The development of personal self-regulation of the cadets
Maria Sergeevna Korotaeva1*
1Far Eastern Law Institute of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, Khabarovsk, 680000, Russian Federation.
Correspondence: Maria Sergeevna Korotaeva, Far Eastern Law Institute of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, Khabarovsk, 680000, Russian Federation. [email protected]
During the ongoing social and economic reforms, accompanied by the deterioration of the criminal situation in the country, it is particularly important to provide high efficiency of the fighting against crime. The effectiveness of the fight depends largely on the police officers' professional level, on their professionally significant qualities and skills. This article focuses on the optimization of the social and psychological climate using a specially developed program that was tested by the tutor during self-training hours in the group of the cadets. The process of the formation and education of the future police officers’ personality, their self-regulation development, and their ability to work together in a team is the main task of training within the educational space in the institute of the system of the Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation. The success of training activities and future professional activities implementation depends largely on the ability to regulate cadets’ behavior, to restrain their feelings, to control mood, taking into account surrounding people and situation requirements. The article presents data analysis aimed at the examination of the relationship between the auspiciousness level in the psychological atmosphere of the team and the cadets' self-regulation improvement in the process of their participation in a specially developed program, during their cooperation with a competent police officer - instructor within the system of the Ministry of Interior Institutes of the Russian Federation. Based on the obtained data, the author concludes that it is necessary to create special conditions both for the personal self-regulation development of the cadets and for optimizing the social and psychological climate in the group. For this purpose, a specially developed program was proposed, its effectiveness and impact on future police officers were evaluated.
Keywords: Professionally significant qualities of a police officer, Optimization, Social and psychological climate, Lecturer-tutor, Personal self-regulation, Cadet of the Law Institute of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia
Throughout our life, we communicate with many people [1-3]. Highly professional staffing support is an important condition for the further development of the society and the state as a whole, especially in the system of higher education of Internal Affairs: “The State is a society protected by the rules of law established in it”.
Higher education for police officers is oriented by the state educational policy. As it was noted by I. A. Bugakov and A. N. Tsarkov “the quality of any object (phenomenon, process) should be understood as the degree of its compliance with its purpose” . Hence, the first task of the educational “quality issue” is to determine correctly the purpose of education as a social institution in the sphere of professional formation of the future specialist.
According to Z. D. Enikeev, “although legal education is an integral part of the Russian educational system, it represents a relatively independent and important system that has a serious impact on the legal life of the country” . After all, the state of the legal education determines largely the process of education of the highly qualified defenders of the human rights, including higher education and training, the quality of the law enforcement activities, that “has a significant impact on the various aspects of the Russian society development, including economy, culture, social and political factors” .
The police service imposes a great responsibility on the police officers. The professional, competent, and morally impeccable staff training is one of the most important tasks of the institutes of higher education in the system of the Interior. In this context, many police officers are trained to obtain higher education, as many of them will take up leadership positions in the future. In particular, the level of professional and professional-individual competencies of graduates; along with the acquired knowledge, obtained skills and abilities; quality of service training; the level of legal culture and awareness of their mission to create law for the benefit of the state permit them to feel like a part of the legal system”; determine the prestige and professionalism of the Russian police in their own country and abroad.
Personal and business qualities that are to be studied in the course of comprehensive surveys [7, 8]:
- the general intellectual development level, the ability to make logical judgments and conclusions, as well as a clear presentation of information in oral and written forms;
- emotional stability, poise, behavior control and external manifestations of emotions, emotional maturity;
- the level of volitional regulation of behavior, endurance, courage, determination, perseverance, purposefulness, efficiency;
- internal organization, efficiency, discipline, responsibility for the assigned task;
- the level of legal awareness and moral beliefs, honesty, integrity, compliance with the norms of public morality;
- personal maturity, the ability to take responsibility for the decisions, actions, and deeds, the ability to determine priorities and consistency in solving problems, independence, self-confidence, and self-criticism;
- self-esteem, features of the motivational sphere of the individual;
- reduced level of aggressiveness,
- neuro-emotional endurance
- high adaptability
- legal awareness,
- motivational preferences for achievements,
- strong-willed self-control, restraint,
- a positive locus of control of life, activity, and interpersonal relationships.
Future police officers go through several steps in the system of higher education. Upon admission, applicants are not enrolled in the ranks of the non-permanent staff of the Internal Affairs system until they undergo the initial professional training for three months then take the oath, and finally become police officers on the official bases.
The cadets’ willingness for their direct duties during practice in territorial divisions forms the sum of the basic professional knowledge, skills, and abilities they must have at the end of the second year of training when they receive the certificate of a “police officer”.
Despite the strict select requirements, not all the cadets are capable of serious tests, that are manifested in the professional training conditions, and lectures-tutors, whose pedagogical activity has its characteristics, can have an educational influence.
One of the forming mediums of a future police officer personality is a team of the cadets. There appears an idea of a possible trusting level of relationship with other people. The basis of the moral professional significant qualities regulating the establishment of interpersonal communications is laid in the team. The formation of self-regulation of the activities and contentment with the results, as well as external professional educational organization (process and result of educational activity, the efficiency of operation), depending on the social and psychological climate in the group.
We admit that the profession of the police officer possesses serious challenges for a young person to master such personal formations as emotional self-regulation (stress resistance), performance, awareness of a sense of duty, awareness of readiness for professional activity. The development of both self-regulation and spiritual and moral aspects is a long process, which requires the closest attention from the instructors.
Self-regulation (stress tolerance), performance, awareness of a sense of duty, and professional readiness of the future police officer for service activity can be represented as a system, highlighting personal and individual sense-bearing levels, that constitute the personal self-regulation structure.
