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Национальный психологический журнал

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Korsakova N.K., Kovyazina M.S. (2015). A new look at an old problem: the category of “syndrome” in psychology. National psychological journal. 2 (18), 66-76.

The paper deals with a complex of issues relating to the current state and use of the category of “syndrome”, which until recently has been inclusive within the field of professional medical use and clinical psychology. However, since late 20th century, this category has been more and more often used when describing the specific manifestations of human psyche in the particular circumstances of life and activity with the absence of disease symptoms and presented a huge list of so-called “psychological syndromes” of the norm. In this connection, there arise a number of issues concerning the relations of new approaches to understanding the category of “syndrome” with past performances, and also research methodology, which determines task setting, the unit of analysis of human psyche and psychological syndrome-making determinants. The authors assume the answer to these questions lie in the methodology by L.S.Vygotsky and further syndrome analysis method by A.R. Luria. The paper provides a brief history of the notion of “syndrome” and its transition from medical study to psychology with the developed meaning based on the structure of higher mental functions in the neuropsychological paradigm. The basic structural components of the syndrome in system-dynamic relationship are discussed. Special attention is paid to the problem of “factor” as a common syndrome-making state which integrates symptoms into hierarchically organized circuit. Various aspects of the categorization are discussed, i.e. whether it belongs to the norm or pathology.

In the context of the syndrome approach development prospects, new issues of polycausativity syndrome appear in relation to the classical paradigm, with compensatory symptoms, the need for statistical data verification, the role of individual supervision and others to be further included into the paradigm. The main current approaches of studying different syndromes using the potential of the Russian methodology of syndrome analysis, the basic principles of postnonclassical model of scientific rationality are considered.

Received: 02/20/2015

Accepted: 03/02/2015

Pages: 66-76

DOI: 10.11621/npj.2015.0207

Keywords: syndrome; symptom; factor; clinical psychology; neuropsychology; psychological syndrome;

By: ; ;

Available Online: 08/30/2015