The article discloses a rather insufficiently studied problem of the way students understand the phenomenon of subordination as it is at this age conscious attitude to self-discipline and self-regulation is formed. The developmental psychology interprets the term “subordination” with the meaning of “obedience”. Types of subordination are revealed: subordination, internal and external conformity, suggestibility and collective self-determination (the person’s conscious solidarity with the collective, acceptance and active advocacy of its values, norms, standards, beliefs, ideals and settings). With the use of 4 methods 84 students’ ideas about subordination were studied. The personal determinants of subordination were singled out. The results received showed that the students have certain idea about “subordination” and “insubordination”. Besides, they formulate definitions; show the level of understanding which has certain hierarchy among students of different years of studying (from the 1st to the 4th). Stereotypes of this concept, existing in the society, can also be found among students’ answers. The use of factor analysis testifies there is a high level of students’ personal qualities dependence on the level of their subordination. This enables to define the determinants of their personal subordination.