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Summaries
of #6 2018

 

 

SUMMARIES

 

Category of existential guilt in philosophicalpsychological literature and fiction

M.G. Chesnokova

 

The paper discusses the concept of existential guilt and the development of this category in philosophy, psychology and literature. This three-pronged character of the problem analysis is caused by the specifics of the existential approach to cognition of a man based on a synthetic method, which is a combination of empirical research, live philosophizing and artistic understanding of human life. The purpose of this method was the discovering of internal dramaturgy (G. Marñel) of human experience. In this sense the method can be described as dramatic. The core of this method which connects different levels of study is the existential concept of a man as the subject of existence having freedom for self-realization in the world. Dramatic method creates a comprehensive – existential – vision of a man in his living motion in wideness of freedom.
The article shows the formation of the category of existential guilt from the spontaneous reproducing of this experience in religious literature and fiction to its philosophical interpretation in the works of S. Kierkegaard, M. Heidegger, G. Marcel, J.P. Sartre, P. Tillich, E. Fromm, etc. Main interpretations of the nature of existential guilt as a relation to the Absolute and total human potential, as a consequence of human actions in the world (the dialectic of good and evil), as a product of the organization of human life (the concept of estrangement). The mechanisms of awareness/recognition of guilt by a man, the problem of the relationship of guilt and actions, the problem of classification (levels and types) of existential guilt are considered.
Special attention is paid to the psychological analysis of the concept of existential guilt. Essential incompleteness of psychological research of the problem of existential guilt is caused by often asymptomatic nature of its flowing on the mental level is showed. The need for philosophical and psychological analysis of an individual case to make a decision about psychological and spiritual health of a man is emphasized.

Keywords: existentialism, existential guilt, existence, the human experience, the dramatic method, S. Kierkegaard, awareness, the Absolute, the human potential, psychological analysis, philosophy of psychology.

 

Personal values as predictors for experiencing happiness in adolescents

A.A. Rean, I.L. Shagalov

 

The paper presents findings of a study of individual values of Russian adolescents which are analyzed as predictors for experiencing happiness in adolescence. A survey involving 7468 respondents aged 14 to 19 was conducted simultaneously in eight regions of Russia. The study is based on Sh. Shwartz’s values theory which enables the researcher to study values at the cultural and the individual levels including individual differences in value priorities and their impact on attitudes and behavior.
The findings show that young people attach the most importance to values like goodwill, hedonism, independence, reputation and safety. Less important are conformity, traditions and modesty. Assessment of regression models demonstrates that important parameters of happiness are values included in the meta-value preservation. Young people value traditions (family, religion), safety and the tendency to comply with the rules of society. In spite of the low rating given by respondents to family and cultural traditions (components of the first order value preservation) they are a significant predictor of happiness. Findings show that adolescents living in rural areas where traditions and conservative values prevail, feel happier. It was also discovered that experiencing of happiness in adolescence has a specific characteristic – pursuit of happiness is accompanied by denial of independence of own actions. Adolescents may lay responsibility for their actions on parents or other members of their family. Regression models show that a family which has a father and a mother, care for a narrow circle of close people are really happiness determinants.

Key words: happiness, adolescents, personal values, predictors of happiness.

 

The source of artistic creation: A meaningful experience or/and mastering of a cultural form?

A.A. Melik-Pashayev, Z.N. Novlyanskaya

 

 Studies and testing of giftedness in various arts usually focus on psychological qualities necessary for a specific activity in its objective historically shaped forms, which is not sufficient for understanding the source of independent creation. This contradiction is analyzed in the article on the example of B.M. Teplov’s classic study of musical capacity and of studies of other scientists who have researched the problem of artistic giftedness. The authors argue that the root of creative giftedness of a musician (painter, writer, etc.) is not in a specific capacity open to traditional study and necessary for mastering existing musical pieces and other kinds of art, but in a specific attitude of a person to the primary, out-of and pre-artistic reality which helps to transform unique experience of one’s own life into artistic images. Creativity emerges at a point where “inner activity of the soul” meets with a related aspect of “raw” reality potentially containing various opportunities for transforming life experience, one of which is esthetic creation. But in order for “inner activity of the soul” to realize itself in art, the meeting of a potential creator with non-artistic reality must be mediated by works of art which are represented in culture by methods of creating them. The article provides a phenomenological description of the esthetic attitude to the world which is characteristic for representatives of different arts and constitutes the source of meaningful experiences leading to artistic conceptions. A well-developed esthetic attitude is the fundamental condition for successful artistic creation. In practice children’s artistic development may progress in two directions: from personal meaningful esthetic experiences to gradual mastering of the artistic form of their expression and from advance mastering of the artistic form to gradual filling it with personal esthetic experience. Children taking different routes need differently directed pedagogical guidance. The authors substantiate those statements with examples of children’s literary and artistic works and formulate the main principles of developmental pedagogy of art substantiated by experimental practice.

