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The Profession of a Psychologist: the Ideals of Applicants and the Validity of the Choice of Students

Popov Evgeniy Aleksandrovich

Doctor of Philosophy

Professor of the Department of Sociology and Conflictology of Altai State University

656038, Russia, Barnaul, 66 Dimitrova str., room 513

Other publications by this author










Abstract: The main problem is the frequent mismatch of ideals when choosing a future profession and various aspects of subsequent professionalization of a person. As a result, there may be a loss of interest in the profession and an individual's alienation from his professional choice. This article touches upon the issue that the idealization of the profession of a psychologist coincides with certain values of applicants, and then during their studies at the university, students make adjustments to their ideas based on obtaining the necessary knowledge and skills. This allows to achieve the effect of the right professional choice and "join" the profession. The purpose of the study is to show how the professional choice of future psychologists is formed and how it is related to the value orientations of individuals. At the same time, psychology of professions and sociology of professions became the main methodological approaches. The empirical study was conducted in 2018-2021 and was based on the method of semi-structured interviews with applicants and later with university students who are receiving the profession of a psychologist. The sample was determined by a combination of "applicant-student" in the system of universities that train future psychologists (42 applicants and then 20 students from this group). As a result of the study, the following results were obtained: the idealization of the profession of a psychologist is associated with the need to help people, while applicants are guided in their ideas about the profession by their value stereotypes: respect for the individual, following moral principles, responsibility for themselves and others, etc. Idealization of the profession of a psychologist is also connected with its cognitive capabilities in two main directions: human cognition and cognition of the surrounding reality and the world.


the profession of a psychologist, the ideals of the profession, values of the profession, applicants and students, psychology, higher education, training of psychologists, idealization, choosing a profession, the activity of a psychologist

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The choice of a future profession takes into account various circumstances, it is also connected with the value orientations of the individual. Quite often, school graduates can idealize their future profession, invest in it certain meanings that are consistent with the individual attitude to the profession. In this case, we can talk about the idealization of professional choice. Over time, when a student becomes a student, he can reconsider his attitude to the future profession, abandoning certain ideals, but he can also confirm these ideals, which will testify to the correctness of the choice. A profession for a person is a crucial factor in his development, improvement, realization of life plans, material well-being, and therefore its choice is a difficult matter when a variety of circumstances are weighed. It is often difficult for a school graduate to navigate what is the profession that he is going to choose when entering a higher educational institution. It is quite natural that the applicant seeks to endow his future profession with positive features and, thus, to argue his final choice. But this is only the first stage in the professional development of a person. Already as a student, a young person will have to justify his choice and adequately perceive his future profession.The concrete life problem is connected with the self-determination of the individual in the profession one of the key problems that every person is forced to solve to one degree or another throughout his life.

This problem determines the need to correct the choice of a future profession based not only on its idealization, but also ideas about the essence of the profession, its advantages and disadvantages, as well as knowledge about what professional skills and abilities will be formed in the learning process.

The research problem is seen in tracing the sequence of correcting the ideals of the profession of a psychologist, which can most often arise among applicants based on ideas about personal development and possession of elementary knowledge about psychology as a science and a type of professional activity, and then receive confirmation or refutation from students. Ultimately, we can observe quite serious contradictions between the ideals of the profession of a psychologist and its specific characteristics this makes it difficult for an individual to become a professional, but it can also affect the image of the profession itself. At the same time, it should also be taken into account that interest in the profession of a psychologist may coincide with the ideals of applicants, and then be confirmed during the acquisition of the necessary knowledge and skills.

The main hypothesis consists in the assumption that the ideals of applicants when choosing a profession of a psychologist, associated with certain value orientations of individuals, subsequently undergo the least adjustment (change) the same young people who are studying at the university in the direction of "psychology".

Taking into account the existing problems, the purpose of this article was formulated to show how the professional choice of future psychologists is formed and how it is related to the value orientations of humanistic individuals, including those that are directly related to the identification of psychology as a science and a specific field of professional activity. In scientific terms, the use of this research perspective makes it possible to assess the "survival" of a person in the profession of a psychologist, on the other hand, to determine the nature of value orientations that influenced the choice of profession (in this case, it would be possible to formulate a hypothesis that a certain cluster of value orientations corresponds to the choice of the profession of a psychologist, however, this perspective will become a prospect for further research).

