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The multidimensional reality of conversation: approaches and research
The paper looks at existing models of analyzing and understanding conversation, discussing the general state of affairs and contemporary views on conversation in philosophy and social sciences which treat conversation much broader than simple exchanging of remarks. The author looks on conversation as a specific phenomenon with its own structure and dynamics which cannot be reduced to linguistic, social, motivational or personal factors. Studying everyday conversation is a hard task due to complexity of its registration and presence of a number of “incorrect” forms. The paper contains a review of approaches to studying conversation in various areas of science and practical work, among them ethnographic works and conversational models in the context of situation and culture, attention to details in the “healing conversation” in psychoanalysis, functions of conversation in systemic functional linguistics, treatment of conversation as constructing in the speech act theory, the principle of co-operation and speech maxims in pragmatics, analysis of communal conversation in ethnography of speaking, cohesion of conversation in sociolinguistics, attention to the position of the interlocutor in discourse-analysis, classification of behavioral types in group conversation in interactional process-analysis, understanding of conversation as game playing in the drama approach, mechanisms and order of speaking in conversational analysis. All the approaches mentioned reveal complexity of the phenomenology of everyday conversation. On the basis of comparing various approaches the author suggests a generalized model for analyzing conversation which includes elements of the scene and participants, a general design of conversation, switching from one participants to another, recurrent subjects and patterns, communicative difficulties and institutional specificity.
Key words: conversation, analyzing model, interaction, context, structure.
Adolescence: identity and subjectness
N.N. Tolstykh, I.L. Uglanova
The paper presents findings of an empirical study of the link between identity of senior adolescents and levels and quality of their subjectness. The subjects were 53 students of grades IX–XI (age 14–17) of secondary schools of Moscow and Moscow Region, 26 boys and 27 girls. The instruments used were the questionnaire “Level of personal subjectness” (LPS) developed by M.A. Shchukina and the technique “Unfinished sentences” developed by J. Marcia and adapted by V.R. Orestova. The LPS technique helps to identify the general level of subjectness, as well as indices on six scales: activity–reactivity, autonomy–dependence, integrity–non-integrity, immediacy–mediation, creativity– reproductivity, self-value–self-unvalue. J. Marcia’s technique allows registration of four statuses of identity: the achieved, the moratorium, the predefined, diffusion of identity. The study demonstrated that adolescents with productive identity statuses (the achieved and the moratorium) have higher levels of subjectness than adolescents with non-productive statuses (the predefined and diffusion) (p < 0,05). Comparison of the groups on different scales revealed meaningful differences only on two: autonomy– dependence, creativity–reproductivity (p < 0,05); the indices are higher in adolescents with the productive identity type. Adolescents with the achieved identity status have the highest indices of subjectness; it is less expressed in adolescents with the moratorium and the diffusion statuses; the lowest indices were found in adolescents with the predefined identity status. Hypotheses on gender and age differences in identity statuses have not been confirmed. The data obtained with the help of joint application of two different scientific instruments confirm their validity and allow a more detailed analysis of subjectness and identity.
Key words: identity, identity status, subjectness, subjectness levels, self-development, youth, crisis.
Cognitive foundations of successful teaching of the Russian language: a cross-cultural study
L.A. Verbitskaya, Yu.P. Zinchenko, S.B. Malykh, T.N. Tikhomirova
The paper presents findings of a cross-cultural analysis of cognitive foundations of successful teaching of the Russian language. The study looked into the role of the speed of information processing, of working memory and non-verbal intellect in development of individual differences in success of Russian language learning on the material of teachers’ marks and results of state examinations. The study involved 512 school students (46,3% of them boys) of grade XI (average age 17,7 ± 0,46) from the Russian Federation and the Kirghiz Republic whose teaching was carried out in Russian. There were two groups of students whose language of teaching coincided with their mother tongue and one group whose mother tongue was different. The speed of information processing and working memory were measured with the help of a battery of computerized tests “Cognitive characteristics”, the non-verbal intellect was measured with the help of the test “Standard progressive matrixes”. Methods of multiple regression, dispersion and correlation analysis were used to analyze the data. It was discovered that Russian native speakers performed better in the state examination in the Russian language than non-native speakers. When the mother tongue coincides with the language of teaching, less cognitive effort is required to perform on standard tasks in Russian. Specificity of links between cognitive development and success in learning Russian is determined by effectiveness of instruction; in less favorable conditions it is only non-verbal intellect that is linked to academic success; in more favorable conditions working memory also comes into play. The authors discuss the role of the native language and the national educational system in development of individual differences in cognitive functioning and in learning.
