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Psychology and culture

Smirnov A. V., Obolenskaya A. G., Valiev R. A. (2016). The semantic structure of gratitude. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 9(2), 138-150.

In the modern social and economic environment of Russia, gratitude might be considered an ambiguous phenomenon. It can have different meaning for a person in different contexts and can manifest itself differently as well (that is, as an expression of sincere feelings or as an element of corruption). In this respect it is topical to investigate the system of meanings and relationships that define the semantic space of gratitude. The goal of the study was the investigation and description of the content and structure of the semantic space of the gratitude phenomenon as well as the determination of male, female, age, and ethnic peculiarities of the expression of gratitude. The objective was achieved by using the semantic differential designed by the authors to investigate attitudes toward gratitude. This investigation was carried out with the participation of 184 respondents (Russians, Tatars, Ukrainians, Jews) living in the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Israel, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom and identifying themselves as representatives of one of these nationalities. The structural components of gratitude were singled out by means of exploratory factor analysis of the empirical data from the designed semantic differential. Gender, age, and ethnic differences were differentiated by means of Student’s t-test. Gratitude can be represented by material and nonmaterial forms as well as by actions in response to help given. The empirical data allowed us to design the ethnically nonspecified semantic structure of gratitude. During the elaboration of the differential, semantic universals of gratitude, which constitute its psychosemantic content, were distinguished. Peculiarities of attitudes toward gratitude by those in different age and gender groups were revealed. Differences in the degree of manifestation of components of the psychosemantic structure of gratitude related to ethnic characteristics were not discovered. The semantic universals of gratitude are grouped into the components of its semantic structure: intentional, relational, essential, and expressive. These structural elements are present in the representatives of all the nationalities who participated in the study. The men were more likely than the women to demonstrate the instrumental understanding of gratitude. The women were more likely than the men to reflect humanistic ideas of gratitude. The romantic and noble idea of gratitude was dominant in representatives of the younger generation (18-year-olds). The young adults (19-to-25-year-olds) tended to demonstrate social realism to a larger extent than respondents in the other age groups. In respondents who were 26-years-old and above, humanistic assessment and collectivist values with respect to gratitude significantly decreased.


DOI:  10.11621/pir.2016.0211
Keywords:  gratitude, culture, sociocultural environment, semantic space, economic environment
About the authorsValiev, Ravil A. / Smirnov, Alexander V. / Obolenskaya, Alyona G.

Available Online: 06.30.2016

Mironenko, I.A., Sorokin, P.S. (2015). Culture in psychology: Perennial problems and the contemporary methodological crisis. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 8(4), 35-45.

This article begins by discussing the origins of the methodological crisis in psychology. In the literature the idea of a permanent methodological crisis in psychology, lasting since the 1890s, dominates. We contest this view and argue that the contemporary methodological problems in psychology should be considered within the context of the novel and larger crisis challenging all socio-humanitarian knowledge in the face of the transformations in social reality in recent decades. The nature of these transformations and their implications for the theory and methodology of the socio-humanitarian sciences are analyzed by drawing on the sociological literature, which is more sensitive to changes in social life than is psychology.

Prominent sociologists argue that the “old” theories and interpretations of the “social” are no longer relevant in the new, highly complex, and globally unstable reality; this new reality has largely transformed the dimensions of human beings’ existence. Meanwhile psychology still tends to comprehend the universal nature of the human. This position undermines the relevance of both psychology’s theoretical models and the practical implications derived from these methodological assumptions.

We argue for revision of the perennial psychological problem of the biology-culture interaction in human nature. To resolve the contemporary methodological crisis in psychology, a shift is needed from theories of universal and immutable human nature to the idea of the human as an infinitely changing creature. Because culture is, primarily, the ability to change, wherein the speed and extent of changes are unique for humans, distinguishing them from other living beings.