The theoretical and methodological framework of the study is determined by the provisions of the psychology of professions and the sociology of professions, as well as the interiorization approach, according to which the profession of a psychologist appears as the acquisition of a certain life experience necessary to help people solve their daily tasks related to self-realization, creativity, perception of reality, attitude to oneself and other people. For example, in the foreign tradition, the profession of a psychologist is considered as an experience that allows achieving a symbolic exchange in subject-subject interaction, consisting in the translation of moral, vital, aesthetic and other values and norms (Elsey, Thompson et al., 2020, p. 60). This point of view is shared by other researchers (Brady-Amoon, Keefe-Cooperman, 2017; Hoeve, Jansen et al., 2019; Nigai, Mukhamedkarimova et al., 2018; Telmanova, 2021; Bogdanovskaya, Sychev, 2019; Kulikova, 2018; etc.).

We also follow this approach and interpret the profession of a psychologist not only as the acquisition of certain knowledge, skills and their subsequent implementation in a specific practical activity, but also as "getting used" to the human world: in this case, the future professional defines the space of his activity in terms of the conjugation of his own life experience and value-normative (ethical, vital, etc.) the experience of other individuals. It is in this way that subject-subject interaction determines the level of professional reflection of a psychologist in his activity: the profession of a psychologist is complex, involving a high level of interpersonal interaction, solving complex problems related to the psyche, social being, conflict, etc. In fact, the psychologist must take into account the circumstances of the collective and individual life of the individual and be able to find rational explanations for certain human conditions. To study these features, the main approaches that will allow us to realize the goal set in this article have been analyzed.

First of all, some provisions developed in line with the psychology of professions and the sociology of professions were used as methodological grounds for the study. In the first case, a profession is defined as "a personality trait acquired with experience, as the highest level of professional skills in a certain area achieved on the basis of flexible skills and a creative approach" (Nikitina, 2010, p. 71). A number of foreign authors (Zucker, Ackerman, 2019; Maslow, 2015; Maslow, 2013; Holland, 2017; Super, 1957) draw attention to the fact that professional self-determination of an individual is associated not only with pronounced social statuses and roles, but also with the idealization of the profession, which correlates with the values of a particular person, his family, immediate environment, etc.

In part, such views are shared by domestic researchers dealing with the problems of psychology of professions. They focus on the peculiarities of reflexive choice of profession (Gorbunova, Meshkova, 2021) or associate such a choice most often with the ideals of the future profession (Shadrina, Kozhevnikova, 2014; Gorlova, 2017). On the other hand, self-determination of a person in a profession is associated with such a significant category as professionalism: the possibility of obtaining high-level professional competencies, and along with this, awareness of belonging to the appropriate socio-professional group (in this case, a group of psychologists) determines the incentive to choose a profession (Betekhtina, 2010).

Thus, for this article, it is important to evaluate the ideals of professional choice, as well as the formation of ideas about the future profession as a qualitative state of the individual, determining its capabilities for solving specific work tasks.

For the purpose of this article, the methodological perspective developed in line with the modern sociology of professions is important. Thus, in scientific discourse there is a conviction that professions are most often associated with certain values inherent in a particular individual, a particular social group or community. According to Manuel Fernandez-Esquinas, in order to identify the features of a particular profession, the following logic should be followed: first, it is necessary to determine the ideals that influence the choice of profession, while it is important to keep in mind that the range of idealization can be quite wide: from moral choice to financing the profession, then it makes sense to return after a certain time to these ideals, to see how much they have undergone a transformation" (Fern?ndez-Esquinas, 2019, p. 15-16). In this case, we believe that the proposed research perspective meets the purpose of this article, so we also use the logic proposed by the researcher: first we turn to the ideals of professional choice, and then we investigate their changes after a certain time.

On the other hand, sociologists dealing with the problems of value-semantic identification of professional choice tend to believe that both in the case of idealization and at the stage of subsequent acquisition of specific professional skills and knowledge, the value orientations of individuals are of great importance. It is obvious that the ideals of the profession during an individual's working life are subject to revision due to various circumstances, including those related to changes in value orientations during a person's life, which is a natural process of growing up and changing life attitudes, and possibly introduced adjustments to the meaning of life (Saks, 2018; Strikhanov, 2015). As you can see, a person in a profession from the point of view of sociologists evaluates not only the trajectories of a life career, but also the prospects of finding oneself in the profession. In fact, on this basis, it seems possible to trace the emergence of the ideals of the future profession among school graduates, and then confirm or refute the validity of their choice, focused on the idealization of the profession.

