The Self-Image And The Image Of The World In Modern Everyday Life


The problem of interdisciplinary concepts of the image of the world and the picture of the world and their psychological component is considered. A connection is shown between the content of individual components of consciousness and the concepts world-image and self-image. A comparative analysis of approaches to the question of factors influencing the formation of the self-image and self-realization of a person is presented. Particular attention is paid to the problem of self-realization in the modern transitive, changing and uncertain world. Since self-realization under these complicating conditions cause difficulties for different social and age groups, it is necessary to state the need of studying circumstances that at least partially stabilize the system. Based on this, it can be assumed that rootedness in everyday life can become an important condition that optimizes the process of formation of the world-image. The results of the study of everyday life in the space of culture and informational space and their role in the personification of everyday life are presented. It is shown that personal qualities, values ​​and interests help in choosing the direction and sphere of self-realization and individualization of everyday life. In the sample (N = 100, 50 -18-23 and 50 - 35-55 years), it was proved that the construction of personified everyday life depends on age and on the scope of everyday space. Age differences to a greater extent affect the content of cultural everyday life, and the information field of everyday life is practically independent of age.

Keywords: Cultureeveryday lifeimage of the worldinformationself-realization


The image of the world: possible approaches and interpretations

Nowadays, the concept of the image of the world is found in many scientific works everywhere as it became interdisciplinary (Martsinkovskaya, 2015a). It is used by philosophers, cultural scientists and even psycho-physiologists, but each time it has a different semantic content depending on the angle of view and the approach of scientists to the description of both its components and the nature. Therefore, when trying to determine the psychological meaning of this concept it is imperative to consider the results of these related studies. Moreover, such a widespread use of the concept of the image of the world in various branches of science indicates its necessity for understanding many phenomena in the history of the development of man and society (Asmolov, 2015).

No less significant is the position of modern methodology regarding the construction of conceptual constructs - without a rigidly, once and for all established their content and structure. Such a statement of the problem necessitates, firstly, the reflection of the characteristics of current life in the content of the concept of the world-image; and secondly, analysis of possible options for the structure of this concept.

First, consider the relationship between concepts: a picture of the world; image of the world; ideas about the world. Of these, the most common is the first - a picture of the world, because both other concepts enter its structure. Each person has the opportunity to observe the world, its manifestations, and its variability. Based on his conscious and unconscious observations, people make certain conclusions, which correlates with reality, as well as with his own actions and deeds (Rasskazova & Tkhostov, 2012). Gradually, the images of the environment become clearer and appear the ideas of ​​both the world and our place in it. The ability to self-observation allows a person to imagine different variants of his behavior, which make it possible to take a certain place in the world or consciously try to change it. The image of the world is the whole palette of images of a given person. It reflects his personal picture of the world, that is, the world through the eyes of a specific person, where he exists as his own idea of ​​himself and the world as his personal idea of ​​him-self (Van Dellen & Hoyle, 2008).

It should be noted that under the general and particular in the components of the picture of the world, we can understand the relationship between social and personal time and space. Objective space includes physical and geographical components, as well as social positions of a person in society. Objective spaces serve as the foundation for a person and allow constructing personal space. Similarly, on the basis of the parameters of objective time and its temporal characteristics, a subjective personal measurement of time arises. Of course, neither space nor time belongs to the field of psychological science, but their subjective perception is of undoubted psychological interest, because the world’s picture includes a person’s attitude to spatial and temporal representations and images as its components (Cinnirella, 1998).

The question of the relationship between objective and subjective, individual in the picture of the world is especially significant, according to the variability and multiplicity of parameters that determine its content. In conditions when the image of the world undergoes spontaneous changes, there is reason to see in the human experience not only an emotional reaction, but a special mechanism linking personal and public, individual and personal identity, which are manifested in the process of actively creating a world image.

As a result of changes in the surrounding world, psychology faces problems of resolving issues related to the dynamics of personality development (Kahneman & Tversky, 2000).

Self-realization in modern transitive reality

The psychological meaning of the concept of transitivity is in multiplicity: the social world exists in different forms in the same space and time. Moreover: these available options are constantly changing in an unpredictable mode and with unknown content. Therefore, we can conclude that transitivity appears as the multiplicity, variability and uncertainty of macro- and microsocial spaces (Dubovskaya, 2014; Martsinkovskaya, 2015b). However, multiplicity and uncertainty per se do not cause psychological difficulties. Their reasons, as well as objective difficulties, are related to the transitivity of people, colored by distrust and confusion.

