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Summaries
of #1 2018

 

 

SUMMARIES

 

Emergence of subjectness out of the spirit of the science of man

M.S. Guseltseva

 

The category of subjectness is acquiring the leading position in the categorial system of contemporary psychology playing the role of a link between specific psychological approaches. The integrating power of the category is mostly determined by the hidden potential of the supporting context of the science of man and its link to the general logic of development of social and humanitarian sciences. On the basis of the cultural analytical approach and analysis of publications on the subject four stages in the evolution of Russian psychology of subjectness can be identified: 1) the period of latent development when the category of ”subject” was developing within the framework of general psychology and outside psychology; this period includes formation of notions of the subject of life and activity in the works of classics of national psychology; 2) the canonical period during which psychology of the subject emerged as a special branch of psychology; the highest point of that period was A.V. Brushlinsky’s research program described in his publications of the 1990s; 3) the methodological integrative period characterized by the problem of the subject transcending limitations of specific psychological approaches and being perceived as closely linked to the science of man; 4) the current stage that can be characterized as a trans-disciplinary period with problems of transformation of subjectness coming to the fore in view of global changes in contemporary culture and the complicated nature of the social cultural situation.
The dangerous psychological trend is accompanied by the diffusing margins between war and peace conditions and also between military, production and home technologies: modern weapons are every day cheaper and more easily available. The paper shows that the regress in humani tarian intelligence coupled with the accelerating technological development is fraught with fatal effects for the global civilization. Independent calculations made by the scientists in Australia, Russia and USA have shown that the current century is expected to be crucial not only for human history but also for the whole planetary evolution; this puts special responsibility on the present-day generations.
Development of psychology of subjectness stimulates orientation of psychology towards humanitarian sciences which have accumulated and continue to accumulate an arsenal of various methodological strategies for complex study of man in his social activity.

Keywords: methodology, psychology of subject, subjectness, science of man, trans-disciplinary nature, epistemological turns.

 

Psychological conditions for understanding the world of man

V.V. Znakov

 

The author argues that the scientific notions of three realities (empirical, social cultural and existential) of human existence, constructing the world of man, are being gradually broadened and deepened as psychologists discover more about not only types of understanding the world, but about its conditions.
The author analyzes general inner psychological conditions necessary for understanding events and situations in all realities of the human world, and also specific ones pertaining to specific realities. General understanding conditions (mnemonic and specifically targeted), which are essential to all situ ations of cognition and communication, are complemented by specific conditions characteristic of understanding each of the realities. Signs, cognitive and existential symbols are the inner psychological conditions. The sign indicates an object, but does not change it. While understanding empirical reality signs are represented in the mind of the understanding person as “cognitive knowledge” (Foucault, 2007). It reflects, but does not transform, does not cause any changes in the cognizing subject, and there is nothing the subject can extract from it for his own transformation.
Cognitive symbols enable the subject to understand diversity of aspects of the social cultural reality the subject strives to understand. The cognitive symbol, as well as the sign, relates to the object content, but potentially contains a diversity of meanings. The cognitive symbol may point to various objects, but the understanding subject has no personal attitude to them. Unlike the cognitive, the existential symbol expresses something subjectively meaningful. The existential symbol is limitless and inexhaustible in its meaning because it signifies something hidden, secret, often viewed as supernatural. This symbol indicates another reality, not perceived by human senses.

Key words: understanding subject, general and specific understanding conditions, sign, cognitive symbol, existential symbol.

 

Identity as a constructed text

A.N. Pliushch

 

 Identity is viewed as a reflexive text produced by the subject in the course of life. In the context of trinitarian methodology the subject is analyzed through the prism of his life world. The dimensions of this world are the subject himself, space and time. Consequently, three ways of organizing identity have been identified: integrity, multiple identity (system), text, which are similar to aspects of mental organization of the subject. Expansion of the identity text (“subject”, “subject in context”, “subject of life activity”) leads to increased constructive complexity (text, text of texts, recursive text). Complexity of the identity text involves various methods of its construction differing in the number of the author’s positions. An integrated text has one author; a system (text of texts) has two: the author of an integrated text and the author of specific texts; in a recursive text another position is added in which the author unites complex texts of separate life stages into an integrated text of life. Multiplication of the number of authors’ positions leads to shaping of the subject who increases complexity of his own mental instrument of constructing the identity text. Reflection as one’s image of oneself is complemented by a two-stage reflection when the subject first reconstructs a certain social context in which he defines his own role/position which later transforms into “reflection of reflection” when a reflexive text is an attached text of a fragment of life which has an imaginary author. The author suggests a trinitarian conception of identity as an integrated reflexive text; as a process of constructing (a system of) notions of oneself including a diversity of possible contexts for functioning; as an instrument of his mental organization. This approach to identity allows the author to put forward a model of its development. Unfolding of the organization of a complex identity text in the process of its construction is realized in the following ways: expansion of the content of the text; shaping of the author; improvement of the instrument for constructing identity.