Idealization may be related to the attractiveness of the future profession, related to the attitude to professions based on the system of value orientations of the individual, formed under the influence of the social environment. Information about the attractiveness of professions allows us to judge the stages of choice that preceded the adoption of a specific decision on applying for a job in a specialty or to study at a particular educational institution. The attractiveness of professions is expressed (...) it becomes possible to understand which professions individuals would choose if their choice could be determined to a large extent by preferences" (Konstantinovsky, 2015, p. 264). Thus, the ideal of a profession is a valuesemantic system that determines the self-identification of an individual with a specific profession based on its attractiveness, significant functions for individual and collective human life. It is in this vein that this article will consider the ideal of the profession, correlated primarily with the value orientations of individuals. This principle has been successfully tested in identifying the ideals of the future profession in the framework of a sociological study (Popov, 2021).

The ideals of applicants associated with professional choice, therefore, depend on the value orientations and life plans of individuals, but also on self-identification with the profession at the level of elementary knowledge and ideas about the development of psychology as a science and psychology as a professional activity. The study of the ideals of applicants at the empirical level makes it possible to assess the attitude to the profession already at the initial stage of professional choice, and then to trace the "correction" of such ideals in the course of obtaining objective knowledge about the features of the profession in the process of studying at the university.

The idealization of the profession is discussed both by representatives of the psychology of professions and sociologists. A common feature of their ideas in this regard is following the so-called aggregation approach: the profession of a psychologist "aggregates" the best personality traits at the level of attitude to another person, acceptance of his personality traits, openness to communication and providing emotional, and possibly inclusive support, etc.; in addition, there is an "aggregation" of psychological knowledge that so far, they may well be not professional, elementary and superficial, but at the same time "profession-forming". This circumstance, in particular, draws the attention of a wide range of modern researchers (Gabeev, Kulikovskaya et al., 2021; Kravchenko, 2020; Timofeeva, 2020; Zateeva, 2019; Sitnikova, Tkach, 2019; Savenkova, Savina, 2018).

But researchers are also concerned about the future fate of ideals when choosing a profession; presumably, some of the ideals of applicants can both be preserved in the learning process and undergo significant changes. There is a problem of the validity of such a choice, which, for example, Maite Rodriguez interprets as a "correction" of the ideals of the profession on the basis of obtaining stable professional knowledge and skills and the subsequent formation of a "constructive image of the profession" (Rodr?guez, 2019, p. 217). This principle is universal for choosing a profession and the choice of the profession of a psychologist fully corresponds to it. According to Renee Blankvist, in the profession of a psychologist, a constructive image is formed due to the "close distance" between the ideals of the profession and its real features, i.e. future psychologists are least inclined to make changes in their assessments of professional choice (Blankvist, 2018, p. 112-115). We believe that in this article we can confirm this concept or subject it to critical reflection on the basis of empirical research.

Procedure and methods

The empirical study was based on semi-structured interviews conducted among applicants (42 people) and students of Russian universities (20 people) in the period 2018-2021. The number of applicants was taken with a margin, because in the future it was necessary to track their fate already as students; it was assumed that the probability of continuing education by 42 informants entering a budget place would be high. The choice of informants was determined by universities that recruit students in the bachelor's degree program "psychology" for budget places in full-time education. The list of such universities includes Altai, Novosibirsk and Omsk State Universities. These universities have been training psychologists for a long time, have various profiles of relevant educational programs.The direct selection of informants was carried out through the admissions committees of universities during the submission of documents for admission by applicants.