Scientific and practical interest for the optimization way search of the social and psychological climate as a psychological and pedagogical condition for the development of personal self-regulation in the groups of cadets is qualified by the aspirations revival of raising the prestige of the police in society. This is impossible without the creation of special pedagogical conditions in the institutions of the system of the Interior. The training and education in the system of the Interior should be aimed at the conscious assignment of certain values to the cadets: civil position, professional position, feelings of responsibility for the profession, diligence, professional self-development orientation, etc. That determines for us the orientation on the personal self-regulation that became one of the tools of the assignment of values to the profession and turns out an internal (psychological) component.
Relevance of the article is substantiated by the necessity of resolving the contradiction between the existing requirement to find the ways of optimizing the social and psychological climate in the groups of cadets as a psychological and pedagogical condition for the formation of professionally significant qualities, including the development of future police officers personal self-regulation in the institutions of higher education.
Object of research: the social and psychological climate in a group of cadets as a condition for the development of personal self-regulation.
Subject of research: the influence of psychological and pedagogical programs to optimize the social and psychological climate in a group of cadets for the development of future police officers' self-regulation.
Purpose of the research is to identify the features of the social and psychological climate in a group of cadets, develop a psychological and pedagogical method for its optimization for the development of future police officers' self-regulation.
The purpose is specified in the following research tasks:
- to reveal the essence of the social and psychological climate in a group of cadets, to identify the psychological and pedagogical conditions for its optimization;
- to identify the techniques and methods for optimizing the social and psychological climate in a group of cadets and evaluate their effectiveness;
- to study the state of social and psychological climate in a group of cadets and the level of self-regulation, on the example of the institutions of higher education in the system of the Interior;
- to develop and adopt a specially organized program aimed at optimizing the social and psychological climate in a group of cadets;
- to evaluate the effectiveness of a specially organized program aimed at optimizing the social and psychological climate in a group of cadets;
- to conduct an empirical study of the relation between the optimization of the social and psychological climate in a group of cadets and the level of their self-regulation.
Research hypothesis: we assume that the optimization of the social and psychological climate in a group of cadets will contribute to the development of future police officers' self-regulation in the educational space of higher educational institutions of the Interior. In this article, we reveal the influence of such psychological and pedagogical conditions as a specially organized program aimed at optimizing the social and psychological climate in a group of cadets.
Theoretical and methodological foundations of the research were the theory of social situation as the determinant of the team development and the social and psychological climate (V. M. Shepel, K. K. Platonov, E. S. Kuzmin, L. P. Buoys, N.N. Reviews, Russinova A. A. and A. N. Lutoshkin, B. D. Parygin, V. M. Shepel, L. N. Kogan, V. V. Kosolapov, O. S. Michaluk, and A. Yu. Shalto; the concept of developing social media (Y. A. Lunev, S. V. Sarychev, L. I. Umansky); dynamic approaches to the study of small groups (S. V. Sarychev, K. Levin), the foundations of personality-oriented and activity approaches to self-regulation (B. G. Ananiev, E. V. Bondarevskaya, L. S. Vygotsky, V. V. Davydov, E. A. Levanov, A. N. Leontiev, K. K. Platonov, S. L. Rubinstein, etc.)
Research methods: theoretical-methodological literature analysis; survey and questionnaires; “Assessment of the Social and Psychological Climate in the Team” by E. I. Rogov; “Atmosphere” by A. J. Fiedler, the questionnaire “The Style of Self-Regulation of Behavior” by V. I Morosanov. We have selected various types of mathematical statistics analysis: comparative analysis, using Student's t-test, Fishsher's F-criterion. These criteria are used to evaluate the differences between the two samples based on the level of some attributes. The correlation between the results of various methods was studied by the method of Spearman's Rank Correlation Coefficient.
Scientific and practical significance of the research
- specially adapted, organized, and tested program aimed at optimizing the social and psychological climate in a group of cadets can be integrated and used by any educational organization training future police officers;
- the research of the level of future police officers self-regulation and the degree of its dependence on the level of favorable social and psychological climate in the group of the cadets may respond primarily to the fact that the activities of police officers in modern conditions, the success of the duties they perform, the effectiveness of the joint service for the benefit of their Motherland, the psychological atmosphere in the team depends largely on their ability to regulate one’s behavior and feelings, to control the mood, to be a role model taking into account the requirements of people and situation.
The empirical base of the research: The research was conducted from January to April 2020. The сadets - future police officers training at the institute of the system of the Interior of the Russian Federation participate in it. The total number of the respondents - 56, they were conditionally divided into two groups: 1st group - experimental, consists of 30 cadets, and the 2nd group - control, consists of 26 cadets. The average age of students: 17-18 years (1st year of study). Cadets are trained on one specialty "Jurisprudence".
Materials and Methods
The scientific literature analysis devoted to the study of theoretical foundations of the concept, essence, factors of formation, conditions for optimizing the social and psychological climate in the team allowed us to identify some theoretical assumptions.
Thus, according to V. M. Shepel, the social and psychological climate represents the emotional inflection of human relations and communications between the members of the team. Indicators of this relationship can be the degree of closeness, poles of sympathy, the identity of characters and interests .
K. K. Platonov argued that one of the characteristics of the group is its social and psychological climate. The climate manifests as the interaction of two environments (physical and social) and a person. The result of this interaction is an actual mental state that acts as a subjective reality of the person. Along with this, it will also serve as an objective reality for people . The explication of the concept of “social and psychological climate” does not have a single interpretation in either national or foreign psychology. The most closely related phenomena are the concepts of “moral and psychological climate”, “group ecology”, “psychological atmosphere”, etc.
According to the first approach, E. S. Kuzmin, L. P. Buev, N. N. Oborov, and K. K. Platonov reveal the psychological climate as a state of collective consciousness and emphasize that “the consciousness of people don’t reflect single acts of relationships between group members, but the whole integral set of conditions for their coexistence” (conditions of study, service, methods of encouragement, etc.) [11, 12].
Proponents of the second approach: A. A. Rusalinova and A. N. Lutoshkin, “identified the prevailing moods of the group members as the core of the social and psychological climate and attributed this concept to the emotional and psychological mood” .
