Interesting psychology, or everything about a person for beginners

Life is diverse and one of its most important components is the inner world of a person. But, despite the fact that he was and remains a mystery, attempts to understand him continue. Some want to see the motives of other people, some want to help a loved one overcome mental trauma, some want to learn to understand people, and some want to better understand those around them. And psychology helps us get closer to realizing these goals, because it studies human nature. However, anyone who has embarked on the path of studying psychology must be prepared for serious work and painstaking work. One of the most serious problems here is the beginning. And we want to tell you about where to start studying psychology on your own.


When a person decides to study a science such as psychology, it is worth thoroughly becoming familiar with the methodology of science. And devote a lot of time to reading various literature.

But where to start studying psychology on your own? How to find the knowledge base on which you can rely further and study science in depth? Without fundamental, orderly concepts, no real science exists. First, the subject of science and methodology are studied. Methodology is a systematic analysis of the methods that are used in a given science to obtain knowledge.

Chapter 1 Types of Temperament

Each person has a unique identity from the moment of birth. Any nurse working in a maternity hospital can confirm this: all newborns behave differently: one toddler sleeps twenty-two hours a day, the other, violating all the rules of behavior for “normal” babies, stays awake for a long time, interestedly and carefully examining those bending over him adults, the third does not allow them to forget about themselves for a second, emitting piercing screams... These differences, thanks to which already in the first days of life one cannot confuse Masha with Dasha, and Petya with Seryozha, are nothing more than a manifestation of temperament . The attitude of parents, upbringing, life experience will further influence how these quietly sniffling (or loudly screaming) bundles will grow up, but temperament will remain more or less unchanged “factory setting”.

The study of different types of temperament has a long history. The founder of this doctrine is the great ancient Greek physician and scientist Hippocrates. As this learned man believed, four types of fluid (juices) circulate in the human body: blood, yellow bile, black bile and mucus (phlegm). Each of them has its own special properties, and in each person these four “juices” are combined in the body in a certain proportion. This combination determines the characteristics of the body’s activity, as well as its susceptibility to certain diseases. And besides, the characteristics of human behavior also depend on how exactly the four liquids are combined and which one predominates.

The names of the four types identified by Hippocrates appeared, however, several centuries later, as did their detailed psychological descriptions. What Hippocrates called by the Greek word “krasis” (“mixing”), in Ancient Rome began to be called by the Latin word temperamentum (“proper relationship of parts, proportionality”).

The Roman physician Galen was the first to create a detailed classification of temperaments, which was based on the idea of ​​​​mixing four liquids. However, in Galen’s classification there were as many as thirteen types (including four Hippocratic ones). As Galen believed, the predominance of yellow bile (lat. chole) in the body determines the choleric temperament, blood (sanguis) - sanguine, mucus (phlegma) - phlegmatic, and black bile (melanos chole) - meloncholic. Galen's actual psychological description of these four types was not detailed, but over time it expanded and became more and more detailed.

You are probably very familiar with these terms themselves - choleric, sanguine, phlegmatic and melancholic - and at least their approximate meaning. Before we dive into the four types in detail, try to identify which temperament is being described in each of the passages below:

Start with yourself. Why and for what

The beginning of the study of human psychology is the understanding of personal motives. First of all, you need to understand why the first step to studying people’s behavior is being taken: to have a good understanding of the development of children and help them grow harmonious, or for your own personal growth, or you want to become a professional and get the opportunity to help outsiders.

It is also important to decide in advance which side of science you will study thoroughly: theoretical or practical. After all, it’s difficult to find without knowing what exactly. Especially in the ocean of information.

"Games People Play. Psychology of Human Relationships”, E. Bern

Berne's model of the Inner Parent, Inner Adult and Inner Child is something that is very desirable for anyone who wants to understand other people (and themselves at the same time) to know.

Ilya Shabshin, consulting psychologist, author of books on popular psychological topics, leading specialist at the Psychological Center on Volkhonka

The international cult bestseller is worth reading for those who are ready to go beyond the usual life scenarios, want to understand the motives of their actions and the behavior of other people and find out why conflicts arise. Bern believes that a person can change his destiny if he wants.

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Psychology books. Which ones do a beginner need?

What books should you start studying psychology with? When setting the goal of learning the basics of any science, you need to start with the basics: the most basic categories, terms and concepts - all this can be found in any first-year textbook. Such textbooks are available in all city libraries. Although they are not very eloquently written, and are full of definitions and tables, they are worth mastering. It will be easier later. After reading this first book, you need to find the classics of psychology: C. Jung, C. Horney, A. Adler, E. Fromm and, of course, you need to familiarize yourself with the works of Freud.

