Anticipation As Psychological Factor Of Ensuring Individuals Security


The article deals with the problem development of anticipation as a psychological factor of ensuring individual’s security. The developed anticipation enables an individual to forecast the results of his activities aimed at ensuring security, which may be a source of direction and self-regulation of the activity undertaken. The object is to substantiate theoretical and methodological foundations of development of anticipation in an individual as a psychological factor ensuring security. Work methods are: theoretical analysis of literature on the subject of development of anticipation; a psycho-pedagogical experiment, including tests of anticipation training; testing by means of the Peisakhov method “Ability of self-regulation”. The research results were substantiation of theoretical prerequisites for development of anticipation in future psychologists in the context of fostering skills of ensuring social security in them; substantiation of efficient imitational forms of training in the development of an ability of self-regulation as a manifestation of anticipation. The results of the study show that initially the students demonstrated low results, not higher than level 2 (a level below a medium one). In the process of introduction of the above said training, the students demonstrated a high result in all indicators: levels 4 and 5 (levels above medium and high). The sphere of application of results is the system of higher education.

Keywords: Anticipationpsychology of securitydanger preventionprofessional training


Security is a phenomenon that ensures a normal development of a personality. The need for security is basic in the hierarchy of human needs. Without satisfaction of these needs, the harmonious development of a personality and self-fulfillment are impossible. At the same time, the need for security seldom performs as an active force, dominating only in extreme situations, urging the organism to mobilize all forces for countering the threat. At the collective level, among most organizations and institutions, including educational ones, the security has not yet established itself as the chief collective value. It is insufficiently cultivated among the employees who mainly believe that security is exclusively the prerogative of executives or special services. However, social upheavals, disasters, wars, and terrorist acts continuously increase the importance of personal and collective security. Therefore, in the process of socialization, each individual must develop a need for ensuring security in the social environment, which manifests itself in the desire to avoid conflicts in daily life and professional activities, build harmonious relations with the surrounding individuals, and avoid potentially dangerous places (Dontsov & Perelygina, 2013; Kisliakov et al., 2015; Zinchenko, 2011).

Everybody must know the efficient ways of prevention, detection and, if necessary, settlement of crises as required prerequisites of preserving life and strengthening health of oneself and surrounding people. In the meantime, today in real practice, the detection and estimation of factors of social dangers are carried out in the main intuitively, without resorting to adequate methods, including quantitative and expert procedures accessible to any person. For example, teachers surprisingly and “on a sudden” learn about some pupils that abuse drugs. And then, in the course of investigation it becomes clear that over several weeks or months changes in behavior had been observed along with signs of an illegal interest in drugs, which however was not duly considered and estimated by the teachers (Baeva & Bordovskaia, 2015; Kislyakov et al., 2016).

Problem Statement

The security of an individual directly depends on readiness to perform these functions. In order to learn how to detect and predict various social and other hazards, a man must develop his power of observation, constantly replenish his knowledge about dangers, consult experts, and analyze his actions and mistakes. The essence of the whole thing is in knowing the symptoms of different hazards and being able to foresee them, quickly detect, and promptly bypass.

The developed anticipation enables an individual to forecast the results of his activities aimed at ensuring security, which may be a source of direction and self-regulation of the activity undertaken. Also, it allows predicting a creation in the social environment of dangerous situations stemming primarily from the subjects of interaction; foreseeing an outcome of emergences and, consequently, an ability to take measures at minimizing the factors that negatively impact the wellbeing and health of the surrounding people.

Research Questions

The studies by Bazylevich (1996), Cañal-Bruland & Mann (2015), Loffing et al. (2015), Mann et al. (2014), Shilton et al. (2017), Smirnov (2016), Vassilopoulos et al. (2017) and others regard anticipation as a condition of development.

The authors take these circumstances in consideration while fostering the skills in ensuring social security of students, future psychologists, in their professional training where anticipation is one of the leading factors of development.

A retrospective insight into the theory of evolution of notions about this psychological phenomenon may objectively characterize anticipation as a factor in development of social security of a personality.