According to B. D. Parygin and V. M. Shepel, “the main characteristic feature of the psychological climate is the style of the relationships between members of the group: satisfaction from communication with each other, desire to make contact, the comfort of existence” .
Combining these approaches, we can conclude that the social and psychological climate is a set of stable moods and judgments of the team, determined by the life conditions .
The social and psychological climate of relationships in a group of the cadets includes three components (zones):
- social climate (goals, objectives of the group, as well as the rights and obligations of its members);
- moral climate (values shared by all members of the group);
- the psychological climate (the traditions of the largely informal nature).
The intersection of these zones determines the constant (static) climate level. It is achieved when the team is being formed and can remain unchanged and integral for a long time.
The dynamic level of the social and psychological climate is formed from the daily feelings of the group members. This level represents the psychological atmosphere of the cadet group. It is less conscious and is characterized by temporary impermanence. Its influence extends to the performance, cognitive and official actions of cadets.
O. S. Mikhalyuk and A. Yu. Shalto, developing the methodological bases for the studying of the social and psychological climate, defined it as “a system of relations between group members and the team” . The characteristics of this relationship are temporary stability and social conditionality.
The factors that determine the social and psychological climate formation of the cadet group are divided into two categories: micro (internal) and macro (external) factors. External factors are mediated by people’s social relations. This group consists of factors such as 1) the political situation in the country (educational development programs, trust to reference person, etc.; 2) economic processes in society (the ratio of the social and technical level of the development); 3) quality and standard of living (the conformity of the level of prices and the income of the population); 4) social living conditions of the population (the availability of social services); 5) social demographic conditions (the availability of employment in the area of residence); 6) ethnic factors (barriers to inter-ethnic communication).
Internal factors that characterize the cadet's surroundings in the group include:
- organizational, including mechanisms of organizing the educational process in an educational organization;
- subjective factors that are mediated by the formal and informal structure of the cadet group.
The social and psychological climate of the cadet group is mainly composed of the latter group of factors. Official roles and statuses of the cadets are officially fixed in the educational organizations’ normative documents. At the same time, intra-group relationships (team cohesion, tolerance to individual psychological characteristics, conflict processes, mutual assistance, etc.) are formed spontaneously and represent the informal structure of the group.
The social and psychological climate tools include group pressure and social control. The cadet experiences various types of influence from the team. The influence of the cadets on each other is exercised by the means of material, power, and informational impact. The attitude to the group is determined by the result of these influences. The cadet may ignore and neglect the team of the study group, may value it, or feel the unwillingness to exist among his/her groupmates. Thus, the social and psychological climate is an indicator of the relationship between the particular cadet and a group and is the final manifestation of social reality for the cadet.
The process of becoming aware of belonging to a group is called group identification. The result of this process is the group identity of the cadet group members. According to H. Tajfel and J. Turner the mechanism of the group identity consists of several interrelated components [17, 18]:
- identification, that is characterized as an assessment of the conformity of the one’s views, beliefs, values, abilities with the members of the selected group;
- a cognitive component that means comparing the selected group with others, based on significant characteristics of the individual (prestige, status);
- the emotional component, or experience of the emotional side of identification, the sensory side of belonging to a group: joy from meeting with members of the group, hatred towards them, pride for the team, etc.;
- behavioral component, i.e. the action of a person through the representation of a group, the division of status membership.
The program has been conducted during self-training hours in the framework of the unified educational process in the Institute of the Interior. While organizing and carrying out the program, aimed at the optimization of social and psychological climate, the lecturer-tutor can either take an active position, where he together with the participants is included in the modeling of various situations, or act as an observer. In any case, the tutor’s main function is to lead, support, follow the rules, and the group dynamics. If necessary, the instructor can influence discreetly and purposefully the course of the game or exercise to achieve effective activities, to achieve the goals that were indicated at the beginning of each lesson.
Thus, A. M. Smolkin gives the following definition of the active teaching methods: “Active teaching methods are the ways of the revitalization of the educational and cognitive activity of cadets that encourage them to think actively while mastering the material. In this process both the teacher is active, and the cadets are”. In the case under discussion, the cadets solve problem situations; pass them through themselves, master not only the knowledge of the subject but also the self-regulation, self-control, self-organization skills .
According to A.M. Smolkin, in the research, we distinguish “imitation methods of active teaching, i.e. forms of conducting lessons where the educational and cognitive activity is based on imitation of professional activity. All others are non-imitation methods. Imitation methods are divided into the game and non-game methods. Game teaching methods include conducting business games, dramatizations, and non-game teaching methods - analysis of specific situations (case method)” .
The main methods of the program are group discussion, game teaching methods, i.e. role-playing and business games, psycho-gymnastics, relaxation techniques. We also used the so-called “event” method, which is based on the “event approach”. I.V. Vachkov suggests using “the criteria of time and space, which indicate when and where the activity of participants is realized” .
If the “event” is taken as an activity or “meeting”, we also use the following methods:
- “Working with past events” – these are already experienced situations both pleasant and problematic that both the cadet and the teacher will have to work with during one’s service or everyday life:
- “regression (implemented in the psychological state, in the inner world of a person)” - is necessary to re-immerse oneself in the situation, relive some event in the internal plan for reassessment and acceptance, and, if desired, to open oneself to the group of classmates;
- “exchange of experience (realized in the space of discourse, in a text format, i.e. in a situation of purposeful interference with other people)” – this is a group discussion, when students share their experiences about some events that are particularly important for them, expanding the field of possible variants for others;
- “imitation (games implemented in the classes and exercises) means the simulation modeling of one’s behavior, that is the prime element of role-playing, situational and business games used in the course of various theoretical schools.”