A lighter and more interesting book by I. Yalom “When Nietzsche Wept.” You can then look for any author’s book in the direction that is currently more interesting.

There are a lot of original books; it is important to find an author who is a professional and has been working in this field for at least 10 years. Then the experience that the author conveys to the reader is authoritative, and one can rely on it in the future.

We must not forget that it is important for a psychologist to know the basics of philosophy and sociology. It is important to develop humanitarian thinking; science is not only theories and theses.

Fiction also contains a lot of useful information for the future psychologist. Classic writers clearly analyzed the nature of the inner world and the actions of their fictional heroes. A particularly deep analysis can be found in the books of F. Dostoevsky.

Methods of psychological influence on people

Society consists of people who constantly communicate with each other. Consciously or not, they all influence each other. There are various ways to influence the environment.

Methods of exposure to humans:

  1. Contagion is a method based on the transfer of emotions from one individual to another. If someone panics or cries, then everyone's mood deteriorates. You can be “infected” with both negative and positive emotions, for example, laughter, joy, fun.
  2. Suggestion - an individual is inspired to act as someone wants. Suggestion occurs through words, gestures, and actions. Each individual has different suggestibility. Suspicious people and children under 13 years of age are more easily suggestible than independent individuals.
  3. Persuasion - an individual is persuaded to act one way and not another through logical thinking. The higher a person's intelligence, the harder it is to convince him. In the process of persuasion, it is important to instill trust. If the interlocutor doubts the veracity of the arguments, it is impossible to convince him of anything.
  4. Imitation - consciously or unconsciously, an individual tries to copy the behavior of another person. Typically, role models are successful, famous and rich individuals.

Many people use another method of influencing an individual. Its name is manipulation. Using this method, the manipulator gets what he wants, while the opponent retains the illusion of independently made decisions. Aristotle also said that the success of influence depends on who says what to whom.

Personality psychology is a fascinating science. Anyone can understand its basics. True, not everyone is able to put their knowledge into practice. An experienced psychologist will help you understand all the nuances of the psychological discipline.

Magazines and publications

In today's incredibly vast space of information, finding an accessible and interesting journal on psychology is not a problem. Many universities publish their own magazine and post free versions on the Internet quite freely. You just need to find the journal that will be educational and useful for you in your chosen field of science.

  • "Russian psychological journal".
  • Journal of the Higher Attestation Commission "Bulletin of VlGU".
  • "Experimental Psychology".
  • "Existential and humanistic psychology."
  • Online magazine
  • Other.

The online magazine was created for a wide range of readers. If you need scientific publications written by qualified employees of institutes, it is better to read official publications. Such as: “Russian Psychological Journal”.

Self-study forms

There are several options that allow you to study psychology on your own:

  • Trainings and seminars dedicated to specific topics.
  • Webinars and online courses compiled by university teachers.
  • Psychological literature (both classical textbooks and periodicals).
  • Long-term training programs with a narrow specialization will be useful to those who already have a general understanding of the structure of the human psyche.

Regardless of the chosen form of training, you will have to constantly work on maintaining practical skills and developing your own personal qualities, which are important for a psychologist.

For those who want to make psychology their life’s profession, it is best to study at the relevant universities, directly from practicing teachers.

The world of psychology. Main directions

In what directions is modern psychology developing? Where to start studying trends in the development of the main directions of this science? You cannot succeed in everything at once, and you need to decide on the direction in which a person will feel most confident, what is closer to him to learn and apply.

The classic directions are:

  • cognitive direction;
  • Gestalt psychology;
  • associative psychology;
  • humanistic;
  • deep.

And there are also new directions: psychodrama, coaching, transpersonal psychology and neurolinguistic programming.

“Understand human nature”, A. Adler

Adler, the author of the term “inferiority complex,” talks about the adaptation of the individual in society, the significance of the period of infancy and early childhood, the development of character, its individual traits and manifestations.

Adler says that the foundation of any relationship in society is understanding the other. And mutual understanding can only be achieved by understanding human nature.

Larisa Milova

He argues that a person is responsible for his actions and is able to change behavior, which plays an important role in interpersonal relationships.

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Nonverbal communication as a basis

Without what is the science of psychology inconceivable? Where to start studying? A beginner needs to study both theory and practice. And accordingly, practice immediately: learn to listen, learn to pay attention to non-verbal signs. This practice is important in the same way that to learn a foreign language it is necessary to immediately pronounce sentences.

