Becoming a Psychologist presents an account of the professional identity construction of psychology students, by introducing their entry into the professional role from a socio-cultural perspective. In this book, university studies are viewed not only as an educational-academic undertaking, meant to improve professional competencies, but as the period in which a new self-understanding emerges and establishes the base for the dynamics of the students' professional paths.
This book brings together the socio-cultural and idiographic approaches, Dialogical Self Theory and the Trajectory Equifinality Model (TEM) in order to gain comprehensive insight into the developmental processes behind the formation of professional identity. This contribution shows how the emergence of novelty in the self-understanding of psychology students is coordinated at two levels: the level of social-institutional representations and the level of intra-psychological processes. To explore the internalization and integration of the external socio-cultural input, the dialogical self is applied. By also capturing these dynamics at the intra-psychological level, this study sheds light on how professional role expectations are negotiated between the different aspects of the self, with a particular focus on the relations between the various I-positions that emerge in the course of professional education.
With its focus on professional identity construction, this book is aimed at graduate students, academics and scholars working broadly in the fields of psychology, education and development. It should also be essential reading for those interested in the socio-cultural approach and cultural psychology more specifically.
Katrin Kullasepp is currently Associate Professor of General Psychology at Tallinn University, Estonia.