hierarchical structure of activity, and also on the type of movement, its character, and the way it is constructed. Under certain conditions, the movement can express the attitude of the subject to the surrounding world and people.
Many foreign and Russian psychologists point to a special place of the postural tonic component of the motor movement, the posture in personal regulation. The posture reflects his/her personal attitudes, the system of relationships, and, above all, the emotional attitude or emotional assessment of the current situation, the interest in the actions performed. Mastering the tonic level of motor management is based on the emotional regulation, so the ability to regulate one’s own pose is an important stage in the personality development.
Posture tonic regulation of motor movements in humans reveals a qualitatively different character than in animals, this being due to the person’s facing the task of mastering his’her posture, arbitrary retention of the body in one or another position. Maintaining a vertical posture requires constant activity at an arbitrary and involuntary level of mental regulation. Mastering the posture of an unstable equilibrium presupposes the emergence of the «I» and is the last stage of the development. The way a person solves the motor task of maintaining the vertical position of the body reflects his/her specific personal strategy or attitude.
By: Aylamazyan A.M.;
Available Online: 06/28/2017
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.
By: Kaminskaya, N. A.;
Available Online: 03/30/2017
There are more than a dozen of personality theories in psychology currently. However, among psychologists there is no general agreement in understanding personality as a psychological reality, i.e. the agreement of phenomena opened to introspection and the facts established by observing the activity of the subject and his/her products, all together designated by the term «personality». The authors of these theories are dealing with very different phenomena and facts, sometimes not quite compatible ones, making impossible comparative analysis based on the criterion of adequacy, designed to assess the extent to which the scientific theory corresponds to the psychological reality explained by it.
Thus, it is useful to turn to the analysis of William James’s works in order to clarify the issue of the psychological reality of the person who according to the author did the most thorough job of identifying the basic phenomena and facts that need be referred to using the term «personality». The results of this study allowed to draw the following conclusions.
From James’s point of view, the psychological reality of personality must include the phenomenon of personal ego and the fact of hierarchically organized motivational sphere that has been developed as a result of individual’s self-determination. James’s representations have withstood the test of time, they were in demand by a number of renowned theorists of personality especially those that considered consciousness as a subject matter of scientific psychology. Perpetual interest in James’s concept of personality among theorists turns to be quite durable in time and is a subject matter of psychological reality.
The research considers attitudes toward personality traits in online social network (OSN) Vkontakte users’ behaviour. Users’ friends’ activity on a given user’s profile was supposed to be affected by attitudes toward traits of the latter. Within a broader context, the role of metacognitive type of characteristic adaptations as a key element of the five-factor theory of personality is studied. Accordingly, along with attitudes toward traits, other metacognitive characteristic adaptations are examined (e.g. dispositional efficiency, reflected trait, and reflected attitude toward a trait). 1030 undergraduates participated in the study. The research results confirm that extraversion is the most important predictor of OSN behavior among other personality traits. The information presented in this research is obtained using behavioural data instead of more convenient self-reports. Moreover, these behavioural data characterise other users’ (friends’) behaviour while addressing a certain user’s profile. Positive attitudes toward each Big Five traits (extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability, and openness to experience) separately affected the number of “Likes” of the avatars representing users’ photographs. Furthermore, revealed correlations between traits and “Likes” were subsequently eliminated by the attitudes toward respective traits. Positive attitudes toward conscientiousness predicted the increase of friends’ number unlike trait conscientiousness. Positive attitude toward agreeableness predicted the increase of the number of posts written by friends on user’s wall unlike trait agreeableness. Attitudes toward traits are argued to affect social environment governed by an individual: one may select those social relationships and
The paper describes the existential analytical model within which the content of suffering is denoted and structured. The model shows that we suffer from when we suffer. Suffering is diverse in its «how» and «why.» The author highlights the features of various forms of suffering in accordance with their classification in the existential-analytical anthropology and reveals the essence of suffering. Within the framework of existential analysis there is an assumption that experience is perceived as fulfilling with suffering when the fundamental structures of existence are threatened or damaged, and the features of the contents of these structures are considered. Significant attention is paid to the ratio of human suffering and the loss of human sense of life, what is behind the feeling of senselessness of suffering. Suffering and pain fully or partly represent a threat to our very life and throw into question human lust for life. To avoid this, it is necessary to appeal to the vast opportunities of a person, and drawing strength from its sources to meet adequately the destructive factors and the abyss of existence.