- “Working with the happening events”. It includes all the events meeting the requirement “here and now”, that occur directly at the facultative lesson. It is impossible to implement the behavior of the cadets as police officers in the process of official interaction without them:
- “concentration of presence” (implemented in the personal psychological state), an important role is devoted to special questions that the teacher asks the students on understanding and acceptance to focus their attention on what is happening to them, or what they feel at the moment;
- “group reflection” (implemented in the space of discourse) is used at the final stage of each lesson;
- “building dispositions” (implemented in the interaction space) includes a significant part of role-playing, situational and business games, exercises where the system of relations between the cadets is modeled following the norms of service etiquette, value settings in conjunction with the proposed rules of interaction, as well as various procedures implemented in an active emotional form.
- Working with constructed events that have not occurred yet, but their onset is possible in the course of professional activity and training in the future. These events are modeled and “lived in advance”. Cadets are trained to use stress mechanisms and the ways to manage themselves:
- “method of symbolic self-expression” as an officer, an “ideal police officer” (implemented in the psychological space of the cadet’s personality), The techniques and exercises are aimed at designing and modeling a new vision of the world; to look at oneself as an ideal police officer with all the necessary qualities of character and skills; and to perceive others as colleagues, companions, co-workers, with the purpose of the structured rules of interaction and mutual assistance;
- “group solution” of the problematic situations and formation of the above-mentioned image of the “ideal police officer”, his/her necessary traits of character, rules of interaction with citizens, and colleagues (implemented in the space of discourse). This is a technique of “brainstorming”, whose purpose is to find a common opinion on a specific issue in the process of communication between the participants;
- “operationalization” (implemented in the classroom space) is a “rehearsal of behavior” in various conditions, that allows oneself to try new models of behavior, learn new ways to relate to oneself, people, colleagues, etc.”
The analysis of the methods used during the training showed three main directions: firstly, verbal communication (for example, conversations, lectures, discussions); secondly, presentation of information in a visual form, demonstration of skills (for example, presentation, demonstration, and modeling); and thirdly, practical development of necessary skills (for example, drafting documents, modeling, etc.).
Therefore, any training method will belong to one of the above directions, i.e. it will contain either element of communication (cognitive) or elements of demonstration (emotional), or elements of practical activity (behavioral) – the using of one component does not prevent the usage of others .
So, implementing the cognitive and emotional components of the program, the following pedagogical conditions were created:
- familiarization the individual with the categories of moral and value concepts concerning the police officer;
- discussion of the laws of behavior in society and the laws of the meaning of life and working with the individual.
When organizing the program, the main theses were selected. They were used to make the dialogue with the cadets. At the first stage, an algorithm of informative conducting the lessons was built in the form of mini-lectures, discussions, active debates, and audible thinking:
- “a person cannot exist outside the society, without constant interaction with its members. Society, in its turn, cannot exist without such rules of people’s interaction. Each person is an individual, has his/her attitude to what is happening, and determines independently his/her behavior in specific circumstances. From the moment when a person has realized that his life is an exceptional value, and relationships with a certain circle of people are of significant interest to him, he/she faces with the absolute need to establish rules for interaction with other people”;
- “Russia continues its development as a democratic legal social state, where police officers perform delicate tasks in a complex environment with constant stress factors. The realities of the time and the specifics of the profession require them currently to mobilize all their physical and mental opportunities. As a result, the question of their moral qualities improvement, their turning professionals in the process of studying in the institute becomes relevant”;
- addressed to the problems of the society and state during studying and practice, the cadets have the opportunity not only to see the problems up “close”, but to take an active part in their solution. From the first years of studying, they are trained to serve men and law. The duty is expressed in such activities as patriotism, the protection of public order, volunteer activities that allow the cadets to get not only professional knowledge but also the sense of justice, compassion, duty, and honor. Without these qualities, the professional will not be a full-fledged specialist;
- “the professional activities of a police officer are not limited only by passive executive functions. It is the constant resolution of contradictions between the complex living system of law and reality. The existing real problems of law application and society require regulation by the law. A police officer as a priest cannot afford himself to behave immorally, be spiritually “bad”. He/she must be aware that he/she is an example for society, a semblance of the quality of the law he represents. The state or society relies not only on the results of his/her work, it trusts him/her to protect its interests, also monitors its moral assessment of these interests”;
- “Self-regulation and self-improvement of the individual is a system of interrelated and mutually dependent elements that include the processes of “education - self-education”. These processes are the formation and development of personal qualities in accordance with the requirements of society and individual development programs. These are also processes of “training-self-education”, that means the individual work of a person, acquiring, deepening, and practical application of knowledge, skills, and abilities”;
- self-improvement of an individual is a process of conscious, personality-driven development, where individual and professional qualities, needs, and abilities are formed and developed purposefully for the goals and interests of the individual;
- self-regulation is the mechanism by which the centralizing, directing, and activating position of the subject is provided. It optimizes mental capabilities, compensations for deficiencies, regulates individual state in connection with tasks and events of the activity. It also ensures the target and semantic correspondence of the subject’s ensuring to these events, timeliness, the proportionality of actions, etc.;
- the professional improvement basis is the process of self-education. The skills of independent work are the professional self-education basis. The personal-improvement basis is the process of self-education, and an essential criterion of these phenomena are moral phenomena;
- “It is necessary to highlight the values of the social-cultural sphere, personal and national dignity and professional competence. “Teaching” values are primarily aimed at awakening a person who is unique and self-valuable. Therefore, in our opinion, the influence of the teacher should not be edifying, prescribing certain rules. Communication between the teacher and the cadet should take the form of a dialogue that has no direct practical purpose” .
These theses lead to the conclusion that the personal characteristics of the future professional police officer include the concepts of self-regulation, self-development, self-improvement, self-organization, and self-harmonization of high spiritual, ethical, and moral qualities of the individual, that in its turn imposes the following requirements for pedagogical interaction:
- creating conditions for self-regulation, self-education, and self-development;
- reliance on the development of personal values;
- addressing social issues and the realities of law enforcement in the teaching process;
- introduction to the service to people and the law from the first years of training;
- searching for effective ways and rational approaches to the constant creative personal, spiritual and professional improvement;
- highlighting the values of the social-cultural sphere, personal and national dignity, and professional competence;
- inclusion of the method of “dialogue” between the teacher and the cadet, that does not have a direct practical purpose;
- formation of students’ spiritual openness and receptivity to various ways of relationships between people;
- selection of axiological and acmeological approaches as a methodological basis [22, 23].
