An Adaptationist Framework to Examine Intergroup Contact
Background. Many culturally-plural societies like Canada or Russia seek ways to manage their cultural diversity in order to promote harmony among coexisting groups. The social sciences have long viewed intergroup contact as a beneficial intervention to achieve such harmony.
Objective. This paper proposes an adaptationist framework within which to explain how and why intergroup contact contributes to the positive and negative outcomes for individuals who live together in a plural society. We employed this framework in a case study that may serve as an example of the conceptualization and analysis of these issues in international research. Its structural framework included both positive and negative contact and the role of this contact in the distribution of intercultural and psychological adaptation among a large representative sample of the Canadian population.
Design. We used a correlational design with a representative sample of Canadians from a survey carried out by Environics in 2019, which was stratified according to the most current population statistics. The total sample was 3,111 persons age 18 and over and included the largest racialised groups in the country.
Results. Our main finding was that intergroup contact (both positive and negative) related to both psychological and intercultural adaptation. These findings have implications for improving intercultural relations, especially through the role of positive contact.
Conclusion. The experience of negative contact (e.g., discrimination) in the near term is an important factor in undermining both forms of adaptation. Nonetheless, while intergroup contact can bring both positive and negative experiences during intercultural interactions, it leads to mutual adaptation over time.
Keywords: Intergroup contact/ intercultural adaptation/ psychological adaptation/ personal wellbeing/ multicultural ideology/ prejudice/ acculturation
The Relationship between Subjective Well-being and Social Support among Jordanian University Students
Background. Although the interest in subjective well-being has flourished during recent decades, there is a general lack of research into this subject throughout the Arab world, and in the Jordanian academic environment in particular.
Objective. The present study aimed to identify any significant gender differences in the level of subjective well-being, and to examine the relationship between subjective well-being and social support among a sample of Hashemite University students.
Design. The study sample comprised 679 male and female undergraduate students from the Hashemite University chosen by purposive method. The College Student Subjective Well-being Questionnaire and Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support were used to collect the data.
Results. The results showed no significant differences in the level of subjective well-being due to the gender variable, but indicated significant differences between genders in satisfaction with academics and school connectedness. The results also showed a positive relationship between subjective well-being and social support.
Conclusion. The current study contributes to enriching the theoretical literature related to gender differences in the level of subjective well-being of Jordanian university students and to examining the relationship between subjective well-being and social support.
Keywords: Subjective well-being/ social support/ university student
Social Perceptions of Gender Differences and the Subjective Significance of the Gender Inequality Issue
Background. Gender inequality continues to reproduce itself in hidden and ambivalent forms and leads to invisible barriers in women's careers and lives. The authors were interested in how social perceptions of gender differences would relate to the maintenance of gender inequality in various spheres of life.
Objective. The purpose of the presented research was to study social perceptions of gender differences in relation to the subjective significance of the gender inequality issue.
Design. The study was conducted via an online survey throughout February-September of 2019. The sample included 106 people aged 18 to 68 (M = 30.2, σ = 10.5), 49% of respondents were women. The authors have developed and tested a questionnaire assessing the adherence to ideas regarding evident gender differences in various spheres of life. The reliability of all scales of the questionnaire has been tested. Respondents also completed a questionnaire identifying their perceptions of gender inequality and shared their life experience with respect to this phenomenon in the form of free description.
Results. The following two latent factors reflecting different aspects of gender perceptions have been identified: “Career Inequality” and “Differences in Social Spheres”. Indicators of the subjective significance of gender inequality (which include gender awareness, frequency of gender inequality witnessing, personal experience of gender discrimination and the emotional significance of this experience) were positively correlated with perceptions of career inequalities (these support ideas regarding gender differences when it comes to opportunities for professional realization) and negatively correlated with perceptions of differences within social spheres (these support ideas regarding the existence of essential gender differences within the family, politics and everyday life).
Conclusion. Articulation of personal experiences of gender inequality is associated with social perceptions of the absence of essential gender differences in various social domains (egalitarianism) and sensitivity to gender inequality with regards to career opportunities.
