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Reflexive control: concept, theory, methods and scope
Reflexive control: concept, theory, methods and scope

What does such a thing as "reflexive control" imply? Translated from Latin, reflexio means "reflection" or "turning back." Reflexive is understood as such management, in which each side seeks to do everything to force the opposite side to act in a way that is beneficial to itself.

How are these actions performed? Reflexive control occurs when party A passes some information to party B. She must force the latter to develop a program of her behavior that will be beneficial for the source disseminating such information.

businessman with yellow briefcase

The use of reflexive control is especially relevant in such areas of human activity as politics and diplomacy, business, administrative work, and military affairs. The advantage of this direction is considered to be a flexible combination of informational and forceful pressure onrepresentatives of the opposing side. The main goal is achieved through not so much force as thinking. The ability to apply a reflexive approach to management is given to a person by nature. Holders of this talent can control "the will of chance" by imposing their will.

So what is reflexive control?

Definition of concept

Let's consider the terms "reflection" and "reflexive control". They have a close relationship with each other.

What is reflection? This term refers to a fairly universal internal mechanism that helps to increase the effectiveness of the leader in terms of his own development, work in the organization, behavior in the group and decisions made by him. Reflection is nothing but a process of self-regulation and self-knowledge. It allows a person to determine his desires, goals, mental actions, self-image, the meaning of life and experiences.

Reflection is also a specific property of thinking. It is the mechanism by which a person rethinks his activities.

Reflection is necessary for a person to understand his activity as a whole and its individual elements (factors, goals and means). With its help, after the work done, people evaluate their behavior, which allows them to make the most correct decisions in the future.

Reflection and reflective control play an important role in human life. The emergence of such a property of thinking indicates a high level of self-awareness of the individual. Thanks to the emergencereflection, a person has thoughts about his goals and desires, about one or another emotional reaction, as well as about his internal state. Through this process, personal development occurs.

Reflection is important for a person, regardless of his activity. However, a special role is assigned to this mechanism in intellectual work, where complex group and interpersonal interaction takes place. Such activity, without any doubt, is managerial. That is why the manager needs the ability not only of an intellectual plan, but also of social reflection. This will allow him to motivate the team to achieve the goal.

Knowledge of the theory of reflexive control is most necessary for the leader to:

  • Evaluation of the situation in the organization, which concerns the behavior of people.
  • Defining, setting and choosing goals.
  • Analyzing production problems and making the most optimal decisions.
  • Defining actions and relationships in group and interpersonal interaction, as well as in choosing tactics and strategies for general organizational behavior.
  • Explaining and evaluating your official behavior.

How is it done?

What should party A do to motivate party B to make a decision? To this end, she needs:

  1. Find out the interests and needs of the opposite side. That is, you will need a clear understanding of her motives that determine her actions, decisions, and also her line of behavior.
  2. Predict orfind out all the likely actions that party B can take. It will be necessary to determine its specific intentions and goals, as well as ways to achieve them, communication, resource capabilities and limiting external factors.
  3. Based on the data received, make a decision regarding your own behavior. Based on this concept, in the future you will need to calculate the most profitable strategy for yourself.
  4. Find the best way and convey to the representative of party B such information about their intentions that will cause party B to choose a certain strategy of behavior. It must be such in order to become profitable for the enemy.

If a similar mechanism is launched by the other side, then it will also have to go through all the steps described above.

a man draws a lifting scheme

In general, the process of reflective control is a way of considering an object, oneself or another person from different positions. When the results are accumulated, each of these elements is merged into a single picture.

Relation to the object

In the system of reflexive control, such a concept as “position” is of key importance. This term represents this or that relation of the subject of actions to the object of influence or to another person. At the same time, it is determined by role, functional or other position, as well as knowledge, life and professional experience. The more positions a manager takes while analyzing an object, the higher the level of reflection he can use.

boxing gloves in different sizes

That is, the use of such a mechanism makes it possible to ensure the scale of coverage of the studied side, as well as the complexity and versatility of the vision of the situation.

Modes of Consciousness

Reflexive control in psychology is considered as a mechanism that allows a person to understand his activity as comprehensively and subtly as possible. An example is situations when a leader has to turn on various modes of consciousness. This happens, in particular, when holding large meetings. In such cases, the consciousness of the leader constantly bifurcates, and sometimes works in broad directions. So, speaking to an audience, he needs to constantly remember what he wants to state in his report. This state is the first mode of operation of consciousness. At the same time, the leader needs to constantly monitor the audience, noticing how it reacts to his words and perceives all messages. This leads to the fact that a certain part of his mind is constantly striving to predict and see how the goal of the speech is being achieved.


This state is the second mode. But that's not all. Communicating with the audience, the leader observes not only her, but also herself. It is important for him to know what impression he creates on listeners, including higher authorities, women and subordinates. In accordance with his goals and motives, the speaker constantly corrects himself. The third mode of consciousness allows him to do this.

ThanksIn such complex work, a person more adequately and accurately sees the situation and understands it. The more modes of consciousness are turned on, the more opportunities you can use to correct your own actions, which means a high degree of controllability of the situation.

