Person’s Constructive Behavior in Emergencies
- Institute of Social and Political Psychology of the National Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of Ukraine, Ukraine
Background and aim of study:
An emergency is an event going beyond the ordinary life of a person and threatens his/her mental and physical integrity destroying the social structures of communities and public order. The situation with the current pandemic is the vivid example of emergency. The experience of providing psychological assistance in such situation shows that the developed emotional self-regulation is a stable basis for constructive behavior that preserves health and quality of life.
Basic research methods are (calendar period: 12.03– 30.05.2020): 1) theoretical (system and structure analysis, historical and logical analysis); 2) empirical (online consultating: observation, conversation, content analysis).
1. A person’s staying in an emergency situation is accompanied by violations of the internal psychological system of activity. 2. Constructing a new holistic functional system provides a process of mental adaptation of a person to new adverse conditions. 3. The activity of a new integral functional system is ensured by the interaction of its individual subsystems resulting in the formation of the new integrative qualities contributing to successful psychic adaptation. 4. The leading role in forming a new functional system is played by the system of self-regulation. It performs two functions: 1) purposefully influences adverse factors (natural, social) of the emergency situation; 2) determines the choice of productive strategy to remove violations of the internal psychological system of activity. 5. Removing violations of the internal psychological system of activity is possible through constructive behavior. The main threat to such behavior is made by weak emotional self-regulation. 6. Weak emotional self-regulation causes frustrating behavior. Its consequences are as follows: the danger of “loss” of purposeful and objectified causation goal (M. Mayer). Due to the loss of the original goal the behavior cannot be adaptive. At the same time groups of needs that were previously a source of activity are not met. 7. Developed emotional self-regulation creates favorable conditions for constructive behavior which is realized and objectified by causal relationships with the desired goal. This creates for a person the conditions to begin adaptation to new living conditions.
1. Only a conscious connection of the behavior with internal motives contributes to the constructive self- organization of a person in an emergency. Conditions for “involving” constructive behavior into such situation are as follows: 1) experiencing discomfort; 2) realizing the causes of discomfort which arises from the violation of their own needs (“what (!) is missing”); 3) outlining a meaningful goal (strategy); 4) detailed behavior planning for the implementation of a meaningful goal taking into account the conditions of the activity; 5) forecasting possible adverse effects of the planned behavior; 6) organizing behavior in accordance with the meaningful goals and predicted consequences. 2. Constructive behavior should be 1) “motivated+” (such behavior is one of the important stages of the volitional self-regulation which is accompanied by a decrease in indicators of the emotional stress) and 2) “organized goal+” (F. Vasylyuk). 3. It is the emotional self-regulation that reduces the emotional tension. This creates objective conditions for forming constructive behavior as an energy-saving and transformative mechanism for building new “development tasks” in real situations of threat to human life and health. 4. It was previously stated that there are four types of the emotional self-regulation (S. Polishchuk): 1 st type (“Sensitive”): tendency to self-observation, immersion in inner experiences, understanding their own needs, desire for harmony; 2 nd type (“Conservative”): deep sensitivity to the outside world, developed affective memory, persistent habits, the violation of which causes persistent discomfort; 3 rd type (“Risky”): willingness to change, leaving the comfort zone, courage to change life circumstances, looseness; 4 th type (“Dependent”): focus on relationships, dependence on external evaluations, focus on compliance with the existing rules. 5. Understanding a person’s belonging to a certain type of emotional self-regulation allows us to understand the scale of the consequences of being in an emergency situation and the objective ability to behave constructively in it.
DOI and UDC:
UDC: 159.9.019.У: 159.942 DOI: 10.26697/ijes.2020.2.28
Information about the authors:
Polishchuk Svitlana Anatolyvna – Candidate of Psychological Sciences, Associate Professor, Researcher, Institute of Social and Political Psychology of the National Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine. Research interests: age development psychology, social psychology, gerontopsychology, psychodiagnostics, psychological counselling; http://orcid.org/0000-0002-6576-8331.