Aesthetic Paradigm In Personality Psychology


The importance of the aesthetic paradigm for the modern psychology of personality is considered. The leading significance of the aesthetic paradigm for the epistemology of a transitive, changeable and uncertain society is proved. This value is connected with the fact that aesthetic experiences make it possible to introduce the psychology of personality into the framework of cultural determination. This opens new opportunities for modern epistemology, in which paradigms are transformed into gestalts, open to new data and further modifications. The role of the language of science and the language of art is revealed as complementary discourses in explaining the place of a person in modern space and time. It is proved that the aesthetic paradigm and aesthetic experiences make it possible to stabilize the changing social system and to realize the emotions associated with the variability of the social context. The stabilization of the system becomes possible due to the fact that the time-space system is transformed into a spectator-creator-work subsystem. Aesthetic experiences, crystallized in works of art, help viewers to realize their own emotions associated with the variability of identity. The connection of aesthetics with everyday life helps to maintain (or restore) the integrity of identity and continuity of individual stages of a person’s life. The constancy of works of art and emotions associated with art, nature, science, helps people see themselves in the flow of changeable and at the same time constant life and accept it as a holistic image of the world and themselves within it.

Keywords: Identityaesthetic paradigmaesthetic experience


Aesthetic paradigm of modern epistemology

For modern epistemology, the idea of ​​an aesthetic paradigm is important because it allows developing the approach in which the mental life of a person is presented in the context of cultural determination, which controls the productive activity of people. Culture becomes not an external factor; it can change the natural path of mental development, making it uncertain and mediated (Martsinkovskaya, 2015).

Specifying the content of the epistemological paradigm, it can be noted that in a transitive society for epistemology it is important not only the content of the proposed sample (knowledge and methods), but also the basis for interpreting the knowledge gained about the surrounding reality. To solve this problem, first of all, you need to realize that modern paradigms are not rigid constructs, but rather flexible and changeable gestalts. Therefore, it can be said that changing of the social context today also implies the flexibility of the epistemological aspect of the paradigm. Thus, we can say that in modern methodology, the paradigm is not a closed etalon, but an open gestalt with permeable boundaries and the possibility of restructuring. Therefore, at present, the main feature of modern methodology is a variety of research constructs that change, modify, incorporating new facts and new aspects of reality. The importance of these gestalts is connected with the harmonious mixture in their content of constancy and variability (Martsinkovskaya, 2016). Their important characteristic is flexibility and correlation both with the transitive reality and with each other. That is, we can speak rather not about different, separate constructs, but about flexible gestalt with different fields: cognitive, social, aesthetic.

Languages ​​of art and science in personality psychology

The questions concerning the role of art and, more broadly, of culture in general, for the psychology of the personality, identity and self-realisation are actualized, first of all, during periods of fundamental social transformations. This proves not only the importance of the problem itself, but also unrelated at first glance connection of a person with the space and time of his being in culture (Balashova, 2018). With different degrees of awareness, a person turns to the problem of sense and significance of life, the integrity of his life path, which are conceptualized through the prism of culture, both native and global, which are inseparably fused (Martsinkovskaya & Poleva, 2006). And one of the main parameters of the analysis is the connection between the language of science and the language of art.

It would seem that when analyzing the role of language in science, we can say that there is always in the foreground the transfer of meaning, the desire for understanding, not emotions, to conviction, not infection. But after all, both conviction and infection are in fact not fundamental antipodes, the scientist always wants to convince and infect with his attitude to this discovery.

On the contrary, speaking of the language of art, it was implied, first of all, that the artist seeks to infect the viewer-listener with his emotional experience. But after all, bringing their work to the spectator's judgment, the authors always strive to ensure that people also understand them, that they can decipher artist’s emotions closely connected with the images in objective terms. In such way subjective language of the artist can become also the language of the viewer-listener.

So strangely the languages ​​of science and art come together and partially merge.

Problem Statement

The problem how to socialize, without losing the individuality and integrity of identity in a complex situation of transitivity, leads to the question of what an aesthetic paradigm provides for solving this problem. So, in a psychological context the culture appears in all its diversity - as a result of scientific and artistic activity, as aesthetic experiences, as a process of creativity, insight when solving complex problems.

