The biosocial problem in the context of global psychological science: concerningthe “universal” human psychology

Publication type Article
Status Published
Affiliation: St. Petersburg State University
Address: Russian Federation,
Occupation: scientific supervisor of the Institute of Psychology of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Affiliation: Institute of Psychology RAS
Address: Russian Federation
Journal namePsikhologicheskii zhurnal
EditionVolume 40 issue 6

From the onset of psychological science two approaches to the biosocial problem confront: a) Blurring the boundaries between biology and culture, so that culture is considered only to determine specific ways in which biological basis reveals itself; b) Considering culture as a factor canceling biological determination of behavior. The first trend took shape in the Western psychological tradition in the era of social revolutions and confrontation between capitalist and socialist systems, and aimed to justify low social mobility against the background of the declaration of an “equal opportunity society”. The second trend was Marxist psychology, primarily, Russian psychology, which proclaimed the idea of creating a “new” human personality. In the era of globalization, the first trend continues with the search for a “universal” psychology, basing on the belief that the basics of human psyche is the same for all homo sapiens, i.e., biologically determined. This trend maintains a dominant position in the mainstream psychology and its value is not in doubt. However, absolutization of this approach is fraught with the risk of losing the path to the comprehension of human nature. The belief that human is something more than an animal permeates the history of human culture. The loss of this belief is fraught with the danger of degeneration of science into an ugly and dangerous ideology. The second trend in treating the biosocial problem has weakened in the post-Soviet period, because in Russian psychology theoretical developments in this area ceased. In the contemporary international this trend is represented by schools, which are grounding on Russian developments of the Soviet period. Regrettably, contemporary Russian psychology is insufficiently incorporated into the international discourse on the biosocial problem. The issue of the “universal” psychology, discussed by Russian colleagues, is not sufficiently related with the logic of cultural-historical theory and Subjekt approach.

KeywordsBiosocial problem, globalization, cultural differences, universal psychology, cultural-historical theory, cross-cultural psychology, cultural psychology, critical psychology, indigenous theories
AcknowledgmentThe study was financially supported by Russian Foundation of Basic Research, grant No. 17-06-50086-OGN “Academic integration in the context of the development of global psychology: challenges and prospects”
Publication date21.11.2019
Number of characters34639
100 rub.
When subscribing to an article or issue, the user can download PDF, evaluate the publication or contact the author. Need to register.

Number of purchasers: 0, views: 1585

Readers community rating: votes 0

1. Ananyev B.G. O problemakh sovremennogo chelovekoznaniya. Moscow: Nauka, 1977. (in Russian)

2. Berri Dzh., Purtinga A., Sigall M., Dasen P. Kross-kulturnaya psikhologiya. Issledovaniya i primeneniye. Moscow: Gumanitarny tsentr, 2007. (in Russian)

3. Vagner V.A. Sravnitelnaya psikhologiya. Moscow–Voronezh, 1998. (in Russian)

4. Volovikova M.I., Zhuravlev A.L. Vmesto vvedeniya: Vklad Instituta psixologii RAN v issledovanie duxovno-nravstvennyh problem lichnosti i obshhestva // Duhovno-nravstvennye problemy sovremennoj lichnosti / Eds. M.I. Volovikova, A.L. Zhuravlev, A.V. Yurevich. Moscow: “Institut psikhologii RAN”, 2018. P. 15–31. (in Russian)

5. Zhalagina T.A., Korotkina Ye.D. Global’naya psikhologiya: ot istorii k perspektivam razvitiya // Psikhologicheskii zhurnal. 2019. V. 40. № 3. P. 119–123. (in Russian)

6. Zhuravlev A.L., Mironenko I.A., Yurevich A.V. Psikhologicheskaya nauka v global’nom mire: vyzovy i perspektivy // Psikhologicheskii zhurnal. 2018. V. 39. № 2. P. 58–71. (in Russian)

7. Zhuravlev A.L., Nestik T.A. Psikhologicheskiye osobennosti kollektivnogo tvorchestva v setevykh soobshchestvakh // Psikhologicheskii zhurnal. 2016. V. 37. № 2. P. 19–28. (in Russian)

8. Kassirer E. Opyt o cheloveke: Vvedeniye v filosofiyu chelovecheskoy kul'tury // Problema cheloveka v zapadnoy filosofii. Moscow: Progress, 1988. P. 3–30. (in Russian)

9. Kovaleva Yu.V., Zhuravlev A.L. Global’naya psixologiya: osnovnye podxody k ponimaniyu // Yaroslavskij pedagogicheskij vestnik. 2018. № 5. P. 201–209. (in Russian)

10. Kornilova T.V. Internatsionalnost’ psikhologii versus “natsional'nye psikhologii” // Psikhologicheskii zhurnal. 2015. V. 36. № 3. P. 91–99. (in Russian)

11. Kornilova T.V. Setevaya organizatsiya kak put’ integratsii psikhologii //Psikhologicheskii zhurnal. 2018. V. 39. № 5. P. 99–105. (in Russian)

