Social percepts of technologies and products of digital economics in an organization: terminological instruments of the research

Publication date: 28.02.2020
International Journal of Professional Science №2-2020

Social percepts of technologies and products of digital economics in an organization: terminological instruments of the research

Аrtamonovа Оlgа
Noakk Natalia
Patoshа Оlgа

1. student of Paracelsus University, Moscow
2. PhD in psychology, senior researcher
Central Economic & Mathematic Institute of RAS, Moscow
3. PhD in psychology, assistant professor
Scientific & Research Institute High School of Economics, Moscow
Abstract: The currency of studies of interrelation of social percepts of employees of an organization as to the use of technologies and products of digital economics on the one hand and of its individual & psychologic characteristics on the other hand becomes more and more important. Practice shows that such interrelation sees it very fit for human production and daily living activities in order to develop percepts of technologies and products of digital economics for the purpose of successful adaptation in new conditions, as well as in situations of uncertainty, requiring to make choice and decisions.
As individual & psychologic characteristics are taken ones, which are less studied in modern conditions: confidence/non-confidence towards the world, people, his/herself; risk appetite, subjective control level, rigidity.
Were described terminological instruments of empirical studies. Were analyzed works of national and foreign scientists on this topic, were highlighted basic theoretical constructs and categories, necessary for empirical studies. In addition to earlier developments of authors, including categories of product /technologies of digital economics, social percepts and its structures, terminological instruments of studies have been supplemented with individual & personal characteristics of users, which are considered as possible determinants of social percepts of technologies and products of digital economics.
Obtained results will be used for following future empirical studies on the stated topic.
Keywords: social percepts, individual & psychologic characteristics of employees of an organization, terminological instruments of studies, technologies and products of digital economics.


Оne of factors, consolidating people in certain communities, is the unity of social percepts of relatively important, significant manifestations of daily living and production activities by community members. It is not known, what is first – the unity of social percepts of such or such people – with following its consolidation in groups – or formation of a group (оrganization) – and the formation of alike social percepts at its members. Anyway, studies of the content, formation and structure of social percepts in a certain social community, are, by no means, a topical issue, needed to be studied.

The category of social percepts is on the border between the social and psychic one. In its structure, as researchers of this phenomenon put it, can be also revealed facts, determined by the social life of a subject, as well as facts, stipulated by peculiarities of its psychic structure. It also contains vast opportunities for studies of such a category, as well as equally considerable difficulties for its studies. It is very difficult to structure the category unambiguously due to the diversification of percepts of employees of an organization and of the organization itself as system objects of studies. The article describes terminological instruments of empirical studies, stating main works in the selected area.

Main points

In their studies authors were based on following terminological instruments.

Social percepts.

According to researchers of this phenomenon, social percepts are understood as common percepts of a certain group of such or such social phenomenon, i.e. the method of interpretation and realization of the daily reality. Assisted by it, social groups build a certain image of the social world, its institutes and substantive legal framework. Social percepts are the instrument of not individual as much of the group social cognition, as the percept is “developed” on the basis of the experience, activities of a group, provided real life concerns, distilled from this experience [1].

According to S. Моscovici, the recognized author of the concept, social percepts are means of the interpretation and understanding of the daily reality; a certain form of the social understanding, assuming the cognitive activity of individuals and groups [2]. According to D. Jodelet, the social percept is the specific form of the common sense knowledge, which content, functions and reproduction are social induced [3; 4]. D. Jodelet speaks about five fundamental percept features: it is always the percept of an object; has got the imaginative character, able to make sensual and cogitative things, percept and concept, interdependent; it is symbolic and denominative; constructive; gets autonomous and creative features.  G.М. Аndreevа affirms that the social percept acts as factor, building the reality for both the individual and the whole group [5].

