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On the play of a child and an actor: to the question of the transformations in experience

On the play of a child and an actor: to the question of the transformations in experience

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Recieved: 02/18/2023

Accepted: 06/03/2023

Published: 08/21/2023

Keywords: play; pretend play; emotional development; imagination; play and art; acting; play and creativity; experience; empathy

p.: 137-146

DOI: 10.11621/npj.2023.0313

Available online: 21.08.2023

To cite this article:

Ryabkova Irina A., Sheina Elena G.. On the play of a child and an actor: to the question of the transformations in experience. // National Psychological Journal 2023. 3. p.137-146. doi: 10.11621/npj.2023.0313

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Issue 3, 2023

Ryabkova Irina A. Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

Sheina Elena G. Moscow State University of Psychology and Education


Background. Many authors note the similarity of children’s role play and the actor’s play, however, this similarity is usually limited to external features: the presence of a plot, roles, subject attributes, etc. Upon closer examination, it turns out that these are two completely different activities, significantly different from each other. However, they have one deep common property: they are able to evoke and change feelings. Despite the fact that L. Vygotsky attached great importance to the affect not only in connection with art, but also in connection with play, these issues are not sufficiently investigated in Russian psychology.

Objective. To consider the transformation of feeling in a child’s play and compare it with the play of an actor.

Results. The basis for children’s play is emotive, understood as the connection of an event with emotional reactions. The similarity of the current situation with the emotive leads to the appearance and embodiment of the play image. The play image contributes to the transformation of experience: inhibition of spontaneous emotions, splitting of emotional reactions and the appearance of a specific state of playfulness, the emergence of new feelings and joint experiences with other participants of the play. Similar processes occur in society due to stage art. L. Vygotsky believed that the actor’s play has special functions in society: it appears as a response to the mood in society, to the events that people are concerned about. Actor’s play causes viewers to have general emotional reactions, to change and enrich their experience.

Conclusion. Actor’s and children’s play are similar not only in common terminology and imaginary situation of action. They have a deep similarity: both these types of play are connected with work on experience, with its transformation. These are extremely important areas of human culture, since the culture of dealing with feelings has a special meaning for a person as a social being. Play is an instrument of emotional regulation for a child, just as art is a social technique of feelings for humanity.


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To cite this article:

Ryabkova Irina A., Sheina Elena G.. On the play of a child and an actor: to the question of the transformations in experience. // National Psychological Journal 2023. 3. p.137-146. doi: 10.11621/npj.2023.0313

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