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internalizationthe acceptance and incorporation of the standards or beliefs of other persons, or of society, by the individual. Internalization is a basic concept in FREUD's theory of personality development. The child's conscience (SUPEREGO) is formed by internalizing society's MORES, as represented by the parents’ personal values and standards. As suggested by this psychodynamic usage, the total acceptance of beliefs and values is usually implied when the concept is employed in a more general way. However, some expressed attitudes or behaviours may be based on social pressures, such as CONFORMITY, and involve compliance rather than internalization. See also SOCIALIZATION, OVERSOCIALIZED CONCEPTION OF MAN.
transfer inward from without. The concept of internalization entered psychology as a result of the work of the French sociological school (E. Durkheim and others), which linked internalization with the concept of socialization, the adoption of basic categories of individual consciousness from the sphere of social ideas. In the cultural-historical theory of the Soviet psychologist L. S. Vygotskii, the idea of internalization acquired fundamental importance for psychology. One of the basic premises of this theory is that any genuinely human form of the psyche initially evolves as an external, social form of human communication and only then, as a result of internalization, becomes a psychological process for an individual person. Stages of internalization have been traced in detail in works devoted to “intellectual actions.” In such works it has been demonstrated that internalization is not a simple transfer to action on the level of ideas (J. Piaget, Switzerland) but represents the formation of an internal structure of consciousness. Through its accompaniment by several other action changes, such as generalization or reduction, internalization leads to the formation of a new concrete psychological process.
REFERENCESDurkheim, E. “Sotsiologiia i teoriia poznaniia.” Novye idei v sotsiologii, collection 2. St. Petersburg, 1914.
Vygotskii, L. S. hbrannye psikhologicheskie issledovaniia. Moscow, 1956.
Vygotskii, L. G. Razvitie vysshikh psikhicheskikh funktsii. Moscow, 1960.
Gal’perin, P. Ia. “K ucheniiu ob interiorizatsii.” Voprosy psikhologii, 1966, NO. 6.
A. A. PUZYREI