In the process of questioning 296 students, we correlated the levels of psychological inclination to poverty and its awareness, choice of the aims of increasing selfefficacy, the organizational forms, the methods, and the ways of psychological help. It is established that the respondents who chose poverty as a lifestyle acknowledge the necessity of psychological help to them. However, such acknowledgement is rather external: they gladly shift responsibility for their own behavior to some other people. These respondents are mostly oriented at getting out of their negative traits than at the developing the positive ones. They expect the people around them to help them overcome their fears and uncertainty and increase self-appraisal. An awareness of such features strengthens such expectations. Unlike more effective people the respondents show a little interest in other people’s positive experience of achieving success and possibilities of using it in their own life activity. They prefer non-productive communication with people who have the similar problems.
Key words: culture of poverty, poverty as a lifestyle, increasing self-efficacy, overcoming fears and uncertainty, increasing self-appraisal, positive examples of achievement of success, exchanging life knowledge.
The problem. The study of consciousness and behavior of people with a low level of material welfare began in the theory of “culture of poverty” O. Lewis . To specify the psychological characteristics of people belonging to the corresponding subcultures, we have developed the category of “psychological inclination to poverty.” This inclination understood as the tendency for a person to choose poverty as a lifestyle, to prefer such a state as a subjectively comfortable. The following features can characterize lifestyle of poverty culture carriers: reduced value of individuality, lowered self-esteem, weakened desire for self-actualization, avoiding responsibility, reduced ability to make a choice, external acceptance of compulsion, learned helplessness, reduced capacity for self-limited spatial and time orientation, weakened integrity behavior, narrowed range of deviation from social standards, and tendency to stylization protection .
Known from the literature and practice means of the poor psychological support to overcome their inherent lifestyle primarily aimed at personal correcting. In this regard, an interesting landmark can be a certain level of self-efficacy that A. Bandura recognized as the basis of human subjectivity – their beliefs concerning people’s ability to control events that affect their life faith in themselves and their competence. These convictions prompt a person may a person or may not perform certain actions to improve the situation, mobilize their cognitive means, increase control over the course of events. Performing certain actions or failure depends essentially on how the person evaluates their behavioral and cognitive capabilities to achieve the desired result [3-5; 6, p. 695-696].
Special attention obviously deserve social and psychological factors of increasing self-efficacy. Under the influence of social assessments, a person gets in response to their actions, a person learns (or does not study) to regulate their conduct and internal psycho-emotional state, acquires (or does not acquire) the ability of more or less indifferently treat themselves. (If does not learn and acquire, then there is formation of low self-efficacy – unwanted individually psychological feature formation of which also significantly contributes to social and psychological factors, especially in the early stages of personal development).
The objective of this study was to clarify the communications between a person susceptibility to the choice of poverty as a lifestyle and their psychological orientation to enhance self-efficacy using tools offered by the environment. For this purpose, 296 people were interviewed: 244 students – psychologists, political scientists and philosophers of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv and 52 students – psychologists of Uzhgorod National University 60 men and 236 women.
Respondents were asked a questionnaire that consisted, in particular, from a questionnaire “Psychological inclination to poverty” , in which respondents were divided into groups with low, medium and high levels of such inclination. The second part was a list of possible or desired goals (results), organizational forms and methods of work, specific techniques and methods of interaction, which respondents expect when, apply for psychological help.
The content of this list was defined during the long procedure at earlier stages of research, a result of which it has acquired the following form. The goals of increasing self-efficacy: to show their giftedness and talents; understand the peculiarities of interaction with the environment; increase self-esteem; change views and attitudes; understand their positive and negative traits; overcome fears and uncertainty; strengthen the credibility of the environment; understand the personal reasons for their failures; to strengthen the sense of responsibility. Organizational forms and methods of work: lectures, video, review of literature; involvement in social work; stretched in time psychological support; involvement of people from their environment; visiting facilities for the elderly, the disabled and orphans; career guidance; psychological training; involvement in volunteer activities; group psychotherapy; appeal to social services, employment centers; involvement in social structures. Techniques and methods of psychological assistance: sharing life experiences; communicate with people who have problems similar to theirs, positive examples of people who have succeeded; discuss life scenarios; show appeal of freedom and responsibility; providing emotional support, recognition, praise; joint planning for the future; positive examples of people who overcame their troubles; discuss the benefits of a healthy lifestyle; designing joint activities; formulating collective life goals.
Comparison of respondents with different levels of psychological inclination to poverty showed a lack of fundamental differences between their preferences concerning organizational forms and practices. Only on the level tendencies of registered a higher commitment of people with average (29.3%) and high (27.2%) tendency to be poor stretched in time psychological support than those who have this tendency as low (17.4%). Obviously, those who give themselves cope with their financial problems, do not need (or a little require) long constant help.