Key words: creation, artistic creation, “inner activity of the soul”, meaningful experience, esthetic attitude, artistic giftedness, B.M. Teplov, G.O. Vinokur.

 

Vocalization as a means of self-expression and self-study

A.V. Zirko, A.B. Orlov

 

The paper analyzes vocalization (non-verbal voice manifestation) as a means of self-expression and self-study, suggesting a classification of four types of vocalizations based on continuums “non-authenticity–authenticity” and “impressiveness–expressiveness”. Authentic expressive vocalizations express true emotions of the person fully and accurately. Unauthentic expressive vocalizations distort the person’s feelings. Authentic impressive vocalizations produce an impression on the listener, but do not express authentic feelings of the person. Unauthentic impressive vocalizations do not produce an impression on the listener and do not express the person’s feelings. The initial hypothesis was that vocalizations are more authentic, i.e. more truly reflecting the person’s self when they are accepted and appreciated (in an expressive group) than when they are assessed (in an impressive group). The study focused on empirical vocalizations of participants and dynamics of alterations in vocalizations in a series of psychological sessions. The participants were divided into two groups. In one of them vocalizations were aimed at self-expression (expression), in the other – at producing impression on the listener (impression). With the help of the Mann–Whitney U-test meaningful differences were discovered on three indices: naturalness of vocalizations, correspondence of emotional states to vocalizations, satisfaction of the person after the vocalizations. Regression analysis showed growth of the above indices in both groups, but they were always higher in the expressive group. Most of the vocalizations in the expressive group met the criteria of authenticity and hence they were less distorted material for self-expression and self-study. According to the results of cluster analysis only four vocalizations in the group were classified as unauthentic. The impressive group demonstrated three empirical types of vocalizations: accurate, distorted and mistaken; impressive vocalizations (unlike expressive) imposed strict restraints on self-expression and self-study.

Key words: vocalization, authenticity, non-authenticity, impressiveness, expressiveness, vocal therapy, self-expression, self-study.

 

The contemporary state of psychological science according to dissertations

E.A. Popov, A.N. Domashev

 

The paper analyzes dissertations in psychology with emphasis on their merits and the problems discussed. Having analyzed the dissertations prepared for presentation in the years 2016–2017, the authors conclude that the number of dissertations increases or decreases in certain years and in specific scientific areas due to varying reasons, one of which is the decreased number of dissertation panels where the papers can be presented. The authors review the subjects popular with post-graduates, topics studied in the dissertations noting that psychology remains true to its traditional subjects – education and instruction, psychological states, communication and interpersonal interaction, student problems, drug addiction, tolerance, migration, ethnic specificity. Quite common are interdisciplinary studies. At the same time certain subjects, like history of psychology, are not popular. The number of such dissertations is small, but, according to the authors, it is these works that constitute the nucleus of psychological science. The main merit of the dissertations is their orientation towards approaches developed in Russian psychology. The papers have practical value because they contain practical recommendations or programs aimed at solving specific developmental problems. Thus analysis of dissertations prepared for presentation provides a view of the state of contemporary psychology. They are a cross-section of the state of the science which reflects the vector of its development and popular scientific subjects.

Key words: psychological science, dissertation, subject of dissertation, dissertation panel, presentation of dissertation, scientific specialty.

 

Buying a dog as manifestation of personal characteristics of the owner

À.V. Nikolskaya, E.V. Cherepanova, À.À. Êîstrigin

 

Based on interviews and observation of the interaction of 563 dog owners who claim to have “poorly behaved” pets a theoretical analysis of the causes of disorders in the interactions between humans and pets and misperception of the animals in the dyad “man–dog” is conducted. The hypotheses about the reasons for making complaints about pets that do not demonstrate deviant behavior are put forward. As a methodological basis for the analysis, the principle of social constructionism (K. Gergen) and the principle of needs satisfaction of W. Glasser were used. A test questionnaire that reveals the personal traits of the owners that affect their perception of the dog is proposed. Such traits include a lack of trust, self-acceptance and responsibility. In addition, A. Langle and C. Orgler’s “Existence Scale”, V.V. Stolin and S.R. Pantileev’s “Self-Attitude Questionnaire” and J. Rotter’s “Interpersonal Trust Scale” are used for determining the relevant dog owners’ personal traits and revealing the correlations between the personal traits (age, type of living, responsibility, self-acceptance, trust, imitation model, meaning, self-distance, self-transcendence, freedom, self-relationship). Based on the comparative analysis of two independent samples, the average personal profile of the owner acquiring a dog due to the need for the subject of the environment (a pet as the source of joy, not requiring excessive care and responsibility) and the owner acquiring the dog due to personal deficiency (a pet as the sphere of owner’s personal responsibility of and the source of trust) is proposed. Depending on the type of the owner’s unsatisfied need and the animal’s ability to correspond to a functional role, the human–pet interaction is functional or dysfunctional.

