symbols for growth and development

In his excellent analysis of the psychology of purposeful activity, Lewin makes a clear-cut definition of free and volitional intention as a product of the historico-cultural development of behaviour and as a specific feature of man’s psychology. A very simple experiment made it possible for us to establish this. Piaget's 1936 theory broke new ground because he found that children's brains work in very different ways than adults'. If, as Bühler’s experiments confirm, the practical activity of the child, prior to speech development, is identical to that of the ape, then, as Guillaume and Meyerson’s investigations confirm, the activity of a man struck by aphasia, through a pathological process, begins again to resemble in principle something analogous to the activity of the ape. If the method of ‘stimuli reaction’ were an objective psychological method, limiting its studies only to those processes which in man’s behaviour were already external, then our method may in all truth be qualified as objectivising: its main attention focuses immediately on inner psychological methods and structures hidden from direct observation. On the other hand, not only operations related to practical intellect, but all no-less primary and, frequently, even more elementary functions belonging to biologically shaped forms of activity, manifest laws in the process of development that we discovered when analysing practical intellect. Therefore the second stage gives birch to speech’s real function of planning, and thus speech begins to fix the direction of future operations. On the other hand, we would be wrong if we thought that such operations enhance only quantitative aspects of the activity of psychological functions. The child seems to unite two approaches to his own activity, combining them into one syncretic whole. What is more, if we follow this to its logical conclusion, we are forced to suppose that at even earlier phases of development the child’s perception bears an even more splintered and particular character, and that the perception of separate objects is preceded by a stage when the child is apparently able to perceive merely their separate parts or qualities and only later combines the latter into whole objects, and finally unites objects into effective situations. It follows that the process studied in this experiment must differ sharply from simple elementary memorizing. created the higher psychological functions which distinguish man as man. The research worker striving to comprehend the laws of a whole and who hopes to penetrate external manifestations 0 as to arrive at the causal and genetic links of these factors, must resort to a special form of experimentation. This publication did not take place, and the manuscript was conveyed by its owner Professor Cole for publication in the present volume. The same relation between the structure of sensory and motor processes, explained by the dynamic nature of perception, is to be found not only in the elementary forms of reactive processes but also in the higher stages of behaviour, in experiments concerning intellectual operations and the use of tools by apes. © 2005 - 2019 WebMD LLC. In this respect the higher psychological functions are no exception to the general rule and do not differ from other elementary processes. We must sum up theoretically our analysis of the problem of development of practical intellect and point out such important theoretic and methodic conclusions which may be drawn from a series of such investigations, each of which is devoted to one or another particular problem. Pathological material affords us a particularly fine opportunity for becoming convinced that the inclusion in behaviour of speech and of the higher symbolic functions connected with it, reconstructs the motorics, transferring it to a new and higher level. Here an intermediate link appears between the stimulus and the reaction directly connected earlier, an intermediate link that plays a special role completely different from everything we observed in the elementary forms of behaviour. What was needed was that the child realize the operation’s purposeful character, that the child come into a specific sign relation with the auxiliary stimulus; only then will the structural or associative connection acquire its mandatory reversive character and the repeated demonstration of the sign will necessarily bring it back to the word, memorized earlier with the help of the sign. Further experiments show that the ‘function of naming’ (Nennfunktion) is not the creation of a single discovery, but has its own natural history, and that probably at the beginning of speech formation the child does not discover that every object has its own name, but rather learns new ways of dealing with them – and that is what gives them names. It is incomparably less characteristic of a child and, probably, of primitive man, too; there is reason to believe that this, more than his highly developed intellect, distinguishes man from the animals which stand closest to him. Direct manipulation is replaced by a complex psychological process, where inner motivation and the creation of intentions, postponed in time duration, stimulate their own development and realization. Sign operations and the organization of the psychological processes, The social genesis of the higher psychological