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  • Three approaches to the study of psychological compatibility

    Compatibility is a rather old concept in the vocabulary of social psychology, but the scientific study of the phenomenon denoted by this concept has interested social psychology relatively recently. Now it is difficult to establish, and which area of ​​socio-psychological problems for the first time came about compatibility. When studying group conflicts, the psychological climate in groups, the affectivity of group activity, in studying the processes and results of communications, the dynamics of interpersonal relations and other socio-psychological phenomena, it was found that they are determined in a certain way by the relationship between the properties of interacting people. In some cases, this ratio adversely affected the learning phenomenon( reduced the effectiveness of the group, worsened the climate, etc.), in others - positively. The combination of characteristics, which had a positive effect on the phenomenon studied, began to be designated as the compatibility of people.

    At the present time a lot of empirical facts are accumulated, some regularities and mechanisms of compatibility are established.

    When studying compatibility, the main task is to define this concept. This concept is general scientific, it is used in medicine, biology, cybernetics, philosophy. However, a general definition of compatibility does not exist yet. This concept is not included either in the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, or in the Psychological Dictionary edited by F. Clix. In the Philosophical Dictionary it is interpreted in the narrow sense: "... if we neglect some psychological and formal-logical difference, the terms" consistency "and" compatibility "are synonymous."In the theory of systems, two concepts are distinguished: "conformity" and "compatibility.""Compliance is one of the forms of compatibility of the phenomena of reality," writes M. I. Setrov. This is a term close to expediency. In the study of this type of compatibility, the question of matching the characteristics of the system and its environment is posed. It is also used to describe the level of compatibility-compatibility of systems of different levels of development( atom and molecule, individual and group).This type of compatibility is also referred to as the hierarchical correspondence of systems, which emphasizes the fact that the systems in this association are not equal.

    The term "one-way compatibility", or simply "compatibility", is used to denote the coordination of characteristics of systems of one level of development( two molecules, two individuals, etc.).This type of compatibility MI Setrov gives the following definition: "... compatibility is the ratio of the two systems in which an affinity or commonality of the systems is detected in terms of certain parameters or in essence, ensuring the possibility of their interaction."

    In psychological work, only a descriptive definition of compatibility is given. For example, the definition given by FD Gorbov and MA Novikov: "Compatibility is a concept of the mutual correspondence of the properties of group members. It includes: mutual sympathy, the positive nature of emotional attitudes, mutual influence, common interests and needs, the similarity of the dynamic orientation of psychophysiological reactions in the operator activity, and the absence of expressed egocentric aspirations in this group. "

    With regard to socio-psychological research, we were invited to distinguish between the concepts of "workability" and "compatibility."Workability - is the consistency of the characteristics of the subjects, providing them with the effective implementation of any joint activity. The concept of workability is applicable only to business, professional, industrial relations - relations within the framework of joint activities. Since these relations are aimed at obtaining a certain product of joint activity, the manifestations of compatibility of this type will be the characteristics of the activity: efficiency in terms of the quantity and quality of the time spent and the energy of the partners. The phenomenon of compatibility, as opposed to triggering, is an interpersonal phenomenon existing within the framework of personal relationships based on sympathy, attraction and serving "communication for the sake of communication."One can single out the unified content of the concepts "activity" and "communication".Both "compatibility" and "triggerability" are concepts for designating the objective correspondence of the properties of interacting people with respect to the goals of their interaction. This working definition of the essence of compatibility we accept as the starting point for further reasoning.

    The ambiguity of the notion of compatibility caused the second difficulty of researching this phenomenon: the choice of criteria or indicators of compatibility. In studies on compatibility, we find the use of a variety of criteria: high group cohesion, its stability over time, high efficiency of group activities, low conflict in the group, high mutual understanding between partners - in short, any of the socio-psychological phenomena taken inits positive meaning. However, none of the compatibility criteria that are currently applied is sufficiently substantiated and strong. You can provide evidence of the vulnerability of each of them. For example, the duration of a relationship can be caused by an objective impossibility to break off relations: in the conditions of a limited field of choice of partners( especially in isolated groups), under the pressure of other factors restraining the breakdown of relations( for example, in marriage).The presence of conflicts and their frequency are also not very useful, since the difference in the quality of these conflicts is not taken into account: so-called constructive conflicts are desirable and even necessary for the development of relations. The conclusion of unequal criteria causes the majority of contradictions in conclusions of different authors concerning compatibility laws.

    We believe that the criteria will differ for compatibility and workability, compatibility in heterosexual and same-sex relationships. So, the main performance criteria should be performance indicators of group activities, taking into account the specifics of this type of activity. The compatibility criteria can be the choice of a partner for communication, satisfaction with relationships, the nature of interpersonal feelings.

    The main objective of the compatibility study is to establish the patterns of this phenomenon. At present, there are three main approaches to solving this problem: structural, functional and adaptive.

