From Big Medical Encyclopedia

CHARACTER (Greek charakter distinctive feature, feature) — the mental warehouse of the person defining individual style of his behavior and experience (subjective reaction). Integrity, stability and stereotype are essential traits of character.

Character is closely interconnected with the constitution (see) and temperament (see). According to the concept of the Soviet psychologist of JI. S. Vygotsky, the constitution and temperament form inborn premises of development of the personality (see), and character — result of educational process. The concept «type of the personality» is close to the concept «character». Nek-ry researchers, to-rykh are among P. B. Gannushkin, A. F. Lazursky, Jung (Page G. Jung), etc., are inclined to identify them. In practice, especially in experimental and social psychology (see), carry to the concept «character» only psikhol. characteristics, while to the concept «type of the personality» — feature of social life of the person, his relations to a family, labor collective, society in general.

Ideas of character began to develop in an extreme antiquity. Hippocrates allocated four main constitutional types of people and gave the detailed description of features of their mentality (see). The typology of characters offered by Hippocrates existed in medicine and psychology of St. 2 thousand years and formed the basis of nek-ry modern classifications. Therefore Hippocrates can be considered the founder of a characterology. Problems of typology of the personality were in detail considered for the first time by one of Aristotle's pupils — Theoph-rastos, to-ry in detail described 30 social types (e.g., the liar, the flatterer, the boaster, the talker, etc.) * Further in philosophy, especially ethics, and fiction the set of options of typology of the personality was offered. So, e.g., the French writer of J. de La Bruyere in the book «Characters, or Customs of Our Century» (1688) gave the satirical description of social and psychological types of representatives of the highest estates. Definition of character and type of the personality quite often matched within one methodological approach as, e.g., in Lafater's doctrines (J. To. Lava-ter), F. Galya, Lombroso (S. Lomb-roso), E. Krechmera (see the Constitution).

Experimental studying of character began 19 at the end — the beginning of 20 centuries. The first results in this direction were generalized in fundamental work of the German psychologist L. Klages «The principles of a characterology» (1910). The psychoanalytic approach to studying of character and types of the personality which found the most fundamental development in Jung's work «Psychological types» was at the same time created (see Psychoanalysis).

Development of physiology in I. P. Pavlov's works allowed to understand communication of traits of character and mechanisms of nervous activity that found the expression in the concept of types of higher nervous activity (see). Experimentally - physiological studying of character was actively carried out also by representatives of school of V. M. Bekhterev, in particular

A. F. Lazursky, to-ry developed methodology of «a natural experiment» — researches of the personality in the conditions of real life situations. A. F. Lazursky's ideas were rethought and developed by the Soviet psychologists V. N. Myasishche-vy, B. G. Ananyev, etc.

The wide spread occurance in modern experimental and psychological studying of character (in particular, method of testing) was received by the concept of accentuation of the personality (character) of Leongard (To. Leonhard). According to this concept, accentuation of character is an extreme option of norm, at Krom separate lines of a mental warehouse are sharply increased (or are weakened) so that selective vulnerability of the subject concerning one psychogenic influences and stability concerning others is found. Existence at the person of a certain accentuation of character forms the basis for its reference to the corresponding characterologic type (see psychological tests).

In the Soviet psychiatry and psychopathology problems of accentuation of the personality are solved in traditions of domestic psychiatric school, in particular P. B. Gannushkin's doctrines about a psychopathy (see). According to A. E. Lichko's classification, 12 main types of accentuation of character are allocated, to-rye depending on expressiveness of lines share on explicit and hidden. Each type is allocated on the main aktsentuirovanny line, edges is dominating in character and defines its integrity, stability and stereotype. So, e.g., the general excitability which is shown hypermotility, garrulity, sociability is characteristic of gipertimny type; extreme variability of mood is characteristic of labile type; for asthenoneurotic — increased fatigue, irritability and tendency to morbid depression; for isteroidny type — a boundless egocentrism, insatiable thirst of constant attention to the person, admiration, sympathy.

From positions of various clinical and experimental and psychological approaches incoincident aspects of character sometimes are considered. In order that from -

to run unjustified exaggeration of value of any one methodical approach, it is necessary to be guided

by K. Marx's position about essence of the person as sets of all public relations, the leading role of social factors in formation of mentality of the person, dialectic unity individual and typical (see the Person, t. 29).

Knowledge of character of the person is necessary for the successful solution of a wide range of practical tasks (education, training, career guidance, a psychoprophylaxis and a psychohygiene, management, etc.), and also is an important condition of successful treatment of patients, especially at use of methods of psychotherapy (see). In practice the problem of studying of character is solved usually by the doctor (more often the psychiatrist) or the medical psychologist. The questions of typology of the personality connected with increase in effective management of work collective, creations of microsocial climate, favorable for work, prevention of the family conflicts, etc. are usually studied by specialists in the field of social psychology. Researches of character and type of the personality mutually supplement each other, and it allows to understand more deeply dialectics single, special and the general in structure of the personality.

Bibliography: Ananyev B. G. Problem of formation of character, L., 1949; The B ate about in N. A. Fiziologiya of types, Oryol, 1924; Krechmer E. A structure of a body and character, the lane with it., M. — JI., 1930; Lazursky A. F. Classification of persons, L., 1924; Leongard K. Aktsentuirovannye of the personality, the lane with it., Kiev, 1981; L and h to about A. E. A psychopathy and accentuation of character at teenagers, L., 1983; Rusalov V. M. Biological bases of individual and psychological distinctions, M., 1979; Tep

lo in B. M. Problems of individual distinctions, M., 1961; Freud 3., etc. Psychoanalysis and the doctrine about characters, the lane with English, M. — Pg., 1923; Experimental psychology, under the editorship of P. Fress and Ge. Piaget, lane with fr., century 5, page 196, M., 1975; Jung K. G. Psychological types, the lane with it., Zurich, 1929; To 1 a g e s L. Hand-schrift und Charakter, Lpz., 1923.

D. I. Dubrovsky, E. V. Chernosvitov.