Based on this, it can be assumed that self-development in conditions of transitivity is difficult for many groups. Such a situation makes it necessary and urgent to conduct studies of self-realization in the prevailing adverse living conditions. Let us turn to a comparative analysis of the reasons that determine the choice of self-realization strategies both in a situation of stability and in case of uncertainty.

In situation of stability self-realization mainly depends on individual and personal characteristics and the social situation of human development (meaning emotiveness, locus of control, intentionality and, in part, the level general intelligence). In a transitive situation, the choice of the method and ways of self-realization are determined by the ratio of personal and sociocultural identity, tolerance to uncertainty, cognitive complexity and flexibility. The role of a personal experience also differs: if in stable conditions the role of emotional experience is undeniably large, then in a transitive and informational society, along with similar experience, anonymized information begins to prevail.

Attention should be paid to the complex, multidimensional spatial-temporal characteristics of the transitive reality of our days. They include external, actually social and personal fields and objective and subjective parameters of time. The psychological essence of this construct is associated with a subjective attitude to its components, expressed in social and personal emotional experiences, values ​​and intentions of people.

It cannot be ignored that with transitivity a person enjoys much greater freedom, the culture, location, language, material capabilities, and social status are multiple and diverse. But at the same time, transitivity causes constant tension, generates insecurity in one's strengths, and disappointment in one's own abilities to withstand inevitable changes (Baumeister; 1995). It seems that ways that help people cope with the difficulties of self-development and self-realization in a situation of transitivity, may be connected with everyday life.

Problem Statement

It would seem that the appeal to everyday life is more organic during periods of sharp breakdowns, active restructuring of the way of life. But, such a sharp scrapping (for example, in the 1920-s in Russia), to a greater extent turn us to questions of being, self-realization. The idea that there is a conflict not only between the individual and society, but also within the personality itself, the result of which are neuroses, was actualized in science precisely at the turn of the 19th-20th centuries. The theme of the spiritual (and mental) disintegration of personality, the crisis of civilization at that time became one of the leading not only for philosophers, but also for psychologists and artists.

Indeed, cardinal breakdowns call into question not so much everyday life but the very existence of people in the world. Hence, apparently, the natural observation shows that social crises are associated with personality crises, with questions about the meaning of existence. In the years of the break, as, for example, in Europe after the First World War, the question of whether I have a piece of bread, a roof over my head and any clothes in the cold becomes relevant. There is no time for discussions about what kind of food I prefer, where I like to live, spend leisure time and how to dress.

Research Questions

How does the Self-image manifest in the everyday image of the world and how does the individualization of everyday life and the self-realization occurs in everyday life.

Purpose of the Study

To study the role of information and cultural space in creating the personal sphere of everyday life.

Research Methods

To study the content of information preferences the method “Information choices” was used (Identity and Socialization..., 2015);

To study aesthetic preferences “My Culture choices” method was used (Identity and Socialization…, 2015);

The sample consisted of 100 people, students and teachers of Moscow universities at the age of 18-23 and at the age of 35-55 years. All participants knew about the aim of the study and agreed to participate in it.


Everyday life in culture

Everyday life is manifested in the habit of going to certain places, watching certain things, and communicating with a certain circle of people. This is what constitutes the main segment of people's daily lives. There is no struggle with everyday life, these are habits that harmonize and equip life, help to cope with the cataclysms of liquid transitivity, although, of course, they do not save from crises of hard transitivity. Today, levels of cultural consumption can be manifested in the choice of higher education institutions, social networks, and type of recreation. And, of course, in the choice of books, films, theaters. Some go to the conservatory, others to drama theaters, and still others to movie theaters. The choice of cultural objects and their level of understanding are closely related to each other. You can build cultural levels among visitors to art exhibitions or book fairs. For example, a painting lover might say:

  • I love classical painting;

  • my favorite genre is landscape;

  • my favorite artist is Shishkin;

  • Shishkin’s drawing is better, and Kuindzhi’s better color palette.

In the same way, after the first answer, a person can say that he loves impressionists, while the landscape can be preserved, and the artist will already be K. Monet. Opera lovers can have their favorite composer V. Bellini, the opera Norma, and the singer M. Callas or M. Caballe, who sang peerlessly Casta Diva. Thus, in the psychology of everyday life, individual and personality, existential spheres intersect. So, everyday life from the perspective of psychology plays a role not only in the individualization of everyday life, but also in its transition to being, protecting this essence from outsiders, becoming at the same time a synergistic support for the individualization of being and the expression of existence.