As an example, we take a discussion on the topic: “Drafting the Group’s Code of Ethics”. The order of discussion: by their personal choice, cadets are divided into three groups according to the criteria: “men’s group”, they propose the girls' behavior in relation to boys of this group, “women’s group” - in relation to the behavior of boys to girls. Both groups should make ethical arguments, without going over the cadets’ personalities and specific situations. The group “independent experts” act as jurors during the discussion, pass their verdict on each proposal, and vote unanimously “for” or “against”. The goal is the development of psychological contact between the cadets, mutual respect, self-regulation, learning to stand in the position of an independent observer in relation to themselves and their situation, education of ethical norms of relationships within the group, the formation of positive acceptance of themselves and others. The time of the discussion is 1 hour.
In the conclusion of the program, the implementation of the activity component is appropriate, for example, in the situation when the cadet fulfills the task to draw up a “Personal Police Officer Code”. The cadets should solve this task in the classroom, and confirm what settings each police officer should be guided by and what his/her behavior should be. At the self-training lessons, each project was also discussed as a part of the program.
In general, each stage foster the formation of the basis of the value-moral attitudes of the cadet’s personality as a police officer, educate and train high moral and ideological positions, find spiritual professionally significant qualities important for the citizen of the Russian Federation and necessary for the development of a “perfect police officer”.
Results and Discussion
The analysis and interpretation of the empirical research results were carried out in three stages during which:
- the state of the social-psychological climate and the self-regulation level in the groups of cadets included in the study sample before the specially organized program was evaluated;
- implementation of a specially developed author's program aimed at optimizing the social-psychological climate as a condition for the development of self-regulation of its participants was made;
- a specially developed program in the 1st group (experimental group) was conducted;
- the work on climate optimization was not conducted in the 2nd group ( a control group);
- after the program the criteria of favorable climate and self-regulation level were compared by comparative analysis;
- the effectiveness of a specially organized program has been evaluated.
The first stage of the study (stating cross-section)
The assessment of the social and psychological climate in the group of cadets was carried out using the methodology of E. I. Rogov (Figure 1).
Figure 1. Comparative analysis of the social and psychological climate in the experimental and control group of cadets (stating stage)
Statistical analysis using nonparametric Fischer's Phi-criterion of the detected differences did not yield significant differences. In general, the level of favorability of the social and psychological climate in groups of cadets is reduced.
The study of the psychological atmosphere being formed in the groups of cadets was conducted using the A. F. Fidler scale, adapted by Yu. L. Khanin. Statistical analysis (Fischer's Phi-criterion) of the results did not reveal significant differences.
The level of the favorability of the psychological atmosphere became an indicator of the cadet team (Figure 2). Thus, the vast majority of the cadets consider that the atmosphere in their group corresponds to the average level of favorability. However, quarter cadets of the two groups tend to believe that the atmosphere in their groups is unfavorable. In the 1st group the proportion of these cadets is 20% and in group 2 - 23% (low level). Also, one-tenth of the cadets find the atmosphere of the group very favorable: in group 1 - 13.3%, in group 2 - 11.5 (high level).
Figure 2. Comparative analysis of psychological atmosphere criteria in the 1st and 2nd groups of cadets (stating stage)
Qualitative analysis of all the features allowed us to form an implicit image of the psychological atmosphere of the groups of the cadets. This result can be seen in Figure 3.
Figure 3. Indicators of the experimental and control group of cadets on the assessment of the criteria for the favorability of the social-psychological climate (the ascertaining stage)
Qualitative analysis of the received results showed that the indicators in the 1st and 2nd groups (experimental and control) are approximately identical. The groups of the cadets show a fairly high index of the average group indicator on the scales of cheerfulness, benevolence, mutual disposition, sharing successes, activity, that indicates good spirit and cheerful mood tone, goodwill in relationships, mutual disposition. However, the scale of joint activities shows the indifference of the cadets to close communication and an indifferent and negative attitude to each other. Moreover, the cadets do not want to take part in joint activities. Each other’s success often provokes envy. There is no tolerance for the opinions of other groupmates. This determines the average degree of “favorability” and the initial degree of lack of “favorability” of the psychological climate in groups.
In general, the level of favorability in the social and psychological climate in two groups of cadets is identical and reduced.
The reasons for the coherence between the two poles were found out during the conversation with the cadets. According to their responses, the features of a positive pole exist only in micro-groups but not in the team.
So, the level of well-being of relationships in groups of cadets, “before” the implementation of the program, can be defined as low. Half of the cadets have some problems in establishing business contacts with their groupmates. Groups can be described as scattered, non-integral. In general, participants feel an unfavorable psychological climate in their team.
A comparative analysis of conscious self-regulation of voluntary activity of the cadets of the 1st and 2nd groups (experimental and control) were conducted using the V. I. Morosanova’s questionnaire “Style of Self-Regulation of Behavior”. The integral level analysis of conscious self-regulation included an assessment of the actual cadets’ ability to initiate and manage their voluntary activity adequately, consciously, flexibly, and sustainably (Figure 4).
Figure 4. Integral level of conscious self-regulation of cadets in the experimental and control groups (stating stage)
The obtained results of the comparative analysis of conscious self-regulation integral level of future police officers in groups 1 and 2 (experimental and control) have statistically significant differences. The cadets of the experimental group have poor skills of voluntary self-regulation (average score 17.7), which shows that their behavior depends on the situation and the opinions of people. They also have an unformed necessity for conscious planning and programming of their behavior.
