Метамодернистская психология

Metamodernist PsychologyМетамодернистская психология

Metamodernist psychology as a new approach to the study of the behavior of a modern human

Anatoly A. Grebenyuk
PhD in Psychology, psychotherapist, psychiatrist-narcologist, State Budgetary Health Care Institution of the Republic of Crimea "Crimean Scientific and Practical Center of Narcology"
Andrey E. Nosovtsov
M.Sc. in Psychology, medical psychologist,
State Budgetary Health Care Institution of the Republic of Crimea "Crimean Scientific and Practical Center of Narcology", day hospital
Abstract: The article describes the psychology based on the culture and attitudes of metamodernism. It is shown that a metamodernist psychology focuses on the study of the inner world of a modern "digitized person"; the provision of assistance for those who experience the difficulties in adapting to new and changing cultural conditions, and those who are unsuccessfully trying to solve their psychological problems, relying on the cognitive system, formed under the impact of modernist and postmodernist cultural influences.
Keywords: metamodernism, metamodernist psychology, metaxy-psychology, modernism, postmodernism, psychology, psychotherapy.

The change of cultural epochs is always accompanied by a revision of the subject of the humanities, taking into account the prevailing cultural position in the society. Both psychologists and consumers of their services seem to have experienced a kind of a cultural shock in the switching over from a few quite definite modernistic psychological traditions to a keen postmodernist interest to the diversity and uniqueness of the social being of an individual as an object of the psychological analysis [1; 2]. All this resulted in the recognition of the fact that the psychological science has passed away of its direct object and subject of the research, and showed the insufficient adequacy of the application of the methods of the natural science to the study of human essence [3]. The effect was a change from the neutral modernist position of the psychologist to the postmodernist position of the identification with the personality of a client and his social role [4; 5; 6; 7].
 As a result, the postmodernist psychology has acquired the following fundamental peculiarities [5]:
1.                The subject of research "has disappeared" since the concepts, various theoretical rules and the subjects of choice, being viewed as a result of the crystallization of social processes, began to pace its multiplicity;
2.                There was a transition that effected in the increasing focus of the researcher’s attention to the historical circumstances of the question instead of the search of the universal properties and qualities;
3.                There was a rejection of the modernist research methodology, including the acknowledgment of the primacy of knowledge achieved through the "attitude of alienation";
4.                The very notion of truth and research as a means of achievement was doubted.
The advent of the era of metamodernism led to the fact that an increasing number of people began to feel and realize that the categories they had learned became insufficient to comprehend the reality. As a result, a new ideological position emerged which oscillating like a pendulum from the modernist attitude to the postmodernist and back, began to encourage the changes in the mode of work with the world and the culture, thus prompting a choice between the sincerity and irony in favor of their connection [8; 9].
Realizing the fact that nowadays in the rapidly changing cultural conditions people are experiencing some difficulties in the adaptation and very often fail to solve their psychological problems relying on the cognitive systems formed under the influence of modernist and postmodernist cultural impacts, we proposed a construction of psychology on the basis of the cultural position and world outlook of metamodernism [10; 11].
A suggested metamodernist psychology is fundamentally an attempt of the contextualization and explanation of what is considered to be a mental specificity of a modern human. Thus, it is a particular section of large general open content, describing what is happening in the modern world in that part which deals with the human behavior – that is, metamodernism.
Referring to the possibility of the creation of the metamodernist psychology, we base on the idea that every economic and social structure has its own type of a “perfect” person who functions excellently within it. It is obvious that the interactive virtual space forms a human’s structure of perception that allows a continuous exploring and learning new things by means of ongoing fluctuations of the interest that is free from the inertness of the rational and the absurd. This helps a person to form an attitude to the world from the multiple positions simultaneously and acquire the ability to a simultaneous perception of the opposite ideas.
The oscillations of human ideas like a pendulum between the subjective and the objective, the fictional and the real, the individual and the social, the virtual and the actual, invoke a kind of a dreamy, exciting anticipation of something escaping, which requires its finding and understanding. This induces the person to reflect feelings, experiences, dreams, sufferings, desires, personal esteems and other components of his emotional life. The ideas of the values of good, beauty, freedom, happiness and so on that were imposed on the society in a distorted form or, on the contrary, were blurred – begin to be created by it in dreams awake as a virtual-sensual reality. This promotes the revival of the interest to the lost values, towards respectful but not ironic citing of the patterns, lyricism, deideologization of historical heritage in the hope for a promising future. The spiritual culture and value orientation of a person on the priority of a “bright future”, “eternal values”, the concept of happiness, etc., reduces a sense of risk of daily occurrence. Meanwhile the aesthetics of this axiology is likely to be expressed through some new "Grand style", for which neoclassicism can be a historical basis in its variations.
In turn, the appeal to the superhuman values, awakens the need for creativity, thereby making its ethics dominant. For creative consciousness, the infinite horizons of the world reveals, and the breakthrough to other worlds is likely to happen. Herewith the person needs for friendship and a kind of intellectual kindness in relationships, making a basis for a voluntary and, what is very important, friendly interactive communication in social networks, which is impossible without mutual interest and high level of confidence.
