Digest

Ryzhov B. N. The system of motivational oppositions as the basis of psychological individuality


Preuss F., Perevozkina Yu. M. Interconnection and types of social relations of role socialization system formation: metasystem approach


Ryzhov B. N. The actual-self, ideal-self and hidden-self (with Translation into English by L. A. Mashkova)


Ryzhov B. N., Tarasova А. А. Emotional Perception of Architectural Objects of 1920–1930s by Moscow Students (with Translation into English by L. A. Mashkova)


Kondratyev V. M. The Problem of Balance between Morality and Law in Human Education (with a Translation into English)


Ryzhov B. N. Psychological Age of Civilization (translated into English by L. A. Mashkova)


Aleksander T. A Review about Old Age and Disability (translated into English by A. Diniejko and into Russian by О. Leszczak)



A. A. Zych Silver University as an alternative for the polish solutions


B. N. Ryzhov THE PSYCHOLOGICAL AGE OF CIVILIZATION: the XV century, the North Renaissance


Yu. M. Perevozkina, V. G. Fedosov, F. Prusse Functional organization of impasa-role socialization of youth: metasystemic approach


T. Macho, I. V. Lebedeva, M. M. Bicharova. Migration in Europe as systemic phenomenon of the contemporary society


G. Gross, J. S. Frolova From London to Moscow coronations: perceptions of monarchy


Simons G. Tangible threats through intangible means: aspects of BRICS information and communication security


Ryzhov B. N., Mashkova L. A., Stolyarova G. I. Dynamics of motivational indicators in high school

B.N. Ryzhov - Sistem psychology
Partners

WWW.SYSTEMPSYCHOLOGY.RU

 

B. N. Rizhov, THE SYSTEM OF MOTIVATIONAL OPPOSITIONS AS THE BASIS OF PSYCHOLOGICAL INDIVIDUALITY

Журнал » Journal_eng » Journal 36 : B. N. Rizhov, THE SYSTEM OF MOTIVATIONAL OPPOSITIONS AS THE BASIS OF PSYCHOLOGICAL INDIVIDUALITY
    Views: 84

UDC 159.9

DOI 10.25688/2223-6872.2020.36.4.01

 

THE SYSTEM OF MOTIVATIONAL OPPOSITIONS 

AS THE BASIS OF PSYCHOLOGICAL INDIVIDUALITY 

 

B. N. Rizhov,

MCU, Moscow,

RyzhovBN@mgpu.ru

 

The article is devoted to the description of three motivational oppositions underlying the in-depth psychodiagnostics of personality. Modern system psychology identifies eight types of motivation, each of which meets three complementing each other binary criteria.

The first criterion is related to the systemic form of motivation, which represents either the tendency of the system development that meets the requirement of increasing the number of its elements; or the tendency to preserve the order (decrease in entropy) of the system. The second is related to the systemic level of the object, the development or preservation of which the motivation is aimed at. It can be an individual and a person, that corresponds to the central level of a living system; or a species and a society, that corresponds to the macrosystem level. The third criterion is related to the type of known forms of life: biological or social, on the continuation of oppositions, each of which is divided into four parts to which the motivation is directed. These criteria are the basis of three motivational counterpoints, in which a pair of motivation types coinciding in two criteria, differs in the third.

The identification of three systemic types of motivational opposition and the corresponding counterpoints of specific types of motivation is a scheme for the qualitative interpretation of quantitative data obtained by the method of determining the motivational profile of a person (SPM). The identification of the dominant types of motivation and the leading motivational opposition formed by them using the SPM technique allows us to determine the area of possible intra-personal conflicts and suggests ways to overcome them rationally.

Thus, the described method of analytical study of motivation opens up new opportunities for systemic psychological diagnosis and correction.

 

Key words: system psychology; motivation; motivational opposition; motivational counterpoint; motivational conflict; individual and species; personality and society; development and preservation. 

For citation: Ryzhov B. N. The system of motivational oppositions as the basis of psychological individuality // Systems Psychology and Sociology. 2020. № 4 (36). C. DOI 10.25688/2223-6872.2020.36.4.01.