Another form of work – visiting facilities for the elderly, the disabled, and orphans – seems very attractive to respondents with a high level of inclination to poverty (14.4%), less enjoy those who have this level as the average (9.1%), and almost no interested people with low tendency to poverty (2.9%).
The principal were differences in the assessment of psychological assistance purposes. In particular it concerns a significant desire to overcome the fears and insecurities that most clearly showed people with high levels of psychological inclination to poverty (68%), close to them indicator had people with an average level (65.7%), while respondents who had a peculiar inclination significantly less (37.7%) need to overcome their fears and insecurities (p ≤ 0,01). Likewise distributed evaluation need to increase self-esteem, 32,8, 29,3 and 18,8% (p ≤ 0,05), according to the specified groups.
Thus, respondents’ expectations of a possible psychological help greatly depend on their subjective status in capability concerning their own financial problems. The more helpless a person is, the more a person hopes that “someone” could (must?) help them become bolder, more confident, and more amenable to themselves. Very characteristic is rather a desire to get rid of their negative traits than develop positive traits.
Among the techniques and methods of psychological assistance were positive examples of people who have achieved success: their interest have reported 32.8% of respondents with a high level of psychological inclination to poverty, 42.4% of those with an average level, and 53.6% were of such a low- inclination level (p ≤ 0,01). It turns out that it is the latter, i.e. those who are least in need of proper psychological care, most are oriented to familiarization with the positive experience of other people and obviously ready to take it on board. Instead, troubled people less interested in such things, carry over the experience of others to them either difficult or reluctant.
With this kind of data and assessment corresponds such a reception as sharing life experiences, it higher rated people are not inclined to be poor (53.6%) compared to the inclination (40.8%) and, even more, of those who are inherent average level of inclination (35,4%; p ≤ 0,05).
But such a method as to communicate with people who have similar problems, respondents who tend to be poor, noted significantly more often (40.8%) than average inclination (19.2%) or a little (17,4%; p ≤ 0,05). It can be concluded that in relation to the environment psychological inclination to poverty leads to rather emotionally saturated, but hardly productive to communication with their fellows than to attempt to take a positive experience by the others as the guide to action.
In order to determine whether the person realizes their inherent psychological inclination to poverty by improving the efficiency part of respondents – 173 students of the Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University (49 men and 124 women) – were asked to perform another task. After completing the questionnaire “Psychological inclination to poverty” they worked with a list of features that characterize people who are susceptible to be poor: passivity, inactivity, wait; accusations against others, search the perpetrators; austerity; avoiding communication; fruitless dreams, waiting for a miracle; bias, negative thoughts about others; the desire for a quiet family life; unproductive ways of overcoming difficulties; dominance relationships in family relationships outside of the family; dependence on others, waiting for their help; weak focus on career; expectations of external conditions [8-13].
First, you needed to choose the features inherent to the very respondent then had to give a brief description of why each of the selected features appears. This work included encouraging participants to self-assessment and introspection eventually as poor. Because of this analysis, respondents were divided into two groups – those who recognize this tendency in themselves, and those who deny it.
Only after this task, the respondents evaluated the above objectives increasing self-efficacy, organizational forms and methods of work techniques and methods of care as the characteristics of application for psychological counseling.
Based on the data identified four groups of respondents: those who have a high tendency to poverty and confess this (40 people); who have high tendency to poverty, but deny it (29 people); who have a low inclination to poverty, but recognize it (20 people); who have a low inclination to poverty and deny it (25 people). (To enhance the contrast between the study groups from the sample were removed respondents with an average level of inclination to poverty).
Further, based on Fisher criterion was conducted comparing of responses representatives of these groups. There was practically no difference in the choice of organizational forms and methods to increase self-efficacy.
Most clearly traced the differences in estimates of techniques and methods of psychological help. Reported significantly higher orientation of individuals who have low levels of inclination to poverty, but recognize it in themselves, positive examples of people who have achieved success (80%). Sharing life experiences most attracted to those who have a low propensity to be poor and deny it (64%). Discuss life scenarios often enjoy people with a high level of inclination to poverty that deny it in themselves (51.7%).
Less clearly divided respondents as assessed by goals of psychological help. However, one goal – to overcome fear and uncertainty – significantly differentiated almost four groups: those who have a high tendency to poverty and confess this (72.5%); have a low inclination, but admit it (55%); have a high propensity, but deny it (41.4%); have low inclination and deny it (12%).
In general, one could confirm that those who choose poverty as a lifestyle recognize the need for psychological help for themselves. However, this recognition is rather externalities: they willingly shift responsibility for their own behavior on other people. These individuals are more oriented to getting rid of negative traits than the positive traits development. From the environment primarily expected to help to overcome the fears and uncertainty and increase self-esteem. Understanding these features increases corresponding expectations in them. Unlike the more effective people, they little interest in the positive experience of other people and opportunities to use it in their own life. Instead, they prefer to communicate with low productivity with carriers similar to their problems.