Methods of active social and psychological training: the concept and classification

Methods of active social and psychological training: the concept and classification

We suppose that many readers of our website are interested in how psychologists do their research on people. In this article we will tell you some tactics and tricks that psychologists use in their work in enterprise personnel training.

For many years, by training adults, specialists could not get high results. The goal of vocational training was to increase the efficiency of the trainees in production. And the trainees themselves did not show much interest in the material offered. To increase people’s interest in science, methods were developed, which we will talk about in this article.

General characteristics

To begin with, let us break down the concept of active social and psychological training. This is a special psychological and pedagogical form that contributes to the improvement and development of various knowledge, skills and abilities, and is carried out when working in a group.

Active learning is used in different directions. It can be a purposeful formation of various communicative skills in some professions, as well as to increase the level of psychological competence or to streamline the culture of mental activity of a particular organization.

There are three main blocks in the methods of active socio-psychological training:

  1. Methods that can be implemented through discussions;
  2. Methods involving various games;
  3. Various social and psychological trainings, which also have their own classification.

This classification of methods of active social and psychological training is the most common. But there are many more similar ones that are also considered correct and are considered by modern scientists. Below we will dwell in more detail on each section of this list.

Principles of group interaction

In addition to methods of influence, there are certain principles of active social and psychological training that should be adhered to when working with a group:

  • the principle of voluntariness;
  • the principle of personifying statements;
  • the principle of equal communication;
  • the “here and now” principle;
  • the principle of activism;
  • the principle of openness and sincerity;
  • the principle of confidentiality.

It is important to remember that during the work not only the teacher influences the group, but also the trainees themselves have an influence on the specialist.


Besides the basic methods of socio-psychological training, its mechanisms, which also have an important role, should also be singled out. They have their own classification and definitions:

  • Infection is the process during which one individual transfers his or her emotional state to another through psychophysical contact. This exchange can occur as an independent exchange or in “cooperation” with the semantic influence. Infection occurs in the form of empathy, which is possible between people who are in the same mental state. And emotions at this moment are intensified many times over;
  • Induction is the process of influencing one or more individuals on other individuals. During the application of this mechanism, the affected individual simply accepts the information as fact. The psychologist does not reason with the information, does not explain its significance and direction;
  • Imitation. It’s when an individual, consciously or not, copies the actions of others. A group of people are offered a standard to follow. And in this case, they copy not only the manner of behavior, but also the external features of the ideal. Replication of this mechanism is most often resorted to when working with a group of people. Since here it is easier to create certain rules to be observed by each participant;
  • Persuasion is another way of influencing the consciousness of a person or a particular group of people. During the application of this method, psychologists set themselves the goal of changing opinions and attitudes. The persuader must make the individual accept his position and stick to it in all his activities. The method of persuasion can be applied only if you have sufficient argumentation, can provide evidence that your point of view is the only true one, as well as to build a logical chain.

The essence and contents of active social and psychological training lie in these methods. Below, we will consider the process of work with groups of people and the specifics of its implementation in more detail.

Discussion methods

Methods of active social and psychological training include discussion. This method is used during the process of solving various tasks. During this method, a group of people discusses the opinions of others, each participant may present his or her own arguments, express his or her own opinion, and prove to others that their position is the correct one.

Group discussion is a method that allows you to influence the opinions, views and attitudes of individuals through communication and exchange of information between the participants.

Methods of active social and psychological training: the concept and classification

The psychologist Jean Piaget first talked about discussions in the twentieth century. In his works he showed that even an ordinary schoolboy through discussion leaves his egocentric thoughts and accepts the position of the people in the group with whom he works. Although everyone knows that it is not easy to change a teenager’s mind.

