The Psychological Concept of Overcoming: Theory, Methods, and Diagnostics
Introduction. This paper (a) provides an overview of various theoretical and methodological approaches to studying the concept of ‘overcoming’, (b) presents terminological, semantic, and functional approaches to the analysis of the concept of ‘overcoming’ in the structure of athletes’ self-consciousness, and (c) demonstrates associations between the phenomenon of ‘will’ and the concept of ‘overcoming’ from various perspectives. In particular, we examine philosophical, psychological, pedagogical, psychophysiological, and socio-psychological determinants that influence our approach to studying the phenomenon of overcoming. This study represents a first attempt to carry out the methodological, theoretical, and critical analysis of the issue of overcoming in psychology. We systematized previous ideas and concepts about the phenomenon of ‘overcoming’, formulated our working definition of this concept, and distinguished levels of overcoming. For the first time, the phenomenon of ‘overcoming’ is comprehensively studied in terms of physical and psychological regulatory determinants.
Theoretical Basis. We discuss in detail basic theories, principles, and concepts including the dialectical principle, the principle of transgressiveness, the principle of stable disequilibrium of living systems, and the principle of self-determination. This section (a) provides the main conceptual framework for the psychological theory of overcoming, (b) considers the impact of the concept of resilience, the extra-situational theory of activity, the idea of passionarity and liminality, and (c) concentrates on the psychology of extreme situations, psychological barriers, and risk issues. Explanatory determinants of the phenomenon of overcoming include the ‘freedom reflex’ and the ‘goal reflex’ by I. P. Pavlov, the ‘principle of dominance’ by A. A. Ukhtomsky, the synergistic ideas of the ‘concept of nonequilibrium systems’ by I. Prigogine, the ‘concept of passionarity’ by L. Gumilev, and conceptual perspectives of P. K. Anokhin, B. G. Ananiev, N. A. Bernshtein, E. S. Bauer and other scientists.
Results and Discussion. We elaborated a scheme for functional analysis of retrospective autobiographical questionnaire data and also developed an algorithm for semantic analysis of empirical data. The results of the content analysis enabled us to introduce a structural and dynamic characteristic of the phenomenon of overcoming and to clarify psychological parameters of the concepts of ‘will’ and ‘overcoming’. We (a) carried out the semantic analysis of various concepts of the phenomenon of overcoming, (b) introduced a level-based concept of overcoming, and (c) attempted to conceptualize the concept of ‘will’ and its associations with the paradigm of ‘overcoming’.
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