Psychological principles of modeling as a methodological area of social forecasting
The article aimed to identify the psychological foundations of modeling social phenomena to predict their development. Modeling, extrapolation, and expert methods are the most common methodological areas of social prognosis. The literature now pays more attention to extrapolation and expert methods, despite the inherent shortcomings and limitations in these methodological areas compared to modeling. This is because modeling requires identifying the fundamental causes for social processes, which is a problem area in modern science. Based on theoretical analysis, the article substantiates the thesis that the modeling of social development processes should outline the understanding of its psychological mechanisms and factors. Since, in the ontological sense, the agent of this development is a person as a member of society, it is the content of the mental life of society members that determines the vector of social change. At the same time, when modeling social processes, it is crucial to consider the cultural achievements of a particular society, which can be identified with the initial position to which the vector of further social development will be applied. In practical terms, the design of prognostic models of social development involves the identification of psychological characteristics important for determining the functioning of society and understanding the psychological mechanisms through which these characteristics affect social development. Besides, short-term and medium-term forecasts for determining the vector of development of society can be based on current measurements of these characteristics. Forecasting social changes for a more significant time perspective requires generalized models of social development, which would take into account time changes in the psychological aspects. The psychological principles described in the article can be directly used in the design of prognostic models of social development processes, which is a prospect for further work and determines the practical value of the study.