12. Mazilov V.A. Psikhologiya v epokhu globalizatsii: poiski sobstvennogo puti // Psikhologicheskii zhurnal. 2018. V. 39. № 6. P. 114–118. (in Russian)

13. Matsumoto D. Psikhologiya i kul’tura. Saint Petersburg: Piter, 2003. (in Russian)

14. Mironenko I.A. Biosotsial’naya problema v sovremennoy psikhologii i perspektivy razvitiya otechestvenno teorii // Psikhologicheskii zhurnal. 2005. V. 24. №1. P. 88–94. (in Russian)

15. Nestik T.A., Zhuravlev A.L. Psikhologicheskiye faktory negativnogo otnosheniya k novym tekhnologiyam // Psikhologicheskii zhurnal. 2016. V. 37. № 6. P. 5–14. (in Russian)

16. Novoe v naukax o cheloveke: k 85-letiyu so dnya rozhdeniya akademika I.T. Frolova / Ed. G.L. Belkina; red.-sost. M.I. Frolova. Moscow: LENAND, 2015. (in Russian)

17. Psikhologicheskiye issledovaniya global'nykh protsessov: predposylki, tendentsii, perspektivy / Eds. A.L. Zhuravlev, D.A. Kitova. Moscow: “Institut psikhologii RAN”, 2018. (in Russian)

18. Sergeev S.F. Psikhologicheskaya nauka v ramkakh tekhnoevolyutsii // Psikhologicheskii zhurnal. 2018. V. 39. № 5. P. 106–108. (in Russian)

19. Adair J.G., Huynh C-L. Internationalization of psychological research: publications and collaborations of the United States and other leading countries // International perspectives in psychology: Research, practice, consultation. 2012. V. 1. No. 4. P. 252–267.

20. Allwood C.M., Berry J.W. Origins and development of indigenous psychologies: An international analysis // International journal of psychology. 2006. V. 41. № 4. P. 243–268.

21. Bain P., Vaes J., Kashima Y., Haslam N., Guan Y. Folk conceptions of humanness: beliefs about distinctive and core human characteristics in Australia, Italy, and China //Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology. 2012. V. 43. № 1. P. 53–58.

22. Cole M. Cultural psychology: A once and future discipline. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1998.

23. Figueredo A.J., Vasquez G., Brumbach B.H., Schneider S.M.R. The heritability of life history strategy: The K-factor, covitality, and personality // Social Biology. 2004. V. 51. P. 121–143.

24. Haslam N. Dehumanization: An integrative review // Personality & social psychology review. 2006. V. 10. P. 252–264.

25. Heine S.J. Cultural psychology. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2011.

26. Heine S.J., Buchtel E.E. Personality: The universal and the culturally specific // Annual Review of Psychology. 2009. V. 60. P. 369–394.

27. Henrich J. Most people are not WEIRD // Nature. 2010. V. 466. № 5. P. 29.

28. Holzkamp K. Grundlegung der Psychologie. Frankfurt/M.: Campus, 1983.

29. Jones D. A WEIRD View of Human Nature // Science. 2010. V. 328. № 25. P. 1627.

30. Kim U., Yang K.S., Hwang K.K. Contributions to indigenous and cultural psychology // Indigenous and cultural psychology: Understanding people in context / Eds. U. Kim, K.S. Yang, K.K. Hwang. New York: Springer, 2006. P. 3–25.

31. Kitayama Sh., Cohen D. Handbook of cultural psychology. Guilford, 2010.

32. Mironenko I.A. Integrative and isolationist tendencies in contemporary Russian psychological science// Psychology in Russia: State of the Art. 2014. V. 7. Is. 2. P. 4–13.

33. Mironenko I.A., Sorokin P.S. Culture in Psychology: perennial problems and contemporary methodological crisis // Psychology in Russia: State of the Art. 2015. № 4. P. 35–45.

34. Park J., Haslam N., Kashima Y. Relational to the core: lay theories of humanness in Australia, Japan, and Korea // Journal of cross-cultural psychology. 2012. V. 43. № 5. P. 774–783.

35. Pickren W.E. Liberating history: The context of the challenge of psychologists of color to American psychology// Cultural diversity and ethnic minority psychology. 2009. V. 15. No. 4. P. 425–433.

36. Rose N. Psychology as a social science // Subjectivity. 2008. V. 23. P. 1–17.

37. Rushton J.P., Irwing P. The general factor of personality: normal and abnormal // The Wiley-Blackwell handbook of individual differences / Eds. T. Chamorro-Premuzic, S. von Strumm, A. Furnham. London: Blackwell, 2011. P. 132–161.

38. Shweder R. Thinking Through Cultures. Harvard University Press, 1991.

39. Valsiner J. Cultural Psychology Today: Innovations and Oversights // Culture and Psychology. V. 15. № 1. P. 5–40.

Система Orphus