Vygotskian Writings Теоретическая психология Выготскианские тексты



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The structure of the monograph


1. The Economic Psycho-Sociology Approach

1.1. Modeling Economic Behavior

1.1.1. The Market Behavior

1.1.2. The Organization Behavior

1.2. The Apport of the Psychology

1.2.1. Behaviorism

1.2.2. Cognitivism

1.2.3. Social psychology

1.2.4. Psychoanalysis

1.2.5. A Synthesis: Is It Possible?




2. Mediating Economic Transactions: The Social Identity

2.1. The Antecedents of Social Identity in Ethology: The Territorial and the Signifying Behavior

2.1.1. The Human Specificity of Social Identity

2.2. Elaborating Social Identity

2.2.1. Substantial and Formal Identity

2.2.1.1. Social Status

2.2.1.2. Formal Features

2.2.1.2.1. Similarity and Differences

2.2.1.2.2. Competition and Ranking

2.2.2. Social Categorization

2.2.2.1. Symbolizing Social Categorization

2.2.2.2. Criteria of the Social Identity

2.2.2.3. Being Disposed vs. Indisposed by the Identity

2.2.2.4. The Taboo

2.2.3. Social Categorization and Social Listing

2.2.3.1. Attributes and Relations

2.2.3.2. „An”-type Identity and „The”-type Identity

2.3. Elaborating the Economic Identity

2.3.1. The Paradoxical Nature of Economic Behavior

2.3.2. Property Rights and Identity

2.3.2.1. Property

2.3.2.2. Office

2.3.2.3. Competency and Competence

2.3.2.4. Capital and Networking Capital

2.3.3. Economic Psychology of Outstanding Social Identity

2.3.2.1. Measuring Value of Outstanding Social Identity (VOSI)

2.3.2.2. Racer’s costs and profits: Converting Money into VOSI and vice versa

2.3.2.2.1. Investing into VOSI

2.3.2.2.2. Return from VOSI

2.3.2.2.3. Asymmetric Market and Outstanding Social Identity

2.3.2.3. Applying VOSI in Human Resource Management


3. Managing Human Resources: The Second Modernization

3.1. The Modernization: Manufacturing Resources

3.1.1. The First Periode of Modernization: Manufacturing Material Resources and Independency from Human Resources

3.1.2. The Second Modernization: Manufacturing Human Resources

3.2. A Plant for the Large Scale Manufacturing of Human Resources: the Totalitarian State

3.3. The Human Potential as Capital

3.3.1. Investing and Profiting

3.3.2. Three Principal Questions of Human Capital

3.3.2.1. Who Should Be the Investor in Human Capital

3.3.2.2. Who Profits from Running the Human Capital?

3.3.2.3. Who is the Owner of the Human Potential?

3.4. A Rather Strange Manufactured Product: The Relation




4. The Bolshevik-Type Version of The Second Modernization

4.1. (Bolshevik (= Majority): A Relational Identity

4.2. Manufacturing Substantial vs Formal Identity

4.3. The Bureaucratic State Governed by an Illegal Movement: Soviet-Type societies and Bolshevik-Type Parties

4.3.1. Office and Charisma

4.3.1.1. A Collective Charisma

4.3.1.2. Official and Commissary

4.3.1.3. The Nomenklatura

4.3.2. A Large Scale Manufacturing of Relations

4.3.2.1. Why crushed it down?




5. A Dilemma for the Post-Socialist Period’s Economy: Knowledge-Based or Identity-Based?

5.1. Manufacturing Knowledge and Skill

5.2. Manufacturing Identity and Qualification

5.3. Know-How or Diploma?

5.3.1. Distant Teaching and Diploma Mills




  1. Key words: social identity; social categorization; identity markers; document; Behaviorism vs. Cognitive Psychology; Psychoanalysis vs. Social Psychology; psychosocial relations vs. attributes; mar­ket behavior vs. organizational economic behavior; money vs. social status; second modernization; human resources processing; human capital; Bolshevik type vs. fascist type totalitarian societies; infor­mation management



Chapters of the monograph and some further texts related to its topics and available in non-Hungarian

To the first chapter: The Economic Psychology Approach

Problems of specifically human needs.

French version: Recherches Internatio­na­les: Psychologie. 1966/9. (51). 42-60.

Russian version: Voprosy Psikhologii. 1966/3. 61-73.

Spanish version In: A. Luria, A. Massucco Costa, R. Zazzo and B. Teplov: Problemá­tica científica de la psicología actual. Editorial Orbelus. Buenos Aires, 1968. 63-85)

Interpretation of needs in foreign language psychology and the question of moti­ves of a scientific activity [in Russian]. In: M. Iaroshevsky (ed.): Problems of the scientific creativity in the contempora­ry psychology, “Nauka” Publi­sher [Publi­shing house of the Soviet Academy of Sciences]. Moscow, 1971. 224-233.