The paper considers the issue of activity which enables stepwise treatment of suffering. The model of stepwise coping with suffering is proposed. It helps to overcome the stagnation in the condition of suffering and returns to the world and life. Practical steps are suggested. These steps are applicable for all forms of suffering. They lay the basis for gaining inner peace. So we can target our efforts over the suffering and prevent the occurrence of mental illness (e.g., depression, hysteria, addiction, PTSD, etc.).
In this paper the outcomes of the continuous studies of will are analyzed. The concept of “will” and the concept of “sense” were introduced in the ancient psychology as theoretical constructs. Later these concepts were replaced with narrower ones that now reflect various psychic processes. The whole concept of “will” has changed through time. In the 20th century it was perceived as a separate psychic process of an unknown nature, that is why K. Levin has even proposed excluding this concept from psychology.
The first outcome can be summarized as follows. It is essential to analyze the way concepts are introduced and developed in terms of a particular science. The reason is that all the basic psychological concepts were initially introduced not to reflect the realities, but to explain them as theoretical constructs. Moreover, it is important to consider the possibility of initial constructs differentiation. For instance, mind can branch out into perception, notion, imagination and thinking. In Russian psychology, the concept of will as a capability of overcoming inner and outer barriers was in active use until the 70-ies. The nature of this phenomenon was unknown. Only the analysis of a willful act generation and the way the concept of will was introduced scientists to formulate the task of identifying the mechanisms of a willful act itself.
The second outcome is as follows. To solve a problem it is needed to replace it with a task to complete. For instance, to understand the nature of will we can replace the problem of its understanding with a task of generating a willful act, compensating for the deficiency of initial motivation.
The third outcome is that it is essential to coordinate a new concept with all the rest concepts of that particular science.
In recent decades, psychology delves more and more bravely into the socially most important and long-term mental phenomena, i.e. sentiments. Following the study of partnership or romantic love the issue of serious psychological study is jealousy in partnerships. The most essential issue is the role of jealousy in loving relationships, which is interpreted in various ways in popular and scientific literature. Since these relationships are studied more often on undergaduates’ samples, different research data seem contradictory, because young people have only a short-term and indefinite experience of partnerships. More long-term involvement in a romantic partnership could verify the hypothesis on the link between jealousy and love, which appears to clarify the role of jealousy in partnership not only in early adulthood, but also in middle adulthood. Both sentiments could be connected with such an important aspect of partners’ satisfaction as sexual satisfaction. The results of this research show a positive link between love and jealousy for 35–45 year-old males, but not for women, which revealed significant gender differences of the role of jealousy in long-term partnerships. At the same time, jealousy and love are positively connected with sexual satisfaction for both genders, but these links appear to be stronger for males. The data obtained have applied significance for family and couple counsel and psychotherapy, but many other factors should be studied and controlled at that, including the duration and the type of partnership, partners’ age, equality and symmetry in relationships, expectations, social tolerance, personal investments, own or adopted children, etc.
The aim of this study is to analyse the cognitive processes functioning and development. Nevertheless, another particular goal is to analyse logical thinking functioning and development. Within this research they are analysed as the open nonequilibrium self-developing systems whose behaviour is determined by the complex inter-relationships between external and internal determinants.
Three groups of factors, which should be included in any postnonclassical determination model, are represented by three groups of research objectives: 1) studying intrinsic laws of cognitive mental processes (and structure) functioning and developing as an integrated system; describing its equilibrium (relatively stable) and nonequilibrium conditions; 2) studying the interrelationship of the external and internal determinants, dynamic and statistic types of causal relationships in the cognitive operation and development processes in equilibrium and nonequilibrium phases; 3) studying the influence of the external determinants and describing the cognitive system change mechanisms during its transfer process to a new level of development.
This approach clarifies and complicates the conventional perspective of the relationship between learning and development, whereas the mental processes development is deemed as exclusively determined either from outside (training) or from inside (development). Within this approach it is possible to describe in detail the working mechanisms of the so-called «zone of proximal development».
As a result of theoretical analysis, all three research tasks groups are specified using logical thinking development context. A hypothesis states that the content of objects and knowledge about objects, which are determined by the cultural and social environment and which are imparted in the training process, may be the external cause of forming and developing thinking of a human individual (its composition and structure). Moreover, the content of objects and knowledge about objects may launch self-organization process of the logical thinking system elements in accordance with its potential for self-development.