So, social percepts, being a special form of cognition, reflect percepts (images) of not only a certain individual, but also of, first of all, of a certain social community, group. In the structure of social percepts three components are highlighted by researchers: information, affirmation and the field of percept. As information is assumed the total volume of knowledge on the percept object. The affirmation reflects the emotional attitude to the object of social percepts, and the percept field category determines the hierarchy of elements, comprising the core and the peripheral part [6; 7]. To the core is referred the stableness and sustainment of social percepts, while the peripheral part has got such distinctive features as variability and versatility. Just these features allow to implement one of basic functions of social percepts – adaptation to the changing medium.  According to the hypothesis of S. Моscowici, the core comprises most rigid and archaic elements, it comprises a special sort of knowledge, based on values, which, in its turn, are related with the unconscious collective.

The peripheral part of social percepts is to explain individual differences in the process of representation. It is more variable than the central core, so giving the opportunity to integrate different information and practices. It consists of cognitive schemes and is a mediating chain between the representation and reality [6]. As criteria for the detachment of the core and of the periphery of the structure of social percepts some researchers establish the frequency (range) of use of such or such percept element in the sampling [8].

Social percepts of different kinds of reality and of peculiarities of human life activities for a long time have been the object of studies of mainly foreign scientists. New digital technologies as an object of studies are given on a small scale. In his digest L. Таteо writes about authors’ interest towards medical technologies (transplantation of organs and donation), biotechnologies and nanotechnologies, computer technologies and telecommunication, mobile communication [9].

The national literature also contains few studies of social percepts of new digital technologies. First of all, we should refer to large scale studies, headed by Т.А. Nestik, A.L. Zhouravlev, G.U. Soldatova, dedicated to studies of the attitude to new technologies, basic models of the digital competence, people’s readiness to use new technologies in their life and activities [10-14].

In the work [14] social percepts are considered as one of phenomenon of the attitude to new technologies – together with such as social expectations, collective feelings, referred to technologies (such as anxiousness, curiosity or pleasure from use), group norms, regulating the use of technology etc. [14, p. 7]. The attitude to new technologies in the article is analyzed in different aspects: from the point of view of the structure (cognitive, emotional-value, behavioral components); functions: worldview (maintenance of the consistent world image, system of values), identification (marking of the belonging to a certain social group, reason for social categorization), coping (mastering of changes), normative (maintenance of group norms, including moral ones), regulatory (behavior of buyers, consumer’ preferences), communicative (maintenance of the users’ communication, exchange of experience).

Finally, the attitude to new technologies, as was mentioned above, can manifest in a variety of group phenomenon, such as social percepts, social expectations, collective emotions, referred to technologies, group norms. Were highlighted personal characteristics, determining the attitude to different technologies: confidence to interested parties of the technologic progress, orientation to the future, belief in the reward for efforts, level of respects to gravitas, understanding of the sophistication of the surrounding world, adherence to religious and moral norms, self-confidence, social identity. There are characteristics, determining the choice by users of such or such digital technologies: easiness/difficulty of use, reliability, credibility of the technology itself, interest to the information as to technology.

Works, which have been analyzed above, do not make the topic of studies of individual & psychologic characteristics, relevant to social percepts of users as to digital technologies, less timely, as it still remains a new area, which is has not been studied yet [15].

Individual & psychologic characteristics and social percepts.

Issues of the relation between psychologic factors and the attitude to digital technologies have been analyzed in the work [16].  Studies, carried out by the author among the Moscow young people of 17-30 years old, allowed to reveal predictors of the technooptimism: it is directly related to the confidence to interested parties of the technologic progress, orientation to the future, belief in the reward for efforts, social complexity, while having the feedback to the positive past, religiousness and respect for authorities. The readiness to use new technologies has got other predictors: it is directly referred to the confidence to interested parties of the technologic process, orientation to the hedonist present, social cynicism and is negatively related to the respect to authorities and to the dependence from the fate. Generally, the attitude to the scientific & technical progress is not of essence, while using new technologies. The factor analysis of the criteria, taking into consideration by respondents, while using new technologies, allowed to highlight 5 factors: 1) legitimacy of use, 2) prestige value, 3) attractiveness and easiness in use, 3) confidence to experts, while evaluating the profitability of the technology, 4) identification with authors of the technology.