Research Questions

It seems that the situation of social transitivity enhances the role of the aesthetic paradigm in the process of the formation of a socio-cultural and personal identity and the integrity of a person’s life path.

Purpose of the Study

This proposal was verified in the process of theoretical and empirical research of the functions of the aesthetic paradigm in modern transitive reality.

Research Methods

In the process of research historical-genetic and comparative-analytical methods were used, as well as the method of comparative research of psychological and aesthetic concepts of personality.


Stabilization of big system

Stabilization in this case is considered as the harmonization of personal and social space-time. It seems that such harmonization is determined by the fact that the life path can be represented as a large system. The interpretation of the elements of such system (in our case, variants of behaviour in a situation of transitivity) and the influence of social space-time on the choice of a specific life scenario can be considered as different discourses of the connection between culture and personality. Consideration of relationships within the system can be analysed within the context of informational interpretation - that is, the viewer, extracting information from a work of art and / or a historical event, changes the system that loses some of the information embedded in it, receiving in return another, embedded in it by the viewer.

The viewer interprets information according to his knowledge and / or emotional experiences. The impact occurs due to the flexible inner form, which, by helping the internalization of knowledge, enables not only to interpret the work, but as well influence on motivation. The community of social space-time as a large system is proved by analysis of works of art and the works of scientists who lived at the same time as the works of artists (painters, musicians) reflect their modern scientific concepts, and, conversely, the works of artists help to confirm scientific data.

Within the framework of the aesthetic component, the time-space system is transformed into a spectator-creator-work subsystem, and a bunch of viewer-work is included in the large context of “person-culture”, which leads to the effect of classicism. The spectator, interpreting the information changes the system and sets in it new concepts and new emotions. These emotional experiences can both disintegrate the elements of time and space, and, conversely, structure and harmonize them. This process is facilitated by aesthetic experiences. A person, perceiving himself as a spectator-reader of a classical work (paintings, fairy tales), naturally, perceives them at different times of his life in different ways. But aesthetically oriented experience connects objective and subjective time into one whole, which is very important during social transformations and uncertainty.

But the main thing, of course, is not that the commonality of ideas and experiences of a large group of people stabilizes a large social group, but the fact that aesthetic experiences make it possible to stabilize the picture of the world by structuring and combining individual fragments of identity into a holistic way of life, holistic identity. Assigning oneself to a certain culture, language, creativity of scientists and artists helps to preserve the sociocultural identity, even with the rejection of many other elements of the present social space. Poetry of A.S. Pushkin, paintings of I.I. Levitan and I.I. Shishkin, do not lose their emotional value for a person in any periods of life and in all spaces. Yes, in order to build our existential sphere, we select works of art that are most in tune with our individuality. But it is only in the aesthetic context that personal and social experiences are most easily compliant, becoming antagonistic when aesthetics is transferred to other contexts.

Similarly, aesthetic experiences help preserve ethnic identity and tolerance towards other peoples and cultures.

Cognizance of emotional experiences associated with the transformation of time and space

In the last century, art historians and philosophers noted that works of art can be considered as a product of crystallization of social experiences of people of a certain time and a certain culture. From this point of view, one can say that the experiences of the author, the artist reflect the emotions of a large group of people of a particular era and works of art intended as to obtain a new identity and its new acquired content.

Any work of art is both objective (as an object of culture) and subjective, as it carries within it the peculiarity of the artist’s feelings and ideas, which to a greater or lesser degree color both the image and the construction, and individual elements of the picture. The image receives an individual characteristic, its “biography”, its temporal and spatial dimension, which transform not only the work itself, but also those objects, those images that were depicted. A work is capable of evoking aesthetic experiences only due to the fact that it has peculiar “personal” forms, only because it is an expression and a reflection of the person who created it (Shpet, 2007).

To a large extent, the reflection of time is connected with the theater, with the popularity of one or another classic piece, or with the appearance of new ones. At the same time, in stable systems, the attention of both directors and the public focuses on classical plays, reflecting the leading experience of time. At that time, the old plays are not only modernized in form, but also filled with new meanings. In the situation of uncertainty, with its complex, sometimes absurd nature, is actualized the aesthetics of symbolism.

