Basic Principles of Psychological Analysis in the Theory of Activity
The general psychological theory of activity created by L. S. Vygotsky, A. N. Leontev, A. R. Luria, and their disciples has entered a critical phase in its development. An external sign of the advent of this phase is the increased frequency of discussions of the role of the category of activity in building the conceptual apparatus of psychology. One hears ever more insistently the idea that the category of activity is threatening to become a kind of monster, ready to devour all other psychological concepts [4,14,37,45]A.n internal sign of the advent of this critical phase in the development of the theory of activity is the discrepancy between the tremendous amount of factual material accumulated in the various special areas of psychology in which the theory of activity plays a special role and the initial principles of this theory, formulated very early, when it was just being developed. As a result, a paradox has emerged: a theory engendered by the exigencies of practice is beginning to be perceived as a theory independent of practice. A critical phase in the development of any theory, like a crisis in the development of the life of a child, means the beginning of a new stage in its existence. For such a critical phase to occur, at least the following steps are, I think, necessary. The first step is enumerating the original principles of the theory of activity. The second involves an analysis, through the prism of these original principles, of all the factual material accumulated in the special areas of psychology and in general psychology. This analysis will overcome the discrepancy between the key principles of the theory of activity and the factual material, and will also help to refine and modify those principles. Finally, the third stage is the development of prospects for basic and applied research, i.e., defining the area for the most immediate development of a psychology built on the basis of a general psychological theory of activity.
Asmolov A. Basic principles of psychological analysis in the theory of activity // Soviet Psychology. — 1986. — no. vol. XXV. 2.
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