Formation of volitional behavior according to Vygotsky

02 июля 1987 г., 09:08

Автор популярного изложения: Н.И. Козлов

​​​​​​​There is a natural will, there is a human will. The natural, instinctive will of a child is its tendency to do something in its own way and insist on its own.

The child saw someone else's toy – and it will yell as long as this toy does not fall into his hands.

There are children who are initially stubborn, initially determined to always insist on their own – Yes, they can be called strong-willed, but... But they, such strong-willed, often can not cope with themselves. Sometimes they are afraid of themselves, they do not know what may happen to them tomorrow.

The mood has changed – and so have they. They were drawn – and they were drawn. Just as thoughtlessly they were rushing in one direction, just as suddenly and thoughtlessly they can suddenly rush in the other direction. They were pulled by another or another – they are now just as stubbornly pulled by another or another…

This stubbornness, this natural will, is a natural quality rather than a human ability and skill. Human will is the ability to lead oneself, to follow one's own plan, and to change one's plans in accordance with one's new intentions.

If I am in charge of my behavior – I have strong-willed behavior. If my behavior is determined not by me, not by my well-thought-out decisions, but by random external circumstances, things and people around me – I have not volitional, but field behavior.

And now follow the thought Of L. S. Vygotsky, how he describes the process of mastering the child's own behavior, the process of forming strong-willed behavior in a child.

Like any higher mental function, the function of mastering one's own behavior is initially divided between the child and the adult: the child is first taught to obey external orders.

If a child is not able to listen to adults, do what they are told: either they are not used to it, or they are not able to do it at all, then they do not have the base to listen to themselves later, to follow their own commands. He will not be able to obey himself if he does not have the skill to obey anyone.

So, the first most important stage in the formation of the human will – the child must learn to do what his parents tell him. If the father saw a conflict brewing between the children and said: "the Fight is canceled!", the son lowers his fists. The mother asked her daughter: "Go to the grocery store, here's a list for you!", and the daughter quickly ran to the store.

The second stage – the child begins to command himself, encouraging himself to act by speaking out loud, and if necessary, by speaking loudly.

The child needs to jump into the pool, and he is a little scared. At first, the coach taught him how to do this: all the children stood on the edge of the pool, the coach said: "One, two, three!" – the children all jumped into the pool together. When "all together" - everything is made easier. Gradually, the coach taught the children to the command " One, two, three!", now any child jumps into the pool at the coach's command always, without the "all together"situation. What's the next step? You already know: the child stands on the edge of the pool, the coach says to him: "Command!". At the command of the coach, the child commands himself: "One, two, three!" and jumps into the pool!

Smart adults, having trained the child to do what they are told, later transfer the child's leadership to their own hands. First, the adult commands, the child learns to follow commands, then he begins to command himself. As the Dean of the faculty of psychology of Moscow state University A. N. Leontiev wrote, developing the idea Of L. S. Vygotsky, " genetically arbitrary actions arise... rather in social subordination than in subjection to objective objective conditions."

Alexey Nikolaevich loved an anecdote about an officer and an orderly. The orderly is busy in his room, groaning and groaning all the time. The officer asks: "Ivan, what are you groaning about?» "I'm very thirsty." "Go get drunk." – I don't want to go." After a while, the officer says to him in an official tone: "Ivan". "Yes, your honor," the orderly replies. "Go get a glass of water." Runs, brings a glass of water. The officer says, " Drink." He drank and calmed down.

In a normal army, the Sergeant first gets the recruits to cheerfully follow his commands and orders. He knows that when the soldiers begin to do this cheerfully and easily, they will begin to wear out the laziness that they brought from home, from their mothers. When soldiers learn to obey, master the command voice, and forget the habit of doing everything slowly and slowly, they will become warriors and men.

And the grown-up young man, seeing a dangerous and unnecessary conflict brewing for him, already says to himself: "The fight is canceled!" - and, no matter how his nostrils flared, he unclenches his fists. And some grown-up young girl said to herself: "Go to the grocery store!", looked at what the family needs, made a list and went.

Adults are no longer talking to themselves out loud, but to themselves. In psychology, this is called: "the process is internalized, internalized." And soon it becomes so familiar that commands are curtailed, no longer noticed by the person himself – and the person just does what is necessary and what he decided.

This is how, according To L. S. Vygotsky, the will is formed.


Quotes to help:

"If you make a child do something often on the count of "one, two, three", then he gets used to doing exactly the same as, for example, we do, throwing ourselves into the water." (The problem of will and its development in childhood. L. S. Vygotsky. Collected works, Moscow, 1982, P. 465)

"A typical expanded volitional act in the same situation is the following three points: 1) you need to get up (motive), 2) you don't want to (motive), 3) count yourself: one, two, three (auxiliary motive) and 4) on the "three" rise. This is the introduction of an auxiliary motive, the creation of a situation from outside that makes me stand up. This is exactly like saying to a child, " Well, one, two, three-take your medicine." This is will in the true sense of the word. In the example with getting up, I got up because of the signal "three" (conditioned reflex), but I raised myself in advance through the signal and the connection with it, i.e. I took possession of his behavior through the additional incentive or support a motive." (The problem of will and its development in childhood (Vygotsky L. S. Collected works: in b-ti volumes. T. Z. Problems of mental development / Ed. by A. M. Matyushkin, Moscow: Pedagogy, 1983, Pp. 279-280.)

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