Describing the psychological specificities of “digitized human”, it should be noted of the ability to “clip thinking”, obtained due to the “oscillation” of consciousness. It protects him from too deep immersion in a particular problematic, and therefore from the outer suggestion.
The development of the Internet has created the opportunities for the subject to find quickly short-term projects he is interested in and unite with other concerned people for their realization. In this case is not necessary to obtain information about their business and personal qualities that are usually required to implement long-term projects. It is connected with the formation of such a primary characteristic of the person in metamodern era, as noted by Robin van den Akker “self-actualization through the action; the presentation of the sincerity, when irony is in "default mode", with the result that, as a cultural form, it turns out to be the sincerity” [12]. Work in such short-term project teams requires from the person the ability to "deliberate self-deception" (R. Eshelman), allowing to pretend the sincerity, energy, enthusiasm for the things he does. To pretend in a way for oneself to believe in them and begin to manifest.
Creativity is always self-determination. So, it helps a person begin to rely on its own individual spiritual continuum and identity. Due to this, the personality emerges from the crowd of consumers, and the feeling of loneliness and confrontation with the hostile world is replaced by “New sincerity” (“New Romanticism”) – the product of deconstruction of all “insincere”, false, imposed, dead, ideological. Such a person reveals a self-ironic and not sentimental understanding of the fact that his personally significant is inscribed in the same contexts as the impersonally one. Therefore, the intimate and the stereotyped merge into one and the dead clichés acquire a personal existential meaning.
The refusal of everything that is accepted by others irrevocably, by tradition or ignorance, turns to an independent study of the world, and the recognition of the lack of understanding of the world lies at the base of a kind of intellectual modesty, which prompts to search for the source of wisdom [13]. This allows to begin to observe the weak points as sources of personal development and use arguments to clarify one’s views. In addition, it allows a person to understand that his own opinion is not the truth in the last resort, and therefore his behavior becomes more open and effective in disputable situations.
As for the possibility of applying metamodernist psychology in practice, we see as its core methodological technique of "performatism" in R. Eshelman [14], a psychologist used to solve for counseling and therapy tasks, that is, the involvement of a psychologist client in the counseling process (therapy) in order to let him feel his co-author, and thus to experience the faith in the result.
We suppose that metaxy-psychology is the bearer of an absolutely new type of attitude to the reality. Before it was possible to talk about the three types of attitude to the world in psychology and, accordingly, the three methods of providing psychological influence on the perception of the world by man:
1.        The expression of their feelings for him (Gestalt-therapy, the client-centered therapy and etc.);
2.        Concretization and qualification of what has to do with it (rational, cognitive therapy, etc.);
3.        Image through metaphors, allusions, symbols-images, etc. (Therapy based on metaphors, psychoanalysis, body-oriented psychotherapy, positive psychotherapy, etc.).
Forming the metamodern structure of perception, metaxy-psychology forms a special relation to the world, which is based on the idea of events occuring in it from multiple positions simultaneously, which distinguishes it from psychology, based on a modernist or postmodern cultural platform.
In this connection, it opens up new opportunities in providing psychological and psychotherapeutic assistance to people suffering from various emotional and personal problems. The basis of this therapeutic potential is the formation in the client of the following metamodernist abilities, corresponding to the ten principles of metamodernism [15]:
1.        To the simultaneous pursuit of truth without giving up the leadership of the sense of faith;
2.        To "dialogic" thinking, focused on the creation of motivational alliances outside the plane of collisions of motivations;
3.        To the recognition of the "normality" of paradox;
4.        To the superimposition of opposing phenomena on each other in order to harmonize them;
5.        To the experience of a simultaneous expressed remoteness, and at the same time closeness and speedy accessibility of other people;
6.        To the switch of subjective positions, for the sake of cooperation with other people, without trying to see their differences with another person;
7.        To the cooperation, association of efforts and prospects with other people;
8.        To the perception not only of groups of people, but also of every individual person, always as multiple realities;
9.        To an optimistic response to any crisis;
10.      To a radical reassessment of traditional and "historically developed" structures in which the primary cause of any crisis is seen.
The acquirement of these abilities allows a person to form a metamodern attitude to the world. In particular, according to the classification proposed by H. Freinacht in 2015 [16]:
• To be free from uncontrollable reactions of rejection ("allergies") in relation to individual ideas or people;
• To take any progress positively and deliberately;
• To see in contradictory beliefs and different levels of understanding problems the ways to overcome contradictions;
• To focus on the revival of transcendental and archetypal narratives;
• To synthesize the obvious opposites, find the golden mean between them.
In conclusion, it should be noted that acting as a generator of the prerequisites for new ideas, metaxy-psychology has a powerful creative and practical potential. Peering at the inner world and human behavior through the eyes of a metamodernist psychologist allows to see in them previously elusive dimensions that give a chance to build a crisis-free relationship that is impossible from the point of view of the psychology of modernism and postmodernism.

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