Following individual & psychological features were taken for studies and future comparison with social percepts of respondents on digital technologies, carried out in the our research: risk appetite, level of the general confidence of a personality to him/herself /world/people; subjective control (externality / internality) level; rigidity. All this is of importance for respondents, for the development of percepts of digital technologies, for the adaptation in new conditions, such situations and uncertainty and need for the choice and decision-making.

So, for example, the risk is often related to the uncertainty and is understood as characteristics of a situation, where multiple outcomes are possible, when there is an uncertainty of a certain outcome and, at least, one of possibility is undesirable [17; 18].

The non-confidence as psychologic attitude comprises: the realization of risks, sense of danger, fear, combined with negative emotional evaluations of the object or partner, as well as of possible results of interaction, alertness and tension, as well as the readiness to stop the contact, to answer the aggression or to show the anticipatory hostility [19].

To make it clear at once, problems, referred to mentioned individual & psychologic characteristics, have got a lot of variations, as to the scope and depth of development. So, the research literature has got plenty determinations of the risk, nevertheless, usually authors agree on the point, that the risk is referred to the probability of different events, with such notions as danger, favorable or unfavorable outcome, losses, eventuality. The psychology does not consider the risk itself, but personal traits, referred to the human proneness to the risk. In our research we follow the tradition of the national labor and engineering psychology and lay the emphasis on the antipole – the prevention of the risky behavior, when the central issue is to study the reliability and productivity of activities. The question is, for example, the understanding of the risk, as of the key notion in the description of human activities, as of the operator of sophisticated control system [20].

The literature about such individual & personal characteristic as confidence is represented to the fullest extent possible. Confidence as notion characterizes, as a rule, such attitude of a subject in interaction, when it does not aim to obtain an advantage, using the vulnerability of its partner’s position in a situation of risk or uncertainty, and will perform all undertaken obligations [21]. In studies (survey see [19]) the confidence is considered as expectation, affirmation, condition, feeling, process of the social exchange and of transfer of the information and other significant benefits, personal and group feature etc. Researchers also talk about the confidence culture, often the confidence is understood as a subject competence. The confidence is considered as social and group mood, climate, social situation and social problem. It does not seem possible to carry out any survey of existing works, as the confidence problem is one of most studied by national and foreign experts, especially lately.

Let’s point out some important moments. Within the meaning of the construct of confidence we are basing on the interpretation of А.B. Kupreychenko, considering both confidence and non-confidence as two different phenomenon. The confidence (as well as non-confidence) is a fundamental attitude, determining the following development of all other kinds of attitudes of a personality to the world, to him/herself and to others. The dichotomy of «confidence – non-confidence», in the most generalized sense, at the first look can be described with such dichotomy as «expectation of good – apprehension of evil» [19, p. 94]. Anyway, the nature of such psychological phenomenon is much more sophisticated. It is offered to approach the confidence and non-confidence as psychological relations. The confidence as psychological attitude comprises: interest and respect to the object or partner; percept of needs, which can be satisfied as a result of interaction with it; emotions from the expectancy of its satisfaction and positive emotional evaluations of an object or partner; enervation and unconditional readiness to show good will towards it, as well as to carry out certain activities, favoring the successful interaction [19].

The opinion of researchers of the confidence phenomenon in an organization, the establishment of confidential relations between people is based on their personal qualities and behavior in the business communication [22]. In the course of empirical studies it was established, that the mutual confidence is promoted by personal and social & psychological peculiarities of employees.