Anticipation, as a personal and professional feature, is determined by the ability to forecast various consequences of situations and events, including dangerous ones that take place in life, because it is precisely thanks to anticipation that it is possible to maximally eliminate uncertainty in decision-making (Lomov & Surkov, 1980).

Anokhin (1998) points out that “the advanced reflection of reality is common to a living organism” but this property becomes vitally important precisely in the face of pending dangers. Forecast of a danger, an adequate reception of its signs and timely response to them are a pledge of survival.

The authors’ position corresponds to the opinion of Sergiyenko’s (1987) who believes that anticipation must be regarded as “an all-purpose mechanism of psychic organization of man” so that the phenomenon of anticipation is universally applicable to all spheres of human activities since this notion brings together the past, present, and future events. Without effective activity in the past it is impossible to set a goal and realize it in present circumstances.

In modern psychology, it is generally accepted that anticipation plays an important role in regulating the behavior and activity of man. Indeed, according to the forecasted changes of the environment, an advanced preparation for the future events is underway, which determines the purposeful and dynamic features of behavior and activity in the current situation. The results of anticipation are included as essential and required components in the decision-making processes.

In psychology, there is an array of terms associated with future forecast. So, Sergiyenko (1987) notes the synonymous nature of such terms as “anticipation”, “prediction,” “forecast,” forestalling,” “interpolation,” and “extrapolation.” “Anticipation” is a broader notion, including the forecast. Brushlinsky (1996) uses the term “forecast” to denote a display of an ability to anticipate in the process of thinking.

A forecast of results of activity makes a man’s activity self-regulated. Peisakhov (1997), in studying a personality’s ability of self-regulation, relates this category to eight consecutively unfolding stages: analysis of contradictions, forecast, goal-setting, formation of criteria, quality appraisal, taking a decision to act, control, and correction. From the authors’ point of view, these mechanisms can be related to a person’s ability to anticipate.

Thinking is closely connected with the processes of anticipation. Thinking originates from a problem situation which means that in the course of his activity, a man encounters certain difficulties and contradictions. The mental forecast is an ever deeper disclosure and generalization of properties of an object under study by including it into new connections and relations (Brushlinskiy, 1996). On this basis, Lomov and Surkov (1980) deem it possible to speak about the unity of thinking and forecasting. In their opinion, thinking is, in the first place, forecasting. The authors note that “anticipation takes place, is formed, and develops based on the general thinking mechanism”, i.e. analysis through synthesis. However, the anticipation is only formed on the basis of the thinking mechanism and cannot be identical to it. It is only an essential part of any human activity, both external and internal, which is why it makes sense to consider the anticipation from the position of activities, with application to certain types, processes and relations taking place in the framework of activity.

Belitskaya (2007) singles out the following functions of anticipation:

  • cognitive – supports a man’s ability to imagine a likely result of his activity before its performance, which makes it possible to envisage a means of achieving the goal and act with forestalling;

  • regulative – supports the readiness to act at the moment of supposed changes in the environment;

  • communicative – supports mutual understanding between people which is achieved thanks to the ability to foresee and predict what has not yet been described, which operates as one of the forms of managing personnel.

The prediction and forecast of possibly hazardous situations is effected by the subject of activity based on detection of their firm connections and symptoms as well as on the basis of life experience which accumulates the facts of repeated connections between the signs of danger and its subsequent development. A knowledge about potential dangers presented by environment (social milieu in our case) makes it possible to spot a dangerous situation, forecast likely consequences of contacting it and, based on this, take a decision and choose this or that line of behavior.

The forecast of social dangers, in particular, aims at the following:

  • Determination of a probability and time of occurrence of a social danger;

  • Definition of different versions of its development;

  • Determination of the vectors of a man’s behavior in all possible versions of development of the dangerous situation;

  • Determination of possible ways and means of resolving a dangerous situation.

The neglect of the signs of social dangers and adverse factors, as well as their underestimation, lead to the fact that they build up and become uncontrollable. Thus, minor dangerous situations may grow into major disasters or even social catastrophic upheavals. Under such circumstances, the underestimation of danger and people’s inaction in adverse conditions become an extra danger factors that intensify the impact of initial dangers (a synergic effect occurs).