Key words: Russian language, success of teaching, education, native language, speed of information processing, working memory, non-verbal intellect, senior school age.
The social and the personal in the identity of a football fan
The subculture of football fans was studied to discover the structure of identity in the period of entering adulthood. The subjects were 86 football fans and 95 non-fans (181 in all) aged 18–25. A modified technique of the personal differential was used to study self-characteristics of the respondents and their notions of personal and behavioral characteristics of their friends, fathers, mentors, a typical football fan, an ideal person. Indices of sense self-regulation and personal autonomy were measured with the help of the Questionnaire of subjective alienation, the Scale of self-determination and the Scale of general tolerance of vagueness. Self-characteristics of fans and non-fans revealed meaningful differences on the personal differential scales “strong-weak”, “decisive-indecisive”, etc. Not one of questionnaire scales revealed any meaningful differences. Correlation analysis showed differences between fans and non-fans in the structure of self-characteristics on the scales of personal differential, autonomy, general alienation, etc.
Key words: identity, sense alienation, self-determination, entering adulthood, subculture, football fan.
Psychological manipulation as a cultural and clinical phenomenon
E.T. Sokolova, G.A. Laisheva
The clinical view to psychological manipulation is provided in the article: it is considered as a special destructive style of life intrinsic to borderline and narcissistic patients, including a number of “extreme” forms of behavior and traits of personality such as parasuicide, non-cooperative ways of communication, perfectionism, cynicism and indifference to others’ mental states. The research is based on holistic systemic style paradigm developed by E.T. Sokolova in cultural-historical tradition, which studies social cognition, motivation and self-conscious in their interaction. Modeled in the research situation of uncertainty, natural to process of understanding others’ emotions and thoughts, stimulates functional or maladaptive and manipulative copings. 41 patients with suicidal attempts and adaptation disorders and 41 person without any psychiatric diagnosis took part. Methods used: Mach-IV scale, Multidimensional perfectionism scale, Tomas’ test, Rosenzweig frustration test, modified non-zero sum games. Statistica-8 was used to analyze empirical data. It was shown that different constellations of motivational-personal and instrumental components allow dividing clinical forms of manipulation from normal ones and represent different manipulative styles of behavior inside the suicidal patients group. Two styles of manipulative behavior of suicidal patients are found and described with underlying affective-cognitive distortions: mentalization deficits and difficulties in coping with uncertainty are not only disturbances in analysis and processing information, but also regulate emotional state and defense from anxiety and fears. Patients with parasuicides have a variety of destructive forms and functions of mental processes: self-conscious (perfectionism and tendency to manipulate), quality of mental representations (concrete mentalization) and information operating (intolerance to uncertainty). These disturbances can be considered as predictors and chronificators of suicidal behavior.
Key words: motivational and instrumental components of manipulative style of behavior, manipulation, machiavellianism, perfectionism, parasuicide, mentalization, uncertainty tolerance.
Stress representations in different cultures
I.O. Kuvaeva, N.Ì. Àchàn, Ê.B. Lozovskaya
This paper presents the results of a comparative study that was carried out to identify differences in the perception of stress (stress representations) among representatives of Russian, Turkish and Chinese cultures. The structural components of the stress representations were studied using a modified version of M.A. Kholodnaya’s “Integral Conceptual Structures” technique. The respondents’ answers given in their native language were analyzed against the following stress indicators: triggers, development, consequences and symptoms. The examples of stress visualization by the respondents are provided. The sample consisted of 226 university students (98 Russian, 70 Turkish and 58 Chinese people). The data obtained confirmed a high level of differentiation in the stress representations in the Russian students (p = 0,000). The stress representations in the Russian sample proved to be more structurally defined (p ? 0,001) and polar compared to the Chinese respondents. No significant differences in the structure of the stress representations were revealed in the Turkish and Chinese respondents. It was shown that the perception of stress in Russian culture is associated with various stress manifestations and its chronic course. In Turkish students, stress results from everyday educational activities and concerns about future prospects. In Chinese students, stress is described by generalized stress indicators, as well as by the need to react immediately to challenging life situations. The cultural differences observed are explained by the fact that Russian culture (according to Hofstede’s cultural dimensions theory) belongs to a hybrid type with a shift towards individualism; conversely, Turkish and Chinese are closer to pure collectivistic cultures. It is concluded that Russian students perceive stress as an individual phenomenon; Turkish students link stress with university study and uncertain future prospects; Chinese students demonstrate a more generalized representations of stress.