 

E-mail: RyzhovBN@mgpu.ru

ORCID: 0000-0001-8848-3622

 

Introduction

 

The composition or hierarchy of motivational tendencies forms the basis of the motivational core of a person's personality. This idea is expressed in the context of the theory of activity developed by A. N. Leontiev [3: p. 247]. This is also indicated by many modern researchers, including V. Zeigler-Hill [19], L. Dekers [10: p. 38], P. M. Gollwitzer [11], E. Nakcheddi [16] and others. The disclosure of regularities of the motivation structure formation is a necessary condition for understanding the personality [1: p. 28; 14; 17]. The essence of motivation is often reduced to meeting a person's needs [5: p. 12; 18: p. 55]. At the same time a number of motivational concepts provides certain mechanisms underlying the hierarchical disposition of motivation types.

Freud, as we know, has seen these mechanisms in contradiction of the requirements of the biological “It” and social “I” [2: p. 186; 7: p. 42]. H. Heckhausen — in the opposition between achievement motivation and avoidance [8: p. 218]. Maslow — in subordination of “higher” forms of motivation to “lower” ones  [4: p. 137].

Systems psychology rationalizes these views, highlighting their systemic nature and thus turning them into three complementary binary criteria.

The first of them is related to the system form of motivation, which is either the tendency of the system development that meets the requirement of increasing the number of its elements; or the tendency to preserve the order (decrease in entropy) of the system.

The second is related to the system level of the object, the development or preservation of which the motivation is aimed at. It can be an individual and a person, that corresponds to the central level of a living system; or a species and a society, that corresponds to the macrosystem level.

Finally, the third criterion is related to the type of life form known to us — biological or social, the continuation of which is directed by motivation.

The application of three criteria forms eight possible combinations of the resulting trends, or corresponding types of motivation: vital (the development of the biological system of the individual), cognitive (the development of the social system of the individual), reproductive (the development of biological systems), self-actualization (the development of the social system of the society), moral (the preservation of order in the social system of the society), altruistic (the preservation of order in the biological system of the form), preservation of Ego (preservation of order in the social system of the individual) and self-preservation (preservation of order in the biological system of the individual) [6: p. 141].

At the same time, the criteria identified by system psychology are the basis of three motivational oppositions (the opposition of biological and social types of motivation; the opposition of anthropocentric, individual-personal and collectivist or sociocentric types of motivation; the opposition of motivation for development and preservation of order), each of which is divided into four particular counterpoints, in which a pair of motivation types coinciding in two criteria, differs in the third.

For those types of motivation that have acquired a dominant position in the motivational profile of the individual, these oppositions become an important marker of psychological individuality, helping to discover the causes of many hidden personal conflicts.

 

The opposition of biological and social types of motivation

 

Motivational oppositions are often based on mutually exclusive trends arising from the biological or social orientation of various types of motivation, so that this opposition is more often a cause of acute intrapersonal conflicts. The opposition to biological and social forms of motivation, breaks down into four private counterpoints, in each of which a pair of types of motivation matches the criteria of the system form and the system level of motivation, but differs in its biological or social orientation. They include:

1. The opposition of vital motivation and motivation of cognition (motivation of development of the individual or personality);

2. The opposition of reproductive motivation and motivation of self-realization (motivation of development of the macrobilogical system of the species or the macro-social system of society);

3. The opposition of altruistic motivation and moral motivation (motivation to preserve the macro-logical system of the species or the macro-social system of society);

4. Contrasting the motivation of self-preservation and the motivation of preserving the Ego (the motivation of preserving the individual or personality).

A graphical diagram of the opposition of biological and social types of motivation is shown in figure 1.

 

 

 

Fig. 1. The opposition of biological and social types of motivation

 

The first counterpoint of this scheme (fig. 1, pos. 1) represents the opposition of vital and cognitive motivation. The conflict of interests caused by this opposition most often occurs in youth, when the material resource of a person is still very low, and spiritual interests on the contrary are strong and diverse. In this situation, one person puts off getting an education “for later”, because first of all it is necessary to “"earn a living”; and the other prefers the life of a poor student.