The development of anticipation is promoted by the subject’s experience in preventing (forestalling) a danger, evasion of hazard and overcoming it successfully. Such behavioral experience will make it possible to subsequently map out a strategy of safe conduct and, thus, protect oneself and associates against the negative factors of internal and external environment and ensure social security.

The experience is the perceptibly empirical learning of the realities, a unity of knowledge, skills, knacks, positions, and aims. By the experience of dealing with dangerous situations mean relevant knowledge, skills, and possession of an experience of overcoming such dangerous situations as well as physical and psychological preparedness to pursue the chosen line of behavior. According to the authors, a positive experience for using it in subsequent emergencies and various critical conditions is consolidated in memory in various forms and through various skills. In addition, each new emergency makes its contribution to the change of the personality since such personal properties are formed as preparedness for risk, and sense of responsibility, duty, fairness, etc.

Personal experience manifests itself in choosing the behavioral pattern in dealing with a dangerous situation, assuming responsibility for one’s actions, volitional efforts in achieving the goal, creative approach to resolving a critical situation, and implementation of a reflection of one’s behavior.

It should be noted that the positive experience reduces in a larger extent the impact of adverse emotions, normalizes the psychological condition, and fosters confidence in one’s strength. Anticipating, the person resorts not only to his experience but also knowledge that was tested by experience in the social environment or even mankind (mental experience).

According to Bandura (2000), anticipation enables motivation of one’s actions with regard to possible consequences. The previous experience forms expectations that certain actions will produce tangible advantages. Making a mental picture of the likely consequences of the actions performed, people are able to turn them into motivational factors of their behavior. Thus, the development of anticipation fosters the formation of motivation for realizing a safe and healthy lifestyle.

The sophisticated anticipation helps to ensure security in social environment. In the process of successful social adaptation of man, an important role is played by anticipation sustainability, i.e. an ability to correctly and accurately understand the actions and intentions of surrounding people, predict the course and results of events, one’s behavior and that of other people, not excluding adverse events and actions, taking into account multiple special features of impending developments. An important role is also played by the communicative function of anticipation realized in communication and interaction between people and dependent on their willingness to follow social standards and ability to recognize the emotional condition of other people.

In behavior and activity, the anticipation controls the current communicative acts and in this role it performs as a regulator, including that of social interrelations. As per the data of social psychology, a group applies social expectations to the behavior of each of its members. Such expectations make the communicative situation predictable and safe. The communicative component of the anticipation structure is represented by such personal properties as sociability, courage, credulity in relation to people, a degree of dominance, conformism, and straightforwardness.

The specifics of anticipation that manifest themselves in a positive or negative modality of expectations and forecasts may significantly influence a man’s behavior in situations of decision-making and in conditions of increased hazard and stress. The negative emotional anticipation of the future performing as one of the manifestations of nervous and psychological stress, in the event of excessive expressiveness can intensify the stress and destructively impact the behavior. At the same time, the moderate expressiveness of a negative forecast (i.e. forecast of negative developments) probably fosters a more cautious and careful decision-making and ensures a more adaptive and safe behavior in unpredictable situations. Thus, the expressiveness of a negative forecast is an important indicator of a personality’s resistance to stress, characterizing essential peculiarities in a man’s behavior in hazardous conditions and stresses.

For development of future psychologists’ skills of ensuring social security and ability to anticipate, we conduct dedicated training sessions in the framework of such courses as “Psychology of security” and “Social psychology”. Trained during these sessions are the skills of ensuring security in emergencies and in conditions of normal life support. This includes simulative training through resolving situational problems, analysis of specific situations, role games, case solutions, etc.

The method of resolving situational problems is a detailed and in-depth research in the training process of real or artificial environment carried out for singling out its specific features. The system of such situations makes it possible to present the contents of training in dynamics and to ensure objective prerequisites for forming the professional thinking, and developing the need to preserve one’s own security and that of others.