Key words: stress, representations, individualism, collectivism, Russian, Turkish and Chinese students.
Therapy potential for adults with a childhood traumatic experience
The article discusses psychological characteristics of adults with a childhood traumatic experience, and methods of providing effective psychological help to those people. The author gives a typology of negative childhood experiences and their effects on adults, analyzes ways of therapeutic correction of consequences of psychological traumas. She also describes M. Murray’s method of overcoming effects of childhood traumas, deprivation and cruel treatment widely used in therapy. The article also presents findings of a comparative study of pathological symptoms observed before and after therapy in adults with unprocessed childhood traumas. Traumatic effects may be felt in different ways. In the present study the author looks at emotional and psychosomatic symptoms, defining the actual psychological symptomatic status of adults with childhood traumas. The questionnaire “Adverse Childhood Experience – ACE” was used to diagnose the nature of the trauma. The questionnaire is widely used in the USA, but is not popular in Russia. Therefore the author provides a description of the questionnaire. Initial diagnostics of adults with a childhood trauma discovered a pathological symptomatic complex pointing to both psychological and somatic problems; the questionnaires demonstrated a high level of distress in all the subjects. After therapy the symptoms became less expressed, the condition of patients improved. The study conducted confirmed effectiveness of Murray’s method as an instrument for processing effects of childhood traumas and correcting pathological symptoms.
Key words: psychological trauma, traumatic experience, psychological symptoms, therapy of traumas, Murray’s method.
Personal causes of complaints about somatic and psychological symptoms in the norm
Psychosomatic studies are based on the assumption that somatic symptoms may indicate psychological disorders, but the structure of somatic complaints in the norm and their relation to psychological symptoms have not been given sufficient attention. The study conducted looked into the link between complaints about somatic and psychological symptoms in the norm and their relation to gender, age, personal characteristics. Two alternative hypotheses were considered. According to the hypothesis of “general distress”, one could expect a positive correlation between complaints about somatic and psychological symptoms, while according to the hypothesis of “somatic expression of distress”, one could expect absence of link or a negative link. With the help of MMPI-2 it was discovered that complaints about somatic symptoms are positively linked to complaints about psychological symptoms, while their link to personal characteristics is a non-specific manifestation of general psychological distress. Although women are more concerned about their health and this concern grows with age, such manifestations are extremely weak. Gender differences are caused by general distress, while age differences – by specific complaints about neurological and gastroenterological symptoms, but not by general concern about one’s health or general distress. Hypochondriac or hysterical traits are linked to various somatic complaints, depressive – to general anxiety about health, schizoid – to gastroenterological complaints. On the one hand, somatic complaints may cause anxiety and depression due to worsening state of health, on the other – psychological distress may be complicated by somatic complaints, which may be due to insufficient differentiation between emotions and sensations. Different personality profiles are characterized not only by different levels of general distress, but also by a number of specific somatic and psychological complaints.
Key words: somatic symptoms, psychological symptoms, complaints, “unexplainable” somatic symptoms, psychosomatics, MMTI-2.
Ethnic psychological aspects of sense-of-life and value orientations in students
A.S. Berberyan, E.S. Berberyan
The paper describes findings of a study which investigated characteristics of sense-of-life and value orientations in the structure of self-awareness in Armenian and Russian students who represent either the title nation and or an attendant diaspora. The actuality of the problem is determined by necessity to investigate influence of social context on sense-of-life orientations of students and differences in identity and attitude to self in representatives of an ethnos living in an alien ethnic environment. The study was aimed at discovering characteristics of sense-of-life aspects of ethnocultural identity in the structure of self-awareness of Armenian and Russian students when they belong to the title nation or to an attendant diaspora. Content characteristics of a person’s understanding of their ethnocultural identity are expressed in a number of constructs, including understanding of self in the context of ethic norms and values and the dominant type of selfinterpretation. The paper presents findings of a study carried out with participation of Russians living in Russia, Armenians living in Armenia and Armenians living in Russia. The diagnostic instruments used were B.V. Kaigorodov’s modified graph-scheme technique, Singelis’s technique of independent/dependent self-interpretation, DeCicco’s metapersonal self-interpretation and the semantic differential. The study confirmed the hypothesis on connection between the sociocultural situation and the dominant type of self-interpretation. A comparative study showed that at the nucleus of the ethnic norm in Armenian students are qualities of openness and concern for others, while in Russian students those are qualities connected with achievement. The study also looked into differences in notions of the ethnocultural ideal in the title ethnos and the diaspora, in notions of the social norm and values in the context of actual life and activity, in the I-image in the context of ethnocultural norms and values in the title Russian and Armenian ethnic groups and the diasporas.
