Subjective & Objective

Subjective is what relates to, depends on or exists in an individual’s mind or standpoint. Objective is what exists outside the mind and may be verified independently of the standpoint from which it is viewed. Subjective and Objective do not form a dichotomy and are relative concepts, as no view is entirely subjective or entirely objective.

Vygotsky used the terms to categorise the two opposing currents of psychology of his time: subjective psychology and objective psychology. Subjective psychology relied for its data on introspection by the researcher and trained subjects, whilst objective psychology relied exclusively on observation of behaviour, rejecting the validity of introspection as a research method.

“Objective” is sometimes used by Leontyev in the sense of “object-oriented activity,” i.e., activity oriented to an object, though activity is also “objective” in the usual sense that it exists outside the mind, in the world.


Vygotsky, L. S. (1924). The Methods of Reflexological and Psychological Investigation. LSVCW v. 3, pp. 35-49.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1929). Historical Meaning of the Crisis in Psychology, chapter 13, LSVCW, v. 3, pp. 310–332.

-- AndyBlunden - 17 Nov 2013


Topic revision: r3 - 26 Nov 2013, AndyBlunden

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