Keywords: Gender differences/ gender inequality/ social perceptions of gender differences/ traditionalism/ egalitarianism
Emotions As A Key To Consuming Political News Among Russian Genzs
Background. Media consumption by the digital generation in Russia should not only be of interest to media researchers or managers. The fact that young people's interaction with various information sources and the media is noticeably different from the daily practice of older generations and has created new trends and habits, must be taken into account by the teaching community, parents, and political forces. This issue is of particular interest to politicians, because it points to the need for them to transform their information policy.
Objective. The purpose of this study was to find out how media formats that appeal to emotions of young people influence their media consumption.
Design. During the first stage, we surveyed respondents in three cities with populations of over one million; the surveys allowed us to identify key sources of information and the motivation for various kinds of digital content consumption by youth. During the second stage, 20 in-depth interviews provided a deeper understanding of where the teenagers got their political news and what influenced their consumption.
Results. The authors of this paper have concluded that the digital generation does not consume political news purposefully. They rarely turn to socio-political publications and do not watch shows on federal TV channels. In fact, members of this generation mostly deny having any interest in this topic or awareness of it. However, through various entertaining, primarily humorous, content, which is the most popular among young people, a clear political agenda, albeit subjective, is being formed in their information space.
Conclusion. Our work refutes the common misconception of researchers, representatives of the state system, and journalists that the digital generation is not interested in politics. Rather, their pursuit of emotional experiences, primarily positive ones, have become their main incentive for consuming political news.
Keywords: digital generation/ generation Z/ media consumption/ political agenda/ political news/ emotions
Fake News through the Eyes of Three Generations of Russians: Differences and Similarities in Social Representations
Background. The problem of fake news becomes especially prominent during periods of social exacerbation, such as the coronavirus pandemic, wherein the events have a significant impact on many lives. Generational differences are considered as a factor affecting perceptions of the reliability of news.
Objective. The aim of this study was to reveal and compare the social representations of information reliability and news verification criteria among people belonging to the Generation of Reforms (born 1968-1981), the Millennial Generation (1982-2000) and Generation Z (2001 and later) in Russia.
Design. The study involved 431 participants and was comprised of two stages: focus groups and a survey. The data analysis methods employed were thematic analysis, qualitative and quantitative content analysis, coefficient of positive answers (according to J. Abric), Kruskal-Wallis H test, Pearson's chi-square test, Spearman's rank correlation coefficient, and Kendall's t-rank correlation coefficient.
Results. We have found significant differences between the Generation of Reforms (CPA: 80,5; p = 0,000) and Generation Z (CPA: 90,2; p = 0,000), and similarities between the Millennial Generation (CPA: 90,3; p = 0,000) and Generation Z, in the structure and content of social representations regarding “fakes”. Notably, Generation Z favors a fact-checking strategy to identify news reliability, while “Reformists” rely on offline contacts.
Conclusion. Generations in Russia differ with respect to their tolerance of “fakes” and their strategies for news verification. The results advance our understanding of “fakes” as purely social constructs. The attribution of media incompetence to older and younger cohorts by each other was discussed as the generational conflict.
Keywords: generation/ social representations/ fake news/ media trust/ Generation Z/ Millennials
Understanding Kindness in the Russian Context
Background. Kindness and acts of kindness have the potential to cause tremendously positive effects on subjective well-being, reflected in improvements in mental and physical health, and interpersonal relationships. Fostering knowledge about kindness may help in self-development and psychotherapeutic interventions aimed to improve an individual’s emotional well-being. However, existing research data and understanding of this phenomenon in Russia, as well as descriptions of acts of kindness, are presently relatively limited.
Objective. To study the Russian understanding of kindness, its meaning in the Russian context; to categorize a variety of identified acts of kindness; and to define kindness based on the data derived from a Russian sample.