Many psychologists have highlighted a number of advantages in using such a method:

  1. During a discussion, one can look at a problem from several angles and choose the most correct solution for some serious problems;
  2. If during a lecture a person just listens to the information offered, in a discussion he can actively participate, express his opinion, as well as listen to the opinions of other participants. Thus, the individual accumulates much more knowledge in his head, he learns to analyze on his own, to think about what, perhaps, he should change his views;
  3. During discussions, individuals learn to work in a group. Here they can not only express their own thoughts, but also listen to others. Participants analyze what they hear and compare it with their own thoughts, and they can learn to defend their own position and explain why their opinions are worth listening to;
  4. In a discussion, a group of people can come to one common decision after having considered and analyzed everyone’s opinions. Here students can self-actualize and assert themselves;
  5. When implementing this method, you can clearly see how accurately people understand what they are talking about and whether they are ready to come to a unified solution to a problem.

Types of discussions

If we consider Panin’s theory, he identifies several basic types of group discussions that are the most effective:

  • “Panel discussion”, which is held only when there is a large group, when more than forty people participate in the discussion;
  • “Snowball”. It’s when everyone in the group must participate in the discussion of the problem. The purpose of this discussion is to identify and agree on all available opinions, and to make a unified decision;
  • “Quadro”. During this discussion, feedback from the group should be established. The instructor or any participant can express his or her opinion and make an argument, and each participant is tasked with expressing his or her own vision and analyzing the position of the other;
  • “Priorities”. Here again, there will be a comparison of all the opinions available and a consideration of their diversity. After all, each member of the discussion will have his or her own views, which may or may not be true;
  • “Brainstorming” is the easiest way to have a discussion. Here everyone can join or leave the discussion at any time. Any member of the group is completely free to express his or her thoughts, express his or her own opinion, and criticize the opinions of others. Brainstorming is used when it is necessary to make a collective decision, when a group of people considers each individual opinion and takes something from it.

Methods of active social and psychological training: the concept and classification

Game method

Games can safely be referred to active methods of social and psychological training. This type of human activity has a place in many spheres and sciences. Now there are many types of games that have not only children’s direction. In this section we will look in detail at their role in psychology.

In this science, by play is meant to create a situation to obtain a certain psychological result. Such a result may be:

  • Emotions;
  • Knowledge;
  • New abilities and skills;
  • Achieving victories;
  • Building relationships with others;
  • Development of certain qualities of personality.

Many people wonder why the game is such a popular method. This is due to the fact that during the playing of the situation it can be repeated more than once in order to achieve the result that the group expects.

In addition, during the game you can work together with people, not over them, thus achieving a positive result. To carry out this method you will need:

  1. Technology of the future game;
  2. A special game set;
  3. As well as game interaction, for which not only the group, but also the organizer is responsible.

Methods of active social and psychological training: the concept and classification

The main types of games

Most often psychologists choose a business game. It is based on the social or subject content of an activity which is close to the participants.

During the game, it is necessary to try to simulate as accurately as possible the relations which are characteristic of this type of practice. A simulation of activity is created, and the group must recreate the dynamics and conditions that must be present in real life.

It is possible to allocate the basic signs of this kind of game to distinguish it from any other:

  • The system of relations, which is inherent in a particular type of practical activity, as well as recreating the social and object content, which is characteristic of a particular profession;
  • During a business game, a certain problem is modeled, and each participant proposes his or her own solution, which must then be implemented;
  • It is obligatory to define the roles to be distributed among the participants;
  • When looking for solutions, the participant who has his or her own role should think only from his or her own position;
  • The entire group must interact with each other;
  • The group is given a common goal, which they can achieve only through interaction and subordination of their secondary goals and objectives to one;
  • The group develops a collective solution to a problem;
  • There is a variety of alternatives for making a decision;
  • Emotional tension in the group is present, but the teacher can easily manage it;
  • There is a certain system of evaluating the group’s performance.

Sometimes psychologists choose role-playing. During a role-playing game, each participant in the group is given a certain role, which is of great importance to him or her in everyday life.

The most important attribute for this type of game is considered the role itself, and the relationships between people are the connections in which the purpose and some prescriptions are laid. The purpose of role play is to prepare each participant for some situations they may encounter. And also to prepare people to solve problems and deal with difficult situations, to teach them to think rationally during unforeseen incidents, to solve various psychological and pedagogical problems.

When conducting role-playing games, participants are faced with certain situations that they encountered in their real lives. And participants themselves are required to find really correct decisions, to change the model of behavior which does not lead to elimination of problems.