Key words: self-awareness, ethnocultural identity, ethnocultural norms, values, sense-of-life orientations, ethnic tradition, subjectness, self-interpretation, title ethnos, diaspora.
Perception of music by listeners of different ethnic cultures
À.V. Òîrîpîvà, Ò.S. Ênyazåvà
The article focuses on differentiated perception of music, namely identifying emotional content of music by representatives of different ethnic cultures. The aim of the study was to find typical patterns of individual differences in perception of music. The methodology was based on the idea of synergy of both individual and cultural experience of the recipient during perception of music. The authors tested the hypothesis that between Russian and Chinese students there are differences in perception of “native” and “alien” music as far as its emotional content. There is a contradiction that needs to be resolved. On the one hand, perception is based on generalized musical language standards that are specific to a particular culture, and in this case “native” music should be more easily recognized than “alien”; on the other hand, understanding of music as a language of feelings and moods is not based on cultural experience but on a universal emotional ability; in this case, there should be no differences in perception of the emotional content of music by representatives of different ethnic and cultural groups. The study is based on the idea of connection between perception of “ethno-style” music and recipients’ “ethno-hearing”. The ethno-style variable was represented by four musical samples: Slavic and Chinese instrumental melodies, classical violin music (N. Paganini) and music of the twentieth century (D. Shostakovich). The study participants assessed the fragments they had listened to on twelve bipolar psychometric scales, reflecting emotional and dynamic characteristics of the music. The phenomenon of “ethno-hearing” was studied by means of classifying the results of evaluations of emotional sound features into groups – the Chinese and the Russian. A total of 53 people participated: 27 Russian music students (M = 24,7) and 26 Chinese music students from Moscow university (M = 25,6). The study found significant differences between Russian and Chinese musicians in perception of traditional Russian and Chinese music and showed no such differences in perception of classical and contemporary music.
Key words: perception of music, emotional content of music, recognition of musical emotions, ethno-style, ethnohearing, authentic, classical music, listening experience, identity.
On the subject of psychology (discussion of the article by N.I. Chuprikova)
The author discusses the theoretical model of an integrated functional system of mental reflection and regulation of behavior and activity suggested by N.I. Chuprikova (Voprosy psychologii. 2016. N 6. P. 3–19). Recognizing the approach as useful and enriching psychological science, the author at the same time finds it limited within its capacity and dangerous outside of it. Applicability and potential of the approach are discussed in the light of the issue of the subject of psychology. The author argues that N.I. Chuprikova’s approach is limited in its initial tenets. The function of mind is not just maintaining the organism’s interaction with the environment by reflecting its essential features, as implicitly follows from N.I. Chuprikova’s theory. In this interpretation the psychological becomes an epiphenomenon, while it is ‘the form of life which is usually described as that of the soul’, according to A.V. Petrovsky and M.G. Yaroshevsky; “our perceptions, thoughts, feelings, our aspirations, intentions, desires etc. – all that constitutes the inner content of our life and that is given us in its immediacy in the form of experiencing”, according to S.L. Rubistein. N.I. Chuprikova provides a detailed critical analysis of theories of mind and brain activity, but her attempts to distance herself from those approaches, to prove that her conception is not reductionist, appear to be nothing but declarations. The author argues that it is not physiological brain processes, but actual interaction of a whole living creature with the world that constitutes the material substance of the mental which, in its turn, is a systemic feature of that interaction and cannot be derived from individual brain processes. The author questions N.I. Chuprikova’s statement that empirical and philosophic characteristics of consciousness are naturally integrated in the functional system of the mind and insists on a dialectic approach to man as a creature possessing consciousness and free will.
Key words: the subject of psychology, psychophysiological problem, monism and dualism, anthropological problem of psychology.