At an older age, one person chooses a tourist route associated with constant travel, but promising to visit many interesting places, another, on the contrary, will spend a holiday on the beach with great pleasure, not interested in excursions in which he would be deprived of the usual comfort.

The intensity of the motivational conflict increases as the intensity levels of the opposing types of motivation come closer. 

In case if the intensity of one of them prevails, the stress of the conflict may be absent even in an objectively extreme situation. The example of this is given by I. P. Pavlov, who gave his meat ration to laboratory dogs in the famine of 1918. The interest of the researcher in him clearly prevailed over the natural need for good nutrition. A well-known remark of this famous physiologist and great worker that he never worked in his life, but only satisfied his curiosity, is very significant. There are also many tragic cases when a researcher died while conducting a very interesting but dangerous experiment (physicist G. Rikhman, biologist A. N. Bogdanov, etc.).

The second counterpoint of the opposition of biological and social types of motivation (fig. 1, pos. 2), which is the contradiction between the motivation of self-realization and reproduction, is more often the basis of intrapersonal conflict between young and adult age. One woman refuses to continue her career because of the birth of children, another, on the contrary, makes a brilliant career, delaying the creation of a family and the birth of offspring until the birth of healthy offspring becomes problematic due to natural age restrictions.

A beautiful poetic description of this conflict was given by M. Y. Lermontov: “Who knows, maybe those moments that passed at your feet, I took away from inspiration! and what did you replace them with?” — he writes to his beloved N. F. Ivanova in the famous poem “K*”, and continues: “Perhaps, being convinced by the thought of heaven and the power of the spirit, I would give the world a wonderful gift, and for that he would give me immortality?” .

Many creative personalities experienced a painful conflict between the desire for self-realization and reproductive tendencies. Gustave Flaubert was indignant that Guy de Maupassant, whom he treated like a son, did not work enough because of his endless love stories. Sometimes he locked a famous writer in a room, making it a condition that he would let him go on another date only after presenting a new story.

Sublimation is a clear example of the victory of self-realization over reproductive impulses. It is highly likely that in developing the doctrine of psychological defense mechanisms, the founder of psychoanalysis used his experience, including the painful disappointment which he experienced in his youth (as you know, not having finished studies on the influence of cocaine on mucous membranes, he went on a honeymoon, and upon their return learned that his colleague had finished Z. Freud's work and collected all the laurels.

At the same time, when we speak about the relationship between self- realization and other types of motivation, a very important aspect is what the motivation for self-realization is mainly aimed at — the desire to create a truthful image or to reveal the objective laws of the surrounding world, or to achieve self-affirmation, to imprint your subjective “I” in others. For a creative person, this is a matter of prioritizing art or science as such, or solving the problem “I am in art” and “I am in science”.

In cases when the priority of the individual becomes the service to science or art, the sublimation can take extreme forms, up to the almost complete blockade of reproductive aspirations, an example of which can be found in the lives of Plato, Isaac Newton and Immanuel Kant. But in cases when the desire for personal self-affirmation prevails, successful self-realization often causes a surge in reproductive activity. Winning a battle or an important competition often leads to sexual excesses (the male sex hormone testosterone is sometimes called the “victory hormone”). High sexual activity is characteristic of many actors, poets and other representatives of creative professions who have become idols for their many fans.

On the basis of the third counterpoint of the opposition of biological and social types of motivation (fig. 1, pos. 3) there is a conflict of moral and altruistic motivation. Classical examples of such a conflict ending in the victory of the moral impulse are Gogol's Taras Bulba, who kills his traitorous son, or historical figures — the first consul of ancient Rome, Lucius Brutus, who ordered the execution of sons convicted of treason, or Stalin, to whom the rumor attributes the words: “I don't exchange soldiers for marshals” . However, as the modern judicial practice of considering offenses committed by children of high-ranking parents shows, the altruistic impulse wins much more often in this dispute of motivations.