Key words: universal social construct of the dog, need in the subject of environment, lack of trust and self-acceptance, trust, self-acceptance, responsibility.

 

Characteristics of emotional state of inmates of penitentiary institutions in Armenia

K.K. Vardanyan

 

The social changes taking place in contemporary society have made many social and psychological problems more acute which has led to unprecedented rise in crime, with unstable persons relying on criminal ways of solving problems. According to reports of the International Prison Reform, the prison population increased 10% in the years 2004–20015. Comparative psychiatric data show that frequency of mental disorders in inmates is higher than in free society which is a cause of concern among psychiatrists, psychologists, health specialists and sociologists. Information about health condition and factors affecting development of diseases in places of detention is necessary for adequate planning of measures aimed at health protection in places of detention. The paper is part of a scientific project aimed at assessment of health of the prison population of Armenia with the purpose of developing a complex of measures to improve health protection of people serving prison sentences. It was discovered that high emotional tension is characteristic of the majority of the subjects (66,67%), which is reflected in high indices of deviation from the autogenic norm. Besides, there is a direct positive dependence between the feeling of discomfort and anxiety and a negative dependence between purposeful activity and the feeling of discomfort. Women and adolescents are less well adapted to conditions of isolation than men who are more stable. Woman and adolescents are less psychologically and physiologically adjustable, are more prone to maladjustment and a high degree of mental tension or discomfort.

Key words: inmates, personal characteristics, stress, health of inmates, mental health, penitentiary system.

 

Peculiarities of understanding humor in mental patients: A qualitative analysis

E.Ì. Ivanova, V.S. Îbraztsova, E.V. Grabovaya, Î.V. Shcherbakova

 

The authors analyze understanding of humor from the standpoint of its fullness and procedural characteristics in patients with mental illness (N = 31) suffering from: 1) schizophrenia and schizophrenic disorders (N = 19), 2) affective disorders (N = 12) compared to healthy people (N = 39). A set of seven verbal jokes was presented to the subjects followed by an individual semi-structured in-depth interview aimed at discovering levels of cognitive and emotional understanding of humor. Appraisal of the protocols was conducted by an expert group (N = 4) according to five levels of cognitive and three levels of emotional understanding of humor. The findings show a satisfactory level of consistency of expert assessment in both groups. It was confirmed that mental patients are generally characterized by a lower level of understanding humor than the control group both in its cognitive and emotional aspects. Understanding of humor in mental patients differs from that of healthy people both quantitavely and qualitatively; different groups describe different jokes as easy and difficult for understanding: in mental patients the link between cognitive and emotional components of understanding humor is weakened, leading to relative disintegration of the complex process of understanding humor. In schizophrenia the malfunction is more expressed than in affective disorders, however, both components are meaningfully disrupted in both groups, which agrees with the idea of common functioning of intellect and affect. Further research will focus on comparative study of understanding humor in patients with schizophrenia and affective disorders.

Key words: understanding, humor, cognitive understanding, verbal jokes, schizophrenia, affective disorders, in-depth interview.

 

Types of scientific rationality in psychology: A critique of approaches

A.A. Fedorov

 

The article critically analyses concepts implying the differentiation of «types of scientific rationality» in psychology. It is shown that V.S. Stepin’s criteria for distinguishing classical, non-classical and post-non-classical rationality are not suitable for describing the development of psychological science. First, it always studied complex systems. Secondly, there are no three stages of changing ideals and norms of research in psychology. Thirdly, the field of reflection of psychology has always included not only the object, but also the means of knowledge and the subject. The differentiation of four types of rationality in accordance with scientific revolutions also does not work in psychology: (à) it does not meet the criteria of V.S Stepin; (b) it is not clear what relation the scientific revolutions have to psychological science; (c) there is no consensus on how much such scientific revolutions have ever occurred. Modification of the initial model that suggests the extraction of humanitarian rationality by replacing the object by “another subject” in a scientific scheme of V.S. Stepin jeopardizes the scientific nature of the rationality such obtained and does not improve the model’s correspondence to historical facts. Three-termed scheme “thesis – antithesis – synthesis” (“syncret – differentiation – synthesis”) also does not allow to reflect the real development of psychology in general and psychological schools in particular.
Common problems of such interpretations have been singled out in the article. They are connected with the deliberate simplification of the psychological theories of the past and ignoring the question of the scientific nature of certain psychological schools.
In conclusion, it is suggested that the idea of types of rationality and their evolution is ill-suited to describe the development of science, and post-nonclassical psychology is a pseudoscientific and counter-revolutionary project that brings psychology back into the embrace of idealistic philosophy.

