KnE Life Sciences | The Fifth International Luria Memorial Congress «Lurian Approach in International Psychological Science» | pages: 368–374

1. Introduction

The problem of the study of consciousness, self-consciousness, the `I-concept', the `I – image' has a global history of study. However, with a large number of works devoted to this problem, there is still no holistic understanding of the laws of the formation of consciousness, self-consciousness, the `I-concept', the `I-image' in ontogeny, and also the features of their functioning. This leads to a contradictory interpretation of the revealed facts, empirical data showing the features of the development of consciousness, self-consciousness, the `I-concept', the `I-image'. A theoretical analysis of the interpretation of these terms has shown a confusion of the use of these concepts, which leads to terminological confusion. Many researchers use these concepts as synonyms, but the psychological phenomena we are considering have a number of distinctive features.

2. Methodology

The methodological basis for the study was the position of the subject–activity approach (K. Abulkhanova-Slavskaya, A. Asmolov, A. Brushlinsky, S. Rubinstein); theory of activity (A. Leontiev); cultural–historical concept (L. Vygotsky, L. Bozhovich, D. El'konin); approaches to the issues of the personal and social development of a teenager (T. Dragunova, I. Kon, A. Prikhozhan, K. Polivanova, D. Feldstein); theoretical studies of the phenomenon of I-image, developed in domestic and foreign psychology (B. Ananiev, R. Burns, A. Vizgina, W. James, etc.).

To solve the problems, the following system of methods was used.

  • Methods of theoretical analysis and generalization of approaches to the research problem.

  • Methods of empirical research: the method of observation.

  • Methods of qualitative–quantitative (content analysis) and mathematical– statistical data processing.

3. Results

In order to understand the essence of the categories of consciousness, self- consciousness, the `I-concept', the `I-image', the disclosure of their content and structure, we make ontological and epistemological analysis of these phenomena.

Ontological aspect. Consciousness (V. Zinchenko, A. Leontiev, V. Allahverdov, etc.), in the narrow sense of the word, is a body of knowledge about the surrounding reality; in the broadest sense, is a subjective reflection of objective reality inherent only in the individual. An important moment in understanding the phenomenon of consciousness is reflection. Reflection is the reproduction of the characteristics of objects objectively existing in the surrounding reality, regardless of the subject's consciousness.

In the opinion of I. Chesnokova, self-consciousness is a process, the essence of which consists in the perception by the personality of numerous images of itself in various situations and in the combination of these images in a single integrated formation-representation, and then the notion of one's own `I' [1].

The concept of `I-concept' was developed within the framework of humanistic psychology (K. Rogers, A. Maslow), as it became relevant to consider the `I' of a person as a kind of uniqueness, integrity. The lexical meaning of the word `concept' means `a certain way of understanding, interpreting some phenomena' [2]. Thus, the `I-concept' is an understanding of oneself, one's thoughts, feelings and behavior. In R. Burns's opinion, the `I-concept' is a set of the individual's representations about himself, coupled with their evaluation.

The concept of `image' is interpreted in the S. Ozhegova dictionary as the result and the ideal form of reflection of objects and phenomena of the material world in the mind of man [3]. The category `I' is treated as a sphere of personality, characterized by an inner awareness of itself and the realization of the adaptation of the person to reality [4]. The image is considered as a developing system of human representations about oneself, which includes: awareness of one's physical, intellectual, characterological, social properties; self-esteem; subjective perception of external factors affecting one's own personality [3].

Epistemological aspect. The product of consciousness is self-consciousness (S. Rubinstein). At the philosophical level, for the first time self-consciousness as a problem is considered in the period of antiquity (Socrates, Platon, Aristotle, etc.). An important link in the teaching of Socrates is the thesis of `know yourself'. Self-knowledge is the basis of self-consciousness. Self-knowledge occurs through the prism of knowledge of the moral categories of good and evil. During the New Age, the problem of self-consciousness is considered within the framework of dualism (R. Dekarat) as the doctrine of two independent substances of the soul of the body, sensationalism (T. Hobbes, J. Locke, etc.) as the teachings of sensory cognition, rationalism (G. Leibniz, B. Spinoza, etc.) as a doctrine of obtaining knowledge as a result of logical generalization of data. In the Age of Enlightenment, the question of self-consciousness was examined by G. Gegl, I. Kant, I. Fichte. G. Hegel investigated the subject as a carrier of self-consciousness. In his work `Phenomenology of the Spirit' G. Hegel considered questions of consciousness and self-consciousness. Self-consciousness, according to Hegel, is a kind of way of servicing ourselves with our consciousness. I. Kant I consider the questions of consciousness and self-consciousness. Self-consciousness functions through the prism of knowledge. Fichte considered self-consciousness using the terms of freedom.

At the psychophysiological level, the problem of self-consciousness is reflected in the works of I.M. Sechenov, V. Bechterew, A. Herzen, A. Potebnya. Domestic physiologists consider the problem of self-consciousness in the inseparable unity of the subject and the object, considering that the person's comprehension of his immediate environment and his awareness of himself is carried out at the same time, that is, a person acts simultaneously in the role of `I' and `not-I'.