Key words: trinitarian approach, identity, text, author, reflexion, constructive complexity.

 

Psychological aspects of ageing

A.V. Yurevich

 

The psychological factors of the old age and psychological characteristics of this age period are under analysis in the article. It is noticed that this age period is not studied enough – in psychology as well as in other social sciences and humanities, and there is no acceptable conception of aging. The author also states that the cult of youth – juvenalism – became the background of the life philosophy of the XX century and the respect for old people is going down even in traditional societies, negative stereotypes of oldness dominate, but at the same time the old age is becoming “younger” – shift of traditional image of this age following the lengthening of the average lifespan. Their psychological state is depicted. The author comes to a conclusion that recommendations to old people aimed to improving their psychological state are predominately reduced to remaining young as long as possible, that is not achievable in principle. To the authors opinion modern society is in need of special “ideology” of oldness, which is to integrate different aspects, especially economic, social and psychological ones.

Key words: oldness, ageing, types, the age of fall, psychological characteristics, loneliness, “ideology” of oldness, psychological recommendations.

 

Strategies of self-realization in students

S.A. Bogomaz, V.E. Klochko, O.M. Krasnoryadtseva, M.A. Podojnicina

 

The paper presents findings of a study aimed at discovering the link between indices of intellect (general, social, emotional) and typological characteristics of self-realization strategies dominant in students of Tomsk universities. The authors discuss effectiveness of previously used techniques of identifying characteristics of different intellects, for study of typological parameters of self-realization being identified in studies of the post-non-classical level. The authors have established that prevalence in young people of the strategy ”assent” is linked to the ability to manipulate other people’s emotions, readiness for co-operation, and absence of the inclination to avoid conflict. The study also discovered insufficient stability of the student’s inner world. In the majority of the students stability is at a low and medium level; ability to control oneself and one’s own life is expressed at a low level.

The data emphasize necessity of psychological and educational support of actualization and development of reflexive abilities of university students because it is an effective instrument of developing a reflexive attitude to creating one’s own life. On the basis of principles of systemic anthropological psychology the authors used actualization of inner resources of young people’s personal potential for self-realization as a key direction of developing and testing various forms of psychological support oriented towards formation of a new meaningful dimension.

Key words: self-realization, typological characteristics, self-realization strategies, intellectual development, types of intellect, intellectual determination.

 

A study of characteristics of the emotional-volitional sphere of drug-addicted young people

O.D. Soldatova, I.N. Kolesnikov

 

The paper presents findings of a study of characteristics of emotional-volitional regulators which enhance (weaken) the effect of a rehabilitation course for young people (boys and girls aged 16–25) with a drug addiction. The study revealed major variations in intensity of manifestation of volitional regulation in drug addicts, age dynamics of the intensity, the link between different styles of volitional regulation.
A diagnostic examination of drug-addicted youths discovered characteristics of their volitional regulation, including immaturity of volitional effort as awareness of a necessity to make an inner effort in a situation of having to perform actions which a person does not feel motivation for performing. The weak point is low awareness of goals and, as a consequence, low selforganization of volitional actions. Drug-addicted boys, unlike girls, do not attempt to plan their activity, do not strive to define its prospects for any length of time. A peculiar characteristic of the volitional sphere of drug-addicted people is insufficient detailing of the program of actions aimed at overcoming problems.
The findings showed absence of age dynamics of selfregulation in drug-addicted young people. Correlation with age was discovered in such kinds of self-regulation as planning, modeling, independence and general level of volitional regulation. It was discovered in the study that intensity of manifestations of programming, which is believed to be a primitive style of regulation, increases with age. The older a person, the less intensively planning and modeling are manifested which points to insufficient development of volitional regulation in drug-addicted people.

Key words: volitional regulation, diagnostics, drug addiction, rehabilitation, dynamics, emotional-volitional sphere.