In the 2nd group (control group), the level of voluntary self-regulation among the cadets is changing from low to medium (average score 29.7). They show independence in decision-making, and the skills to regulate their mental state. However, they do not always manage with restraining their characterological features that can prevent the achievement of goals.
The dynamic analysis of the integral level of conscious self-regulation of respondents included an assessment of the style features of cadets’ voluntary activity on such indicators as planning, modeling, programming, and evaluation of results. These indicators allowed the evaluation of the cadets’ self-regulation in the experimental and control groups as a single process of personal mobilization.
Comparative analysis of the style features of cadets’ arbitrary self-regulation in both groups revealed significant differences in their regulatory processes. Individual characteristics in the promotion and retention of goals are more obvious in the control group of the cadets (p<0.001). They have a greater need for conscious planning of their activities, their plans are more realistic and hierarchical. In contrast, the planning process is more subjected to the situation and maneuverability for the cadets of the experimental group. Frequent changes in goals make their plans less realistic.
Complex analysis of style features is carried out by individual profiles of arbitrary self-regulation following its integral level (Figure 5).
Figure 5. Profiles of style features of conscious self-regulation in the control and experimental group of the cadets (the ascertaining stage)
The profile of the cadets of the experimental group characterizes them as impulsive, but enterprising people; they do not know how to keep a promise, but they have the ability not to get lost in difficult situations. The low level of conscious self-regulation of cadets in the experimental group has become evident in the process of communication. They show social desirability, signs of demonstrativeness. They were often inconsiderate to the conversationalist. They can not look at themselves. The idea of the future does not have clear contours (planning – 3.3 points, modeling – 4.0 points, programming – 2.6 points, evaluation of results – 2.3 points).
The profile of cadets in the control group shows that they plan their behavior more carefully (4.7 points), can get the job done, the desire for a comfortable communicative environment (modeling - 4.7 points), have increased detailing and accuracy of the words, actions, and deeds (programming - 6.1 points), that reduce attention to the things that are significant for the success of the activity (evaluation of the results - 4.4 points). This fact also reduces the level of self-regulation.
Thus, a comparative analysis of style features of the voluntary self-regulation of cadets at the stating stage showed that: 1) the style features of the personal cadets’ self-regulation in the experimental and control groups have negligible statistically significant differences in such regulatory processes as planning, modeling, and evaluation of results; 2) the training process of cadets is aimed at the formation of programming skills, that causes a weakly expressed dynamics of the integral level of voluntary self-regulation.
The findings verify the necessity for additional psychological and pedagogical work aimed at the development of cadets’ self-regulation.
At the next stage according to the research hypothesis, a specially developed author’s program aimed at optimizing the social and psychological climate in the group of cadets, through the awakening of morality and empathy in the cadets’ personality was conducted in the experimental group. The first group of cadets was taken as an experimental group. The second group acted as a control group. This work was carried out at the second stage of the research.
A specially devised program was designed for 32 hours, 2-4 hours a week. It was conducted during the inter-sessional period in order not to have a significant impact on the educational process. The implementation of the proposed program was carried out in the framework of self-training, after training sessions.
The structure of the specially developed program consists of 9 modules, that were aimed at the formation and the development of one of the criteria for a favorable social and psychological climate in a group of cadets, and includes three blocks:
- introduction: acquaintance with the lecturer-tutor, introduction of the rules of the work, diagnostics of the main parameters of work in a team, questionnaire on methods (the ascertaining stage);
- during the main part, the skills of interaction and mutual understanding are developed, conditions for the manifestation of the intellectual and emotional potential of participants are created;
- conclusion: summing up, feedback questionnaire, findings, questionnaire on methods (control stage).
Each module contains and presents algorithms, methodological practices, and techniques. Their synthesis (as a result) should improve and optimize the social and psychological climate in the cadet team that in turn, will be included in the overall result for the development of self-regulation of cadets and in the empirical confirmation of the developed methodology. Each lesson included the following stages: ritual, warm-up, working phase (implementation of the task), emotional discharge, reflection.
Thematic planning was based on the stages of the program, time parameters of the lesson, pedagogical actions, and methods (Table 1).
Table 1: Thematic planning of the program “Psychological and Pedagogical Conditions for Optimizing the Social Psychological Climate in a Group of the Cadets”
Module 1. “Introduction”
1 hour / 1st week
Introduction, discussion of the program and rules, practical work
Cohesion exercises and group trust Construction of a form-scheme for assessing the social-psychological climate of the group
Module 2. “Collectivism”
4 hours / 2nd week
Mini-lectures (the team is…; 5 stages of development of the team, types of teams: sandy placer, soft clay, flickering lighthouse, scarlet sail, burning torch; roles in the team), practical work
Exercises: “Uninhabited Island”, "Our Group is Like"
Figurative description of the team “Drafting a Code of Ethics for a Group”
Module 3. “Cohesion”
4 hours / 3rd week
Mini-lecture (development of psychological contact of participants interacting with each other; visible and invisible criteria for group cohesion), practical work
Portfolio of the group “Tree of Achievements of the Group”
Business game "Group Rallying"
Module 4. “Sociability”
4 hours / 4th week
Mini-lecture (golden rules in communication, ways to create a favorable impression, 7 radicals, methods of enhancing attraction and creating trust, persuasion techniques, and rules of argument), practical work
Exercises “Contact”, “Convince in 60 Seconds” (dynamic work in pairs), and “Determining a Person by Color Type”
Role-playing games “Group Members” and “Trust”
Module 5. “Openness”
4 hours / 5th week
Mini-lecture (everything starts with communication, three components of communication, conscious and unconscious criteria of openness of a person, rules of speech behavior), practical work
“Throw over the Ball”
“I am in the Sunshine”
Module 6. “Organized nature”
4 hours / 6th week
Mini-lecture (goal setting: individual and group; time management; priority balance), practical work
The technique of mental cards
Business game "Campaign"
Module 7. “Awareness”
4 hours / 7th week
Mini-lecture (awareness and its capabilities; sources of awareness and the level of trust in them; human physiological capabilities that affect the amount of awareness), practical work
Role-playing game “Success Story”
Module 8. “Responsibility”
4 hours / 8th week
Mini-lecture (the concept of responsibility; components of responsibility: emotional, behavioral, cognitive; types of responsibility), practical work
Exercises: "One is not a Warrior in the Field"
Collection of the model “Arch”
Module 9. “Conclusion”
1 hour / 9 th week
Summing up and parting
"The Personal Code of the Police Officer”
the construction of the form-scheme of the socio-psychological climate of the group, comparative analysis of schemes 1 and 2
The third stage of the study (control)
A comparative analysis of the integral assessment of the favorability of the social and psychological climate before and after the introduction of a specially organized program was conducted using the methodology of E. I. Rogov.