Keywords: types of scientific rationality, philosophy of science, history of psychology, scientific revolution, classics, nonclassics, post-nonclassics.

 

Person-centered expressive therapy: The path to wholeness (To the 90th anniversary of Natalie Rogers)

E.N. Asensio Martinez, A.B. Orlov

 

This year marks the 90th anniversary of the birth of the famous American psychotherapist Natalie Rogers. The article devoted to this anniversary presents the main milestones of her personal and scientific biography. It shows the ñentral desire of Natalie – the desire to gain personal integrity, which accompanied her throughout her whole life. Both the peripeteias of her bio graphy and the essence of the author’s psychotherapeutic method of person-centered expressive psychotherapy created by her reveal the path to integrity, which was so important for her, and which she offered as a psychotherapist to her clients. The article presents the essence of Natalie’s psychotherapeutic method. A summary of her three books is also given, one of which is her autobiographical account of the mid-life crisis period, and the other two are systematic psychotherapeutic manuals. They present in detail the work with individual clients, and with different kinds of groups, aimed at establishing creative intrapersonal and interpersonal relationships in the framework of the intercultural work that Natalie carried out throughout her professional life. For Natalie, building psychotherapeutic bridges between people, groups, nations and cultures was a manifestation of genuine citizen’s diplomacy. The final section of the article presents a client case from the practice of person-centered expressive psychotherapy. The work of Natalie’s method and its psychotherapeutic effects are demonstrated on a concrete example. Expressive person- centered psychotherapy comes to the client as a way to his integrity by detecting, understanding, balancing and integrating its polarities around the unifying center – the essence of the client. In the process of moving along this path, a large amount of energy is released for the full, healthy functioning of a person in life. The creative potential of a person corresponding to his true nature is actualized. Through contact with his essence, a person begins to feel his mission in life and as a result finds a way of selfrealization as self-fulfillment.

Key words: Rogers Natalie, person-centered approach, expressive arts, creativity, person-centered expressive psychotherapy, creative connection, human essence, self-realization, self-fulfillment.

 

Cognitive malfunctions in patients with essential arterial hypertension: A review of contemporary studies

E.I. Pervichko, N.Ê. Êîrsakova, Î.D. Îstroumova, Ì.À. Darevskaya, E.V. Borisova

 

The paper analyzes contemporary studies of cognitive functioning in patients with essential arterial hypertension (EAH) with the aim of accentuating importance of studying specificity and mechanisms of development of their cognitive disorders, which is necessary for better understanding of their links to emotional characteristics of the patients. The authors use the term cognitive functioning which is widely used in contemporary research and which attributes special importance to procedural-dynamic and motivational-notional parameters of mental activity. The paper provides a detailed description of cognitive disorders diagnosed in elderly EAH patients as well as in middle-aged and younger patients. The following cognitive disorders are recognized in literature as typical of EAH patients: a) lower effectiveness of regulatory functions, b) lower speed of information processing, c) attention fluctuations, d) nominative difficulties, e) visual and spatial difficulties. But analysis of the data published shows that what is meant in most cases is light symptoms of deficit in cognitive functioning which do not take the form of a syndrome. More pronounced changes in cognitive functioning are characteristic of patients with a long history of EAH in middle and especially in old age. The authors conclude that the available data is not sufficient for stating a direct link between seriousness and length of EAH and cognitive disorders which is an argument in favor of further studies aimed at identifying syndrome forming factors which determine cognitive functioning in EAH patients. The latter are essential for developing programs of diagnostics, treatment and psychological rehabilitation of EAH patients from the standpoint of the cross-disciplinary approach.

Key words: cognitive functioning, essential arterial hypertension (EAH), Vygotsky–Luria syndrome approach, neuropsychological syndrome, controlling functions, emotional characteristics, Mini-Mental Status Examination, Montreal Cognitive Assessment.