Nonverbal messages are a hint to the interlocutor; the theory of nonverbal communication states that gestures, facial expressions and postures of a person speak about the internal state much more than words. A good psychologist immediately “calculates” the state of a person nearby by his appearance. Even if you are not going to study psychology professionally, but are only interested in it, you need to learn to identify nonverbal signs. This will simplify communication with both loved ones and colleagues.

When the past doesn't let go

Childhood traumas, memories, impressions are a normal part of our lives. But some people go through them and move on, while others continue to live with a painful burden. Why does this happen and how can we leave the past in the past?

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Peg Streep

Unloved daughter

“How to leave a traumatic relationship with your mother in the past and start a new life”

Few people are ready to admit that there are cruel and unloving mothers. Growing up, the children of such mothers often remain silent about their experiences and suffer from loneliness. The book by American writer Peg Streep, a former unloved daughter, is addressed to women who have gone through such an experience. The author not only cites many stories told by the daughters of unloving mothers, but also describes methods that help get rid of the oppression of the past.

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Peg Streep

Unloved daughter

"Questions and answers"

There are times when the process of overcoming the consequences of a toxic childhood seems too long and difficult. It is then that questions arise that no one can answer. Peg Streep collected them in her book to finally give answers to them.

“Unloved daughter. Questions and Answers" complements Peg Streep's previous book "The Unloved Daughter. How to leave a traumatic relationship with your mother in the past and start a new life” and will be a good help on the difficult path to healing.

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Ilse Sand

Fear of intimacy

“How to stop defending yourself and start loving”

The human psyche is structured mercifully: we forget situations and emotions that are too unpleasant and painful to live normally. However, normal does not mean happy. Behind a high fence it is difficult to see the beauty of the world and it is difficult to make acquaintances with new people. Danish psychotherapist Ilse Sand explains, using examples from life, how different types of psychological defense do not help, but, on the contrary, prevent us from living a full life and how we can get rid of them.

What character qualities need to be developed?

Working with people is absolutely impossible without working on yourself. A psychologist is one who studies souls. This is how psychology is interpreted. Where to start studying the behavior and problems of others? From working on your character qualities. Because without knowing yourself, it is impossible to know others.

Psyche was the goddess-soul; accordingly, the science of the soul cannot be studied without love for the souls of people. You must be able to put yourself in the place of another and imagine his feelings and emotions. A psychologist also needs good abilities for self-analysis and self-reflection - that is, the ability to understand one’s own emotional state and behavior. Ability to establish verbal contact with any person.

Indeed, the study of human psychology is not so easy. Where to begin? Develop awareness. For a new psychologist, this is a key point. If a beginner is faced with the question: where to start studying psychology on his own, then it is better to reformulate it - with whom to start studying. From myself. A psychologist will not be able to solve other people's problems if he does not learn to solve his own complexes, problems, fears and anxieties.

When to take control of your emotions

Sometimes we don’t understand why a person’s actions hurt us so much, what we feel when we hear about someone’s victories, and where the tears come from in our eyes at the next heartbreaking scene in a movie. To understand this, you just need to hear your feelings.

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Ilse Sand

Compass of emotions

"How to understand your feelings"

There's time pressure at work, you're tired, you come home and it's a mess - you're arguing with your family again, and the evening is ruined. Your best friend got a promotion and at every opportunity, as if on purpose, he happily talks about it - it infuriates you. Why at such moments do we give free rein to envy and anger, and are ashamed of our own feelings? Ilse Sand, a Danish psychologist and psychotherapist, tells how to sort through the tangled tangle of your own feelings and learn to freely express your emotions.

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Ilse Sand

Close to heart

“How to live if you are an overly sensitive person”

Highly sensitive people, or “new introverts,” are those who react more sharply than others to noise or fuss, quickly get tired of society and love solitude. If you are one of them, perhaps by reading this book you will finally begin to live at peace with yourself, learn to say “no” and discover that in an insensitive world, strong feelings are an advantage, not a problem.

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Libby Weaver

A useful book about unnecessary and harmful things

“How to stop fighting yourself, understand your body and start eating right”

Libby Weaver, an Australian biochemist and nutritionist with almost two decades of experience, explains how to create the conditions for your body to start burning fat. Based on a holistic approach to health, Dr. Libby identifies nine factors that influence weight change: emotions, calories, stress hormones, sex hormones, gut bacteria, insulin, liver, thyroid and nervous system health.