Statistical analysis revealed the significant differences in the social and psychological climate of the experimental group of the cadets after the program implementation. The control stage shows an average degree of favorability of the psychological climate. 60% of test subjects out of 100% gave answers indicating an average level of favorability, and 40% of the cadets gave answers indicating a high level of favorability of the social and psychological climate in the study group. None of the cadets showed a low or unfavorable level of social and psychological climate in the team.
The comparison (using the t-Student’s statistical criterion) of the profiles of favorability of social and psychological climate in the experimental group before and after the program (Figure 6) indicates positive dynamics in such criteria as:
- participation in joint activities of cadets (p <0.001);
- collectivism - in the darkest hour, members of a group of cadets observe emotional unity (p <0.001);
- openness - the participants have become more friendly towards new members of the team, help them to adapt quickly (p <0.001);
- cohesion, especially in the performance of joint tasks (p <0.001);
- responsibility - the desire for a fair attitude of its members and a conscientious attitude towards joint tasks (p <0.001)
Figure 6. Dynamics of the criteria for the favorable social and psychological climate after using the program in the experimental group
Similar statistical analysis conducted in the control group made it possible to fix the static nature of the degree of favorable social and psychological climate.
The study of the dynamics of the signs of the psychological atmosphere was carried out using the A.F. Fidler scale, adapted by Yu.L. Hanin. The revealed differences in the level of favorable psychological atmosphere in the group of cadets after carrying out a specially organized program received statistical confirmation. This significantly reduced the number of students who consider the atmosphere to be unfavorable (p <0.001). The number of cadets characterizing the psychological atmosphere of their team as favorable, increased by 33.4%.
The analysis of implicit images, conducted using the Student’s paired t-test, revealed qualitative differences in the cadets’ judgments. After the program implementation, the criteria of the psychological atmosphere in the experimental group of cadets acquired the quality of uniformity. The orientation vector is positive. The hostility that was present between the members of the entire team or between micro-groups was replaced by friendliness. As a result, warmth in the relationship was found. Cadets began to cooperate more frequently, especially in performing joint actions, which led to an increase in the productivity of the results during training, and the increase in discipline. Mutual support of the team members allowed to change the self-assessment of the group of cadets from unsuccessful to successful. The indicators are shown in Figure 7.
Figure 7. Dynamics of the criteria of the psychological atmosphere in the experimental group of cadets before and after the program
Similar statistical analysis carried out in group 2 made it possible to fix the static nature of the psychological atmosphere between the cadets. That means that a favorable atmosphere is to be observed only within micro-groups.
During the final stage, the effectiveness of the program was evaluated and the influence of the favorable level of the social and psychological climate of the cadets’ self-regulation development was estimated.
The analysis allows us to suggest that a specially designed program aimed at optimizing the social and psychological climate in a group of cadets is effective enough to increase the auspiciousness level and personal self-regulation development.
The feedback questionnaire was used to study the cadets’ opinion in the experimental group about the content and the process of conducting classes, as well as the assessment of the teacher's competence.
Appreciation of the program content is expressed by “exceeded expectations” (25% of the cadets). 25% of the respondents rated the program content as “meeting expectations”, 41.67 % rated the program content as “meeting their goals to a high degree”, and 8.33% of participants – as “meeting the goals to a very high degree”. Members of the group of the cadets pointed to a high logical sequence of the content of lessons, a high degree of compliance with the everyday educational tasks.
In the questionnaire, all the participants confirmed that the program contributed to the expansion of opportunities both for the group of cadets and for each person.
All the participants rated the variety of tasks and exercises in the program as “normal”. At the same time, the participants evaluated unanimously the duration of the program as optimal (not too long or too short).
The qualification of the lecturer-tutor was assessed as follows:
42.67 % - express a high rating;
58.33 % - express “very high”.
All the cadets rated the lecture material and practical exercises as relevant to their needs. At the same time, the participants evaluated the exercises used in the program as contributing to the effective consolidation of the necessary personal qualities relevant to the future profession “the police officer”.
The strong points of the program are:
- “an opportunity to look at oneself from the side”, “emphasis on moments that have not been previously addressed”;
- “practical exercises”;
- “accuracy of the instructions”;
However, 16.7% of the cadets expressed their wishes to increase the number of practical exercises. Valuable comments include indicating the necessity to improve the accuracy of the task of exercises, to present them in the written form, and to increase the offered number of business games and presentation materials.
In general, according to the results of the feedback questionnaire, the effectiveness of the program can be assessed as very high.
Thus, we can assume that the developed program “Psychological and Pedagogical Conditions for Optimizing the Social and Psychological Climate in a Group of Cadets” is effective.
Psychological and pedagogical techniques for optimizing the social and psychological climate in a group of cadets include the use of organizational and social and psychological methods.
According to the hypothesis, the most effective condition for the development of future police officers’ self-regulation is the optimization of the social and psychological climate in the group of the cadets, namely, a specially developed program, which purpose is to educate future police officer as a person, train new technologies and work out new behavioral patterns, self-regulation skills, and self-control in the team.
Diagnostic criteria for a favorable social and psychological climate in a group of cadets are collectivism, cohesion, organization, contact, openness, responsibility, and awareness of the group of cadets.
