The notion of «psychology» has both scientific and common sense. In the first case it is used to refer to relevant scientific discipline in the second – to describe the behavior or mental characteristics of individuals and groups. Therefore, to one degree or another, everyone is familiar with the «psychology» long before its systematic study.
Already in early childhood, the child says «I», «I think», «I feel». These words indicate that a little human is not aware of what they are, exploring their inner world. Throughout the life every human being, consciously or unconsciously, examines themselves and their capabilities. It should be noted that the level of knowledge of their inner world largely determines the extent to which people can understand other people’s success can build relationships with them.
Every human is a social creature, and they could not live outside society, without contact with others. In the practice of living everyone comprehends many psychological laws.
Thus, each of us knows how to «read» the external manifestations – mimic, gestures, intonations, characteristics of behavior which are the emotional well-being of another person. Thus, everyone is a psychologist, because in society it is impossible to live without some understanding of the psyche of people.
However, common psychological knowledge is very rough, vague and in many ways different from scientific knowledge. What is this difference?
First, common psychological knowledge of specific, tailored to specific situations, people, challenges. Science psychology has sought to compile, which used the appropriate term (Martin, 2006).
Secondly, common psychological knowledge has intuitive nature. This is because of how they are received – a casual experience and subjective analysis at the unconscious level. In contrast, scientific knowledge is based on the experiment, but this knowledge was conscious and rational.
And thirdly, there are differences in the way of knowledge transfer. Typically, knowledge of common psychology passed with the great difficulty and often the program simply is not possible.
And fourthly, scientific psychology has an extensive, varied and sometimes unique factual material unavailable to people who have the knowledge of Common Psychology.
Unbiased knowledge impinges on the self-knowledge: There is no cognition without self-cognition. These are two inseparable sides of one coin. Any tricks and perversion of mind begins when to ignore one side at the expense of another, thus demonstrating the progress of their inferiority and failure.
The most striking is found when we appeal to the facts of life: a great part of people do not pay attention to self-importance attached to such an extent that even the great sages of all time could not overcome the massive stupidity of people. As a result, this mass is fed flawed (“objective”) knowledge, originally detached and emasculate of self.
To think independently is not to reject science. But here too, indeed, everything depends on the individual!
First, for a human science is not a set of any indisputable truths and facts, and indeed more or less imperfect, but a very useful tool that helps to think. Science becomes a poison when it thoughtlessly commits to memory and quoted. And it is even worse when the science poisons masses of people under the guise of education, rather than to teach thinking (Martin, 2006).
Secondly, people who think never reject their experience. If something exists in any form (specifically, information, etc.), it already exists, even if you do not fit in any frame and well-known theory. Everyone is born with a brilliant ability to think and to learn. Each is created to learn a life lesson and initially they have everything for this.
Psychology is a science which gives people a key to cognition and self-cognition. Thus, self-cognition is based on the following items:
- people should learn to love – to love self and others through self;
- people should learn to live decently, but not to teach anybody to live;
- people should learn to think independently and creatively;
- people should learn to create their world and create their sciences;
- people should learn not to reject anything but take everything as it is.
For complete cognition spiritually-oriented research is needed – psychology. The lack of spiritual guidance, as the historical and scientific practice, only leads to moral anarchy: irresponsible thoughts, intellectualism, excogitation of all the theories and hypotheses. Practically, in order not to lose direction, it is not needed to relinquish any of the knowledge, neither faith: faith should serve as psycho prophylactics of knowledge. Only then people will, finally, hope for getting rid of schizophrenic split of consciousness on faith and knowledge in a holistic world view. In the meantime, people are terribly far from their goal and ideal – a reasonable man (Nouwen, 2005).
My “I” is in my mental sphere and can not be outside: I am. Those are my reality, my life, my reason. But what is it, my reality? Without understanding the properties of their mental scope for yourself, you can not credibly argue anything – “internally” or “outside”. Philosophy of Science does not accept any metaphysical explanations, and not in a position to offer a more acceptable alternative, although seemingly recognizes that knowledge is a spiritual ability, that is, recognizes the spirit, giving it a secondary role.
For me, in my mental sphere, the whole process of learning runs through the psyche, as all my senses show. Therefore cognition is equal to self-cognition and can not be based on principles other than self. Therefore, the psychology of learning (or knowledge), artificially made out of the psyche, is called projection.
Every human can learn their mentality, but in definite conditions. First and foremost, they need to learn the systematic monitoring of each other and the reaction of people on their own behavior. In order to improve the Psychological image “I” a human should gain the habit of supervising. It is also desirable that the observed reactions of other people was always correlated with their own feelings and actions what can certainly judge what effect and specific reaction, encouraged, as well as vice versa: what the reaction of another person is a consequence of a particular action (Nouwen, 2005).
It is also important not simply to observe the own behavior, but also to be experimenters for themselves, that is knowingly make a variety of actions designed to alert what reactions they cause, to which psychological consequences they lead. It is also important to learn to analyze the cause-effect of relationships that exist between their actions and deeds of others.
In psychological self-cognition the own interest could help in how they are taken by other people. Active and constant interest in how people look by, conscious desire to learn more about themselves – another important condition is constantly increasing, deepening in psychological self-cognition.
This can be facilitated with the psychological self-cognition that is self-exploring through various psychological tests. So, self-testing allows to learn that is usually hidden from everyday identity, both internal and external introspection.