Hypothesis on the Motivation of Scientific Creativity. XIII International Cong­ress of the History of Science. USSR, Moscow, August 18-24, 1971. “Nau­ka” Publisher [Publishing house of the Soviet Academy of Sciences], Moscow, 1971. 224-233.

An invited lecture to the Congress’ symposium “On the personality of the scientist in the history of science”. Applying the theory presented by the Personality dynamics to the analysis of parallel discoveries of Bolyai and Lobachevsky it argues for the individual creative idea being determined by the social history even in the most abstract mathematics.



Strength and Weakness of Psychological Science. International Social Scien­ce Journal. 25. (1973). 447-460. French version: La puissance et l’impuissance de la science psychologi­que. Revue Interna­tionale des Sciences Sociales. 25 (1973). 491-504.

The destiny of the contemporary psychological science is considered by the paper on the background of the socio-economic system’s necessity of manufacturing (and not only exploiting) human (and not only material) conditions of its functioning (second modernization hypothesis). A technological application of this science (in cultivating skills) is compared to its ideological application (in cultivating attitudes).



Conflict and the Economic Paradigm. Dialectics and Humanism. 2. (1977). 47-58.

Class conflicts are represented at two levels simultaneously: at an object-level about the distribution of resources and at a meta-level about the rules of dealing with conflicts of object-level. The paper argues for all macro- and micro-social conflicts in the society being constructed according to this paradigm.

Marx’ Social Theory and the Concept of Man in Social Psychology. (Co-author: Ferenc Eros) Studia Psychologica. 20/1. (1978). 5-10.

Towards a Social Psychology of Personality: Development and Current Perspec­ti­ves of a School of Social Psychology in Hungary (Co-authors: F. Eros, K. Ja­ro, M. Kocski and S. Veres). So­cial Science Information. 18/1. (1979). 137-166.

Report on the research work of the authors’ team in ‘70s in the Institute for Psychology of Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Main arguments of a production-centered meta-theory as opposed to the both naturalistic and spiritualistic one and of a theory elaborated by that team in a Vygotskian frame of reference.

Paradoxes of the social categorization [in French]. Recherches de Psychologie Sociale. 3. (1981). 131-141. (Comments of R. Pagès: Recherches de Psychologie Sociale. 3. [1981]. 143-151)

Marxian Personality Psychology. In: Harré-Lamb (eds.): The Encyclopedic Dictionary of Psychology. Basil Blackwell Publisher. 1983. 364-366.

Toward a psycho-economic theory of social identity [in French]. Recherches Socio­logiques. 1984. 313-335.

Social Identity: Cognitive Dissonance or Paradox? New Ideas in Psychology. 4:3. (1986) 311-322. (Comments: G. Jahoda. New Ideas in Psychology. 6:2. [1988] 211-212. Reply: The case of Attila József: A reply to Gustav Jahoda. New Ideas in Psychology. 6:2. [1988] 213-217.



Determining economic activity in a post-capitalist system. Journal of Economic Psychology. 8. [1987] 77-90.)

Contends that the main tendency of (both planned and market) post-capitalist system is considered to be the production of personal (and not only material) conditions of func­tioning of that system. That includes not only production of technical disposition to master things but also that of social disposition to master (or, at least, be superior to) other per­sons. These are as important organizing factors for an economic system producing its per­sonal conditions as are value in use and value in exchange for the one producing its mate­rial conditions. Typical cases are cited when the economic activity is not determined by the pri­ce of the item produced by it, but, rather, by the social identity of the producing person.



To the psychology of economic rationality. In: Understanding economic behavior. 12th An­nual Collo­quium of IAREP, the International Association for Re­search in Economic Psy­cholo­gy. Handelhøjskolen I Århus, 1987. Vol. I. 29-41.

Argues for the impossibility of deriving rationality criteria from substantionally given human needs. Instead, it proposes a Lewin-type formal approach to the structure of human activity whose ends, whatever they are, become quasi-need and determine the value of other objects becoming means or barriers, depending on their position in that field. For the specifically human activity taking into consideration a further factor structuring the field is proposed: taboos. Thus, the formal rationality criterion is: gaining ends in spite of barriers that are surmounted by means got in spite of taboos.



Why bureaucratic control over economy is not that rational? Paper presented to the 13th Annual Colloquium of IAREP [International Association for Research in Economic Psychology] (Louvain, 1988).