functions, The main rules of development of the higher psychological functions, 4. This division corresponds to the problem of self-control (Beherrschung). The process here undergoes alterations analogous to those observed in the child’s transition from ‘outward’ speech to ‘inward’. A prolonged analysis made it possible for us to establish that development follows, first of all, a direction leading to the indirect character of those psychological operations which, at the first stages, were achieved through direct forms of adaptation. Phoenix Tattoos: Symbol of Rebirth. It is here that the danger of what might be called the ‘animalization’ of child psychology, mentioned earlier, finds its clearest expression as the prevalent feature of investigation in this field (see earlier reference). From the point of view of structure the immediate character noted by us is the major point of the whole process, a point linking the memory of man with that of the animal. © 2014 - 2020 - All Rights Reserved. Man not only invented tools, by means of which he conquered nature, but he invented also stimuli that motivated and regulated his own behaviour and by means of which he subjugated his own forces to his will. To certain psychologists the ancient biblical ‘In the beginning was the Word’ retains all its fascination. In that sense, Koffka is absolutely right. the inward transfer of functions, there occurs a complex reconstruction of their entire structure. Thus, in Zankov’s tests shape a in figure 7.5, presented as a reminder of the word ‘bucket’, was turned upside down by the child, and served to remind it of the word only when shape b really began to resemble a bucket: in the same way, shape c became the sign of the word ‘bench’ only when turned upside down as in d. In all these cases the auxiliary figure was not linked to the given meaning by any type of indirect link, but proved to be a direct, immediate drawing of it. Two facts seem remarkable in the transformation undergone by practical operations through the inclusion in them of speech. Gutzmann quite justly objects to this concept which merges the word, as a specific function, with the general notion of action. We thus created conditions for the reconstruction of the psychological process of memorizing and the application of given auxiliary means. The period when the auxiliary sign does not act as a specific stimulus that always brings the child back to the starring point, but is always merely an impulse to the further development of the whole syncretic structure of which it is a part, is undoubtedly typical of the first, primitive phase in the history of the development of sign operations. Certain facts certify that, at this stage of development, the sign acts as part of the general syncretic situation: 1 By no means does any sign prove to be useful in the child’s operation, and not every sign can be linked to any meaning. They're increasingly aware of external events. The best examples, perhaps, of this method of active instrumentation, are our tests with the use of speech and the reconstruction, with its help, of the whole structure of child behaviour. We stand, at this juncture, before a conclusion of great theoretic importance: we perceive the unity of the higher psychological functions as based on the essential sameness of their origins and mechanism of development. Near the end of the sensorimotor stage (18-24 months), infants reach another important milestone -- early language development, a sign that they are developing some symbolic abilities. It would be difficult to imagine a more clear cut example of such a general disintegration of the higher psychological functions, due to the disruption of speech, than in the phenomenon of aphasia. They serve the child, first and foremost, as a means of social contacts with the surrounding people, and are also applied as a means of self-influence, a means of auto-stimulation, creating thus a new and superior form of activity in the child. And that is what entitles us to call this form of memory ‘natural memory’. It would be equally incorrect to think that, in the development of the system of higher psychological processes, we have a simple superimposition of a higher stage over a lower and the simultaneous existence of two relatively independent forms of behaviour – natural and instrumented. The methods of the contemporary psychological experiment have always been closely tied to the general basic questions of psychological theory and have essentially always been the reflection of the way in which the principally important psychological problems were solved. The intellectual processes of a man with impaired symbolic functions, that is, an aphasic, does not result in a simple lowering of the functions of practical intellect or in difficulties concerning their realization, but reflects rather a picture of another, more primitive level of behaviour, that of the ape. This history of speech, which occurs over the course of practical activity, is tied in to a basic reconstruction of the child’s entire behaviour. The acceptance of the fact that the beginning of practical intellect may be observed to almost its full extent in the pre-human and pre-speech period, led psychologists to the assumption that the use of tools, which originates as a natural operation, remained the same in the child.

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