The cohort of study participants included only those applicants who had a cumulative high score on the Unified State Exam, and also indicated in the application for admission to the university the first priority the direction of "psychology" (thus, the possibilities of "tracking" informants' data at the subsequent stage of the study, when they become students and get the necessary ideas about the profession increased). In addition, when choosing informants-applicants, their portfolio was evaluated, submitted along with other documents to the university admissions committee (in the section "personal achievements") to determine their primary orientation in choosing a future profession of a psychologist since applicants indicated the first priority of the direction "psychology", then "personal achievements" were focused on this training profile. Thus, all the applicants involved in the study provided additional information to the university that they have knowledge that, to one degree or another, makes it possible to assess the nature of the profession of a psychologist this circumstance can be considered as an additional factor of conscious rather than random choice and professional orientation. Personal achievements in the field of psychology were associated with the participation of applicants in Olympiads in psychology at various levels, for example, the All-Russian Olympiad "Psychology without Borders" for schoolchildren of grades 6-11, regional, interuniversity and university Olympiads, career guidance courses for future psychologists; some applicants presented certificates of participation in an open workshop on psychology held at two universities, where applicants entered, as well as in scientific and practical conferences on the profile of psychology, one applicant took part in the work on a grant from the President of the Russian Federation related to psychological problems. It is noteworthy that for several applicants, their initial identification of the profession of a psychologist and the science of psychology was related to the work experience of their relatives in this profession.

For the purpose of the study, the gender and age characteristics of its participants did not matter, however, it is worth noting that girls aged 17-18 years prevailed among applicants, and girls aged 20-21 years prevailed among students taking into account the age gradient of the 3rd year.

Interviews with applicants were conducted within the walls of universities and on average did not take more than one hour; it should be noted that the study participants willingly answered questions and were interested in the final result, since they were notified of the multi-stage progress of the work.

The complexity of the study was the fact that it was necessary to track applicants who then became students to assess, respectively, the ideals of professional choice and their validity ("correction of ideals") already among students. As a result, this interview involved working with the personal data of applicants and students, including, among other things, the number of USE points (the interview was conducted with applicants with high USE scores in order to minimize the loss of informants at the student stage, because some study participants with low scores could not enter the university or be expelled in in the learning process). At the first stage, in 2018, interviews were conducted with university applicants, and then 3 years later, students were interviewed. Of the 42 applicants in the subsequent period, 20 students were identified at the stage of the 3rd year of the university; such a limited number of informants among students was due to the fact that some applicants were not enrolled in the university, others were expelled for various reasons. A significant moment for the study was taken into account in connection with the need to assess the reasonable choice of profession by students: as it was found during the analysis of the training curricula, at the end of the 3rd year, students had already completed an internship in psychology, so they could form clear ideas about the specifics of their future profession, which means they were able to draw a line between the ideals formed upon admission to the university, and the real capabilities and competencies of the profession of a psychologist.

The interview with the students took place at the universities where they studied, took an average of 70 minutes. Most of the informants remembered the nature of the conversation during their admission to the university.

The data obtained during the interview were recorded on a dictaphone, the data were transcribed, the corresponding coding tables were compiled, including 12 codes. In the course of an empirical study, we addressed those students who had previously shared their opinions and assessments of their professional choice at the stage of admission to the university. At the same time, the informants were not reminded of their past answers, and the newly received answers were compared on the basis of transcription with the previous ones.

At the same time, two main blocks were included in the guide of interview questions, taking into account the purpose of the study and the main hypothesis: 1) the image of the future profession and the value orientations of applicants; 2) the advantages and disadvantages of professional choice in the assessments of university students. The "structured" part of the interview was mainly concerned with identifying the value orientations of informants this circumstance became the basis for the formulation of relevant questions, such as: "is the choice of a future profession of a psychologist related to your aspirations to change something in your life and other people?", "how is the choice of a profession of a psychologist related to your personal qualities or character traits?" etc.

Results and their discussion

In interviews with applicants, their general idea of the nature of the profession of a psychologist was clarified. It was important to determine how informants identify psychology as a profession and psychology as a science. In this regard, the following answers were received: "I think that a psychologist conducts a dialogue with people, which means that he has the ability to understand other people, probably, and evaluate their actions" (I. 12)[1]; "psychology is a specific science, but still a psychologist is rather the one who who solves problems, then he must understand life and people" (I. 23); "I enter psychology to learn how to help those who are deprived of some opportunities, I think that not only science should work here, but also our common cause to help" (I. 25); "you need to practice more in the work of a psychologist, then you can become a good specialist to help everyone who is experiencing problems" (I. 40).In addition, during the indepth interview, the informants were asked questions about how much knowledge in the field of psychology allowed them to make a choice for admission to the university for the appropriate training profile: "my knowledge definitely helped me - I was very interested in psychology, I read a lot of books, I have the most favorite author Viktor Frankl" (I. 17); "I had little idea who a psychologist was, but my teacher at school helped me here I just got carried away, became interested in these issues" (I. 18); "I was doing scientific work, my topic is related to how teenagers experience bullying we did a lot of research with other guys" (I. 20); "I have two certificates I participated in scientific conferences together with the teacher and other guys, I did not speak, but I asked a question and learned a lot of new things" (I. 31).