Design of experimental verification of the proposed determination model efficacy is described in details and theoretically justified using the development material of the preschoolers logical thinking.
The aim of the article is to introduce the concept of personality and character which is based on the activity theory approach by A.N.Leontiev. The introductory part of the work gives a short history of characterology whose analysis reveals apparent uncertainty in understanding the subject matters of character psychology and personality psychology. They are directly (character) or indirectly (personality) confined to a person’s psychic individuality. However, the specific content of this individuality appears to be so broad and various that characterology starts losing its clear contours while personality does not find any generally accepted definition. In the framework of the developed concept, personality is regarded as a structure of life meanings while character is seen as an instrumental level which accepts life meanings for performance and implements them in human actions. Nonidentity of the two studied formations is shown: they are different in terms of content, function in human psychics, units of structure, general construction and genesis. Some examples are given based on the data of ethnic psychology. They show how a sense formation which is the same for different nations is realized through unequal characterological techniques. On the other hand, a few sense formations can be expressed by a single action or stereotype. In conclusion problems of correlation between personality and character and the source of their generation are discussed.
The paper continues a series of research devoted to the study of personal and professional development of actor students conducted since 2010. The paper presents the results of studying the peculiarities of emotional intelligence and its relationship with personal characteristics of the actor students, carried out on the basis of the Moscow Tabakov Theatre College. The results obtained using the method of diagnosing emotional intelligence MSCEIT and questionnaire by R. Cattell 16 PF are presented. In the research 66 people were interviewed. The characteristics of emotional intelligence of actor students, as well as the results of factor analysis of indicators MSCEIT test and the Cattell’s test are discussed. The hypothesis assumes the existence of meaningful relationships between indicators of emotional intelligence and personal characteristics, fixing volitional and emotional personality traits of the actor student. The analysis of the MSCEIT test results showed that two scales that comprise the domain of experienced emotional intelligence, highly intercorrelated, indicating a connection between the ability to identify emotions and the ability to use emotions to make decisions. It is shown that experienced emotional intelligence of actor students are not associated with personal characteristics. It is revealed that the scale components of the strategic domain of emotional intelligence is positively correlated with personal traits of Cattell’s test: we discovered the link between the scale of Cattell’s General intelligence test (B) and “understanding and analyzing emotions” indicator of the MSCEIT test; Cattell’s test I (sensitivity) is positively correlated with the “managing emotions” index of emotional intelligence.
The paper is devoted to the psychological analysis of coping with a difficult life situation, which is perceived as hopeless. The results of the empirical research carried out on a sample of 736 adult subjects are presented. Based on a qualitative analysis of the primary descriptions of difficult life situations, the most essential features of the perceived hopelessness are revealed. The latter include the lack of control and unclear situation, negative emotions, and the lack of updated avoidance efforts to change the situation. Operationalization of these features made it possible to construct certain models. Two types of modeling are used in the research: structural and simulation ones. It is shown that the proposed model is correspondent to the empirical data. Path analysis proves the relationship between the components of hopelessness. Perceived hopelessness is represented as a set of interrelated and consistent assessments of emotional experiences, ways to respond. The method of system dynamics analyzes the flow of hopelessness experiences, which is characterized by cycles, reproducibility, the deterioration of the situation. The final model describes the causes of perceived hopelessness and factors to find the way out of the situation.
The paper provides an overview of work engagement and workaholism, and also the current research. Work engagement differs from workaholism as a psychological phenomenon, but both concepts are closely connected with each other. The scientific research of the phenomena mentioned above began only in 1970, when Oates published his first book called “On being a “workaholic”. Each employee has to find balance between private life and work to get utmost job satisfaction, and to perform his/her job responsibilities productively. Work engaged staff have higher levels of subjective comfort and psychological well-being, without any experience of occupational deteriorations. In modern psychology, there is no prescription for perfect recipe of finding balance between work and family that entails different angles of considering work engagement and workaholism, their causes and prevention mechanisms. On the other hand, the impact of excessive work engagement may be one of the reasons of developing negative human functional states that plays a moderating role in the transit stage from work engagement to workaholism. Schaufeli discribed work engagement as a positive, affective-motivational state of fulfillment that can be characterized by vigor, dedication, and absorption. Workaholism is a multidimensional construct, which can be linked to both positive and negative outcomes. At the contemporary stage of scientific development a lot of difficulties in studying workaholism and work engagement could be analyzed, e.g. there are no adopted Russian diagnostics instruments to assess workaholism and its manifastations. Thus, further research should be devoted to the issues of choosing proper research instruments in order to obtain clear and reliable results.