At the psychological level, a lot of research has been devoted to the problem of self-consciousness, both in domestic and foreign literature (L. Rubinshtein, I. Chesnokova, B. Bratus, V. Mukhina, L. Borozdina, A Bodalev, I. Kon, V. Stolin, L. Bozhovich, A. Adler, C. Jung, C. Horney, E. Fromm, C. Rogers, R. Burns, H. Kuli, J. Mead, and others). In the Russian psychological science, the position about the semantic organization of self-consciousness is widespread. Domestic researchers (I. Chesnokova, I. Kon, V. Stolin) represent the structure of self-consciousness as a unity of three sides: (1) cognitive, which finds expression in self-knowledge; (2) emotional-value, manifested in relation to yourself; (3) Behavioral, reflecting self-regulation.

Along with the notion of self-consciousness, O. Karabanova singles out `family identity as a coordinated image of the family, shared by all its members about the values of the family, its status, way of life, roles, supremacy, norms and rules of interaction. The most important component of family self-consciousness is family life' [5].

The product of self-consciousness is the `I-concept' (R. Burns, K. Rogers, etc.), which includes the cognitive and affective component. The `I-image' acts as a product of the `I-concept' and focuses more on the cognitive composition.

4. Discussion

We reveal the dynamics of studies of the problem of consciousness and self- awareness, the `I-concept', the `I-image' in the psychology of the 21st century.

The purpose of the pilot study is to reveal the relevance of the problem we are investigating by means of a content analysis of the content of dissertations.

We have analyzed more than 500 theses placed in the electronic library of dissertations on the website of the Higher Attestation Commission of the Russian Federation in the areas of 19.00.01. General psychology, psychology of personality, history of psychology, 19.00.05. Social psychology from 2000 to 2018. As a result of the analysis of the thesis, 94 copies of the necessary subjects were selected. Investigating the dynamics of the study of the problem of consciousness and self-consciousness, the `I-concept', the `I-image' in psychology in the 21st century, we can develop the following categories: the content and structure of the «I-concept» (`we-concepts') of the individual – 32%; self-consciousness of the person – 18%; structure of the self-consciousness component of the individual (self-assessment, self-knowledge, self-perception, meanings, self-realization, etc.). – 17%; self-consciousness as a factor of professional self-determination of a person – 13%; the content and structure of the personality of the `I-image' of the individual – 12%; ecological self-consciousness of the individual – 5%; the content of the personality consciousness is 3%. The results are shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1

Category of content analysis, %.


The largest number belongs to the category `content and structure of the self-concept' of the individual (32%). Racks of interest in the scientific community manifests itself in the study of the content and structural components of the `I-concept' of the individual, and in particular the particular structure of the I-concept of adolescents, young men (the age aspect); drug addicts (dependency aspect); literary critics, managers, teachers (professional aspect), etc.

A significant number of works are devoted to the category `self-consciousness of the individual' (18%). The parameters of self-consciousness as a component of consciousness, consideration of the role of self-consciousness in the arbitrary activity of a person are considered; psychological factors of development of self-consciousness of the person and conditions of their realization

A significant amount of work is devoted to the category of `self-consciousness components of the individual' (17%). The main components of self-consciousness such as self-esteem, self-knowledge, self-perception, meanings, self-realization, etc., are considered.

A small number of works are devoted to the consideration of the problem of consciousness (3%) as a psychological phenomenon. A small number of studies are devoted to environmental self-consciousness (5%). This is due to the complexity, blurriness and multidimensionality of the phenomenon being studied. Nevertheless, at the moment the topic is quite topical, since it touches upon the psychological security of the individual in the context of globalization as a fundamental factor in the life activity of human society, as a circumstance of economic, cultural, ecological, information, social progress [6].

5. Conclusions

Summarizing the results of the pilot study, we can draw the following conclusions: the systematization of the concepts of consciousness, self-consciousness, the `I-concept', the `I-image' of the personality; criteria for the distinction between the concepts of consciousness, self-consciousness, the `I-concept', the `I-image' of the personality; the results of the pilotage testify to the presence of a broad scientific interest in the subject of consciousness, self-consciousness, the `I-concept', the `I-image' of the individual [7,8].

The study of these phenomena is relevant and necessary in order to develop a qualitative understanding of these phenomena, the development of psychological technologies to ensure a positive perception of oneself.



Chesnokova, I. (1977). The Problem of Self-consciousness in Psychology. Moscow: Nauka.


Meshcheryakov, B. and Zinchenko, V. (2003). Great Psychological Guide. Moscow: Prime-Euroznak.


Ozhegov, S. (2011). Dictionary of the Russian Language. Moscow: Onyx.


Golovin, S. (2009). The Dictionary of the Psychologist-practice. Moscow: Harvest.


Karabanova, O. (2005). Psychology of Family Relations and the Basics of Family Counseling. Moscow: Gardariki.


Dontsov, A., Zinchenko, Yu., and Perelygina, E. (2014). The concept of globalization and the phenomenon of psychological security, in Living Psychology, pp. 4–9. Moscow: Biblio-Globus.


Raeva, D. and Cheremisova, I. (2017). "Ecological image of the personality": theoretical understanding and practical research, in The World of Science, Culture, Education, pp. 209–211. Altai Republic, Gorno-Altaisk: MNKO.


Suvorova, O., Cheremisova, I., and Mamonova, E. (2016). Attachment to the mother as a factor in the I-concept of a teenager. Bulletin of the Minsk University, pp. 36. Nizhny Novgorod: Federal State Budget Educational Institution of Higher Professional Education "Nizhny Novgorod State Pedagogical University named after Kozma Minin".



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ISSN: 2413-0877