Sensitivity – This is a characteristic of a person, expressing increased, individual sensitivity to external events and accompanied by anxiety before new incidents. Sensitivity is expressed in such individual features as shyness, timidity, increased impressionability, low self-esteem, sharp self-criticism, a tendency to prolonged experiences, an inferiority complex.
With age, high sensitivity can diminish, because a person in the process of self-education can overcome anxiety in front of upcoming events.
The level of sensitivity is determined by the innate characteristics of a person (heredity, organic lesions of the main brain) or the features (conditions) of the child’s upbringing.
In psychology, the concept of sensitivity is used together with the synonyms of "sensitivity" and "sensitivity." At the same time, the phenomenon of “insensitivity” still happens; it is expressed in the absence of reaction to events, emotions and actions of people, and evaluation. Insensitivity manifests itself in complete indifference, lack of physical sensations, tactlessness and inattention to others.
Sensitivity in Psychology
The concept of sensitivity in psychology is the experience of a person of heightened sensitivity, vulnerability and self-doubt. Sensitive people often complain that no one perceives or understands them. When referring to a psychologist, sensitive clients talk about the unfriendliness of others in relation to them, which is why it is difficult for them to establish a communicative connection. They often consider themselves unworthy, bad, think they are worse than other individuals. They find it difficult to cope with problems on their own, as they are too constrained and shy.
The concept of sensitivity refers to the personal characteristics and qualities of the individual, it is expressed in excessive sensitivity and easy vulnerability, conscientiousness, a tendency to doubt in actions and focus on experiences. This sensitivity may be a constant characteristic of a person or may occur from time to time.
Sensitivity, what is it in psychology? High sensitivity prevents social adaptation, because such a person believes that the whole world is opposed to him alone. Social sensitivity is the fear of a variety of social situations. People who have too high social sensitivity often consider themselves to be flawed, so they are afraid of meeting new people, do not dare to speak in public and try to avoid any social activity.
With manifestations of similar symptoms it is necessary to contact a psychologist for consultation. An experienced psychologist will hold an individual psychological conversation, determine the correct treatment strategy to alleviate the client’s condition with pronounced sensitivity.
Sensitivity can be the result of various mental disorders (neurosis, stress conditions, organic brain diseases, depression, anxiety disorders, endogenous mental disorders).
Sensitivity may be different depending on temperament.
The level of sensitivity is expressed by the force of external influences, necessary for the emergence of a certain psychological reaction. For example, certain circumstances may cause no reactions at all in one person, in the meantime, as in the other they cause strong arousal. So, melancholic and choleric people are more sensitive and impressionable, therefore sensitivity is more characteristic of them than sanguine and phlegmatic, not attaching much importance to situations that could affect them.
Age sensitivity is a phenomenon that occurs at a certain stage of individual development and expresses a person’s sensitivity to various influences from the external environment.
Pedagogy and age psychology are involved in age sensitivity. Knowledge of sensitive age periods helps in developing the necessary abilities. For example, at the age of 2-3 years a child is able to quickly master the language, which means that this age is sensitive for the development of linguistic function. If you miss a very important sensitive stage, the child will not return to it, and in the future there may be difficulties with the formation of appropriate abilities.
Sensitive age periods serve as an opportunity for the child to acquire the desired and necessary skills and abilities, behaviors and knowledge. Only in a sensitive period can the best way to easily learn to do something, after this period, it will not be so easy to do.
Sensitive age periods last for some time, regardless of whether the individual managed to master the necessary action, and if you miss it, the opportunity will go away and it will be more difficult for a person to cope with the need to master the desired action.
A person is not capable of any influence on the occurrence of sensitive periods. The main thing is that parents should know what they can do to ensure that the sensitive period of the child passes, as successfully as possible.
Therefore, parents are obliged to know about sensitive periods in the child’s life, to learn the characteristics, to work on their development; observe all the manifestations of the intensive stages of the flow of the sensitive period, which is desirable for a normal assessment of the development of the crumbs; predict the next sensitive period and create a favorable environment for the development of the child.
Age sensitive periods are universal, which means that regardless of religion, nationality, cultural differences – they still arise at the required time.
These periods are individual, that is, the exact time of occurrence and duration are determined biologically for each in their own way. Therefore, the idea of a frontal approach to learning, especially up to six years, is not correct. Also, a variety of educational programs, in addition to individual, may not correspond to the real age of the child. So, for example, if a child is five years old, this does not mean at all that he is completely consistent with this biological age in psychological parameters.