The application of situational problems with employment of the role game method enables each student to display initiative and independence. Also, this urges them to use the methods of resolving the problems based on personal knowledge and life experience. Each student must perform the role of a leader and assume the responsibility not only for correctness of their actions but also for organizing a group of people for providing emergency aid (including in conditions of educational institutions). In resolving such problems, the students, in addition to providing emergency aid, learn how to consider multiple factors, such as a threat of defeat and explosion. Other factors are intense road traffic, negative-minded witnesses of the emergence, police force, inadequate communication with the Rescue Service operator, etc. The sources of development of situational problems of ensuring a safe life support are publications in newspapers and magazines, narrations and descriptions of witnesses of certain events, works of art (films, novels, essays, etc.).

With the aid of active forms of training, the skills and habits are formed that enable individual and collective decision-making, understanding of its consequences and being socially active. Of special significance is the formation of students’ ability to independently regulate their behavior, control their actions and those of other people in emergency. The students’ formed anticipation manifests itself in such properties as independence, power of observation, personal discipline, and critical thinking.

Training under “The Rescuer” program on the basis of the rescue detachment helps to prepare the students for dealing with dangerous situations in daily life. So the students acquire a skill to forecast a danger, prevent it, and adequately operate in a situation that emerges. This helps to form an ability to resist stress in a real situation, ease the anxiety, strengthen the emotional stability, and enhance responsibility for oneself and the surrounding people. The students acquire the skills to plan their behavior, analyze and asses their own actions (reflexive skills), and build interrelations with other people (communicative skills).

Purpose of the Study

Purpose of the Study is to substantiate theoretical and methodological foundations of development in an individual of anticipation as a psychological factor ensuring security.

Research Methods

For estimating the efficiency of the proposed approaches and the studies on the level of development of students’ anticipation, we employed the method by Peisakhov “The ability of self-regulation”. Self-regulation is a purposeful change, in which case a goal is set by a man who controls his forms of activity, such as communication, behavior, actions and experiences. Self-regulation is a creative process associated with creation of new phenomena, encounter of unconventional situations or contradictions, the need of setting new goals, and search of new solutions and means of achieving the goals.

Before the system of self-regulation starts to form, a need for it must emerge. Such a need indeed comes about when the customary methods and means of communication, behavior and operation, that had arisen previously, do not work any longer and do not lead to success. A man starts having a feeling of dissatisfaction with his actions and behavior and discontent with himself. So the man resorts to the trial-and-error method, sorting out the ways and means he knows or has no idea about. When those also fail, it becomes necessary to pass on to the rational analysis of the current situation, determine a goal and set the direction of purposeful changes (self-regulation). Since this moment the formation of the self-regulation system as such begins. This includes eight consecutively unfolding stages: analysis of contradictions, forecast, goal determination, formation of criteria, quality evaluation, decision-making, control, and correction (Peysakhov, 1997).

The questionnaire contains 48 items measuring relevant indicators and general ability of self-regulation. 120 students participated in the experiment.


The results of the study (Fig. 1 ) show that initially the students demonstrated low results, not higher than level 2 (a level below a medium one). In the process of introduction of the above said training, the students demonstrated a high result in all indicators: levels 4 and 5 (levels above medium and high).

Figure 1: [The dynamics of students’ development of capability of self-regulation]
[The dynamics of students’ development of capability of self-regulation]
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Overall, the number of students with a low level of general ability to self-regulation slumped from 46% to 12%. The percentage of students with a high level of general ability to self-regulation grew considerably from 21% to 42% (Fig. 2 ).

Figure 2: [The dynamics of students’ development of general capability of self-regulation]
[The dynamics of students’ development of general capability of self-regulation]
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Thus, the research allows making a conclusion that the psycho-pedagogical support effectively develops the future psychologists’ ability of anticipation and social security that manifests itself in the ability to forecast and prevent social hazards and provide a safe and healthy lifestyle.


This article was prepared with the support of the Russian State Social University.


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19 February 2018

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Kislyakov, P., Kartashev, V., Belyakova, N., Tarasov, M., Savchenko, D., & Silaeva, O. (2018). Anticipation As Psychological Factor Of Ensuring Individuals Security. In I. B. Ardashkin, N. V. Martyushev, S. V. Klyagin, E. V. Barkova, A. R. Massalimova, & V. N. Syrov (Eds.), Research Paradigms Transformation in Social Sciences, vol 35. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 542-550). Future Academy.