Applicants were also asked questions about how they imagine the role of a psychologist in helping people, whether they associate help with any specific actions. In this case, the study participants have a clear position: "a psychologist should be able not just to say some kind words to another, but also to direct him in the right direction so that a person understands what to do next" (I. 2); "I would probably take a person by the hand and take him away from problems, but this does not happen, so you need to know how to act in a certain situation" (I. 11); "compassion cannot be learned even in high school, but my profession should definitely be aimed at changing the bad moments in life" (I. 33); "we need to know science so that later in our professions apply the acquired knowledge" (I. 40); "I think that psychology is a super science, it makes it possible to see emotions, feel them, but it is also important to be able to analyze in order to understand whether a person needs help or not" (I. 42).

It was important to find out from informants how they identify the science of psychology, how they understand its purpose, its object and the subject of research. It should be noted that this issue caused difficulties for applicants. The study participants were most often limited to emotional assessments: "psychology is super!", "psychology is a world science", "what is psychology about? about me, of course", "difficult, but interesting", "something in common: psychos and psychology", etc., but nevertheless most of them tried to formulate their ideas about the specifics of psychology as a science in the following concretized answers: "psychology is a great science, it is better than all others, but what she does is something to think about" (I. 12); "I know for sure that psychology deals with the psyche, this is its object, and the subject is a person, although, probably, a person cannot be called a subject" (I. 16); "we will soon find out what psychology is as a science just let us to go to university" (I. 18); "I cannot clearly answer this question, because psychology is a very big science, deep, strong" (I. 27), etc. Some answers contained rather lengthy reflections of applicants on this subject; let's give one example: "I would like to know for sure, of course, that psychology is the science that knows the answers to questions about why a person behaves one way or another, thinks one way or another, his psyche is arranged one way or another, but will we get answers to such questions? I don't know. Of course, I will be able to learn to identify these points, but I still doubt that there are unambiguous answers to these questions. I think that psychology may be at a dead end let's evaluate its resources and methods. Do they work effectively today: that's the question" (I. 33).

Difficulties with the identification of psychology as a science have not led to a blurring of opinions about the essence of the profession of a psychologist. The applicants had a certain opinion in which they appreciated the cognitive capabilities of the profession of a psychologist. For example, some informants believed that "psychologists can seriously help a person understand himself" (I. 22); "this profession is most likely aimed at a person, his character" (I. 24), "a psychologist should not be confined to one thing, he should look around himself" (I. 24).I. 2); "it is important to understand how a person should behave in social reality, and not just concentrate on studying his psyche" (I. 30); "you need to have information about how the world works" (I. 34). In addition, applicants were asked about the shortcomings of the profession of a psychologist: in most cases, they unequivocally spoke about the absence of such. At the same time, some informants formulated a number of problems: "there are uncertainties in this profession, it is difficult to say what is going on in the depths of the brain, since in this case it is possible to help a person?" (I. 3) (we clarified with the informant along the way: do his doubts affect the correctness of his professional choice; it turned out that what does not affect); "there is one problem: is psychology needed at all, is it possible to hope for it, there is even such a question: is it reliable?" (I. 10).

An important place in the study is the identification of the features of the value orientations of applicants, primarily related to their professional self-determination. The informants correlated their professional choice with their capabilities and aspirations: "I know that I can succeed in psychology" (I. 3); "my choice is conscious, because I know how it works" (I. 10); "I will strive to become a great professional in my field" (I. 16); "a psychologist is what I need, because I'm starting to understand life" (I. 39); "our life is complicated, so this profession will give me the opportunity to overcome problems" (I. 41).