The second moment, deserving our attention in correlation with tasks of performed studies, are studies of the manifestation of the confidence in the virtual environment. The environmental change gives rise to new manifestations of the problem of confidence in life activities of all social layers and groups. Оne of last, but, very likely, of most significant manifestations of this problem, became the confidence of the society towards products of digital economics, confidence to services, obtained from the virtual reality, which, by no means, have got a range of principally new characteristics in comparison with traditionally and for a long time studied manifestations of the confidence problem in the context of real communications [23]. Here there are much less research works, empirical studies in this direction are carried out mainly by foreign authors, though national works are appearing lately. Let’s mention the digest [24], where authors empirically highlight the three-factor structure of the confidence phenomenon in the network interaction. The research was carried out on the basis of VKontakte social network. Following factors were determined as a result of performed studies: worldview (axiological orientations), behavioral (learned behavior in risk and uncertainty situations) and cognitive (abilities to process and analyze of the information). Among isolatedly measured characteristics the readiness to trust people makes the most input in the formation of confidence.

Externality — internality (from the Lat. externus – external, internus — internal) – following from the list of individual & psychologic characteristics, taken for the our research – this is the predisposition of an individual to a certain form of the control locus. If a human mostly undertakes the liability for events, taking place in his / her life, explaining it by his/her behavior, character, abilities, that witnesses that he/she has got internal control. If the trend to attribute reasons of what is going on to external factors (environment, fate or occasion) dominates, that witnesses the external control [25]. This individual & psychologic characteristic was taken by us as instruments of studies due to the understanding of the modern world as of the drastically changing one, in particularly, influenced by new digital technologies.  Latter ones are one of challenges, requiring permanent choices, readiness to solve arising conflicts and to change in conformity with requirements [26]. We assume, that people’s percepts of their capabilities to use digital technologies depend on the fact, that does somebody undertake the liability for what is going on with him/her, becoming the subject of his/her activities – or he or she places the liability focus outwards – to circumstances, to other people. Оne of tasks of our research is to reveal possible extenality-internality links with respondents’ percepts of subjective dimensions and of the frequency of their use of digital technologies.

Rigidity as individual & psychological characteristics of a personality almost is not considered by researchers in correlation with social percepts of digital technologies by respondents. Besides that, in the literature it is given as a construct, being a component of different variables. It is most common to include rigidity in developments by cognitive styles [27]. It is most common to understand the cognitive style as a mean (form) of the percept, cognition and actions of a subject, giving individually stable and, in this context, personal characteristics of the solution of cognitive tasks in different situations, but mainly in situations of uncertainty [28; 29]. It assumes the interaction between the cognitive and personal components in the course of the solution of situations of uncertainty by a subject. Latter ones have been described by sets of dichotomic variables, comprising, in particular, the field differentiation (described in such terms as «field dependability-field independability»), аs well as rigidity or rigid/ flexible control (means the measure of a subject ability to overcome interfering factors and to orientate to it in implemented methods of activities).  In the development of the cognitive style and of related rigidity/flexibility constructs national psychologists are distinguished by the accent to the activity of a subject in the independent formation of methods of carrying out of activities [30].


Results of the performed research allowed to formulate following opinions.

The unity of social percepts of community members of relatively important, significant events of their daily living and production activities is one of factors, consolidating people in certain communities. Теchnologies and products of digital economics rushed in the daily life and activities, causing the ambivalent attitude, as well as social percepts with different content, structure and emotional background.

As we can see above, users’ social percepts of technologies and products of digital economics are often considered as the phenomenon of the attitude to latter ones, underlying again the insufficient level of the investigation of the subject, we have selected. The performed research is designed to partly fill this gap, while establishing the link between individual & psychological characteristics of users with their social percepts of the frequency, direction of its use by new technologies and products of digital economics.

For the comparison with social percepts following individual & psychological characteristics were selected: predisposition to confidence/non-confidence; predisposition to risk; subjective control (liability) level; predisposition to rigidness. All that is of high value for respondents in order they develop percepts of technologies and products of digital economics, for its adaptation in new conditions, as well as in situations of uncertainty, when the choice and decision making are required.


The work has been performed with the financial support of the Russian Foundation of Fundamental Studies, project № 18-013-00669а «Studies of Psychological Mechanisms of the Formation of Social Percepts and Users’ Confidence to Products of Digital Economics ».


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