DOI:  10.11621/pir.2015.0403
Keywords:  methodological crisis, general crisis of socio-humanitarian sciences, crisis in sociology, social reality, social transformations, biosocial problem, human nature
About the authorsMironenko, Irina A.  / Sorokin, Pavel S.

Available Online: 12.30.2015

Razina N.V. (2014) Attitudes to motherhood in different cultures. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 8(2), 93-104.

The study of motherhood is a promising and relevant field of psychology. This article represents the results of a study in which a socio-psychological analysis of reproductive attitudes and demographic behaviour was conducted. The study also shows the relationship between attitudes related to motherhood and women’s cultural affiliations.

The factors that contribute to the nature of attitudes towards motherhood and the interaction between these factors were studied. According to the results of this study, we distinguished the most significant characteristics of the attitudes to motherhood that influence the nature of the relationship between a mother and her unborn child.

The model of the development of attitudes to motherhood proposed by R. V. Ovcharova was detailed. We considered the influence of factors on the nature of attitudes to motherhood as well as the influence of factors on each other.

The results of this study allow us to describe the psychological portraits of women with different attitudes to motherhood.


DOI:  10.11621/pir.2014.0209
Keywords:  motherhood, image of the child, attitude towards motherhood
About the authorsRazina, Natalya V.

Available Online: 06.30.2014

Zaks L.A. (2014) Psychology and culturology: A means of cooperating and problems associated with cooperation. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 8(2), 14-26.

The article discloses the main potential aspects of cooperation between psychology and culturology, which are connected through their mutual determination of the psyche (psychic reality) and culture. The paper acknowledges the key importance of the cultural-historical traditions initiated by Lev Vygotsky and his successors as well as the idea that their potential has yet to be realized by contemporary psychology. A new vision of culture is given to culturology (in comparison with traditional cultural studies) and its significance in conducting modern psychological research: a novel problematization of psychology’s subject matter and its methodological support. Different aspects of the psyche’s cultural determination, the experience with cultural psychology (historical psychology) in researching historical mental types (“Annals school”) are reviewed alongside with the role of culture knowledge in analyzing the psychological results of this determination. The consistency of culture and its components represented and internalized by mental structures is announced as a fundamental cultural basis of psychological research. The return influence of psychological phenomena on culture’s various aspects, as well as related cultural and psychological problems, are determined by the fundamental place and role of the psyche in any given cultural system as well as the contradictions that exist between a culture and the psyche. All this requires further examination. One of the most vital contemporary challenges facing psychology is the problem of the mental peculiarities of the consciousness, which can be principally explained in terms of a consistent culturological approach. Interrelationships between the psyche’s properties and conscious cultural functions are shown through example of aesthetic attitude.


DOI:  10.11621/pir.2014.0202
Keywords:  culture, psyche/the psyche, culturology, cultural and historical psychology, cultural psychology, system and consistency approach
About the authorsZaks, Lev A.

Available Online: 06.30.2014

Abe T., Wiwattanapantuwong J., Honda A. (2014) Dark, cold, and hungry, but full of mutual trust: Manners among the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake victims. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 7(1), 4-13.

It was reported with praise by the worldwide media that victims of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami disaster endured the aftermath in a civil manner. We analyzed official crime statistics and investigated data that were collected from residents in disaster-stricken areas. Official statistics showed that crime decreased during the disaster period. Collected data suggest that criminal and deviant behavior were extremely rare, and that the victims helped each other, apparently altruistically. Further research on actual behavior in post-disaster environments is necessary in order to sufficiently prepare for future disasters.