Design. There were 291 Russian participants, recruited using an online recruiting platform, who filled out an online questionnaire that identified definitions of kindness with corresponding examples. Also captured in the sample were the participant’s age, gender, and religiosity. The data underwent qualitative analysis through open, axial, and focused coding.
Results. As a result of qualitative analysis, four theme categories emerged to define kindness: a) personal states and qualities (one’s own states and self-perception, moral values and qualities, self-regulation and emotional stability); b) openness to others (attention to others, love and positive attitude); c) emotional and cognitive understanding of others and tolerance, actions and behavior (altruistic sacrifice, help, politeness and respect, forgiveness, generosity, pleasing actions). Concrete examples of kind acts and behavior were categorized. A definition of kindness was formulated based on the data.
Conclusion. The research results can be used in training, counselling, and therapeutic sessions to increase subjective well-being. Directions for further research have been defined.
Keywords: Acts of kindness/ kind behavior/ kindness/ network of kindness/ prosocial behavior/ well-being
Differences in Attitudes toward Mental Health among Boys from Religious and Non-religious Families Experiencing Religious and Secular Education
Background. Post-industrial society faces multiple stresses and developmental risks, both environmental and biological. The issues of mental health have become more dramatic and subject to debate. The current discourse about the religiosity-mental health nexus makes the study of differences in attitudes towards mental health among children from religious and non-religious families experiencing religious and secular education significant and relevant for practice.
Objective. We studied the attitudes toward different spheres of life of children from Orthodox and non-religious families experiencing religious and secular education. We hypothesized differences in attitudes toward mental health by children from Orthodox families and non-religious families regardless of school choice. We expected the positive attitudes toward mental health to be greater for the children experiencing religious and secular education.
Design. Our study assessed 340 primary school boys on a number of measures. The boys’ average age was 10.4 years old. The participants were divided into three groups, taking into consideration the family’s religiosity and educational characteristics.
Results. The boys from Orthodox families had more positive attitudes toward family, life, people, their bodies, and their mental health than the boys from non-religious families. These differences were also significant between groups of boys from religious and non-religious families experiencing secular education. The boys from religious families experiencing religious education had more positive attitudes toward their physical and mental health than the boys from religious families experiencing secular education.
Conclusion. Positive attitudes toward both physical and mental health are more likely to be formed within religious families.
Keywords: Mental health/ attitudes/ gender/ personality development/ orthodox families
Trends in the Study of Cultural-historical Phenomena on the Internet (based on a study of Russians’ attitudes towards money)
Background. The development of information technologies has led to the intensification of sociocultural interaction, allowed the creation of new systems for storing and processing information, and provided space for users to share their opinions, ideas, and standpoints. Thus, the Internet has become a major social-humanitarian scientific space. In this modern scientific space, one can single out a wide range of studies in psychology that show which topics are most popular and most widely discussed, or which moral grounds the participants of radical political movements share. Such studies show, for example, that U.S. working people experience psycho-physiological strain, and that infectious diseases spread more easily under modern conditions.
Objective. This study focused on the attitude that users of the Twitter social network hold towards money.
Design. It was carried out by analyzing the texts of messages posted by Russian and Japanese users (background research) which contained the word “money.” The research methods included program tools for word frequency analysis, semantic grouping of content, and analyzing the emotional nature of informal short messages. To interpret the results, the authors used expert analysis, theoretical justification, and content analysis.
Results. We found that Russians’ attitudes toward money can be divided into eight main categories: people, time, country, expenses, economy, philosophical speculations, power, and income. The main economic concerns were centered on the expenses and income coming from salaried jobs. Russians’ major expenses were mainly associated with everyday financial problems. A comparison of Russian and Japanese messages revealed a number of clear-cut psychological differences.
Conclusion. In conclusion, we point out that analyzing “digital traces” helps uncover a variety of psychological factors influencing human life and behavior. Within the framework of this kind of study, it seems very promising to single out the interconnection between the population’s overall psychological features and a given society’s existing social-economic circumstances.
