doctor of Education, Ph.D in Psychology
Head of the Department of Social and Educational Psychology
Sholohov Moscow State Humanitarian University
Category of «Context» and Contextual Approach in Psychology
The article contains a brief review of the concept «context» which is gaining its place among the key concepts in modern theoretical and empirical psychology. A comprehensive analysis of scientific literature leads the authors to distinguish two complementary conceptions of context – structural (which regards a fragment of a text as a semantic system) and functional (which treats it as a mental sensegenerating mechanism). The authors suggest an understanding of mentality as a recursive-contextual phenomenon, where each fragment of its subject matter exists in the context of other fragments – parallel, preceding or ensuing. Such understanding may form a basis for the contextual approach in psychology.
Keywords: a context, contextualism, contextual approach, structure and functional approach, recursion