The fourth counterpoint of the opposition of biological and social types of motivation (fig. 1, pos.4), is the contradiction of the motivation of self-preservation and preservation and saving the “I”. An example of such a contradiction is the situation of a dilemma with a clash of a group of aggressive hooligans. To fight back and “save face” — this behavior can be associated with a threat to health and even life. To submit to insolent demands is to “lose face”.

Moral norms in such a conflict of motivations almost always stand on the side of protecting the individual, calling self-preservation at the cost of “losing face” a cowardly act. The one who died for his honor remains alive in the memory of other people, the name of the faint-hearted disappears with him.

 

The opposition to the anthropocentric 

and the sociocentric forms of motivation

 

This opposition is based on the fact that a person belongs to two levels of organization of living systems. On one of them, a person appears as an integral system — an individual and a person, and on the other as an element of a supersystem — a species and a society. Unlike the opposition of biological and social types of motivation, this opposition is often positive in nature, and the types of motivation that form it complement each other. At the same time, under unfavorable conditions for the implementation of one type of motivation, the corresponding other type of motivation is also completely or partially blocked. This is especially evident in the biological types of motivation.

 

 

Fig. 2. The opposition to the anthropocentric and the sociocentric forms of motivation

 

The first counterpoint of the opposition of anthropocentric and sociocentric types of motivation (fig. 2, pos. 1), reflects the ratio of reproductive and vital motivation or trends in the development of the biological system at the level of species and individual. In humans, as in most animals, these two types of motivation have a close correlation. Failure in love leads to loss of appetite. And conversely, difficulties in the implementation of vital motivation leads to a decrease in reproductive motivation.

The second counterpoint (fig. 2, pos. 2) represents the ratio of self-preservation motivation and altruistic motivation aimed at preserving one's species. The desire to protect your body from dangers in most cases is combined with a similar desire in relation to others. At the same time, the threat of a common danger causes both humans and animals to unite and react to the threat to other members of the group as a threat to themselves. This trend also persists for social types of motivation.

The third counterpoint of the opposition of anthropocentric and sociocentric types of motivation (fig. 2, pos. 3) is formed by the ratio of cognitive motivation and self-realization motivation. The desire for subjective self-development and cognition leads to the disclosure of human laws and features of the surrounding world. Alienating from the subject-producer when communicating with other members of society or in the form of a product of activity, this information is objectified, becoming an element of public knowledge. Thus, the development of cognitive motivation naturally contributes to self-realization.

Creative individuals always have a high cognitive potential. However, creative failures often lead to apathy and unwillingness to learn anything new. At the same time limitations in the implementation of cognitive motivation (for example, in conditions of forced isolation) in most people lead to a decrease of self-realization motivation.

Similar combined dynamics is specific to moral motivation and motivation of preserving the Ego, which form the last, fourth counterpoint in this opposition (fig. 2, pos. 4). A person with a high moral potential has a natural respect for his personality. But those who are forced by circumstances to sacrifice their moral principles stop respecting themselves. Likewise, a person who has lost the contact with society, who has become an outcast in this society, rarely manages to maintain the same level of self-esteem.

The motivational conflict in this opposition usually occurs only in extreme cases. Thus, the conflict of reproductive and vital motivation (the first counterpoint) can occur during prolonged deprivation of reproductive impulses. In this case autoagression, one of the varieties of which is bulimia — painful bouts of overeating, often becomes the reaction to a psychological discomfort. The conflict of self-preservation motivation and altruistic motivation (the second counterpoint of this opposition) can arise when a real threat to one's life can make one forget about others or, on the contrary, when the need to protect others can lead to self-sacrifice. (Parents protect their offspring despite the threat to their lives, in a battle the hero covers his friend with his body.) 

The conflict of the third counterpoint of the opposition of the anthropocentric and sociocentric types of motivation (fig. 2, pos. 3) can occur in a situation of a creative impulse or extremaly intense activity, when a person temporarily loses interest in obtaining new and even necessary information, as it can prevent from the completion of his work.