Applicants were asked a number of questions aimed at identifying the relationship between their value orientations, personal character traits and the choice of a future profession. So, to the question of "is the choice of the profession of a psychologist related to your personal qualities or character traits?", all the participants in the interview confirmed this fact. Reasoning about this, they came to the following conclusions: "it is typical for me to doubt everything, I think that psychology should also doubt" (I. 11); "you need not be afraid of people, make contact, interact, I am just such a person communication is important for me" (I. 17); "I like to analyze, reflect, therefore my future profession coincides with my characteristics" (I. 19); "it is important to treat people with respect, I know this for myself, therefore it will be useful to me in my future profession" (I. 20), etc. In addition, the informants, answering the question "is the future profession, in your opinion, capable of changing your value orientations or any character traits?", identified such positions: "well, I would definitely like my profession to make me an interesting person" (I. 4) (it was clarified: what does interesting mean? "to be liked by others, to be successful, professional, to be known and addressed to you..."); "it seems that psychologists should be responsible, this quality would not hurt me" (I. 14); "it would add drive to me, I want to increase my activity, be in the center of events" (I. 14). 31); "I would like to hope that in my profession I will say goodbye to my stiffness and uncertainty" (I. 32). In general, all the study participants paid attention to certain expectations from their professional choice in terms of changing any personal characteristics.

Next, we note how the answers of the students are already reassessing the ideals of the profession of a psychologist.

For example, students, as well as applicants, put helping people in the first place in identifying the profession: "I fully understand the meaning of the profession: it is important to find an approach to a person, to be able to help him" (I. 2)[2]; "we are always guided to the path of understanding the personality, providing support, in this and our profession consists of" (I. 17); "the main competence in our profession is to be able to help and understand others" (I. 26), etc. Some students expressed doubt about how much the profession of a psychologist provides opportunities for effective help to people, but in these cases they were not categorical: "it is not easy to help a person, sometimes a psychologist can be powerless, but still you need to apply strength for this" (I. 30); "what does it mean to help? We work with human psychology, you need to be able to help, because it is easy to harm, it does not always depend only on the profession, character and personal qualities are important" (I. 37).

The students also agreed with many of the ideals of the profession associated with the value orientations of applicants, believing that their professional choice can be considered sound; by the way, none of the informants doubted the correctness of their choice. The following opinions were recorded on this score: "I feel that this is mine, there were doubts before, now there are no more" (I. 6); "it will be difficult to gain a foothold in the profession, but the knowledge that they give us here will help" (I. 21); "I wanted to become a psychologist, and here this goal is approaching" (I. 36).

The study participants were asked a specific question about how much their ideas about professional choice have changed since they entered the university; the informants admitted that they were not mistaken in choosing a future profession of a psychologist: on a scale from 1 to 10 (confident self-determination on an increasing scale), the average indicator was a fairly high value of 9.5. It is noteworthy that the students expressed the opinion about the importance of acquiring professional competencies during training, linking the profession with the comprehension of human capabilities, with the analysis of the interaction of personality and culture, man and society, etc.

The question of whether the choice of profession influenced the change in character caused an ambiguous reaction among students: "I expected that yes, it would change, but somehow it didn't happen, it's probably too early to talk about it" (I. 2); "we didn't expect anything like this, although maybe it's all the same there are some changes" (I. 18); "it became noticeable that you are starting to treat people differently, you probably understand their problems better" (I. 19); "it helped me to become more active, the profession coincides with my interests" (I. 31); "expectations were almost met, but we still need to work on ourselves" (I. 39). At the same time, to the clarifying question of whether such changes are really related to professional formation, and not to the acquisition of life experience, family changes and other reasons that do not depend on the choice of profession, the informants answered in the affirmative: "of course, this is related to the profession, but how else, because if we do not change then it will be difficult to realize yourself later, especially since psychology is a difficult profession from the point of view of understanding the human psyche" (I. 19); "there is confidence that a lot has changed after entering the university, that is, there is definitely a connection with the profession" (I. 31); "the profession changes a person in any in this case, especially if it is psychology, then you need to be able to work with people, but also work on yourself" (I. 39) (it was clarified: how exactly to work on yourself? "you need to analyze your behavior and understand whether you can definitely help other people then, probably, we can say that your choice of a psychologist's profession turned out to be correct").

Discussing the results of an empirical study, it can be noted that in the perception of the future profession of a psychologist among university applicants, several features were found related both to their value orientations and to the reaction to the external characteristics of the profession contained in various sources, including scientific data, as well as the opinions of school teachers and reviews of individuals already in the profession. Applicants at the stage of self-determination and career choice are mainly guided by ideals that may be associated with their stereotypical ideas about psychology as a branch of knowledge and at the same time about the profession of a psychologist. In the end, applicants tend to idealize the profession, endowing it with quite serious advantages. From the answers of the informants, it can be concluded that they confidently identify the profession of a psychologist with the relevant branch of science and at the same time presents it as a special type of operational activity, mainly related to helping a suffering person.