The first thing that needs to be done in an effort to adequately psychological self is always to interest in the way you look, the comments, gestures, mimic, pantomimic actions, reactions and behavior.
To learn more about themselves, learn how you retake around, you must often look at other people. Similarly, learn how your voice can be heard technically well-executed magnetic recording, and see how you look physically, you can viewing photos or video (Nouwen, 2005).
It would be appropriate to discuss now, under what conditions a person can learn the psychology of other people. Note that these conditions in many ways are similar to those that provide good psychological self-knowledge. Similarly, it is needed systematically to observe other people, attentively analyzing the results of observation.
In order to avoid subjectivity in the assessments of other people it is important not to rely solely on their own views, but to interest and take into account the opinions of other people. If for complete psychological perception, it is important to observe the reactions to others, the estimation of other people wishes, relatively to see how they react to the actions and deeds of others. Therefore, a variety of issues, enabling personal opinion, is a good vehicle for their own psycho – cognition.
Note that any person most clearly psychologically manifests themselves in such situations, which put them before the inevitable moral choice and are forced to act, swiftly taking a decision. This may be situations, such as the rapid response to the threat of “I”, psychological or physical danger, aggressive actions of other people, situations calling to assist people when it comes to renounce something especially important for them. If we want to know the psychology of a better person, it is extremely important to monitor their behavior precisely in such situations. The problem is that not all personality, both positive and negative quality of human is well-reflected in normal life situations. Much better they are in the psychologically extreme conditions.
It is possible to get very useful information about another person, if we know how it relates to people. Emotional subjective mood of one person against another promotes the expression of personal qualities relevant to this feeling. In assessing the other as a person, we must always correct conclusions about them because of its internal relations to other people. While tuned people unwittingly takes in communicating with other people in the mostly positive qualities. In this case, there may be a very real risk of unwittingly concealing negative characteristics. The negative emotional tone, in contrast, contributes to exercise mostly negative qualities in communicating with others. Accordingly, ignoring this, we can commit the mistake of another kind: to overlook the advantages available to the person.
Self cognition involves different psychological processes
By cognitive mental processes there are the mental processes involved in perception and processing of information. They include a sense perception, representation, memory, imagination, vision, speech and mind. Through these processes people receive information about the surrounding world and about themselves. However, on their own information or knowledge to humans have no role if it is not significant (Martin, 2006).
If a certain event or phenomenon causes positive emotions, it is beneficial to the activities or condition, and, conversely, negative emotions hinder the work and reduce the human condition. Nevertheless, there are exceptions. For example, an event that caused negative emotions, increases the activity, encourages to overcome the hurdles and obstacles encountered. This reaction indicates that for the formation of human behavior not only emotionally but also strong-willed mental processes are essential that are most pronounced in situations involving decision-making, overcoming difficulties, managing their behavior, etc (Monbourquette, 2006).
Mental processes are closely intertwined and serve as the primary factors shaping mental state. Mental processes characterize the state of mental health in general. They, like the mental processes that have their own dynamics, are characterized by length, direction, stability and intensity. At the same time, mental condition affecting the course and outcome of mental processes and can help or hinder the work. By the mental state there are such phenomena as the rise, oppression, fear, cheerfulness, dejection. It should be noted that the mental condition can be extremely complex phenomena that are objective and subjective conditions, but typical of their common feature is dynamic. The exception is the mental condition caused by the dominant personality characteristics, including characteristic features. This condition can be very persistent mental phenomena that characterize the person’s identity.
The next class of mental phenomena is mental properties of the individual which are resistant and more consistently. Under the mental qualities person we should understand the salient features of the person providing certain qualitative and quantitative level of activity and human behavior. The level of development of these properties, and especially the development of mental processes and the prevailing (most of a person) mentally can identify unique personality.
The phenomena studied by psychology, relate not only to a specific individual, but also to groups. Mental phenomena linked to the livelihoods of groups and communities studied extensively in social psychology (Monbourquette, 2006).
All group psychological phenomenon can also be divided into mental processes, mental condition and mental qualities. Unlike individual psychic phenomena psychic phenomena groups and communities have a clearer distinction between internal and external.
By the collective mental processes, as the primary factor in the regulation of collective or group include communication, interpersonal perception, interpersonal relationships, the formation of group norms, intergroup relations, etc. By the mental states of the group include conflict, cohesion, psychological climate, public or private group, panic, etc. Among the most significant features of mental groups there are organized, leadership, efficiency.
Thus, the subject of psychology is psychological and mental phenomena, and self-cognition as one specific person, and mental phenomena observed in groups and communities. In turn, the task of psychology is the study of mental phenomena. Describing the task of self-cognition, S. L. Rubinstein wrote: «Psychological knowledge is indirect knowledge of mental through the disclosure of substantial, objective ties».
Martin.J, (2006) Becoming Who You Are; Insights on the true self from Thomas Merton and other saints, New Jersey: HiddenSpring.
Young Brown. M.(2004) Unfolding Self: The Practise of Psychosynthesis, Helios Press.
Monbourquette J. (2006) Self-Esteem and the Soul: From Psychology to Spirituality, Novalis.
Nouwen J.M. (2005) The Wounded Healer, 9th Ed. Darton, Longman & Todd.