DOI:  10.11621/pir.2014.0101
Keywords:  emergent norm, crime, panic, looting, post-disaster utopia, tsunami
About the authorsAbe Tsuneyuki  / Wiwattanapantuwong Juthatip  / Honda, Akio

Available Online: 03.30.2014

Bayanova L.F. (2013) Vygotsky’s Hamlet: the dialectic method and personality psychology. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 6, 35-42

This article presents an analysis of Vygotsky’s work on the psychology of art and his use of the image of Hamlet in the psychological analysis of personality. It also describes the capabilities of the dialectic method for assessing psychological problems. Reference to three dialectical oppositions—of the story and the plot, of the main character’s spinelessness and his insanity, and of subject and personality—allows the development of a theoretical analysis of the psychology of personality in its relationship to culture. Culture is defined as the system of normative situations. Keywords: image of Hamlet, dialectic method, culture, normative situation, personality, subject.


DOI:  10.11621/pir.2013.0103
Keywords:  : image of Hamlet, dialectic method, culture, normative situation, personality, subject.
About the authorsBayanova, Larisa F.

Gladkova A. A. (2013) The role of television in cultivating the values of pluralism and cultural diversity in children. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 6, 138-143

This article examines the influence of the mass media and in particular television on the development of the values of pluralism and cultural diversity in children. The role of television is quite important in forming positive attitudes toward cultural, ethnic, and other groups and in inculcating an adequate perception of social reality and tolerant, multicultural awareness. The article also analyzes the functions and principles of public broadcasting, among which diversity of programming is one of the most significant.


DOI:  10.11621/pir.2013.0113
Keywords:  pluralism, tolerance, multicultural awareness, diversity, public television, set of values.
About the authorsGladkova, Anna A.

Petrenko V.F., Sapsoleva O.N. (2009). Psychosemantic Approach to Art (on a Material of Cinema). Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 2, 492-516

This article discusses an application of psychosemantic methods for the analysis of viewer understanding. As an example, the movie “Sibirskiy Tsiryulnik” (“The Barber of Siberia”, directed by a famous politician N. M ikhalkov) is taken, where Russian and American mentalities are juxtaposed. Basing on the works by M. Bakhtin and G. Kelly the concept of “art construct” is introduced. For the construction of semantic spaces of film perception the method of attribution of motives to film characters’ deeds was elaborated and used with the G. Kelly’s triadic method, followed by factor analysis.


DOI:  10.11621/pir.2009.0025
Keywords:  Art psychology, psychosemantics, film perception, personal and art constructs, understanding, deed, semantic space, factor analysis.
About the authorsPetrenko, Viktor F.  / Sapsoleva, Olga N.

Andreeva G.M. (2009). The Difficult Way of Social Psychology in Russia. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 2, 11-24

The article describes the main stages and directions of the development of social psychology in USSR and Russia. The comparison of theoretical approaches of Russian and Western social psychology is carried out. Special emphasis is made on the problem of social cognition and coping, which are important in the conditions of changing reality. New professional tasks of social psychology are discussed. The necessity of finding a new paradigm in social psychological investigations in conditions of cardinal transformations and ambiguity is stated as well as vectors and tendencies of its elaboration.


DOI:  10.11621/pir.2009.0001
Keywords:  social psychology in USSR, social psychology in Russia, theoretical and methodological background, social changes, new paradigm.
About the authorsAndreeva, Galina M.

Petrenko V.F., Korotchenko E.A., Suprun A.P. (2011). Research on Language of Perception Still-Life as a Visual Aphorism. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 4, 467-494

This article describes a categorical structure of perception of still-life painting. Analysis is done on the system of visual opposition elements in still-life. A still-life is considered a “perceptual statement about the world”, and a “visual aphorism”. The research is based on such methods as: semantic spaces constructing and their transformation at introduction of additional elements in still-lifes. It also gives full analysis of an interpretation of complex images and understanding of types of still-life as a visual hermeneutics.


DOI:  10.11621/pir.2011.0031
Keywords:  categorical structure, language, image, symbol, art
About the authorsPetrenko, Viktor F.  / Korotchenko, Evgeniya A.  / Suprun, Anatoly P.