 

Characteristics of perception by preschoolers of the play role in various playing environments

E.O. Smirnova, I.A. Ryabkova

 

The paper discusses role replacement in preschool play with varying material which is viewed as a three component structure including the image (renaming), reshaping (disguising) and play actions. Characteristics of the above components in play with role markers and in play with multifunctional object material were compared in the study. 166 children aged 3 to 7 took part in the study. 89 of them were playing with role markers (RM), 77 – with multifunctional material (MM). Each group was divided into four age subgroups. It was discovered that role images are not always expressed in play actions. Child ren often give themselves role names, distribute the roles, but do not perform any play actions. By senior preschool age the number of role names may be more than four per one child in a 30-minute play. The study showed varying age dynamics in play with role markers and with varying material.
In play with role markers the number of children performing play actions gradually increases while in play with multifunctional material there is a sharp increase in the number of playing children in the senior group and absence of playing children in the preparatory group. The study also showed that “disguising” is closely linked to role replacement and is a way of organizing role behavior. The content of a preschooler’s role varies with respect to the object environment. Play with multifunctional material is more active and eventful, especially in the senior group (aged 5 to 6). The findings show that an open environment stimulates creation and preservation of play roles, preschoolers do not only produce a greater number of images, but strive to realize them in play.

Key words: role play, renaming, play actions, disguising, role markers, multifunctional material.

 

“Rodger’s triad”: personal qualities or communicative processes?

K.S. Kryuchkov, A.B. Orlov

 

There has been a sufficient number of empirical studies of links between elements of “Rodger’s triad” (unconditional positive acceptance, empathic understanding, congruent self-expression) and individual personal qualities (e.g. “the Big Five”: exraversion, friendliness, awareness, emotional stability, openness to experience).
Those studies, notwithstanding their scientific value, do not correspond to the notions of the man-centered approach because the authors considered both therapeutic sets and personal traits as static dispositions. To C. Rogers man does not exist statically, he is viewed as a process of development, constant change, self-actualization.
The authors of the paper aim to integrate C. Rogers’ conception of personal sets of client-centered therapy into the general psychological conception of personality which focuses on two opposite processes of personal development – personalization and personification (Orlov, 1995f, 1995b, 2002). The authors look at the connection between personal sets of a client-centered therapist and the above processes of personal development. An important aspect of the two processes is the fact that they (like the components of “Roger’s triad”) are realized in the context of interpersonal interaction which takes the form of either personalizing or personifying communication. Theoretical analysis shows that self-actualization is similar to personification, therapeutic communication is similar to personifying communication and “Roger’s triad”, being a complex of essential conditions for positive changes in both the client and the therapist, is not contained in the therapist’s personality but in the therapeutic (personifying) interaction (communication). The authors formulate the following empirical hypo theses: 1) the degree of expression of personal sets from “Roger’s triad” in the client and the therapist differs significantly before and after (in and out of) therapeutic (personifying) communication (changes form a positive trend); 2) the degree of expression of personal sets from “Roger’s triad” in the client and the therapist differs significantly before and after (in and out of) therapeutic (personifying) communication (changes form a negative trend).

Key words: therapy, man-centered approach, essential conditions, “Roger’s triad”, empathy, congruence, acceptance, personality, persona, shadow, personalization, personification, motivational attitude.

 

The narrative as an instrument for arbitrary sense formation

M.M. Yelfimova

 

The problem of development of arbitrary sense formation is researched by means of comparing the cultural historical conception and the narrative approach in psychology. The general idea is the acquired ability to move within the proximal development zone by means of cooperation mediated by “instruments-organs” which do not only provide an image of the world but also produce new personal experience, new meanings. The narrative is viewed as a meaningful structure mediating self-organization of meanings and thus serving as an instrument of arbitrary sense formation. While constructing a narrative, the subject creates meanings, experiencing himself as being able to influence one’s own life, to be its author. A structural functional description of the narrative (“the author’s position”, “the existential concept” (life modus), “the plot of the narrative”, “the hero’s position”) is based on L.S. Vygotsky’s idea of unity of structure and function. Transition from structural functional analysis to processual dynamic description of arbitrary sense formation is executed through identification of the essential characteristic of the narrative – “the double landscape”.
Creation of one’s own history involves shifting and joining together of the above mentioned landscapes. Alternately finding himself in either of them, a person solves two main problems: of cognizing reality and of creating meanings. The outcome of this movement across landscapes is a life description coordinated with the individual sense algorithm of a person. As meanings are hierarchic stages of semantic formations, movement in the proximal development zone takes the form of movement up the “consciousness vertical”. Due to the fact that not all people are prepared to build these formations into a new meaningful picture of the world, they require specific orientation within cooperation (communicative partnership).
The author explains the mechanism of the narrative about oneself as a specific form of text generation. The mechanism consists in switching from the author’s position to the hero’s and back via alternation of two processes: signification of sense and comprehension of meaning.

