Asmolov A.G., Schekhter E.D., Chernorizov A.M., Lvova E.N. (2018). Prerequisites of Sociality: Historical and Evolutionary Analysis. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 11 (3), 2-17



Background. Discussion of the social origins of personality formation, based on the biological individual, is a characteristic feature of modern interdisciplinary researches at the junction of natural science and the humanities. At the same time, evolutionary aspects of the relationship between the biological (innate) and the social (acquired) — i.e., the problem of the origin of sociality — come to the forefront. 

Objective. This article presents and discusses the hypothesis that the evolutionary origins of sociality are processes of evolutionary divergence (increasing individual diversity) and convergence (symbiosis) that define two oppositely directed vectors of the development of life from its simplest forms. 

Method and Results. The theoretical and experimental data used to discuss the hypothesis are considered here from the standpoint of the historical evolutionary approach to the processes of formation (evolution) of the uniqueness of the personality and of social interpersonal relations. The approach is based on an understanding of these processes as a special case of the evolution of interacting systems on the basis of two opposing trends — towards preserving and towards changing the system. The hypothesis allows us to answer two questions about the ambivalence of human existence in society: (a) Why do all people, regardless of their social status, find it so difficult to endure loneliness, which is incompatible with both the mental and even physical health of each of us? (b) Why at the same time do all of us involuntarily protect the “boundaries” of our own physical, mental, and social “Me”, the violation of which is as destructive (unacceptable) to us as is loneliness? 

Conclusion. Systematic historical-evolutionary analysis of the sciences of nature, society, and humankind allows us to isolate general patterns of development of complex systems, leading to a more accurate understanding of the phenomenon of personality. Such an interdisciplinary approach was used in this work on the biological roots of sociality and the particular features of individual existence in the external and to some extent social environment that generates unique individuals. 

About the authors: Asmolov, Aleksandr G. ; Schechter, Eugeniya D.; Chernorizov, Alexsander M. ; Lvova, Elena N.

Received: 09.11.2017

Accepted: 01.22.2018

Themes: Methodology of psychology


Pages: 2-17

DOI: 10.11621/pir.2018.0301

Keywords: systems, social communities, evolution of societies, sociality, symbiosis, indi- vidual diversity, person, historical and evolutionary approach

Back to the list