No less vividly the new era was recorded in the canvases of artists. From the point of view of psychology, there is clearly seen a dividing line between the idea of ​​the universal, dominant in man, which dissolves in this universal, and the idea of ​​the private, individuality of a free man, the creator of a new era. And here it is not so important that in medieval painting this universal was Cosmos, God, and in the XIX - XX centuries - society with its dogmas and unshakable rules. In both cases, the real person lost his individuality, personifying the canonical pattern. The appearance of air, space, made it possible with the language of painting to select a person from the environment, to present him with as individuality, personality.

Aesthetic paradigm in the context of everyday life

As we can analyze the psychological value of aesthetic paradigm in everyday life, we may state that aesthetic paradigm helps to reflect the content of values, standards, emotional state of society and crystallize the emotions connected with the changes of these standards in works of art. This is especially important in a situation of transitivity, when culture becomes an important predictive factor that helps to structure the future.

In the situation of “liquid transitivity”, the aesthetic paradigm reveals the stable, unchanging content of the standards of everyday life; captures and clarifies the changes that constantly occur in everyday life, but not always clearly reflected by people. And this is precisely what the prognostic role of the aesthetic paradigm manifests itself.

It can be seen that interest for everyday life is typical for art when the new life is being arranged, when society, after cardinal changes, turns to a person. Such phenomena can be noted in literature and painting of the XV - XVII centuries. The value of personal activity and freedom, the desire for a radical restructuring of life occurred at that time in Italy, England, and later in Holland, Germany. In plays of W. Shakespeare, in pictures of J. Tintoretto or J. Bellini one can see the ambiguity of characters, a description of complex emotional and moral interactions and relationships of people. The heroes of Shakespeare build their own world according to their own laws, sometimes destroying not only the old dogmas, but also the surrounding world and even themselves. And it’s cardinally differed from the one-dimensional characteristics of medieval heroes. This approach led to the possibility of a psychological reading of a literary or painting works (Gabrichevsky, 2002; Bakhtin, 1997).

But by the end of the XVI century, more and more works appeared in painting and literature, in which the everyday worlds of people was lovingly described and depicted. For example, in Holland, after the existential crises associated with the acquisition of national identity and sovereignty, started the transition from paintings on religious themes to paintings that turn to everyday life. A similar process could be observed in Russia in the middle of the XIX century with the advent of realistic art, reflecting the different faces of everyday life in painting, literature, and music.

Perhaps the desire to isolate oneself from the time, to live in individual space, led and leads to the fact that the creators of new trends unite, forming an analogue of modern network communities (Martsinkovskaya, 2016).


Complex and ambiguous time dictates complex and multidimensional research constructs, which, however, have a leading line of research, the mainstream. In the complex construct of psychological transitivity, such a core for a person can be aesthetics (as part of culture in general) in its psychological aspect of emotional experiences, relationships: as stabilization, as reflection and forecasting. For psychology of personality this is an outlet to the transpersonal and at the same time individual space through the experience of the beautiful as the etalon. The etalon depends both on time, and on space and on personality, it is both subjective and objective. And this makes it possible, without removing the heterochrony of identity, to bring it to harmony.

It can be said that in stable periods the most significant role of art is to crystallize the experiences and ideas of people about the world and about themselves. In stable periods, connections between science and art are strengthened, and new languages ​​of art and science are being developed, including new ideas about the language of things. Works of art are associated with the psychology of everyday life, since the life, daily life of people is reflected (crystallized) in works of art.

Even a superficial analysis of the connection between scientific and artistic concepts at a certain time shows that the prognostic possibilities of art often wake up the scientific imagination, stimulating the search for scientists, and science gives explanations to the insights of artists. Therefore, in a situation of transitivity, the role of culture for the person increases precisely from the point of view of its predictive capabilities.

Reflection in works of art and scientific concepts of the emotional state, thoughts and experiences of creators in different periods of time and in different spaces is a very important and promising line of research in the psychology of personality and in the analysis of the development of science and art. And also, no less important, this is the path to the study of the always complex relationship of personal and socio-cultural identity.


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14 July 2019

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Psychology, educational psychology, counseling psychology

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Martsinkovskaya*, T., Balashova, E., & Poleva, N. (2019). Aesthetic Paradigm In Personality Psychology. In T. Martsinkovskaya, & V. R. Orestova (Eds.), Psychology of Subculture: Phenomenology and Contemporary Tendencies of Development, vol 64. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 343-348). Future Academy.