Armyanskii ln., 4-2,
Moscow, 101000, Russia


Vasiliy Kostenko1
  • 1 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation

Possible Self: Theory by Hazel Markus (in Russian)

2016. Vol. 13. No. 2. P. 421–430 [issue contents]

The article is dedicated to the review and analysis of the key publications on the “Possible self” theory. The theoretical representations developed within this approach are provided in the text. The research potential of the approach is elaborated, and ways of its practical application are represented. Hazel Markus, the author of the term "possible self", adds a new component to the general model ofself-concept for an explanation of how concepts of potency influence self-concept as a whole. Possible self is the part of self-concept that appeals to the sphere of future and potency, and serves as a cognitive expression of expectations, goals, fears, hopes and aspirations of the subject, as well as the link between cognitive appraisal of self and motivation. The current estimation of the self, as H. Markus believes, considers possible selves, those that the person would like to become, selves that he avoids, and even selves that will never become real. At the same time this mechanism is not reduced only to understanding of the goal or appraisal of the possible future, but surely includes experience of a potential situation from within and appraisal of opportunities to act. In such form it becomes the important instrument of the personality development and personality resource of self-regulation and coping with difficulties. The role and the place of this approach in the general theory of self-concept were analyzed. The concepts "self-schema" and "working self-concept" were defined. Some opportunities of application of this approach in psychotherapy are revealed. Results of some empirical studies provided within this approach are given. It is shown that possible self construct demonstrates high heuristic potential and demonstrates ample opportunities of application in psychological practice.

Citation: Kostenko, V. (2016). Possible Self: Theory by Hazel Markus. Psychology. Journal of Higher School of Economics, 13(2), 421-430 (in Russian)
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