The reverse side of such a conflict may occur, for example, in the situation when a person is keen on reading interesting books or immersed in the study of important problems, temporarily “withdraws into himself” experiencing the irritation from seemingly idle talk with others and the need to run apparently routine everyday work.

The conflict of moral motivation and the motivation of preserving the Ego or the conflict of the fourth counterpoint of this opposition is specific to the state of a person who is in an overexcited crowd, where there is a loss of the unique psychological “I” of the individual. Another variant of this conflict is the situation in which a painful increase in the motivation of preserving the Ego leads to the degradation of the moral foundations of the individual. This situation sometimes occurs with social maladaptation in an old age or as the manifestation of “a star disease”.

 

The opposition to development and conservation motivation

 

This is the opposition of systemic forms of motivation aimed at increasing the number of elements or reducing the entropy of the system. It is not based on the conflict, but rather the combination of complementary types of motivation.

The first counterpoint of the opposition to the motivation of development and preservation (fig. 3, pos. 1), reflects the ratio of self-preservation motivation and vital motivation. In the animal world, there is a balance of instinctive drives aimed at the survival of the individual. The action of the vital instinct (search for food) is limited by the instinct of self-preservation (for example, even a very hungry predator will not attack a stronger animal that can cause serious injury or kill it). Modern man has the clash of self-preservation motivation and vital motivation only in extreme conditions. In this case, vital activity, as in animals, can be blocked by the need for self-preservation.

 

 

Fig. 3 Opposition of types of motivation for development and preservation

 

The second counterpoint of the opposition to the motivation of development and preservation (fig. 3, pos. 2), represents the ratio or bundle of reproductive and altruistic motivation. Reproductive behavior loses its meaning in the event of the death of the born offspring. Therefore, the reproductive instincts of animals are closely related to the instinct of caring for offspring. The harmonious combination of reproductive and altruistic motivation in humans pursues the same goal of species survival.

The third counterpoint of this opposition reflects the combination of cognitive motivation and the motivation of preserving the Ego (fig. 3, pos. 3). The desire for personal development is combined with the desire to preserve its structure. The more we know, the more open we are to new information, because we are sure that no information can make us change our opinion of ourselves. At the same time, a person with limited knowledge and horizons often feels irritated when receiving unusual information (for example, listening to classical music) because such information exposes shortcomings of his education and can reduce his self-esteem. The conflict in this bundle of motivations is rarely expressed in youth, when the lack of certain knowledge is only an incentive for its acquisition. However, for a mature person in older age groups, fixing their insolvency is always painful.

Finally, in the fourth counterpoint of this opposition (fig. 3, pos. 4), the bundle of motivations for self-realization and morality, like the bundle of reproduction — altruism, is most often a combination of complementary trends. Logical continuation of the creation of new elements of the social macrosystem is the concern for the protection of this system and the preservation of order in it. A person with a high level of self-realization, effectively creating new elements of the social system, is aware of himself as a part of this society and naturally has a high level of moral motivation in relation to this society.

In some cases, however, there is an apparent contradiction: a self-realized, creative person refuses to recognize and support the values of the society (country, state) to which he formally belongs. For the majority of society, such a position may seem to be a manifestation of immorality. The reason for this lies in the difference in the definition of a relevant society by the majority and an individual. For the majority, the relevant society is the territorial, cultural, political and economic social system called the state. The preservation of its internal unity and protection from external encroachments is considered to be the most important moral imperative, despite any disagreement with the implementation of certain functions of this system.

But for the individual the relevant society may be a kind of a separate part of this society, with its special position committed to special values or, on the contrary, supersocium (e. g., all humanity) possessing from the point of view of that person a different set of values. Such a conflict of meanings often arises between representatives of the creative intelligentsia and the majority of the social environment in which they live. At the same time, a creative person can be convinced that it creates new elements and strives to preserve order in this particular society, relevant to it, in relation to which it takes an absolutely moral position. 