The assessment of the current state of the social and psychological climate (the ascertaining stage) allowed us to establish that the level of climate favorability is low. It became evident when:
- the team is divided into micro-groups, where benevolence in the relationship prevails, but it does not apply to the team as a whole;
- the desire for the joint activities is absent, students’ indifference to closer communication dominates;
- the success of classmates often provokes envy;
- there is no tolerance for the opinions of team members;
- newly arrived cadets remain “newcomers” for a long time are not accepted by the group;
- the level of the psychological atmosphere is rather unfavorable.
The lessons conducted according to a specially developed program aimed at optimizing the social and psychological climate in a group of cadets, allowed to increase the level of its indicators:
- satisfaction with the psychological atmosphere in the team increased by 7.5% and became more uniform;
- integration of group members increased by 7%;
- the favorable social and psychological climate in the group increased by 31.6%.
The results of a comparative analysis of the integral level of conscious self-regulation of the cadets in the control and experimental groups after the introduction of a specially developed program are presented in Figure 8.
Figure 8. Integral level of conscious self-regulation of control and experimental groups of the cadets after the program
The total level of self-regulation formation of arbitrary activity of cadets in the control group remained almost unchanged (from 29.7 to 29.8 points), but among the cadets of the experimental group, it increased significantly (from 17.7 to 38.3 points) and amounted to a high level (average score 38.3). The cadets formed the skills to choose such a self-regulation style that allows them to compensate for the influence of personal or character traits on the style of their behavior (p <0.001). The cadets of the experimental group acquired the skills to feel more confident in unfamiliar situations and to control themselves in the team.
Thus, the specially developed program is effective for the optimization of social and psychological climate in the group of cadets. It raises the level of favorable psychological atmosphere in the team, contribute to the positive dynamics of the integral level of self-regulation development of the arbitrary activity of cadets in the experimental group. That indicates that the cadets acquire skills to react independently, flexibly, and adequately to the changing conditions in academic and professional situations.
The assessment of the dynamics of style features of the cadets’ arbitrary activity is shown in Figure 9.
Figure 9. Profiles of style features of conscious self-regulation of experimental and control groups of the cadets after implementation of the program
A comparative analysis of the profiles of arbitrary regulation of the cadets participating and not participating in the program revealed significant differences.
The dynamics of the indicator “planning” indicate that during the project the cadets of the experimental group acquired the skills of conscious goal-setting. The indicator increased from 3.3 to 5.3 points (p<0.01). For a long time, the conscious promotion of goals and their stability allows cadets of this group to minimize the difficulties in self-organization. The dynamics of the “planning” indicator remained almost unchanged for cadets in the control group.
Significant changes in the course of the special project were observed in cadets’ modeling skills: from 4.0 to 6.6 points (p<0.001). They learned not only to detail the external and internal conditions of the current situation but also acquired the ability to assess quickly its significant conditions. In the course of training during the response, future employees demonstrated correct behavior and tried to observe the time range allotted to them to complete the assigned task. While communicating the cadets of the experimental group demonstrate the skills of competent communication tactics. The dynamics of the “simulation” indicator remained almost unchanged for the cadets in the control group.
The dynamics of conscious programming skills recorded after the training shows that the cadets of the experimental group formed a stable necessity to think through their modus operandi and their behavior strategies to achieve the goals: from 2.6 to 7.0 points (p<0.001). The acquired skills to develop their program of actions stimulate the cadets of this group to rebuild it quickly and make adjustments, as well as to be resistant to interference. The dynamics of the indicator “programming” for cadets in the control group remained almost unchanged.
The development of skills evaluating the effectiveness of the actions of the cadets in the experimental group increased from 2.3 points to 7 (p<0.001). In the process of participating in the program, future police officers have developed skills for comparing intermediate and final results, determining accurately the degree of misalignment of the chosen strategy with the activity goal. The dynamics of the indicator “evaluation of results” for cadets in the control group remained almost unchanged.
Thus, in the course of training, the control group of the cadets acquires the skills of arbitrary regulation of their activity depending on the current situation (p<0.001), but this process has a weak dynamics.
On the contrary, the characteristic features of the profile of the cadets’ voluntary self-regulation in the experimental group after participation in a specially developed program are:
- the formation of regulatory flexibility skills, that allow the cadets to be receptive to the new situations, control themselves, and to be adapted to stressful situations in communication;
- mastering of the skills of the operative building of appropriate action strategy depending on the situation;
- development of skills to compare intermediate and final results with the original goal;
- mastering the skills of operational restructuring of the program of individual actions.
Evaluating the effectiveness of the program allows us to conclude that this project helps to optimize the social and psychological climate in the group of the cadets, transferring it from unfavorable to a more favorable or optimal one. This leads to self-regulation development in the educational process, which is unnoticed by the cadets in an atmosphere of collectivism and friendly support.
In the course of the analysis, a significant correlation between the necessity to optimize the social and psychological climate in the group of cadets and self-regulation was established: the higher is the level of favorable psychological atmosphere in the group, the higher is the overall level of self-regulation of the cadets, the more they focus themselves on planning and goal-setting in educational activities, modeling and thinking through the actions and assess adequately the results of their behavior.
In conclusion, we note that the self-regulation of a cadet personality in the process of becoming a police officer is successfully developed as a systematical relation of cadets to themselves, as well as to the team, to his/her main professional and service activities, and the attitude to each other.
To do this, police training practice in the conditions of educational space of higher education institutions should be applied widely by interactive methods of improving the microclimate in the team for optimization of social and psychological climate in groups of students, their informal convergence, as well as to develop and organize special educational programs, and psychological training. Thus, the development of self-regulation of the cadets, the development of their self-control, and self-harmonization skills during their complex police service, as well as during the educational space within higher education institutions of the system of the Interior will be faster and easier.
Conflict of interest: None
Financial support: None
Ethics statement: None
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