Keywords: Attitude toward money/ social networks/ information technologies/ ideas about income and expenses/ attitude toward time/ expert analysis
The Relationship Between Value Orientations and Personal Readiness for Activity in Youth From Russia, Kazakhstan and Latvia
Background. The development of high-quality human capital is an important objective that involves value orientations, cultural dimensions and psychological characteristics of activity. This article presents a cross-cultural comparison of value orientations and psychological parameters of activity among youth from Russia, Kazakhstan, and Latvia.
Objective. The study addressed three questions: (1) Are there values and attitudes related to the readiness for activity among youth in the three countries? (2) Are there any differences between values and parameters of the psychological system of activity in the Russian, Kazakhstani and Latvian samples? (3) What values and attitudes predict the youth’s readiness for activity in each country?
Design. University students from Russia, Kazakhstan and Latvia were invited to participate in the study. The study sample was selected according to age, sex and period of living in the country. Value orientations, cultural dimensions and attitudes were measured by the VSM, WVS, Basic Values Realisability questionnaires. The PRF, Q-LES-Q, SHS, Self-Organization of Activity, DTR, and SWLS questionnaires were applied to evaluate the psychological parameters of activity. To analyse the relationship between value orientations and psychological parameters of activity, we used analysis of variance, Pearson's correlation coefficient and stepwise linear regression.
Results. The cross-cultural variance was established for most values and cultural dimensions in the Russian, Kazakhstani, and Latvian samples, but Personal readiness for activity only differed on the tendency level between the Kazakhstani and Latvian samples. Different values and attitudes accounted for near 57% of the Personal readiness for activity index in Russia and Latvia, but just less than 29% in Kazakhstan.
Conclusion. The activity of university students from Russia depends on their need for achievement and level of happiness. In the Kazakhstani and Latvian samples, the most important factor was the quality of life enjoyment and satisfaction index
Keywords: value orientations/ cultural dimensions/ psychological system of activity/ post-Soviet countries/ personal readiness for activity
News About Terrorism and Attitudes Toward Countries: The Role of Mortality Salience and Intergroup Threat
Background. Media reports on armed fights or terror attacks introduce reminders of death into people’s daily lives. When people feel non-specific threats (mortality salience) or specific threats (intergroup threats), they may demonstrate unfavorable attitudes toward national outgroups. The issue is mostly analyzed today in line with Terror Management Theory and Intergroup Threat Theory.
Objective. To examine such threats in the Russian context, and the impact of mortality salience (MS) on attitudes toward national outgroups that induced different levels of perceived intergroup threat.
Design. In two studies, participants watched films and completed questionnaires about social distance, social thermometer, and trust toward “more or less threatening” countries. In Study 1, 120 Russian students were assigned to six groups via experimental design: 3 (MS: terrorist attacks in Europe, terrorist attacks in Russia, or a control group watching a video about dental treatment) x 2 (country: Ukraine and Belarus). In Study 2, 122 participants were similarly divided into six groups, evaluating attitudes toward the USA and China.
Results. Study 1 showed that MS mostly increased unfavorable attitudes toward a country perceived as more threatening (Ukraine) than toward one perceived as less threatening (Belarus). Study 2 indicated the same effect on attitudes toward both more (the USA) and less (China) threatening outgroups.
Conclusion. The results identified contradictory tendencies in MS effect, in line with Terror Management Theory and Intergroup Threat Theory. The findings could be used in improving relationships from an international perspective.
Keywords: mortality salience/ mortality salience/ attitudes toward countries/ Terror Management Theory/ Intergroup Threat Theory
Practical Universalism and Multiple Social Categorization: Can Different Social Biases Counterbalance Each Other?
Background. Normative universalism involves making evaluations and decisions according to a universal rule, irrespective of one’s affiliation and relations with other people. Social categorization is the main cognitive mechanism underlying deviations from universalism. When there are several salient alternative social identities, there is a possibility of counterbalancing effects among different social biases, leading to unbiased decisions or judgments (i.e., practical universalism).