Keywords: arbitrary sense formation, narrative, mediation, proximal development zone, action landscape, meaning landscape, signification of sense, comprehension of meaning.

 

Topology of comprehension of life meanings

V.S. Kubarev

 

The original method of investigating the semantic space of comprehension of life’s meanings is proposed in the article. It is based on a combination of psychosemantic and qualitative research methods in psychology. Using the methodical apparatus of the psychosemantic approach in conjunction with the method of solving the problem of the meaning of the dream allowed the author to consider the comprehension of life’s meanings not only from the point of view of the subjectsemantic content of this process, but also from its spatialtemporal extension, that is, the internal topology in which the creative reflexive activity of comprehension. Due to the application of methodical methods of constructing semantic spaces to the connotative material of solving the problem of the meaning of dreams, the basic factors were singled out and described. They form the semantic space of a person’s comprehension of his life’s meanings, in which the existential dynamics of the personality unfolds: a) “the renewal of the semantic structure of life”; b) “reconstruction of the content of the subject’s problem as its present inadequate mode of being”. In the semantic space that forms these factors, four temporal spheres are identified and described, each of which is associated with special transformations of the semantic tissue that occur in the process of comprehension the meanings of life. The nature of these transformations is as follows. At the initial stage of sense formation, the main psychotherapeutic task of the respondent is to isolate one’s problem, consisting in the dysfunctionality of the existing mode of being, and its “admission” into the present, the recognition of its existence. “Admission” places the problem way in the “crucible” of the activity of the experience and initiates its transformation. Further along with the develop ment of the process of comprehension, the “deriving” of the dysfunctional semantic structure from the present into the past occurs and, indirectly, by the person’s disagreement with oneself, the temporal reorientation of the sense dynamics from the “past-present” system to the “present-future” system is carried out. This reorientation is accompanied by the renewal of the semantic structure of life and the readiness to build up our life relations in a new way.

Key words: comprehension of life’s meanings, solution of the problem of the meaning of the dream, semantic space, reflexive activity.

 

Modern approaches in the study of spatial abilities: a structure and etiology of individual differences

I.L. Aristova, E.A. Esipenko, K.R. Sharafieva, E.P. Maslennikova, N.A. Chipeeva, I.V. Feklicheva, E.L. Soldatova, A.Yu. Fenin, V.I. Ismatullina, S.B. Malykh, Yu.V. Kovas

 

The paper reviews results of the studies that were aimed to investigate spatial abilities as well as gender and cross-cultural differences in spatial abilities. Biological, social and personal factors contributing to the development of these abilities are analyzed. Fundamental approaches towards understanding of spatial abilities structure are reviewed, the data supporting the hypothesis of a unitary and multicomponent structure are analyzed. In addition, a separation of spatial abilities into small and large scales is presented. The authors analyze the nature of gender differences in spatial abilities, specifically evolutionary and hormonal hypotheses, as well as effects of gender stereotypes and selfesteem. The extent of gender differences in spatial tasks performance may be related to age. However, how strongly gender differences are expressed in each of the aspects of spatial abilities remains unclear. Some researchers suggest that differences in spatial abilities may also be due to socio-economic status and motivation. It was shown that involvement in activities that are strongly related to spatial thinking may contribute to performance in spatial tests. One of the important aspect of analysis in this paper is the etiology of individual differences in spatial abilities. Several studies have shown that these differences are mainly due to the gene-environment interaction. Extensive twin studies demonstrate the prevailing contribution of hereditary factors in spatial abilities development. One research area of individual differences in spatial abilities is genetic polymorphism studies. This paper also reviews studies of spatial abilities from the cross-cultural prospective. Studies conducted in different cultural environments support the universal nature of individual differences in spatial abilities. However, despite the extensive knowledge of spatial abilities, our analysis underlines the demand for interdisciplinary approach, involving genetically informative studies of various aspects of spatial abilities, as well as cross-cultural and longitudinal studies in stratified samples.

Key words: spatial abilities, composites, sex and gender differences, cross-cultural research, individual differences.

