This theory was created in the beginning of XX century. Russian scientist Lev Iosifovich Petrazhitsky (1867-1931 gg.). Most fully set out in his work "The Theory of Law and State in connection with the theory of morality." Among the followers of this theory can be called A. Ross (Scandinavian or Uppsala School of Law), Gurvich (French School microsociology law), MA Reisner.
It should be noted, the psychological theory in general has had a big impact on the way for further legal research, including on the modern American legal theory. At the time, Russian lawyer Pokrovsky said about this: "If the jurisprudence of the XIX century criticized the fact that it was a" jurisprudence of concepts ", the current law tends towards becoming a" jurisprudence of the senses. "
Essentially, LI Petrazhitsky focused on the psychological side of the formation of lawful behavior, even taking this way beyond the intellectual side. He believed that the peculiar nature of the phenomena of law is rooted in the emotional, impulsive, in the experience, not in the mind.
This right he called intuitive and contrasted its positive law (rules, dictates, prohibitions addressed to the persons subject to law and legal relations). Intuitive right psychological attitude is determined by the recipient to the right objective, official (positive). Thus, LI Petrazhitsky and acknowledged the existence of positive law, but gave him a very limited role.
The author of the theory emphasized that the intuitive right is purely psychological phenomenon, the phenomenon of the individual psyche and can not be presented as an objective reality. Real in the legal regulation of LI Petrazhitsky considered only the individual conscience, the subjective experience of the individual consciousness bilateral imperative-attributive connectivity will.
It is the connection of imperative, imperative (for others) claims and attribute (mandatory subject) claims that exists in the psychological sphere of the individual, distinguishes law from other social and regulators, it can be said (by Petrazhitsky), and is right.
According to the theory of LI Petrazhitsky, the role of the state in relation to the right is small, almost negligible.
Criticizing look at the law as a command of the state, the author noted that the actual law is not only much of what is outside the jurisdiction of the state, does not enjoy official recognition of the positive and patronage, but much of what the state meet directly hostile attitude, is being prosecuted and eliminate, as the opposite and contrary to law in a formal sense, the public.
The advantage of the theory of LI Petrazhitsky is that it draws attention to the psychological side of the right, which is closely linked to the problem of the psychological mechanism of formation of lawful behavior.
But, really, in the complex chain of transfer of legal regulations in the quality of the actual lawful conduct the feelings and experiences of the individual, his psychological impulses are the last link, which is in direct contact with a specific behavioral act that defines it. And in general law can not regulate the behavior only through intellectual and psychological sphere of man.
Another thing that can not be the complicated mechanism of the formation of lawful behavior to reduce exclusively to psychological, emotional realm of the individual and explain everything to her and just out of it. Specifically, legal and general social factors and mechanisms have