Objective. The present study investigates whether multiple categorization can induce alternative social biases, which counterbalance each other and produce universalistic solutions at both the individual and group levels.
Design. A socially heterogeneous sample of Russian participants (N=300) made a series of binary choices in a hypothetical situation posing two social alternatives, each of which was presented as a set of social categories unrelated to the task: country, gender, age, and sector of employment.
Results. When faced with a series of choices involving multiple social categorization, the participants tended to pursue different types of biased strategies. The most frequent were country ingroup preference (31.7%) and low status aversion (17.7%). Practical universalism was identified in 2% of cases. Group-level results showed strong ingroup preference and high-status preference, which are two independent sources of bias. At the same time, the diversity of individual strategies allowed the participants to identify conditions (specific combinations of social attributes) under which the biases counterbalanced each other and resulted in universalistic solutions.
Conclusion. Individuals respond strategically to multiple categorization. Universalistic strategies are seldom applied at the individual level, but the diversity of individual strategies provides opportunities for universalistic solutions at the group level.
Keywords: universalism; particularism; multiple social categorization; social bias; social status.
The Relationship Between Human Values and Acceptability of Corruption in Russia and Greece
Background.In both Russia and Greece, corruption is a serious problem. In Greece, the level of corruption is one of the highest in the EU, and in Russia it is one of the highest in the world.
Objective. Three questions were addressed: (1) Are basic human values related to the acceptability of corruption for individuals in both countries? (2) Are these relationships the same in Russia and Greece? (3) Are levels of acceptance of corruption the same in Russia and Greece?
Design. Following S.H. Schwartz’s model, four higher-order values were assessed: Conservation versus Openness to Change, and Self-Transcendence versus Self-Enhancement. The studies were conducted in Russia (N = 256) and Greece (N = 469). To analyze the associations of individual values with the acceptability of corruption, we constructed a multigroup regression model using structural equation modelling software.
Results. Identical relationships were found in the two countries.Conservation values and Self-Transcendencewere negatively related to the acceptability of corruption, whereas Self-Enhancementwas positively related to the acceptability of corruption.Russians scored higher on acceptance of corruption. Implications are discussed.
Conclusion. The acceptability of corruption seems to be interrelated with basic human values across different cultural conditions. Our study shows that the relationships between higher-order values on the one hand, measured in the framework of Schwartz’s values model, and the acceptability of corruption on the other, are identical in Russia and Greece, suggesting that the acceptability of corruption is related to personal values.
Keywords: acceptability of corruption; basic human values; Russia; Greece
Personal Sovereignty in Adolescents and Youth from Armenia, China, and Russia
Background. In today’s hectic civilization, it is very important for a person to maintain personal boundaries which help him or her keep his/her identity. Personal sovereignty (PS) is a trait that demonstrates the extent to which a person’s empirical Self is respected by his/her social environment. Whereas the genesis and correlations system of personal sovereignty in proximal relationships have been investigated widely, little is known about whether they are culturally sensitive or not.
Objective. In this study, we aimed to investigate the patterns and genesis of personal sovereignty in relation to age and gender, by comparing individuals from Armenian, Chinese, and Russian cultures. Our sample consisted of 780 respondents, of whom 223 were from Armenia, 277 from China, and 280 from Russia; 367 were adolescents (Mage = 13) and 413 were youth (Mage = 21); there were 361 males and 419 females.
Method. The “Personal Sovereignty Questionnaire–2010” was used.
Results. The results suggest that culture, age, and gender all impact on the sense of personal sovereignty. Although there were no differences between cultures on the main PS score, we did find different PS patterns within all three cultures and when comparing males versus females. The PS scores in youth were higher than in adolescents, except in Armenia where the results were inverted. All age trends in PS were found in females, but not in males. Gender differences in PS within each culture were found in youth but not in adolescents.
Conclusion. We discussed and explained the outcomes with reference to the specificity of the way each culture endorses traditional or secular-rational values, which values determine the prevalent attitudes towards gender roles and demands on adolescents and youth.