In addition, the opinions of the study participants clearly highlight the main marker of professional choice associated with helping people and solving their specific problems in many ways these moments reflect the value orientations of future psychologists. The informants, when answering the question about what qualities of their future profession coincide with personal characteristics or character traits, called in most cases sociability, the ability to listen and understand other people. These character traits were also associated with the corresponding value orientations of informants: as it was found, the study participants, who noted sociability and even leadership qualities as one of their personal characteristics, indicated that in life they are actively involved in social communication they have a lot of friends in networks, they keep their blogs or are ready for this activity they are always involved with interest in the work of various public organizations, ready to discuss various topics, etc. Let us note in this regard that, as some researchers believe, communicative opportunities are of primary importance for self-identification with the profession of a psychologist: openness, accessibility, inclusiveness, etc. (Ksenia, www). At the same time, those informants who pointed to the ability to understand other people admitted that they do not like conflicts, try their best to help resolve controversial situations, can seek the help of other people and more.

As you can see, for informants, help is not an abstract quantity, but actions aimed at solving the problem. At the same time, its cognitive functions are also important for understanding the essence of the profession. All participants of the study paid attention to this, but if difficulties arose in the case of defining the specifics of psychology as a branch of knowledge (most applicants found it difficult to formulate a definition of psychology as a science), then they had their own opinion about the profession of a psychologist in terms of its epistemological capabilities.

As for the definition of psychology as a science, the study participants expressed both emotionally colored judgments ("difficult, but interesting", etc.) and quite specific ones, appealing to the object-subject space of psychological knowledge: they named outstanding psychologists, took part in conferences and workshops, i.e. showed keen interest in the future profession. This moment may indicate that applicants are more focused on obtaining a specific profession and quite adequately correlate it with a certain area of knowledge. Most likely, we can expect the formation of stable ideas about the object-subject area of psychological science among students in the process of their studies at the university. Ultimately, this circumstance may affect the consolidation of a person in the profession, will form the image of the profession of a psychologist as a stable value-professional activity associated with a humanistic orientation.

Thus, the idealization of the future profession of a psychologist among applicants is primarily associated with their internal beliefs about the importance of the profession, while for the most part their assessments are of a pronounced emotional nature, and the available rational basis is associated with the proper level of self-esteem of those entering the university, as well as with ideas about the cognitive capabilities of the profession of a psychologist.

It is important to "correct" the ideals of the profession among students who have already accumulated some ideas that are important for understanding the essence of the profession of a psychologist. Practical training for students in the third year, as a rule, gives an opportunity to get acquainted with the specifics of the future profession and form an opinion about it, so students can make adjustments to their ideals and thus come to a certain consensus.

Researchers draw attention to serious problems with the professional self-determination of students of psychological specialties: "the inadequacy or speculativeness of the representation of a significant part of students about the content of the professional activity of a psychologist, about the requirements that the profession of a psychologist imposes on a person; the lack of expression of professional values in the general system of value orientations of most students ..." (Zababurina, Shchekotikhina, 2017, p. 272). However, our empirical research shows the opposite, at least many of the ideals of the profession that were formed by applicants still found their place among students. The consensus was reached by the fact that students mostly confirmed their ideas about their future profession. In the course of an empirical study, we addressed those students who had previously shared their opinions and assessments of their professional choice at the stage of admission to the university. At the same time, the informants were not reminded of their past answers, and the newly received answers were compared on the basis of transcription with the previous ones.

The students also agreed with many of the ideals of the profession associated with the value orientations of applicants, believing that their professional choice can be considered sound; by the way, none of the informants doubted the correctness of their choice. It is possible to note an integrative indicator of students' understanding of the essence of the future profession, indicating, most likely, not the concretization of professional actions and skills, but their universalization, which allows them to "grasp" wide spheres of human existence.

ConclusionThe main theoretical conclusion is that when identifying the boundaries of self-determination in professional choice, it is important to take into account the ideals and subsequent consensus of the individual about such a choice.