    The structural approach is focused on the search for optimal combinations of the characteristics of the members of the group. This optimal combination is denoted as harmony, correspondence of characteristics of partners. The structural approach is based on the idea that compatible partners form a certain stable, adaptive and in a certain sense effective structure. When analyzing the empirical facts obtained by different authors, it is clearly observed that compatibility appears as a similarity( similarity) or difference( contrast) of the characteristics of partners. It is found that those properties that are based on the innate characteristics of the individual( for example, due to the properties of the nervous system, sex), the compatible partners are more contrast than similar. Properties due to the influence of upbringing, the impact of the socio-cultural environment( for example, attitudes, value orientations) are most often similar. However, this conclusion can only be made with great caution due to the contradictory and fragmented empirical facts. He agrees well with research on the problems of the structures of system objects in systems theory. All the variety of structures there is reduced to the three main types, the most common in society and nature: hierarchical( or centralistic, rigid), discrete( or corpuscular, skeletal) and stellar( mixed).Rigid systems are constructed from contrasting elements that form a "plus-minus pair", discrete ones from unified similar ones. Hard structures of booms are distributed at the highest levels of organization of matter. As shown by BG Ananiev, the principle of antagonists( rigid system) manifests itself in the regulation of mental functions and individuals as subjects of social interaction are complex systems with a multitude of characteristics of different levels( psychophysiological, psychological, socio-psychological, social).It can be assumed that for each of the characteristics levels, the similarity or contrast of these characteristics is more optimal for the compatibility of subjects.

    The overwhelming majority of works in this area are characterized by a structural approach. However, it has significant drawbacks: first, a complete study of laws is compatible, and involves testing for compliance with all conceivable characteristics of individuals. The study of such a variety is extremely cumbersome;Secondly, even the full picture does not give us an opportunity to judge which of the characteristics are most significant for the forecast of compatibility of partners in the real group;thirdly, the partial approach to the individual ignores the fact of its integrity. With this approach, the partners' identities are seen as bearers of individual psychological characteristics, of which, in BF Lomov's opinion, "fold.". ... the whole personality fails. "

    In a number of works it is planned to use a functional approach to compatibility research. With a functional approach, the group is seen as a purposeful formation, the meaning of existence of which is the realization of certain functions. So, J. Zelenevsky notes: "... the realization of goals is the meaning of the existence of any organized collectives."Partners in this approach are considered as carriers of certain functions - in social psychology they are designated as roles. The role matching measure serves as a measure of compatibility. At the same time, researchers are deliberately distracted from studying the properties that provide the participant with the fulfillment of their group role. True, some psychological characteristics predispose to mastering and accepting certain roles, but there is no rigid connection here. As is known from leadership research, the acceptance of this role depends on three variables: the personal qualities of the individual, the group and the situation.

    The use of the functional approach involves studying the functions of the system, establishing the necessary structure for the distribution of roles between individuals and analyzing the role of partners in achieving the goals of the system. So, this approach was used to study the compatibility in marriage of K. Kirkpatrick and us, and its effectiveness was confirmed by the results of the study.

    Using a functional approach requires a revision of the views of the group and its members. It involves studying the functions, goals, tasks of the group, which are system-forming factors - the basis for grouping. Achieving these goals determines the content of the group's activities, is the motive for participating in its activities, since the achievement of a common goal "will bring some kind of satisfaction to the participants."In accordance with the group's functions, group roles are formed: the role of a business or emotional leader, the role of an erudite, an idea generator, an executor( for example, in a scientific group), the role of the hostess, parent, emotional leader( in the family).However, the functional approach has not been extended in social psychology, although its productivity is justified theoretically in the works of philosophers and specialists in the general theory of systems.

    The third approach to the problem of compatibility - adaptive - has become the most common in the clinic and psychological practice. Strictly speaking, this approach is focused on the study of non-compatibility, and its results: positive interpersonal relations, effective communication. It can be said with great certainty that such characteristics of communication and relationships as mutual understanding, respect, empathy, identification, positive interpersonal feelings are manifestations of compatibility, but not its content. The confusion of causes and effects is due to the fact that compatibility is the objective basis of cohesion, integration, high mutual understanding. In turn, improving the processes of communication and interpersonal feelings also results in increased cohesion, integration and reduced conflict.

    Adaptive approach and is focused on improving the processes of communication in groups and improving interpersonal relationships. Researchers in this area are concentrating their efforts on diagnosing the characteristics of communication and finding ways to improve them. It is possible to recognize, after Per, that in this case we are talking about compatibility as the tolerance of partners.

    With the adaptive approach, the attention of researchers is enjoyed by the "higher levels" of the individual: the I-image, attitudes, values, opinions, assessments-in short, the cultural fund of the individual. In the studies of the cognitivistic direction of foreign psychology, it has been proved that the harmonization of these characteristics of partners is the source of their compatibility. Since many of these characteristics are amenable to correction in the course of human interaction, and also under the influence of the therapist's purposeful work, studies within the framework of the adaptive approach to compatibility are of great practical importance.

    The creation of a complete theory of psychological compatibility requires further serious methodological work, improvement of the conceptual apparatus, methods of research of this most important socio-psychological phenomenon, integration of existing approaches and generalization of the facts already received. The urgent need to develop compatibility issues follows from the requests of practice: from the tasks of selecting small groups, from the tasks of improving the characteristics of already existing groups and collectives, especially the family, sports teams, ship crews.