Keywords: personal sovereignty, empirical Self, psychological space, culture, personal boundaries, values, gender roles
Basic Values in Russia: Their Dynamics, Ethnocultural Differences, and Relation to Economic Attitudes
Background. This study was carried out using the framework of S. Schwartz’s theory of basic human values.
Objective. This article examines the dynamics of the basic values of Russians (2008– 2016) and the relationship between value orientations and economic attitudes among Christians and Muslims in Russia.
Design. The dynamics of values of Russians were analyzed based on the five waves rounds of ESS (2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2016), each of which included around 2,000 respondents. The 2010 sample included ethnic Russians as well as respondents from the North Caucasus (N = 278).
Results. We found that the most preferred value among Russians is Security. However, the importance of this value decreased over 10 years (2006–2016). Such values as Achievement, Tradition, and Power were relatively stable among Russians during this period. In addition, between 2006 and 2016 we observed the increasing priority of the values of Hedonism and Stimulation. Using our own data set, we examined the relations between values and attitudes toward different types of economic behavior.
Conclusion. We found that the patterns of the relations between values and attitudes toward different types of economic behavior had similarities as well as differences among Christians (in the Central Federal District and the North Caucasus Federal District) and Muslims (in the North Caucasus Federal District) in Russia.
Keywords: culture, values, economic behavior, economic attitudes, cross-cultural comparison
National Identity Management Strategies: Do they Help or Hinder Adoption of Multiculturalism in Russia?
Background. We use Social identity theory as a theoretical framework, specifically focusing on strategies of identity management. The study is based on the following theoretical assumptions. First, identity management strategies might serve as mediators between different identity threats and behavioral patterns in intergroup relations. Second, identity management strategies help to make the shift from the individual to the group level of analysis, allowing us to take the consequences of intergroup behavior for a group entitativity into consideration. Third, identity management strategies strongly depend on the social context of intergroup relations.
Objective. In the current study, we look into the relationships between identity management strategies of the ethnic Russian majority and their attitudes towards multiculturalism to identify whether certain strategies are helpful or harmful for the acceptance of multiculturalism in Russia.
Design. We use Russia vs. the West comparison to evoke the perception of identity threat. We measure strategies of identity management based on this comparison, as well as attitudes towards multiculturalism in a survey of 307 Russian participants.
Results. The findings suggest that identity management strategies are indeed related to attitudes towards cultural diversity and equality in Russia, as well as to acculturation expectations of whether minorities should adopt the mainstream Russian culture or keep their own. We find that strategies of individualization, individual mobility and assimilation have mostly negative consequences for acculturation expectations, as they all show patterns that support assimilation of minorities instead of integration. We also find support for the “scapegoat” hypothesis, showing that choosing the strategy of changing the comparison group results in more negative attitudes toward cultural diversity and equality for all in Russia. The strategies of social creativity (change of the categorization dimension, temporal comparison, comparison with a standard, etc.) seem to be irrelevant for attitudes towards multiculturalism.
Conclusion. Our findings suggest that none of the strategies of identity management promote acceptance of multiculturalism. However, strategies of social creativity are the only ones that do not have negative consequences for support of multiculturalism. Theoretical and practical implications for multiculturalism policy adoption in Russia are discussed.
Keywords: identity management strategies, national identity, multiculturalism, Russia
The new media and the evolution of the human psyche
Background. The emergence of the new media — the Internet and social networks — has had a considerable impact not only on media technologies, genres of journalism, and environment the journalist works in, but also on every user of global communication. Ongoing changes are extending their influence to all the media, making it important for researchers to reconsider the role of journalism in modern society and the perspectives of its development in the information age.
Objective. In order to get an adequate picture of the ongoing changes, we need to understand how the new media impact their users. We studied the dependence of people’s self-identification (values) on their Internet activity and use of social networks. Our hypothesis was that use of the new media leads to the formation of a new personality type, among whose most distinct characteristics is a much stronger desire for selfdetermination.