Part 2. Cultural activity approach to the issue of identifying strategies and mechanisms.
The first part of this paper argued the desirability of structural-dynamic model of emotion regulation in the theoretical and methodological framework of cultural activity paradigm with the construction of a psychologically-based typology of emotion regulation strategies in norm and pathology, and also psychological mechanisms enabling the regulation of emotions. This conclusion was based on the analysis of the basic concepts and paradigms in which the issue of emotion regulation is studied: cognitive and psychoanalytic approaches, concept and emotional development of emotional intelligence, cultural activity approach. The paper considers the procedure model of emotion regulation by J. Gross, identifies emotion regulation strategies and evaluates their effectiveness. The possibilities and limitations of the model. Based on the review of the today research the conclusion is arrived at that the existing labels on a wide range of regulatory strategies remain an open issue.
The author’s definition of emotion regulation is drawn. Emotion regulation is deemed as a set of mental processes, psychological mechanisms and regulatory strategies that people use to preserve the capacity for productive activities in a situation of emotional stress; to ensure optimal impulse control and emotions; to maintain the excitement at the optimum level.
The second part of this paper provides the general description of emotion regulation strategies, the approach to their typology, the psychological mechanisms of emotion regulation that lie in the basis of this typology, i.e. the main elements of the structural-dynamic model of emotion regulation. The work shows theoretical and methodological efficacy of empirical significance of signs and symbols and also personal reflection. The diagnostic system to allow empirically identify a wide range of emotion regulation strategies is suggested. The psychological mechanisms used by the subject to solve the problem of emotional control and protection in the emotional situations is emphasized.Three classes of emotion regulation strategies are given a particular account: indirect cognitive, transforming cognitive, and communicative and expressive ones.
Keywords: higher mental functions (APF);
indirect cognitive strategies of emotion regulation;
transforming cognitive strategies of emotion regulation;
communicative and expressive emotion regulation strategies;
Available Online: 03/30/2015
The paper gives a brief introduction to existential analysis (EA). It briefly describes how to develop this phenomenological approach and its main provisions. The emotion is deemed as a specific perception of a meaningful life. Emotionality plays a significant role in the existential analysis of anthropology and practice. The former one is the cornerstone of existence, and takes its place among the other three measurements in the existential theory of the EA.
The paper presents a phenomenological description of the four-step process of the emotion emergence. It shows how during this process vitality is stimulated, so emotions are important to humans. This is an existential analytic theory of emotions, which explains the importance of the EA practice of affection feeling (fühlen) and intuitive feeling (sense, i.e. spüren). The first is related to human life and the need for the detection values, the second one is related to the authenticity and ethics. In this pater, we consider the difference between the affect and the emotion. In the last three paragraphss theyform of emotional dysfunction is fiscribed, some of the studies in this area and the main elements of emotional and affective therapy.
The paper is devoted to the concept of narrative in social psychology. The problem of lack of unity in the understanding and application of this concept in the research methods is discussed. The goal is to systemize the approaches to narrative from the perspective of the identity research. Narrative is a concept that is beginning to be widely used in the study of personality, self-perception, communication, and the study of various social practices; that is why it is necessary to determine which properties of narrative can be applied to the study of identity. The paper performs a review of four most common approaches to the narrative: narrative as a particular mode of thought (J. Bruner), narrative as a metatheoretical paradigm (T. Sarbin), narrative as a life story, narrative as one of discourse genres. The features of the narrative in each approach, as well as the main problems of research are analized. Two criteria of the narrative are discussed: specific temporal structure and transformation criterion. The following features of the concept of narrative in psychology are focused upon: discursive understanding of narrative, the importance of incorporating interactional and cultural contexts within the study of narrative, functional approach to the definition of the narrative. We discuss the potential of the narrative as a psychological construct in the study of identity and define two promising approaches to the narrative: the analysis of separate life events (e.g. turning points and complex actions) and the analysis of narration as a discursive practice and an interactional process which is sensitive to local context and to wider social practices.