While production of material resources is determined only by technical attributes of both producing and produced factors, effects of production by a modern socio-economic system of its personal resources depends on those factors social relations as well. Bureaucracy is conside­red as a power of mastering the production of personal resources through the institu­tio­nalization of these relations.



Foundation of an economic psychology. In: T. Tyszka and P. Gasparsky [eds]: Ho­mo Oeconomicus: Presuppositions & Facts. Procee­dings of the 14th IAREP Annual Colloquium. International Association for Research in Eco­nomic Psychology. September 24-27, 1989. Kazimierz Dolny, Poland. 333-346.

Claims that the “human nature” in various socio-economic systems is different: 1. In a strict market economy it is close to the one described by the notion of “homo oeconomicus” and scientifically investigated by a behaviorist psychology: in any choice situation the individual chooses what s/he has preferred the most. 2. In an economic system shifting from the strict market toward a mixed economy the agents’ “nature” comes much closer to what the cognitivistic psychology considers as such: the individual starts to prefer what s/he has previously chosen. 3. In a strictly planned economy the human content expressed by the economic behavior corresponds to the description by the psychoanalysis: individuals instead of consciously making choices unconsciously consent to being chosen by a supra-individual system that is hold by the “father” but interiorized by the super-ego of the “sons”. 4. Finally, for an economic system that is shifting from this strict planning toward a mixed economy instead of agents’ “nature” we have their “culture” described by the social psychology: there turns out not to be any valid possibility of establishing an order of preference among them.

Another crisis in the psychology: A possible motive for the Vygotsky-boom (co-author: M. Kocski). Journal of Russian and East-European Psychology. 33:1. [1994] 82-94. – Full text. Italian version: Ancora una crisi nella psicologia: una possibile spiegazione per il “boom” di Vygotskij. Studi di Psicologia dell’Educazione. 1994/1-2-3. 141-150. Enlarged Russian version: Voprosy Filosofii. 1997/4. 86-96. – Full text

Vygotskian implications: On the meaning and its brain. A keynote paper. In: Mezhdu­narodnaia konferentsiia “Kul’turno-istorichesky podkhod: Razvitiie gumanitarnykh nauk I obrazovaniia”. Proceedings. Rossiiskaia Akademiia obrazovaniia i Rossiisky Gosudarstvenny gumanitarny universitet. Moskva, 21-24 oktiabria 1996. No. 3. – Full text. Russian version: In: Subject, Cognition, Activity: Dedicated to V. A. Lektorsky’s 70th anniversary. Moscow: Canon+, 2002. 590-612.

Vassily Davydov and vicissitudes of our theory [in Russian]. Bulletin of the International Association “Developmental Education”. 5. 20-26. – Full text

To the second chapter: Mediating Economic Transactions – The Psycho-Social Identity



Conflict and the Economic Paradigm. Dialectics and Humanism. 2. (1977). 47-58.

Class conflicts are represented at two levels simultaneously: at an object-level about the distribution of resources and at a meta-level about the rules of dealing with conflicts of object-level. The paper argues for all macro- and micro-social conflicts in the society being constructed according to this paradigm.

Paradoxes of the social categorization [in French]. Recherches de Psychologie Sociale. 3. (1981). 131-141. (Comments of R. Pagès: Recherches de Psychologie Sociale. 3. [1981]. 143-151)

Toward a psycho-economic theory of social identity [in French]. Recherches Sociolo­giques. 1984. 313-335.



Social Identity: Cognitive Dissonance or Paradox? New Ideas in Psychology. 4:3. (1986) 311-322. Comments: G. Jahoda. New Ideas in Psychology. 6:2. [1988] 211-212. Reply: The case of Attila József: A reply to Gustav Jahoda. New Ideas in Psychology. 6:2. [1988] 213-217.

On the cognitive dissonance as emerging between the social identity of persons and that of their acts. Paradoxical consequences of the two identities’ double bind are analyzed: without doing A no one may pretend to the identity B and without being subjected to this law no one may pretend to the identity B either.

The principle of social relations and the principle of activity (co-author: M. Köcski). Soviet Psychology. 1989/4. 50-69.

The brain and the mechanism of psychosocial phenomena. Journal of Russian and East-European Psychology. 1994/6. 71-91.