Design. The characteristic features of respondents’ self-identification were studied by their choosing a reference group. Their desire for self-determination was revealed by giving them ethical dilemmas. A questionnaire was devised to study their communicative preferences and attitudes. Various methods of mathematical analysis were applied.
Results. Factor analysis revealed two psychological types of people, different from others in how much they use the new media. Statistical analyses of the group comparison data showed that the desire for self-determination is considerably higher for active users, and is especially high for those who adhere to spiritual values (by the Maslow pyramid). A two-way ANOVA confirmed the overall effect of these two factors — spiritual values and the new media — on the desire for self-determination.
Conclusion. The data obtained show that the new media support people’s desire for self-determination. Using the new media and thereby acquiring the identify of a journalist becomes an important factor of personality development and is in line with the general evolution of the psyche.
Keywords: identity of a communicator, media psychology, citizen journalism, self-determination, new media
Psychological characteristics of art specialists with a highly productive creative imagination
Background: Notwithstanding all the different forms of art, the source of the creative process, its initial impulse, is an artistic image, and its creation is closely connected with the imagination. L. Vygotsky held the view that artistic creativity has great importance in overall development. In this regard, it is relevant to study the role of personal psychological characteristics that stimulate creativity, determine creative potential, and indicate personal predisposition to artistic activity.
Objective: to study individual psychological characteristics of art specialists with a highly productive creative imagination.
Design: There were 240 respondents: art specialists (artists, actors) and specialists who do not work in artistic fields. The empirical research included: assessment of the level of productivity of the creative imagination and psychological testing. All the participants, within the bounds of their profession, were divided into high productivity and low productivity groups. The productivity level of the creative imagination was assessed by expert judgment of art works made by the participants using a monotype technique. For psychological testing, the following methods were used: Freiburg Personality Inventory (FPI); Volitional Self-Control Inventory by A. Zverkov and E. Eidman; the “Choose the Side” test by E. Torrance; the “Unfinished Figures” subtest by E. Torrance; and the technique of pair comparisons by V. Skvortsov. Statistical data processing was conducted on the basis of percentage distribution and comparative analysis using the Student parametric t-test. We used STATISTICA 13.0 software.
Results: We found the following psychological characteristics of art specialists with highly productive creative imagination: high emotionality, inclination to affective reactions, high anxiety and excitability, and need for self-realization. Artists with highly productive creative imagination were characterized by immersion in their own emotions, psychic estrangement, high sensitivity, flexibility, ingenuity, right-hemisphere and combined types of thinking, and a high level of nonverbal creativity. Actors with highly productive creative imagination were characterized by stability, relaxation, selfsatisfaction, and average nonverbal creativity; the mixed type of thinking predominated in this group.
Conclusion: The differences in the intensity of the psychological characteristics of representatives of these different professional groups may be determined by the level of productivity of their creative imagination. We discovered general and specific (depending on professional activity) psychological characteristics of art specialists with a high level of productivity of the creative imagination.
Keywords: artists, actors, creative imagination, monotype, volitional regulation, type of thinking, creativity
Emotional intelligence, patterns for coping with decisional conflict, and academic achievement in cross-cultural perspective (evidence from selective Russian and Azerbaijani student populations)
Background. Choice, under conditions of uncertainty, is mediated by integral dynamic regulatory systems that represent hierarchies of cognitive and personality processes. As such, individual decision-making patterns can be studied in the context of intellectual and personality potential. This article presents the results of a cross-cultural comparison of personality characteristics, such as coping with uncertainty, emotional intelligence, and academic achievement, between Azerbaijani and Russian university students.
Objective. We aimed at establishing metric invariance and at highlighting relationships between emotional intelligence and the scales of the Melbourne Decision Making Questionnaire (MDMQ).
Design. Azerbaijani and Russian student samples were selected for this study due to the almost identical educational programs offered by Moscow State University to students in Moscow and its branch in Baku. Coping with uncertainty was measured by the MDMQ, emotional intelligence by the EmIn questionnaire, and academic achievement by GPA scores. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to verify factor structure invariance and congruence.