Based on these provisions, it was proposed to initially choose the sphere of cultural everyday life, and then build the levels of acquaintance with this area. As the results showed, in a younger group, almost all students chose modern music. Only 4% of them noted other areas of leisure, except for listening to music - going to theaters, see movies and reading books. The differences in the choice of musical works were also not significant. It was mainly rap and contemporary pop music (Fig. 1 ).

Figure 1: Preferred leisure activities (youth)
Preferred leisure activities (youth)
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A completely different situation was with the sample of adults who turned out to have a very wide range of opinions and levels of awareness regarding cultural activities (Fig. 2 ). About a third of the teachers chose to watch movies, as many noted going to museums and theaters, and reading fiction. At the same time, the choice of films, performances and books was also very wide - from comedies to thrillers and from detectives to classics.

Figure 2: Preferred leisure activities (adults)
Preferred leisure activities (adults)
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Thus, it can be said that both the degree of diversity and the level of awareness in the cultural field of everyday life of youth are extremely uniform and low. They choose the same types of cultural leisure, and, more importantly, almost the same musical genres and the same artists.

A completely different picture is observed in the adult sample. It is not even a matter of diversity in the choice of cultural areas - films, books, plays, museums. It is especially important that the lecturers were well aware of the content of their hobbies and noted not only different genres of films, books, paintings, but also different authors, artists and painters. Perhaps this is due to the fact that students receive information about music mainly from social networks, while elders from their own experience and the experience of friends.

Information every day preferences

When studying the information field of everyday life, both groups of respondents were asked to answer questions about the sources of information, trust in them and popular Internet resources.

The data obtained showed that for both age groups, the Internet is the most popular source of information. Most of the respondents of both ages trust in it. This result is especially interesting due to the fact that even 3-4 years ago in an adult sample television and newspapers were ahead of the Internet. Currently, the differences between the two age groups are related only to the choice of Internet resources. Among young people, the most popular resources on the Internet are social networks, various search engines, and on-line gaming sites. These resources are also popular among adults, but in the first place they have search engines, not social networks, since the Internet for them is primarily a means to obtain interesting and important information (Fig. 3 ).

Figure 3: Information preferences of different age groups
Information preferences of different age groups
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Thus, the obtained results show that the information field of everyday life is practically independent of age and currently the gap between generations, both in the choice of information sources and in the degree of trust in them, is steadily narrowing.


The image of the world can be imagined as a kind of complex and at the same time changeable construction, where, along with the person’s already existing ideas about the environment: about events, people, himself and his own role in what is happening, there are conscious and unconscious images and their transformations. However, this definition does not exhaust the complexity of the construction. To mediate the process of its formation, individual and personal qualities are used that individualize the image of the world.

The occurrence of any changes in the human environment - social, technological, cultural and scientific, up to seemingly very insignificant changes - entails variations in the content of the picture of the world. However, along with the variables described, the image of the world also consists of constant parts. They are the personality traits of the person himself, his basic values ​​and motivations, acting as milestones when a person chooses his life path and follows it. These personal constants, corresponded with social changes, make it possible to go beyond the limits of uncertainty and choose the right methods of self-realization in an uncertain and unstable world.

The inability to fully express oneself and be fully understood by others in an objective, social space leads to the construction of a personal, subjective space associated with individual everyday life.

The construction of personified everyday life depends on age and on the scope of everyday space. In the cultural field, the degree of diversity and individualization of everyday life differs to a large extent in two age cohorts. While mature respondents have significantly more variety and individualization of choices, young people have a much more uniform cultural environment. The information field of everyday life is practically independent of age, and currently the gap between generations both in the choice of information sources and in the degree of trust in them is steadily narrowing.


The study was supported by Russian Foundation for Basic Research, project 20-013-00075


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15 November 2020

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Psychology, personality, virtual, personality psychology, identity, virtual identity, digital space

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Martsinkovskaya, T., Aynyan, A., Dubovskaya, E., & Gavrichenko, O. (2020). The Self-Image And The Image Of The World In Modern Everyday Life. In T. Martsinkovskaya, & V. Orestova (Eds.), Psychology of Personality: Real and Virtual Context, vol 94. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 481-488). European Publisher.