Varased rahvuslikku iseloomu käsitlevad eestikeelsed psühholoogia-alased kirjutised
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The aim of the current seminar paper was to explore the views of early Estonian writings from the end of the 19th century to the early 20th century in the field of psychology concerning national character and to find out the possible sources of these beliefs. Thereby one of the aims of this paper was also to characterize the Estonian population’s scientific understanding of psychology related to the collective character phenomenon. The seminar paper is primarily descriptive and explanatory, using as its method the qualitative content analysis of writings. The analyzed writings comprised the period of 1880-1917 and for identifying sources the research relied on an earlier seminar paper by Terje Kurismann (Kurismann, 2007). The analysis revealed that in the studied period beliefs of the national character as a collective characteristic of a cultural-ethnic group that can be affected by all in-group individuals were quite far-spread. The collective self-image of Estonians was mainly negative, although some positive features that remained clearly outnumbered were also presented. Taking into consideration the socio-historical context on the analysis of writings, it can be concluded that the attitudes were quite strongly influenced by political and social issues, socio-cultural context, value judgements and also by the development of science. The latter may have affected public understandings of the ethnic character as a collective social-psychological construction towards the rejection of former stereotypes.