 

The relation between risk acceptance, motivation and self-regulation (in a sample of medical workers)

I.I. Kamenev, T.V. Kornilova, A.Yu. Razvalyaeva

 

The article presents the results of an empirical study of medical doctors and physician assistants (n = 48) that examined the relationships between personality traits of risk readiness (using the Personal Decision Making Factors questionnaire), self-regulation styles (using the SSP questionnaire), motivation (using Edwards’ Personal Preference Schedule, EPPS), and risk preferences (or risk aversion) in verbal vignettes. The vignettes were designed to implicate anticipation of threats related to distal and uncertain consequences of decision making in the health domain.
One of the components of risk is comparative optimism. Confidence in choice under uncertainty was viewed as a component of the prognostic evaluation during self-regulation in decision making; at the same time, the analysis of discrepancies between choices made for self vs others can be viewed as an index of personal self-defining. The results of the study suggest that medical workers tend to allow risk for themselves while trying to reduce risk when making the choice for others (yet, the latter is made with higher confidence). Risky decisions in medical workers are predicted by risk readiness, but not rationality. Motivation as measured by the EPPS were mostly related to risky vs not risky decisions, and self-regulation was related to confidence. Choice preferences in the majority of vignettes suggested risk acceptance for self and risk aversion (or rejection) when giving advice to (close) others. The study revealed important correlations between self-regulation and choice and advice confidence and clarified the relationships between personality traits and risk acceptance under uncertainty in varying contexts.

Keywords: decision-making, prognostic task, readiness to risk, rationality, motivation, self-regulation, Edwards Personal Preference Schedule.

 

How cognitive styles affect accuracy and speed of visual signal detection

N.N. Volkova, A.N. Gusev

 

 The paper deals with the study of cognitive styles as interindividual determinants of accuracy and speed of solving nearthreshold and threshold visual signal detection tasks. A total of 74 subjects aged between 16 and 40 years old (25 male, 49 female) performed a set of cognitive styles tests as well as visual signal detection tasks. We tested following cognitive styles: augmenting-reducing, leveling-sharpening, narrow-broad equivalence range, flexibility-rigidity of cognitive control and focusing-scanning. Psychophysical procedure was represented by modified visual signal detection task (“yes–no”), where a third stimulus – “distractor” was added to the original procedure, aimed at provoking impulsive responses. The task included two difficulty levels (near-threshold and threshold), which were set by the duration of stimulus presentation. For each difficulty level we analyzed accuracy (non-parametric sensitivity index A’) and speed (RT and RT stability) of solving the task. We found effects of single cognitive styles as well as factor interactions effects. We found individual differences between groups “augmenting” and “reducing” in speed of task performance, in its accuracy — between groups “flexibility of cognitive control” and “rigidity of cognitive control” as well as groups “focusing” and “scanning”. Individual differences in both speed and accuracy were found between ‘leveling’ and ‘sharpening’ groups. Moreover, these effects varied depending on task’s difficulty level. The findings were discussed within the framework of system-activity approach in psychophysics from the perspective of development of hypothetical functional organ, or perceiving functional system (based on the ideas of A.A. Ukhtomsky, A.N. Leontiev) as a tool of solving sensory task. We conclude that both task difficulty level as stimulus factor and cognitive styles as individual factors affect accuracy and speed of visual signal detection.

Key words: cognitive styles, psychophysics, individual differences, sensory task, signal detection.

 

Cross-analyzer interaction: operationalization of the notion in psychological research in Russia

K.A. Fomina, Ì.S. Kovyazina

 

 The paper analyzes studies of cross-analyzer interaction (CAI), which is a manifestation of the brain’s integrative activity, in Russia. The problem of CAI has acquired special significance in the clinical psychological context due to psychology’s growing potential in discovering clinical syndromes in mental, neurological and somatic illnesses.

The authors indicate the starting point of this research in works by I.M. Sechenov, I.P. Pavlov and others, analyze physiological and psychological approaches, methods they use and indices of inter-sensory relations. They describe studies of physiological mechanisms of CAI in man. Psychological studies emphasize the importance of interaction of analyzer systems, but, in the authors’ opinion, the notion of CAI is not operationalized in those studies. In the first place experimentation in psychology is linked to characteristics of the theoretical model of psychological reality; it serves as the basis for empirical hypotheses. Conclusions are made on the basis of processed meanings of the dependent variable which, in its turn, is a consequence of using specific psychological techniques. The article analyzes correlation between empirical notions and techniques used in studying CAI. Issues linked to terminology and techniques assessing CAI also remain unsettled. The authors view interaction of analyzers as a manifestation of primary responses preparing the organism for acting in a constantly changing environment. The article defines the role of CAI in the structure and regulation of mental activity and behavior, suggesting a working definition of CAI and proving necessity of using D.N. Uznadze’s technique of forming a fixed set as an instrument for assessing the condition of CAI, because transposition of sets from one modality into ano ther is impossible without interaction of analyzer systems.

Key words: neuropsychology, brain’s integrative activity, fixed set method, cross-analyzer interaction, brain’s white matter.

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