 

Conclusion

 

The identification of three systemic types of motivational opposition (biological and social, anthropocentric and sociocentric, development and preservation of order) and corresponding counterpoints of specific types of motivation is a scheme of qualitative interpretation of quantitative data obtained by the method of determining the motivational profile of a person (SPM). The identification of the dominant types of motivation and the motivational opposition formed by them using the SPM technique allows us to determine the area of possible intra-personal conflicts and suggests ways to overcome them rationally. Thus, the described method of analytical study of motivation opens up new opportunities for systemic psychological diagnosis and correction.

 

References

 

1.Il`in E. P. Motivaciya i motivy` [Motivation and motives]. SPb.: Piter, 2014. 512 p.

2.Kutter P., Myuller T. Psihoanaliz. Vvedenie v psihologiyu bessoznatel`ny`h processov [Psychoanalysis. Introduction to the psychology of unconscious processes]. M.: Kogito-Centr, 2011. 384 p.

3.Leont`ev A. N. Deyatel`nost`. Soznanie. Lichnost` [Activity. Consciousness. Personality]. M.: Smy`sl, Akademiya, 2005. 345 p.

4.Maslou A. Novy`e rubezhi chelovecheskoj prirody` [New frontiers of human nature]. 2-e izdanie. M.: Al`pina non-fikshn, Smy`sl, 2011. 496 p.

5.Richi Sh., Martin P. Upravlenie motivaciej: ucheb. posobie dlya vuzov [Motivation Management: Study Manual for Universities]. M.: YuNITI-DANA, 2004. 399 p.

6.Ryzhov B. N. Sistemnaya psihologiya [Systems Psychology]. M.: T8: Izdatel`skie Tehnologii, 2017. 356 p.

7.Frejd Z. Vvedenie v psihoanaliz [Introduction to psychoanalysis]. SPb.: Aletejya, 2005. 437 p.

8.Hekxauzen H. Motivaciya i deyatel`nost` [Motivation and activity]. 2-e izd. SPb.: Piter; M.: Smy`sl, 2003. 860 p.

9.Ashton M. C. Individual differences and personality. 3-d ed., London: Academic Press, 2018. 404 p.

10.Deckers L. Motivation: Biological, psychological, and environmental. 4th ed. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon; Al`pina non-fikshn, 2014. 463 p.

11.Gollwitzer P. M., Oettingen G. Motivation and actions, psychology of // International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences. 2nd ed. 2015. Vol. 15. P. 887–893. DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-08-097086-8.26040-6.

12.Hauser D. J., Preston S. D., Stansfield R. B. Altruism in the wild: When affiliative motives to help positive people overtake empathic motives to help the distressed // Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. 2014. Vol. 143. № 3. P. 1293–1305.

13.Le B. M. Communal motivation and well-being in interpersonal relationships / B. M. Le et al. // An Integrative Review and Meta-Analysis. Psychological Bulletin. 2018. Vol. 144. № 1. P. 1–25.

14.Miele D. B., Scholer A. A. The role of metamotivational monitoring in motivation regulation // Educational Psychologist. 2018. № 53 (1). P. 1–21.

15.Musek J. The general factor of personality. London: Academic Press, 2017. 330 p.

16.Nuckcheddy A. The effect of personality on motivation and organisational behaviour // Psychology and Bihavioral Science. 2018. Vol. 9. Issue 2. May 2018. URL: https://juniperpublishers.com/pbsij/PBSIJ.MS.ID.555760.php DOI: 10.19080/PBSIJ.2018.09.555760.

17.Parks-Leduc L., Feldman G., Bardi A. Personality traits and personal values: a meta-analysis // Personality and Social Psychology Review. 2015. Feb. № 19 (1). P. 3–29. DOI: 10.1177/1088868314538548.

18.Why people do the things they do: Building on Julius Kuhl's contributions to the psychology of motivation and volition / by ed. N. Baumann, M. Kazén, M. Quirin, S. L. Kool. Boston: Hogrefe Publishing, 2018. 430 p.

19.Zeigler-Hill V., Vrabel J. K. et al. Integrating motivation into current conceptualizations of personality // Personality and Individual Differences. 2019. № 147. P. 1–7. DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2019.04.019.