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A mental mechanism operating outside of and beyond conscious awareness by which certain external attributes, attitudes, or standards are taken within oneself.


the 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.


Durkheim, 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.


References in periodicals archive ?
This paper has shown that there is a role for management and management decision making in international business theory based on the internalisation framework.
The limits of explanation: Testing the internalisation theory of the multinational enterprise.
The final part of the OLI paradigm is the internalisation variable (I).
The authors count Dunning (1977) as one of the internalisation theorists -- along with Buckley and Casson (1976).
According to the researchers, the increased propensity for internalisation in the light may be due to several factors.
In brief, since the degree of control or internalisation is supposed to be function of the degree of resource commitment, the internationalisation process from low- to high-resource commitment modes is directly related to the 'internalisation direction' from low- to high-control modes.
In Johanson and Vahlne's model, internalisation comes about as a result of a learning process.
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Similarities in body image in sisters: the role of sociocultural internalisation and social comparison.
This model requires that environmental concerns are awarded a role that will ultimately result in the internalisation of environmental concerns and therefore lead to a mutually reinforcing relation between competition and environmental protection.
The consortium comprises three companies PCI Biotech, SpectraCure and siRNAsense and the project is entitled "Photochemical Internalisation for delivery of short interfering RNA (siRNA) - towards safe and specific cancer therapy".
PCI Biotech AS, a subsidiary of PhotoCure ASA, is focused on the opportunities for photochemical internalisation (PCI) in drug discovery, development and delivery of novel cancer therapeutics.