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Kostin A. N. , Golikov Yu. Ya.

        Anatoly Nikolaevich Kostin is Doctor of Psychology, Leading Research Officer at the Institute of Psychology of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow).

E-mail: anatolykostin@gmail.com

        Yury Yakovlevich Golikov is Doctor of Psychology, Leading Research Officer at the Institute of Psychology of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow).


This article analyzes the state of the Russian and foreign studies of mental/psychical regulation of behavior and activity. Five main tendencies of research have been identified; those are based on various theoretical premises: the description of regulation as a feedback mechanism, the structural-functional representation of regulation, the study of mentation, images, and conceptual models as determinants of regulation, self-regulation and metacognition. Each of these trends tends to demonstrate both their advantages and limitations.

The paper shows that the major problems of research in the sphere of regulation are as follows: the lack of a generally accepted definition of mental regulation and the need for a unified methodology of studying regulation which would be based on the definition in question. The authors propose a broad definition which takes into account several approaches to defining regulation: mental/psychical regulation is a continuous process of the organization of mental activity in terms of the content and time which depend on the fluctuating objective and subjective conditions.

On the basis of the introduced definition of regulation, there has been established a new organizational-procedural approach to its analysis: mental regulation is to be seen as a heterogeneous complex psychological process of organizing activity. The main tenets of the recommended approach dictate the requirements for the development of conceptual representations of regulation.

The first position of this approach presupposes the requirement to describe regulation as organization of mental/psychical activity. The second position determines the need to consider regulation qua process. The third provision consists in the necessity to consider the heterogeneous content of activity organization. The fourth premise dictates that it is essential to designate the diverse levels of activity organization which reflect its heterogeneity. The fifth position of the specified approach postulates the need to reveal the heterogeneous nature of the process of organizing activity which is determined by the alteration in the quality of its content over time.

        Key words: behavior, activity, psychical regulation, feedback, self-regulation, metacognition, organizing activities, organizational-procedural approach.


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