Prognostic potential of socio-psychological research: from theory to practice

Keywords: social prognostication, social psychology, crisis management, psychological principles of social prognostication, retroduction


The article raises the problem of developing a methodological basis for psychological support of social prognostication as a theoretical and practical activity.
Its relevance is due to the demand for psychologically justified strategies and technologies of crisis management, which involves the use of psychologically justified approaches in the prognostication of social processes and phenomena.
The purpose of the article is to determine the prognostic potential of socio-psychological research, as well as to outline the prospects for the transition from theoretical to practical socio-psychological providing of social prognostication.
There are proposed a number of theoretical positions that substantiate the scientific-methodological principles towards psychological providing of social prognostication. They are based on the subject of socio-psychological science definition, which sets the basic parameters of socio-psychological perspective in social processes and phenomena prognostication. According to each of the identified theoretical positions, the principles of psychological providing of social prognostication are proposed. The content of the first theoretical position, which is determined by the semantic coordinates of the methodological space of socio-psychological theorizing (according to M. Sliusarevskyi), corresponds to the principle of ontological equivalence of individual and supra-individual forms of the psyche. The principle of historical and cultural contextuality corresponds to the second theoretical position concerning the ontology of the «mental» in all its diversity of social manifestations (according to the concept of socio-psychological thinking of M. Sliusarevskyi). Based on these theoretical positions and relevant principles, there are considered three theoretical models, which are examples of the use of socio-psychological approaches for social prognostication, namely: theoretical model of typology and actualization of socio-psychological problems within the cultural-historical cycle (M. Sliusarevskyi), synthetic model of «universal epochal cycle» (E. Afonin), multifactor model of societal crisis (O. Sushyi).
It is determined that the larger is the level of theoretical generalization of social development problems in a particular period of socio-historical time, then the less important may seem the task of developing psychologically justified approaches to social prognostication and developing psychologically justified strategies and technologies of crisis management. The study gave grounds to draw a number of conclusions that determine the prospects for further theoretical substantiation of scientific-methodological principles and practical socio-psychological providing of social prognostication.
Firstly, it is argued that the prognosis can perform both a preventive and a motivational function. Accordingly, the need to use an alternative (other than extrapolation) prognostic algorithm is justified, which will take into account the motivational and preventive functions in social processes prognostication, will determine the desirable (or undesirable) future state of the system/object, and establish ways to its achieving (or avoiding). Secondly, it is argued that while developing a psychologically justified social prognosis should take into account both situational and environmental factors of social development, that is, should be based not only on personal dispositions formed on the basis of previous life experience, but also on the characteristics of the current situation, and the corresponding (characteristic of the situation) psychological state of social groups and communities. Finally, thirdly, it is argued that these requirements are met by a retroductive approach, in which the explanation is achieved by establishing a real basic structure or mechanism (e.g., socio-psychological), which is responsible for creating the pattern that is observed. Accordingly, by retroduction logic, it is possible (a) to imagine the desired future, (b) to focus on existing examples that will set the direction of movement in the right direction, and on this basis (c) to develop appropriate strategies based on existing realities.

Author Biography

Olena Sushyi, Institute for Social and Political Psychology, NAES of Ukraine

Doctor of Sciences in Public Administration, Docent, Head of the Laboratory of Methodology of Psychosocial and Politico-Psychological Researches

How to Cite
Sushyi, O. (2021). Prognostic potential of socio-psychological research: from theory to practice. Scientific Studios on Social and Political Psychology, (47(50), 19-31.