Human as a subject of biographical research: history and methodology

  • E. Rudnev Publishing House Public Education
Keywords: biographical method; psychological approach; psychobiography; scientific tradition; biographical research methodology; biographical interview; media biography.


In the article, the psychological bases of the biographical research based on the works of domestic and foreign scientists are considered. The formation of the bio-graphical method in the historical reperspective is shown. It is noted that the bio-graphical method receives the most intensive development in the 20th century, be-ginning with the attempt of G.Myurei to ligate this kind of research, and the place of the biographical method in the studies of SLRubinstein and BGAnaniev in Russia also. The Russian and American traditions of biographical research are com-pared. The role of D.Levinson and his influence on the further development of American psychology, the dominance of general and age psychology in Russian and social psychology in American psychology, as well as the applied nature of American studies are shown. Four main directions of biographical research in domestic psychology are singled out: philosophical-being, personality-reconstructive, narrative and ontopsychological. Their brief characteristic is given and the representatives are listed. Methodological aspects of biographical research are disclosed.  Distinctions of biographical interview and biographical study tasks are described. Changes in the studied groups and the possibilities of research based on media technology are shown at the present stage.


Abulkhanova-Slavskaya, K.A. (1991). Strategy of life. Moscow, Thought. [in Russian]
Abulkhanova-Slavskaya, K.A. (2001). Person's time and time of life. St. Petersburg, Aleteya. [in Russian]
Ananiev, B.G. (2007). Selected works on psychology: in 2 volumes. In N.A. Loginova, L.A. Golovei (Eds.). St. Petersburg: Publishing house S.-Petersburg. University, T.1 Essays on Psychology. History of Russian psychology. [in Russian]
Ananiev, B.G. (2005). Psychology and problems of human science: Selected psychological works. Moscow, IADC. [in Russian]
Ананьев, Б.Г. (2005). Психология и проблемы человекознания: Избранные психологические труды. Москва, МПСИ.
Biographical method in sociology: history, methodology and practice. (1994) Meshcherkina E. Yu., Semenova V. V. (Ed.). Moscow, Institute of Sociology RAS. [in Russian]
Vasari, J. (1996). Biographies of the most famous painters, sculptors and architects. Moscow, Terra, T.1, 608; T.2, 848; T.3, 816; T.4, 688; T.5, 814. [in Russian]
Golovakha, E.I., Kronik, A.A. (2008). Psychological time of personality. Moscow. [in Russian]
Golovei, L.A. (2007). Ontopsychology is the psychology of the development of individuality. Psychological journal, T.28, №5, 61-69. [in Russian]
Kronik, A.A., Akhmerov, R.A. (2003). Causo-metry: methods of self-knowledge, psychodiagnostics and psychotherapy in the life path psychology. Moscow, Sense. [in Ukrainian]
Loginova, N.A. (2016). Anthropological psychology of Boris Ananyev. Moscow, "Institute of Psychology RAS". [in Ukrainian]
Loginova, N.A., Ananiev, B.G. (2006). Biography. Memories. Materials. St. Petersburg, Publishing House of S.-Petersburg. un-ta. [in Russian]
Loginova, N.A. (2005). The experience of the humanities: The history of the integrated approach in psychological schools. St. Petersburg, Publishing House of S.-Petersburg. un-ta. [in Russian]
Loginova, N.A. (2001). Psychobiographical method of research and correction of personality. Almaty, Kazakh universities. [in Russian]
Lotman, Yu.M. (2015). Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin: biography of the writer. St. Petersburg, the ABC. [in Russian]
Revel, J. (2002). Biography as a historiographic problem. Moscow, RGGU. [in Russian]
Rubinshtein, S.L. (2015). Fundamentals of General Psychology. St. Petersburg, Peter. [in Russian]
Sapogova, E.E. (2012). Territory of adulthood: Horizons of self-development in adulthood. Moscow, Genesis. [in Russian]
(2015). Existential-narrative approach in the study of the personality and its life path. HER. Sapogova, M.N. Klementieva, O.A. Borodachova (Ed.). Tula, publishing house of Tula State University. [in Russian]
Sushko, P.E. (2016). Biographical change in migration research: new opportunities and limitations. Materials of the VI international sociological Grushin conference "The life of research after research: how to make the results understandable and useful". Moscow, JSC "VCIOM". [in Russian]
Khudyakov, A.I., Mashoshina, A.A. (2016). Characteristics of the subjective picture of life in representatives of technical and medical specialties. Psychology and Psychotechnics, No. 3, 251-255. [in Russian]
Brown, B.K. (1992). Biodata phenomenology: Recruiters’ perceptions and use of biographical information in personnel selection. Ph.D. Purdue University, West Lafayette.
Cook, E.C. (2011). Biography, Well-being and Personal Media: A Qualitative Study of Everyday Digital Photography Practices. Ph.D. The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Day, M.R., Wills ,T. (2008). Biografic Approach. Nursing older people, vol. 20, no.6.
Dickson, S. B. (1988). Leadership styles and background characteristics of women administrators in public education and corporate business. Ph.D. Georgia State University, Atlanta.
Elms, A.C. (1994). Uncovering lives. The Uneasy Alliance of Biography and Psychology. New York, Oxford. Oxford University Press, 315p.
Lucic, K.S. (1996). Biographical investigation of psychological theories of creativity. Ph.D. University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati.
Miller, K.M (1981). The use of biographical and background data for predicting the successful performance of begining summer camp counselors. Ph.D. Pepperdine University, Malibu.
Mullen, D.L. (2001). Matter of honor: the life history of navy leader. Ph.D. University of Nebraska, Lincoln.
Murphy, A.F. Beyond Tatiana: Pushkins heroines at the intersection of life and art. Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison.
Nestor, K.R. (2015). Understanding Biographicity: Redesigning and Reshaping Lives in Young Adulthood. Ph.D. The George Washington University, Washington.
Ogilvy, H.M. (1984). The dream as transitional phenomenon in adult development: a biographical study of eight women. Ph.D. The Wright Institute (Berkeley).
Pekacz, J.T. (2006). Musical Biography: Towards New Paradigms. Aldershot, Ashgate.
Tidwell, H. D. (1993). The predictive value of biographical data: An analysis of using biodata to predict short tenure or unsuitability of police officers. Ph.D. The University of Texas, Arlington.
Johns, R. W. (1974). Biographical history in social studies. Ph.D. Stanford University.
Zinn, J.O. (2005). The biographical approach: A better way to understand behaviour in health and illness. Health, Risk & Society, 7(1): 1–9.

Abstract views: 116
PDF Downloads: 95
How to Cite
Rudnev, E. (2018). Human as a subject of biographical research: history and methodology. Fundamental and Applied Researches in Practice of Leading Scientific Schools, 25(1), 114-119. Retrieved from