Feldstein D.I. (2011). A Changing Child in Changing World: Psychological and Educational Problems of the New School. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 4, 383-396

The article is devoted to a number of urgent problems of mental and physical health of people who live in the global community. How we understand what is the world around us, what kind of society we live in and what are behavioural patterns and developmental features in the contemporary situation, and what the requirements of this society are. Changes in the modern child are influenced by an intense evolutionary self-development of modern man. Special attention should be paid to the development of science on the whole and psychological, psychophysiological, psychological and didactic branches in particular whose basis are stipulated in the textbooks and manuals of a qualitatively new generation.


DOI:  10.11621/pir.2011.0026
Keywords:  psychology, education, New School, socialization.
About the authorsFeldstein, David I.

Tvorogova N.D. (2011). Spiritual Well-Being. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 4, 193-203

The article considers the role of personal and social values in the regulation of human behaviour. These values could be unconscious and hiding behind habits and rules, patterns of behaviour and thinking, but they can be realized by both an individual and social community and eventually their choice in this case which arises an opportunity to make them manageable. Consideration of the spiritual component of public health has led the author of this article to discuss the concepts of “spiritual well-being” and “spiritual diseases”. The article contains data of empirical research of deviant behaviour as a consequence of spiritual distress.


DOI:  10.11621/pir.2011.0011
Keywords:  social values, behaviour, spiritual well-being.
About the authorsTvorogova, Nadezhda D.

Petrenko V.F., Suprun A.P. (2011). Consciousness and Reality in Western and Oriental Tradition. Relationship between Human and Universe. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 4, 74-107

Stating the main principles of Buddhist philosophy and psychology is usually going with help of ancient categories and metaphors, which had been developed since the fifth century B.C. till the tenth century A.C. That means they were worked out by quite different kind of mentality (culture, language, traditions…). That makes those categories and metaphors almost untranslatable on European languages properly and unequivocally. In its turn, that situation makes difficult any kind of modern scientific research of the phenomena, discovered inside Buddhism, as well as ideas, developed in it. In this article we set a question of possibility to select such basic concepts of modern natural science, which can effectively translate main oriental ideas about Reality into modern scientific paradigm and discover the meaning of psychological phenomena from the transpersonal psychology sphere of interest. We take a look on some comparisons between pictures of Reality in modern physics and in Buddhist paradigm, allocating two sides of Reality, called Nirvana and Samsara.


DOI:  10.11621/pir.2011.0006
Keywords:  consciousness, western tradition, oriental tradition, Buddhist philosophy
About the authorsPetrenko, Viktor F.  / Suprun, Anatoly P.

Sokolova E.T. (2010). Narcissism as Clinical and Socio-Cultural Phenomenon. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 3, 684-702

Basing on the theoretical analysis and personal longstanding research, the author offers general characteristics of narcissism, delineates the relations between the disturbances of identity structure, regulatory mechanisms, cognitive styles and modes of interpersonal cognition, which allows predicting a wide range of psychic and behavioral disorders. It is shown that the phenomenon of narcissism has a bio-psycho-social causation, and that the contemporary technological glut as well as the expansion of consumerist values give new stimuli for the development of narcissistic and perfectionist personality trends.


DOI:  10.11621/pir.2010.0034
Keywords:  narcissism, consumerist values, perfectionism, body as the object of metamorphoses of self, manipulativeness in communication, compliance, psychotherapy, cognitive style, alexithymia, defense mechanisms, coping, autodestruc-tiveness
About the authorsSokolova, Elena T.

Reshetnikov M.M. (2010). The Development of Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis in Post- totalitarian and Transitional Societies. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 3, 646- 653

The author analyzes in brief the historical development of psychiatry, psychology and psychotherapy in Soviet Union and pots-Soviet Russia. He expresses his view on modern state of affairs between state and private practice and gives a detailed account of the formation of modern Russian psychoanalytic community and its entry into the international community.


