Transitions and Psychology as a Developmental Science: Building Up on Jaan Valsiner’s Work

Shuangshuang Xu, Aruna Wu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Jaan Valsiner has been one of the most important leading figures in constructing psychology as a humanized science. The task of building cultural psychology as generalizing theories while at the same time not giving up the centrality of human lived-through experience with all the richness and uniqueness has not only posed himself a great challenge but also facilitated his creativity and productivity in re-discovering and integrating ideas from different disciplines and cultures and from the long “unseen” history of psychology. In this article, we pick up his work in conceptualizing transition and development as a dynamic process and try to build up on his thinking in the Yin-Yang model by introducing the concepts of Ti and Shi from Chinese philosophy to provide an alternative perspective in understanding development based on the whole system of individual-practical context. Inviting the “real individual” back to psychology requires researchers to be both enthusiastically “hot” and accurately “cold” about human life, and Valsiner has set us a good example.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-317
Number of pages7
JournalHuman Arenas
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Cultural psychology
  • Development
  • Jaan Valsiner
  • Shi
  • Ti
  • Transition


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