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Marina Melia

Just something complicated

“How we live, work, love”

How to survive difficult times with minimal losses? How to survive in a society poisoned by cynicism? How to find a balance between work and personal life? How to set a goal and stay on course? How to protect yourself from a manipulator? Life constantly poses difficult questions to us, the book of the famous psychologist Marina Melia answers them. Her thoughts and recommendations are based on deep knowledge, extensive practical experience and faith in the hidden powers inherent in each of us.


Distance and the need to maintain it when conducting a conversation are studied by such a science as proxemics. The concept was introduced into science by Edward Hall.

Edward Hall introduced 4 zones into the scientific world of psychologists that must be observed when communicating:

  • intimate;
  • personal;
  • social zone;
  • public

Understanding people's inner states is not so easy. There is no point in reading books if a beginner cannot recognize the inner mood of his interlocutor.

A psychologist cannot put pressure on a person. When he does not keep his distance, the person will close himself and will not allow him into his inner world.

“Accented personalities”, K. Leonhard

The term “accentuation” was introduced by Leonhard. By this he understood overly expressed character traits, which are an extreme version of the mental norm and border on a pathological condition.

The book is written in lively and simple language, so it is quite suitable not only for professionals, but also for anyone interested in psychology.

Larisa Milova

In the work, which has become one of the most popular in the field of psychiatry, the author conducts a psychological analysis of accentuated personalities and analyzes examples from fiction.


Sensations are mental processes that are mental reflections of individual states and properties of the external world, arising from direct influence on the senses, a person’s subjective perception of external and internal stimuli with the participation of the nervous system. In psychology, sensations are usually understood as the process of reflecting various properties of objects in the surrounding world.

Sensations have the following properties:

  • Modality is a qualitative indicator of sensations (for vision - color, saturation, for hearing - volume, timbre, etc.);
  • Intensity is a quantitative indicator of sensations;
  • Duration is a temporary indicator of sensations;
  • Localization is a spatial indicator.

There are several classifications of sensations. The first of them belongs to Aristotle. They identified five basic senses: touch, hearing, sight, taste and smell. But in the 19th century, due to the increase in the types of sensations, the need for a more serious classification arose. Today there are the following classifications:

  • Wundt's classification - depending on the mechanical, chemical and physical properties of stimuli;
  • Sherrington classification - based on the location of receptors: exteroceptive, interoceptive and proprioceptive sensations;
  • Head's classification - based on origin: protopathic and epicritic sensitivity.

“The psychology of lies. Fool me if you can”, P. Ekman

It is worth reading for anyone who does not want to become a victim of deception and psychological manipulation.

Larisa Milova

You can expose any deceiver if you know what exactly you need to pay attention to during a conversation. The author of the book suggests figuring out how to recognize a lie by a smile, micro-expressions and micro-gestures. He also describes types of lies, gives historical examples and explains what emotions a deceiver experiences and how they manifest themselves.

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Soft Skills – courses on the most valuable skills in the workplace

As correctly noted on the Netology website, people are hired for Hard Skills, and fired or promoted for Soft Skills.

Soft Skills: what are they and how to develop them

Description. Sign up for training now because the course is absolutely free. Soft skills are exactly those skills that help you move up your career ladder, create the impression of yourself as a reliable person to whom others are “drawn”, with whom everyone enjoys communicating.

Of course, there are many skills, but you can develop them all according to a single effective scheme, which the course teachers will introduce you to. After training, you will know what you need to do to become a more confident person, how to better approach people, and how to quickly develop the abilities necessary for your chosen field of activity.

If you want, you can work in “incognito” mode - other students will not know who you are, where you are from, or what problems you want to solve. This can be much more comfortable psychologically.

Authors: Svetlana Gonchar, Alexey Ponyatov.

Cost: free.

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Soft Skills for specialists

Description. A more in-depth course takes 4 months. The benefits that the program provides are obvious: students become more sociable, purposeful, ready to take responsibility for serious projects and achieve success in them.

A special feature of the program is that at the final stage of training you will have the opportunity to consult with a teacher in a one-on-one format, tell him about your work, your strengths and weaknesses, and ask for advice.

You will study the theory at webinars; if you do not have time to attend them, you will be able to view the recording in your personal account.

Authors: Maria Bolotskaya, Ekaterina Rybina, Alina Ermakova, Marina Norina.

Cost: 26,250 rub. or 2,625 rub. in installments for 10 months.