DOI:  10.11621/pir.2010.0032
Keywords:  psychology and psychotherapy in Soviet Union and Russia, psychiatrists, psychologists, psychotherapists, state and private medicine, psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic community, psychoanalytic training and education, European Confederation of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapies
About the authorsReshetnikov, Mikhail M.

Sirotkina I.E., Smith R. (2010). Psychological Society and Social Change: Russia in Transition. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 3, 626- 645

Like other terms of social analysis, such as "modernity,""postmodern ity,""democ-racy"and "globalization,"the term "psychological society',signals a contribution to debate about the direction cultural, social, economic and political life is taking. The most tangible manifestation of psychological society is the sheer rise in numbers of people calling themselves psychologists and having psychology as an occupa­tion. The second characteristic of psychological society concerns the emphasis on "the self"as an individual psychological subjectivity, conferring identity, and locus of agency. In a psychological society, people, including, of course, psychologists themselves, acquire a psychological subjectivity, a way of representing themselves to themselves and to others, as having a psychological identity. There is a sense in which, in psychological society, each person becomes her or his own psychologist. Finally, psychological society is a society in which the circle representing human nature in psychological terms and the formation of people as psychological subjects becomes a major feature of social structure. Since such a society developed in the twentieth century in many western countries, it is natural to ask whether at least elements of such a society are now coming into existence in Russia.


DOI:  10.11621/pir.2010.0031
Keywords:  psychological society, the modern liberal citizen, psychological identity, self-management, change in Russia
About the authorsSirotkina, Irina E. / Smith, Roger

Yurevich A.V. (2010). Future from the Past. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 3, 611- 625

The author demonstrates that the bulk of futurological forecasts do not come true as well as predictions contained in scientific fiction. In his view the systematic mistakes of such forecasts are due not to the shortcomings of predictions, but to the fact that the development of civilization is unfolding in irrational direction. It is connected with the substitution of "paradigm of development" by the "paradigm of entertainment" - the distinguishing manifested process which has psychological roots. The author states that underestimation of the changes in human psychology is still alive and well in futurological forecasts what diminishes their exactness.


DOI:  10.11621/pir.2010.0030
Keywords:  futurology, scientific fiction, forecasts, systematic mistake, civilization, psychology, science, technology, "paradigm of development"
About the authorsYurevich, Andrey V.

Nazaretyan A.P. (2010). Beyond Ideologies: The Meaning of Life in the Historical and Psychological Perspective. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 3, 581- 610

Throughout human history, in-group solidarity has been achieved at the price of confrontation with out-group individuals ("them vs. us" mental scheme); this has been guaranteed by religious or quasi-religious ideologies. However, in compli­ance with some basic evolutionary patterns, the traditional mechanism of social aggression-regulation is actually becoming counter-productive and threatens to destroy planetary civilization during the next decades. The author argues that the perspectives of global viability essentially depend on whether or not the human mind develops new mechanisms of strategic meaning-construction and solidarity regardless of large-group (confessional, national or class) mythologies.


DOI:  10.11621/pir.2010.0029
Keywords:  crisis, civilization, techno-humanitarian balance, worldview, meaning of life, ideology, religion, knowledge-enabled destruction, Anthropic principle, synergetics, universal natural selection
About the authorsNazaretyan, Akop P.

Petrenko V.F., Korotchenko E.A. (2012). Metaphor as a Basic Mechanism of Art (Painting) . Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 5, 531-567

This article describes research on visual semantics, different forms of metaphor used in rhetoric and philology (tropes: metonymy, hyperbole, litotes, oxymoron, and others), and images, which are metaphorical also. The research was carried out using paintings. The authors state that the function of metaphor is to transform the sense of the image from a psychological point of view.


DOI:  10.11621/pir.2012.0033
Keywords:  visual semantics, sense tropes, metaphor, metonymy, hyperbole, litotes, oxymoron, image, mental energy.
About the authorsPetrenko, Viktor F.  / Korotchenko, Evgeniya A.