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Two approaches to the study of the human psyche are considered as elements of the experimental approach. He provided the allocation of psychology in a separate, independent science. Experimental studies have made it possible to study both the General laws of the human psyche, and individual variations of mental manifestations. The establishment of individual characteristics of sensuality, memory, reaction rate became the basis for a differentiated approach. This approach has led to an examination of individual differences between individuals and groups.
An outstanding Soviet psychologist L. S. Vygotsky (1896-1934) developed a cultural and historical approach to understanding the psyche and mental development. He identified two levels of psychical development. The first – "natural" - the one that is given by nature. To him can be accounted mechanical memory, impulsive actions. The second – "cultural" - is formed in society, culture. It is possible to include logical memory, voluntary actions.
The process of formation of higher mental functions takes place in the socio-symbolic activity. Social because it occurs in the interaction of people, when one person manages the activities of another. Symbolic because it is controlled by symbols or signs. The universal sign is the word. The word, like the instrument of labor, has an instrumental function. The tool changes the appearance of the object. The word (symbol) is the internal (mental) world of the person. That is, the word is a weapon to control the behavior (psyche) from one person to another. In the process of external practical activity a person takes possession of signs (instruments) of culture and acquires the ability to control his behavior. The process of mastering the signs is the appropriation of them, that is, from the external they have become internal. The transition external, socio-symbolic activities into internal, mental called interiorizzato. In the process of interiorization, "natural" functions are transformed into higher mental functions ("cultural"). So, the mechanical memory is transformed into logical, and impulsive actions-is arbitrary.