An attempt at the solution of dilemma: How psychosocial phenomena being of an inter-individual character may have their organ while the brain has an intra-individual character. The paper argues for mainstream considerations based exclusively on individual organism being transcended both by going beyond the individual (toward a supra-individual structure) and beyond the organism (toward an extra-organismic one). Author derives his arguments from various sources: Vygotsky school’s theory of functional organs, Gibson’s ecological theory of perception, ethology’s empirical data about territorial behavior of populations and Szentágothai’s model of organizing neuronal modules. The paper presents for the K. Popper’s “World 3’ a possible monistic interpretation that derives meanings from the functioning of supra-individual economic structures instead of the individual’s brain structures. An enlarged version of the full text

The price of excellence. Inquiries into the Nature and Causes of Behavior. Proceedings of the XXIV. Annual Colloquium of the International Association for Research in Economic Psychology. Belgirate, 1999. 750-759. – Full text

To the third chapter: Managing Material and Human Resources



Hypothesis on the Motivation of Scientific Creativity. XIII International Cong­ress of the History of Science. USSR, Moscow, August 18-24, 1971. “Nau­ka” Publisher [Publishing house of the Soviet Academy of Sciences], Moscow, 1971. 224-233.

Interpretation of needs in foreign language psychology and the question of moti­ves of a scientific activity [in Russian]. In: M. Iaroshevsky (ed.): Problems of the scientific creativity in the contempora­ry psychology, “Nauka” Publi­sher [Publishing house of the Soviet Acad. of Sciences]. Moscow, 1971. 224-233.



Towards an economic psychology of consumption. Trends in world economy, 70. Con­sump­tion and development: economic, social and technical aspects. (1992) 35-43.

The paper argues for the main motive of the purchase being not of biologic (i.e. referred to a need satisfaction) but of social (signifying social identity) character. This latter represents not only ends for the purchase but means as well that legitimates, together with the payment, the claim for an article, and especially on a seller’s market.

To the fourth chapter: Managing Human Resources: The Second Modernization

Determining economic activity in a post-capitalist system. Journal of Economic Psychology. 8. [1987] 77-90.)

Contends that the main tendency of (both planned and market) post-capitalist system is considered to be the production of personal (and not only material) conditions of functioning of that system. That includes not only production of technical disposition to master things but also that of social disposition to master (or, at least, be superior to) other persons. These are as important organizing factors for an economic system producing its personal conditions as are value in use and value in exchange for the one producing its material conditions. Typical cases are cited when the economic activity is not determined by the price of the item produced by it, but, rather, by the social identity of the person producing it.

To the fifth chapter: The Bolshevik-Type Version of the Second Modernization

Why bureaucratic control over economy is not that rational? Paper presented to the 13th Annual Colloquium of IAREP [International Association for Research in Economic Psychology] (Louvain, 1988).

While production of material resources is determined only by technical attributes of both producing and produced factors, effects of production by a modern socio-economic system of its personal resources depends on those factors social relations as well. Bureaucracy is considered as a power of mastering the production of personal resources through the institutionalization of these relations.



The Bureaucratic State Governed by an Illegal Movement: Soviet-Type societies and Bolshevik-Type Parties. Political Psychology. 10:1. (1991) 165-179.

Soviet type societies evolve the universe of their ideological appearances in relation not to matter as in a capitalist society (according to Marx: reification) but to persons. Traditional Marxian criticism of such an ideology claims persons in Soviet type societies to be but per­sonifications of positions in a bureaucratic structure. The paper argues that the organizing principle of these societies is not bureaucracy but charisma originated from 20th century’s radical anti-bureaucratic mass movements. The social power that is set not to the positions persons occupy but to persons directly gets provided in those societies’ structures not only to a charismatic leader but to the whole headquarter, the whole party as a van of the revolutionary movement and even the whole revolutionary movement. The paper analyzes the paradoxical structure of that collective charisma: the person gets (and loses) his glamour that is independent from his office by being invested with (and, resp., dismissed from) it just like with (from) an office. Democratic centralism is described as the principle of such a paradoxical organization where the “Centrum” gets its social power by being put in its charisma by a “Demos” being put in its one by that social power. The connection of such a paradoxical structure with the mass-production of social relations is analyzed.



The Bolshevik-type psycho-economic system: An essay on a paradoxical psy­cho­logic structure in economy. Paper presented to joint meeting of IAREP [International Association for Research in Economic Psychology] and SASE [Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics]. (Stockholm, 1991).

About the political system’s shift in Hungary: Considerations of a social psychologist [in Russian]. Vengersky Meridian. 1991/1. 69-79.

The Bolshevik-type psycho-economic system: An essay on a paradoxical psychologic structure in economy [in Russian]. POLIS 1993/1. 72-76.

To the sixth chapter

About the notion of information in the research on living systems [in Russian]. In: Philosophical questions of biology. “Nauka” Publisher [Publishing house of the Soviet Academy of Sciences], Moscow. 1973.

Theses on Human Capital. Full text






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