Reflective control properties

Such a mechanism has a mutually reflective character. At the same time, it considers different ranks of reflection for each subject. That is, party A believes that B assumes that A will make a certain decision based on what B will answer her … etc.

It is worth noting that the presence of superiority in the rank of the reflection process gives an advantage in a competitive environment. The stronger side always imposes its own line of behavior on its opponent, which outplays him. But this advantage does not come by itself. It is achieved by using knowledge of the dynamics and patterns of competitive processes. In this case, the skill of reflexive control of the enemy will also be needed.

men running with laptops

The manifestation of such a mechanism is observed not only in the case of conflict situations and rivalry. Reflexive management can also take place in partnership and cooperation.


This direction plays a rather important role in reflection. Motivation when using this mechanism determines both the purpose of the process and its content. In this case, “smart disinformation” is of particular importance. It, along with a comprehensive opposition to the management thatused by a competitor, represents the performance of a number of activities. Among them:

  • providing false information about existing intentions;
  • transmission of special information that can motivate the enemy's behavior;
  • protect your own data;
  • suppression of enemy information sources.

These events lead to the fact that the competing side begins to inadequately assess the state of the market, which will lead it to choose the wrong strategy and tactics of its behavior. One of the prerequisites for disinformation lies in its sufficient credibility.

Uncertainty of results

With mutual reflection, there is always a danger that party B will not accept or understand the signals given by party A. It also happens that, having recognized their meaning, competitors begin to react to the information received, based on their interests.

In order to parry uncertainty, it is important to be able to assess the rank of the opponent's reflection, as well as your own risks. Such an action is a real art for the leader, backed up by knowledge, experience and talent. But this ability is not at all the lot of the elect. Anyone can master it after appropriate training. This powerful weapon will allow you to exercise reflexive conflict management, emerging from it as a winner.

Dynamism of the process

This is another property of reflexive control that is quite volatile. The mechanism of mutual reflection will become effective only when each stepthis process will be accompanied by variations concerning the motives of the behavior of opponents. At the same time, constant processing of information is important, as well as the supply of misinformation.

man looking at a poster

The side conducting reflexive control must not only monitor the behavior of the enemy. She needs to respond in a timely manner to his actions, as well as to anticipate all the steps of a competitor, constantly misleading him about her intentions.

Types of reflexive control

The process we are considering can be both simple and complex.

What are these kinds of reflexive control? A simple mechanism for the development of this process has been described above. It represents actions based on which the situation (situation) is displayed in the control system.

race winner

A more complex (deep) type of reflection lies in making the necessary decision, which will further influence the psyche of top managers of a competing firm. It can be PR, advertising and other ways. In the future, they orient the enemy's activity in the direction that will be more beneficial for the side conducting reflexive control.

Methods used

To achieve the set goal, the following is used in reflexive control:

  1. Hiding and distorting the true situation. This is one of the most effective methods of reflexive control. He is imprisoned in the supply of disinformation.
  2. Forming a competitor's goal.The means for implementing this method are provocations, ideological sabotage, insidious "friendly advice", etc.
  3. Formation of a doctrine for a competitor to make a decision. Sometimes it is transmitted in the form of ordinary prescriptions. For example, if A, then so is B. The most effective common technique for forming the enemy's doctrine is to train him. For this, for example, a product with low competitiveness enters the market for some time. The enemy gets used to this state of affairs and does not take any steps. At some point, side A begins to saturate the market with quality goods. This leads her competitor to economic collapse.
  4. Demonstration of false intentions. The goals of companies in the market are different. The most global of them consist in ruining a competitor and taking possession of his property. Private goals involve ousting the enemy for complete mastery of the market. When applying the method of demonstrating false intentions, party A somewhat weakens its activities in a certain market segment. By this, she tries to create a basis for the enemy to make a false decision, caused by the supposedly vacant niche. After carrying out serious economic operations in the future in this very place, side A will invariably succeed.
  5. Forcing your own point of view. The means of this method are deliberate dumping of specially prepared information about one's financial situation to a competitor.

Reflexive control in legal psychology

The phenomenon in question is enoughmultifaceted. This is confirmed by the consideration of reflection and reflexive management in legal psychology. In this discipline, these concepts help to reveal the nature of the investigator's thinking, search, interrogation and other investigative actions.

The conflict interaction that takes place between the investigator and the person under investigation is considered within the boundaries of cognitive activity, as well as reflective control and reflective play. However, these concepts apply not only in this direction. In recent years, reflection and reflexive management in legal psychology have taken place in the interpretation of professional communication.

For example, these concepts refer to a special type of thinking used by specialists in this field. It is also reflexive. Such thinking provides the lawyer with the solution of those professional tasks that were the most complex intellectually. It should be noted that the specificity of the reflexive mechanism has significant differences from traditional logical reasoning. The most characteristic representation for her may be the phrase: "I think that the criminal thinks what I think."

Reflection in a legal case gives grounds to start activities that will, if necessary, correct the situation. As a rule, this technique involves the use of reflexive control. It is not carried out by imposing one's will on another person. Reflexive management in legal psychology is seen as the transfer of certain "reasons". Of these, a person seems to be deductively and mustoutput the solution that was predetermined by the transmitting side. For this to happen, the picture of the situation must be quite acceptable to the person making the final verdict.

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