The use of this aspect of the study makes it possible to discover the advantages and disadvantages of self-determination in the profession, and hence the effectiveness of such a choice. Within the framework of the theoretical analysis of the problem, it is shown that the professional selfdetermination of individuals when choosing a profession as a psychologist is associated with humanistic value orientations - openness and willingness to help others in terms of mental health support and adjustments regarding the perception and reassessment of personal problems. Some research approaches have been identified that allow us to get closer to understanding the essence of the profession of a psychologist and the conceptuality of choosing one for specific individuals.

The main empirical conclusion is the confirmation of the formulated research hypothesis: in fact, the ideals of applicants when choosing a profession of a psychologist, associated with certain value orientations of individuals, subsequently undergo the least adjustment (change) the same young people who are studying at the university in the direction of "psychology". Thus, a person's self-identification with the profession takes place, which allows not only to comprehend specific knowledge and master skills, but also to have an idea of the role of the profession of a psychologist in the humanistic and valuesemantic contexts of being - of course, this circumstance changes the priorities in the profession of a psychologist: from a contemplative attitude to problems to a humanistic reception associated with humanity, support and participation in personal development. The fixed ideals of applicants aimed at obtaining the profession of a psychologist, in the subsequent time, already at the stage of studying at the university, do not undergo significant changes, and some of them are firmly fixed in the consciousness. This indicates at least two important points: 1) the profession of a psychologist forms the humanistic potential of personal perception of reality and attitude to others; 2) the future profession of a psychologist at the stage of its choice gives applicants and students the opportunity to successfully integrate into the professional environment in accordance with their value orientations, which ensures the personal growth of the individual and at the same time the conceptualization of subject-subject interaction.

The practical significance of the work performed, for example, lies in the fact that when building educational programs for the training of future psychologists, it is necessary to adhere to the conjugation of the subject area of psychology as a science with the humanistic orientation of psychology as a professional activity. In this case, the conceptualization of the profession itself and the integration of individuals into it increases.

[1] The encoding of informants was carried out by numerical expressions.[2] The coding of the informants from among the students corresponded to the coding of the applicants in order to be able to consistently compare the opinions of the study participants at the stage of choosing a profession and at the stage of acquiring professional competencies by students.

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The object of research in the presented manuscript is professional selfdetermination, while the subject is the ideals of future psychologists in this process. The absolute relevance of the work goes in unison with the problems of the individual social trajectory of a person, suggesting a possible change of profession or field of work due to objective factors in conditions of socio-economic instability. However, it is not uncommon for a graduate to immediately not want to work in his specialty. The reason for this is, indeed, as a rule, disappointment in her, namely, the discrepancy between the ideal image and the real professional existence. This necessitates dynamic research of ideas about the profession not only at the stage of its choice, but also in the process of mastering at the university. Consideration of this issue in the context of a specific profession of a psychologist is the scientific novelty of this work. From a methodological point of view, the work is analytical and synthetic in nature, as it combines a theoretical overview with the presentation of specific practical results. The methodological tools used in the practical part are fully consistent with the objectives of the study. It is not a simple postulation of the results that deserves attention, but their meaningful interpretation not only at the statistical, but also at the semantic level. The practical part of the work is exclusively staged and describes only a ascertaining experiment, which is a minimum and sufficient level for research on the format of an article in the journal. The work is written in a language that fully complies with the norms of scientific style. The list of references meets the requirements and is reflected in the pages of the work. There are no fundamental comments on the work, since the research was carried out at a high theoretical and practical level. In order to enter into the discussion, we note the following. The article would benefit if it were supplemented with information about the specifics of the self-determination of future psychologists in comparison with other professions. This seems relevant, since working with people is included in the content of the activities of most professionals in a post-industrial society. It is somewhat unclear why the 3rd year was chosen as the "threshold". It would be more logical to compare applicants and graduates on the principle of "before and after", or 2nd year students in addition to them as having already mastered theory and starting practical training. In our opinion, the formulation of the hypothesis looks somewhat unsuccessful: it centers around an indicator that is less susceptible to change, while traditionally in scientific research the focus is on indicators that are just more susceptible to change, which correlates generally with the general message of personality development. The presented comments are clarifying in nature and in no way negate the fact that this work fully meets the basic requirements for articles in the psychological and pedagogical field, is performed at a high level of meaningful quality and is recommended for publication in a peer-reviewed publication.