Potential of mathematical metaphor for interpretation of personal meaning as mechanism of crisis of person

Igor Viktorovich Kalinin


Kalinin I.V. Potential of mathematical metaphor for interpretation of personal meaning as mechanism of crisis of person // Psychological science and practice: State of the Art. Collected papers / Ed. Kostrigin A.A. Chicago, 2017. P. 30-34.

The appeal to the possibilities of the mathematical apparatus is confronted with a certain degree of skepticism on the side of a significant part of the representatives of humanitarian knowledge. However, psychology is aware of both episodic discussions about the correctness of the application of formulas to the psychological realities that arose within the framework of Soviet psychology with respect to the information theory of emotions (Simonov, 1966; Dodonov, 1983), and: the approach to mathematical modeling of conscience, conflict structures, "Human formulas" (Lefevr, 2003); And claims for the role of an independent psychological discipline of "Mathematical Psychology" (Savchenko, Golovina, 2014); the original presentation of F.E. Vasilyuk on the possibility of describing the mechanism of limiting experiences through a mathematical fraction (Vasiljuk, 1984, 2005). And this is not a complete list.And although the author of this article also pointed out the usefulness of this step (Kalinin, 2003), the appeal of additional attention to the heuristic value of mathematical metaphor is applicable to the problem of psychological crisis through the prism of the concept of "personal meaning" (hereinafter PM) of A.N. Leontiev, it seems far from superfluous. This can be expressed very succinctly as follows.1. A mathematical metaphor can be used as an auxiliary construct for further creative interpretation of the formulation of PM by A.N. Leontiev as "the relationship of the motive of activity to the goal of action". In this case, it is necessary to observe 3 conditions:a) considering "the ratio of" motive to goal" in the form of a mathematical fraction, where the motive is in its numerator, and the goal ‑ in the denominator;b) taking into account elementary rules: it is impossible to divide by zero, and therefore neither the numerator nor the denominator should have a zero value;c) the definition of the psychological essence of zero in relation to the concepts "motive" and "goal" and filling them with an adequate psychological sense.2. The crisis state of the person based on psychological mechanisms can be understood as a temporary period of human experience, within which there is a rapid process of "zeroing" (aspiration to the zero reference point) of any parameter of the motivational and / or target component of PM in relation to specific value that is significant for the person;3. Zero in the psychological sense can be understood as:a) a certain designation for the absence of a certain quantity of the measured value of the motive (or purpose);b) the disappearance of any particular motive (goal);c) a certain boundary area of transition of one function to another, where its sign is uncertain;d) equilibrium point of the "n-th" number of forces: either motives, either goals, or both those and others taken together.Further development of thought in this direction requires consideration not only of null values of motives and goals filled with adequate psychological sense, but also discussion of the problem of "PM of large and low intensity". Partially this work has already been carried out by us in the framework of the relevant publications (Kalinin, 2003).


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(c) 2017 Igor Viktorovich Kalinin