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Soft Skills: How to Assess and Apply in Your Career

Description. Another training material, paid, but not as long as the previous one; training takes only a month and a half. Already in the first lessons you will be able to determine which “soft skills” you have developed well and which ones need to be improved. Teachers will help you understand what skills are needed specifically for your field of activity.

There are several lessons during which you will interact directly with teachers. This helps to conduct self-analysis much more effectively and develop faster.

You can start learning the program for free. Sign up for classes, attend several webinars, complete 2-3 practical tasks and evaluate expert comments. If you like it, continue studying; if not, leave.

Authors: Alina Ermakova, Dmitry Shabalin.

Cost: 9,000 rub. or 900 rub. per month in installments for 10 months.

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Soft Skills for a Manager

Description. The course is more suitable for those who want to advance their career and feel more confident in a leadership position. For interpersonal communication with friends, family and friends, it is better to look for another program.

You will be able to properly build relationships with subordinates and superiors in order to “remain friends” and at the same time ensure the achievement of company goals. It will be much easier for you to plan your day and effectively distribute time between tasks.

Authors: Dmitry Moskvin, Dmitry Shabalin, Leisen Shayakhmetova, Dmitry Spasov.

Cost: 37,500 rub. or 3,750 rub. in installments for 10 months.

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Soft Skills for Hard Times

Description. The most detailed course on Soft Skills, includes six separate programs, training lasts a year. You will study:

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Classification of sciences according to B. M. Kedrov.

Academician B. M. Kedrov placed this science in. At the top he placed the natural sciences, the lower left corner was allocated to the social sciences, and the lower right corner to philosophical branches (logic and epistemology). The scientist placed mathematics between the natural sciences and the philosophical sciences. Kedrov gave psychology a central place, showing that it is capable of uniting all groups of sciences.

Basic psychological sciences are associated with social disciplines that study human behavior. Social sciences include psychology, social psychology, sociology, political science, economics, ethnography, and anthropology.

Psychology is firmly connected with the natural sciences: physics, biology, physiology, mathematics, medicine, biochemistry. At the junction of these sciences, related fields appear: psychophysics, psychophysiology, neuropsychology, bionics, pathopsychology.

The psychological characteristics of science determine its place in the system of sciences. Currently, the historical mission of psychology is to integrate different spheres of human knowledge. It combines social and natural sciences into one concept.

In recent years, connections between psychology and technical disciplines have been increasing, and related sciences are emerging: ergonomics, aviation and space psychology, engineering psychology.

The subject of psychological science connects applied and theoretical disciplines that develop on the borders with the sciences of man, nature, and society.

Such development can be explained by the demands of the practical activities of society. As a result, new areas of psychological science are being created and developed: space, engineering, and educational psychology.

The use of physical methods in modern psychology contributed to the emergence of experimental psychophysics and psychology. Currently, there are about one hundred different branches of psychology.

The basis of modern psychology is considered to be general psychology, which studies the general laws, mechanisms and patterns of the psyche. It includes experimental studies and theoretical aspects.

The human psyche is the subject of some branches:

  • in genetic psychology, they consider hereditary mechanisms of behavior and psyche, their connection with the genotype;
  • in differential psychology, they analyze individual differences in the psyche of different people, the features of their appearance, and the algorithm of formation;
  • in developmental psychology, they consider the patterns of development of the psyche of a healthy person, as well as the characteristics of the psyche of each age period;
  • in child psychology, changes in consciousness and mental processes of a growing child are considered, as well as conditions for accelerating these processes;
  • in educational psychology, the patterns of formation of a child’s personality in the process of upbringing and training are analyzed.

Modern psychology is characterized by differentiation, which gives rise to its division into various branches. They can differ significantly from each other, despite the similar subject of study.

“He: The Deep Aspects of Male Psychology,” R. Johnson

Johnson draws a parallel with the myth of Parzival and uses this legend to reveal the deep psychological processes in men. The author tells what it means to be a man and how his formation occurs, explains the origins of aggression and bad mood, and also explains the role of a woman in the life of a representative of the stronger sex.

Johnson has a similar work, but only about women - “She: Deep Aspects of Female Psychology.” In it, using the example of the myth of Eros and Psyche, he reveals the subtleties of the female worldview.

Remarkable works by a follower of C. Jung about the peculiarities of psychology and the life path of men and women.

Larisa Milova

If you're asking yourself, "What's happening to me?" or “Why is he or she like this?”, these books are for you.

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