 

Language organization of perceiving the tone of mixed emotions manifested by facial expressions

S.G. Korshunova, O.B. Stepanova

 

The study conducted revealed a peculiarity of language organization of perceptive and semantic circular scales of the tone of emotions constructed in two-dimensional modules of model spherical six-dimensional structures of perception of facial expressions of mixed emotions on the basis of subjective assessment in differentiation tasks in pairs “face–face” and identification through differentiation in pairs “face–word”. Rows of expressions of basic emotions obtained by means of mixing similar expressions of the six basic emotions served as perceptual material. Names of the six emotions and their synonyms served as semantic material. Verbal organization manifests itself in the fact that high percentage “mixes” of expressions form a linguistic relation of synonymy and establish categories. The order of expression categories in both circular scales is identical. Expression categories form verbal relations of opposition, such as antonym, polarity, gradualness. The study also revealed verbal relation of combinations of expression categories which take the form of complexes conveying a new emotional meaning. Complexes are formed on one level and are divided on another. For instance, expression categories of three basic emotions: joy, surprise and fear – combine in a complex with the meaning of “interest” on the perceptual level and are divided on the semantic level. And vice versa, two expression categories of emotions of anger and disgust combine in a complex “hostility” on the semantic level and are perceived separately on the perceptual level. The two-level language structure of perceiving facial expressions of mixed emotions is based on grouping and segmenting them into categories with the help of identifying similarities and differences between mimic gestures as meta-words differentiated according to the subjective characteristic of the tone.

Keywords: language organization, structures of perception, facial expressions of mixes of six basic emotions, categorical circular scale of emotional tone, multi-dimensional scaling, vector psychophysiology.

 

Experimental testing of the technique Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (VABS) on a Russian language sample

I.V. Ovchinnikova, Ì.À. Zhukova, E.L. Grigorenko

 

 The technique Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (VABS) meant for children and adults from birth to the age of 90 is the most popular method of assessing adaptive behavior in the world. The paper is the first publication of psychometric characteristics obtained with the help of VABS on Russian language material. Adaptive behavior of 170 children aged 5 to 97 months living in two large cities of the North Western Region of Russia was assessed with the help of VABS. The testing revealed correspondence of complexity and discriminative capacity of Russian language tasks to the original technique. Analysis of the structure of the technique revealed that for most of the scales complexity of statements is evenly distributed from the simplest to the more complex. There are high correlation quotients between specific scales, domain scales and the integrative index of adaptive behavior. The highest correlations were discovered between VABS scales testing adjoining developmental domains (i.e. between scales of individual skills and expressive communication) which means that the scales measure separate, though connected, latent variables. Correlations between scales inside a developmental domain (i.e. between the scale “games and leisure” and the scale “interpersonal interaction”) are high which in agreement with the structure of the technique. Differential analysis of the tasks revealed statistical differences between the points obtained depending on the gender and living conditions of the child. The technique has a high level of validity and inner consistency of VABS which makes it applicable for assessing adaptive behavior of both normally developing children and children with special needs.

Key words: VABS, adaptive behavior, reliability, consistency, psychometric characteristics.

 

The dilemma of choosing the lesser evil: Two procedures

A.S. Plyaskina

 

 The paper presents a methodological approach to studying solving of moral dilemmas of a forced (dramatic, tragic) choice of the lesser evil in situations of rescuing people’s lives. The approach is based on the following notions: 1) the key role in moral dilemmas is played by interaction of thinking and emotions, 2) a person must be given an opportunity to reveal complexity of his inner world: thinking, including creative thinking, values and emotional attitude to what is happening by means of choosing one of the given alternatives, justifying his choice and/or suggesting one’s own decision. The paper describes two techniques: a modification of the task “Asian disease” by D. Kahneman and A. Tversky and the original technique “Bridge” in which participants are given an opportunity to manifest a wider personal and creative activity than in a situation requiring a choice between preset options. They can suggest their own decisions, express an attitude to the moral dilemma and to oneself as the solver. Thus the techniques being discussed are transferred from the paradigm “decision making” to the paradigm “problem solving”, giving the participants an opportunity not only to solve, but to formulate a problem of varying generality. In studies conducted with the help of the techniques most of the participants gave answers embracing the ideological, axiological, notional, emotional dimension of the situation of the choice and demonstrating comprehension of a complex problem situation in its variations. Some participants initiated self-reflection on the subject of their ideological principles, personal traits, intellectual characteristics, thoughts, emotions not provoked by another person (the researcher), but probably playing the role of inner support of decisions being made and explanation of those decisions to other people.

Key words: moral dilemma, choice of the lesser evil, thinking, emotions, decision making, problem solving, “Asian disease”, “Bridge” by B. Garabedian, trolley problem.

 

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