Psychologists have identified some signs that can easily distinguish this type of game from any other:

  • The structure of the game includes some communication, which is found in socio-economic systems;
  • Roles are assigned between the participants;
  • Each role has a goal, which is different from the others;
  • The work is done only with full interaction;
  • There are many alternatives to make a single decision;
  • There is a system by which there is a group and individual evaluation of everything that happens during the game;
  • Emotional tension in the team is controlled.

There is one more popular game among psychologists – imitation. From the name, we can conclude that during this game there is some imitation of action. There are rules and competition between the participants and there is no role-playing, as was the case in the previous section.

Methods of active social and psychological training: the concept and classification

In this kind of game, none of the participants gets a role, life situations are not recreated, there are only conditions that are a little close to reality. Simulation will be most effective if you need to determine the level of interpersonal relations, the ability of people to work in a team, to make common decisions.

Here are some signs of such a game:

  • A model of certain conditions is created;
  • The leader announces the rules;
  • In most cases, there are several periods of conduct;
  • The result is quantifiable;
  • Skills in making general and individual decisions are honed.

Socio-psychological training

It is a complex form of active social-psychological training and can have several meanings. The most common are: preparation, training, education, training.

For carrying out this form of social and psychological training, a training group is created in which interaction between the psychologist and participants takes place. Training is aimed at intentionally changing the psychological phenomena of one person or an entire group. But its goal is to create harmony between a person’s professional and personal being.

The first such trainings were conducted in 1946, and their purpose was to explore interpersonal relationships and increase the level of communication. And training as a separate psychological method was defined by Forwerg in 1950. Now psychologists are actively using this method when working with children, parents, troubled teens, workers and employees of various businesses.

Benefits of working in a group

  1. Working in a group, a person learns to solve interpersonal problems that may be encountered in life;
  2. A group is a kind of society, only in miniature;
  3. Feedback can be established in the group, and participants receive support from those who have faced similar problems;
  4. The participant of the group can gain completely new knowledge and skills as well as try to carry out experiments in relations with partners;
  5. The identification of participants with each other is possible;
  6. When working in a group, tension builds up and, consequently, the psychologist can determine what psychological problems each member of the group has;
  7. The process of self-knowledge, self-disclosure and self-exploration is easier for the person in the collective;
  8. Even in economic terms, group work is much more profitable.

Methods of active social and psychological training: the concept and classification

Stages of the training

In the first place is the “warm-up”. It’s when participants start to join in the work, get acquainted with each other and the rules of training. It is good if the psychologist carries out special exercises which help people to get acquainted, rally, become a united group.

Next comes the main part. Here the group gets acquainted with the problem posed, work is carried out on the development of communicative skills, which are prescribed in the program created specially for the training. Here the psychologist works with tasks and techniques which he or she developed in advance, worked through independently and can now safely apply in practice.

The third stage is the final. Here an analysis of all the work done during the session is carried out. The participants exchange opinions and receive homework. The psychologist conducts the so-called ritual of farewell called “Group Dying”.

Preparing for a session

There is a special model for preparing for a training session:

  1. The psychologist should clearly define the theme and idea of the future session;
  2. It is necessary to determine in advance who will be a part of the group;
  3. It is necessary to know how long the session will last and how many times it is necessary to carry out it;
  4. It is necessary to formulate a psychological and pedagogical problem which will be solved during the lesson. It should be accurately and clearly spelled out;
  5. In addition, there should be tasks to be set for the assembled group;
  6. It is obligatory to select psychotechniques, which can be used to work with this particular group;
  7. The entire training program should be divided into blocks, and in each block certain activities should be prescribed;
  8. There should be a plan along which the psychologist will work;
  9. For each session should have its own brief plan, in which it is necessary to specify all the sessions.

At the end of the training, the psychologist should analyze the session, define what has been achieved, whether all tasks have been solved and whether the goal left behind has been reached.

After that, it is possible to proceed to preparation for the following training. The practical psychologist can use a manual on methods of active social-psychological training that may help in organizing the work.

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