Another important factor is the dynamics of the flow of the sensitive period, which, together with the average timeframe, does not guarantee that absolutely every child will undergo age sensitivity in this mode.
As a result, there is a fundamental need for functional diagnostics of the individual development of children (determination of personal characteristics in order to further work on their development).
Each age sensitive period is characterized by a gentle, slow onset, which is sometimes very difficult to detect, if you do not know about its approach, do not assume the likelihood of its occurrence and not engage with the child, focusing on the zone of its nearest development; maximum point (the highest intensity stage) that is easiest to observe. Also for the sensitive period is characterized by a gentle decrease in intensity.
Age sensitive periods occur at about the same time, but may have a high intensity at different stages.
Sensitivity training, or as it is also called interpersonal sensitivity training, arose from the practice of T-groups. Psychologist Carl Rogers identified two main types of group work – these are “groups for organizational development” and “sensitivity training”.
Sensitivity training is called “meeting groups.”
Sensitivity training is a group dynamic training. The concept of sensitivity includes the quality of the ability to predict the emotions, thoughts and actions of another person, the ability to perceive, realize and remember the socio-psychological characteristics of other individuals or whole groups, on this basis to predict behavior and activity.
In this context, psychologist G. Smith identifies several types of sensitivity:
– Observation (the ability to observe and remember how the person looked and what he said);
– theoretical (application of different theories for the interpretation of people’s behavior, thoughts and feelings);
– nomothetical (understanding of a typical individual as a representative of a certain group and using this knowledge in predicting the behavior of people who are part of this group);
– ideographic sensitivity (understanding and perception of the originality of the behavior of any person).
The main task of sensitivity training is to improve the ability of a person to perceive and understand other people. There are two types of goals: immediate goals and highly organized ones.
– increasing the participants’ self-awareness in connection with acquiring knowledge about how others perceive the behavior of others;
– the growth of susceptibility to the group process, to the actions of others, which are associated with the perception of communication stimuli, perceived from others;
– perception of conditions that complicate or facilitate the functioning of the group;
– the formation of diagnostic skills in the field of interpersonal communication;
– development of skills for successful inclusion in intergroup and intragroup situations.
– developing a person’s ability to explore their role and experiment with it;
– the development of authenticity of interpersonal relations;
– expanding knowledge about other people;
– the formation of the ability to cooperate with others.
Tasks of sensitivity training:
– development of various behavioral skills;
– increased understanding between group members and self-understanding;
– sensory awareness of group processes;
– education and training opportunities that increase social competence.
In general, the main objectives of sensitivity training are defined as increasing susceptibility to group phenomena, enhancing the perception of group processes; understanding of own life and inner life of other personalities; the formation of susceptibility to their social roles and strangers, to their positions and attitudes; developing sincerity, openness and spontaneity of reactions.
The above objectives of sensitivity training are carried out through interpersonal interaction and relationships, through the analysis of the group process, its components such as group goals, norms, roles, group structures, leadership problems, conflicts, stress, and others. In this respect, sensitivity training is similar to the methods of group psychotherapy, but unlike it, it focuses on the “here and now” event, the study of group processes, human behavior in a team, and its influence on others.
Sensitivity training is very often used in the training of psychotherapy specialists in training: in particular group psychotherapists. Thanks to these trainings, future psychotherapists develop sensitivity to group phenomena, develop the ability to adequately assess attitudes, attitudes, psychological problems and conflicts of individuals, based on interpersonal interaction, and improve the understanding of self, attitudes, needs and motivations.
The training of future psychotherapists’ sensitivity is aimed at solving certain tasks in order to have a better sensitivity to group phenomena or to establish a deeper self-understanding and to implement in the classes wide opportunities provided in the form of training.
Psychotechnical exercises and various role-playing games are used in sensitivity training, they are divided into three types. The first consists of exercises that affect the whole group and for each of its participants, they are focused on the organization of performance at the beginning of classes and its maintenance throughout the day.
The second type is exercises and games aimed at establishing contact between the participants, awareness and perception of the emotional states of the group members, the development of observation, the ability to understand the properties, qualities, states and relationships between people and groups.
And the third type consists of exercises and games for the acquisition of feedback. It is here that a strong bond is developed between the participants. Regardless of the type of training, work begins with the creation of efficiency, the purpose of which is to organize a group atmosphere.