V.M. Bekhterev’s Brain Institute in the time of ideological confrontations of the 1920s
The article is devoted to the work of the neurologist, physiologist, psychologist V.M. Bekhterev (1857–1927) and the history of Institute for research of the brain and mental activity in the time of ideological confrontations of the 1920s. The new institution emerged on the basis of the Psychoneurological Institute and inherited its essential approaches, including the idea of a complex approach to studying personality and the principle of interdisciplinary research. The October revolution and the reorganization of scientific life that followed provided for V.M. Bekhterev an opportunity to try to realize a number of projects that might be supported by the new regime. Being a maximalist, V.M. Bekhterev seriously counted on maximalism of the new leaders of the country. He was one of the few scientists who immediately accepted the new conditions, including bringing ideology into science.In his attempts to create a Marxist psychology V.M. Bekhterev insisted on the right of reflexology to be classified as a Marxist conception. On the material of a wide range on unpublished sources the author analyzes the relations of the scientist and his followers with the Bolshevik regime starting from attempts to link reflexology to Marxism and ending with the collapse of the conception at the end of the 1920s. The author concludes that the key event in the history of the Institute and reflexology as a science was the scientist’s death in 1927. The defeat suffered in the ideological struggle did not only force the researchers to give up a number of their founder’s projects which were condemned and forgotten, but jeopardized the very existence of the Institute as a research centre. At the same time, in the conditions of the complicated and cruel “struggle for Marxism” and considering the new state’s desire to unify science, even V.M. Bekhterev’s influence, his ability to prove the necessity of his projects could not guarantee survival of reflexology.
Key words: V.M. Bekhterev, Institute for research of the brain and mental activity, history of psychology, reflexology.
Experimental testing of automated tools for human reaction time determination
M.V. Alyushin, L.V. Kolobaskina, A.M. Alyushin
Human reaction time to external stimuli is one of the most important integrated indicators characterizing his current functional and psycho-emotional state and therefore its commitment to timely action in emergency situations In view of this, the reaction time should be considered as one of the components of such a thing as the human factor. Control and management of this factor will help one to minimize the risks of accidents and disasters of technological origin. The results of laboratory testing of the automated determination of human reaction time are presented and discussed. The paper focuses on the study of human reaction time due to, first of all, the influence of light stimuli, the most typical in the case of computerized work stands. Developed automated tools are specialized software package that can be installed on computers that are part of the training, or working stands. The complex requires a host computer (server) which collects personal data with the training (work) stands. The functions of the control computer includes a systematization of personal data and their presentation to the teacher (the chief of the shift). Data can be presented separately for each of the students (working stuff) or in the form averaged for the entire group (shift). Along with the definition of complex reaction time the developed means permits one to determine the level of erroneous actions. For example, pressing the wrong key. Conducted experimental testing has confirmed the high information content of the obtained data concerning the current functional state of the man. This technology can be recommended for use in embedded systems, hazardous facilities management operators current state monitoring systems. The advantages of this approach are the possibility of integration with other human current status monitoring systems, easy integration with all types of computers and high operation reliability.
Key words: emergencies forecasting, risks of accidents and disasters, human factor, monitoring of mental and emotional state, human reaction time, human resource management.
A questionnaire on professional dedication
S.A. Minyurova, A.I. Kalashnikov
The authors aimed to define the construct of professional dedication and develop a questionnaire for measuring it. Analyzing similar notions accepted in national and international science, such as professional dedication, professional loyalty, professional identification, professional identity, professional commitment, occupation commitment, employee loyalty, organization loyalty, and looking at different approaches existing in national and international science, the authors compare the phenomena of organizational and professional commitment, uncovering their psychological content and structural models. Theoretical analysis and expert assessment of the meaning of the above notions show that professional commitment includes five main components: affectivity, stability, activity, normativity, identification. The authors insist on the need to develop and test a diagnostic empirical instrument for studying the construct of professional dedication of teachers, considering the importance of their value attitude to the profession. The construct and the instrument for its measuring were obtained as a result of a study of professional dedication of 90 teachers of secondary educational institutions of Yekaterinburg and Sverdlovsk Region, aged 21 to 60 with professional experience from one month to 39 years. The questionnaire they were to complete consisted of 15 items classified into three scales: professional affectivity, professional stability, professional activity. Factor analysis showed that professional dedication measured by the questionnaire being developed, has a three-factor structure. Further research confirmed compliance of the factor structure of the technique with empirical data. Although the questionnaire has an acceptable level of construct and factor validity, its development is far from completed, because its retesting reliability and pragmatic validity still remain to be established. Initial psychometric testing of the questionnaire based on a threecomponent model of professional dedication showed its validity for measuring the construct.
Key words: organizational and professional commitment, value attitude to profession, three-component model of professional dedication.