Results. The congruence of factor structures for both questionnaires was verified. For the MDMQ four-factor structure for both samples was confirmed. For the EmIn questionnaire, invariance for two scales was established — “Understanding other people’s emotions” and “Managing own emotions”. Relationships among personality traits, gender, age, and academic achievements are explained for the Lomonosov Moscow State University students in Moscow (Russia) and its branch in Baku (Azerbaijan). No crosscultural differences were found for emotional intelligence and productive coping (Vigilance). A cultural difference was established in unproductive coping preference for Buck Passing. A similarity between the cultures was captured in the relationship of higher emotional intelligence (EQ) scores to higher Vigilance scores and to lower levels of unproductive coping patterns. Vigilance was a predictor of academic achievement, but only in the Russian sample.
Conclusion. The similarity of the educational systems, as both samples studied similar programs, demonstrates very few cross-cultural differences.
Keywords: uncertainty, emotional intelligence, vigilance, buck passing, procrastination, GPA, Melbourne Decision Making Questionnaire (MDMQ)
Runaway behavior among children in residential care in St. Petersburg: A qualitative study
Background. Runaway behavior among children in residential care is a serious social problem in all countries of the world. Existing scientific data on risk factors and motives of runaway from out-of-home care may not be absolutely relevant to the Russian cultural context.
Objective. To describe risk factors and the motives that cause children to runaway from residential care.
Design. A qualitative study that included 2 focus groups with staff and graduates of residential care supplemented by the analysis of 23 cases of child runaways from residential care in St. Petersburg.
Results. The study revealed the following runaway risk factors and motives: 1) running to parents or relatives, 2) romantic and/or sexual relations, 3) interaction with peers, 4) psychiatric problems, 5) addictive behavior, 6) avoidance of conflicts, 7) physical or emotional violence, 8) unmotivated runaways for entertainment, 9) problems adapting to the care institution, 10) dissatisfaction with the conditions at the care institution. Moreover, in this study, two different types of runaways have been identified, including relatively “true” runaways and those who are not psychologically experienced as such, but are only disobeying the formal rules of the care institution.
Conclusions. Runaways of children from residential care are extremely heterogeneous in nature. In further empirical studies, it should be taken into account that runaways may be true and formal. There can be multiple reasons for running away: the care institution itself, a child’s personality, or his or her social network outside of the care institution.
Keywords: runaway, residential care, children, orphanage, focus group, motives
Socio-cultural differences in the self-descriptions of two groups of Azerbaijanian students learning in the Russian and Azerbaijani languages
Background: The dimension of individualism-collectivism is regarded as one of the most important cultural factors that influence a person’s self-consciousness, and help shape his/her sense of self as independent or interdependent. Moreover, studies support the conclusion that the salience of both tendencies may vary not only within a single national culture (depending on the place of residence, language environment, etc.), but also on the level of the individual self (depending on the current situation). In our research we have assumed that the language environment (receiving education in one’s native or a foreign language) acts as a socio-cultural factor affecting the self-concept of students of the same nationality–more specifically, the intensity of their individualistic and collectivistic characteristics.
Objective: Finding socio-cultural differences in self-image between two groups of Azerbaijanian students (learning in Russian and Azerbaijanian, respectively).
Design: The sample included one hundred students from Baku colleges and universities equally divided into two groups. Participants in the first group were studying in Azerbaijani while those in the second group were learning in Russian. We collected data in the form of open-ended self-descriptions. We examined these texts using contentanalysis procedures. Then we calculated correlations between certain defined characteristics for each group.
Results: The self-descriptions produced by students learning in Azerbaijanian contained the following features: norm compliance as a significant factor in emotional wellbeing; self-criticism related to negative feelings and expectation of outside criticism; the prevalence of self-justification and bravado as basic forms of psychological defense, combined with the lack of self-enhancement; and focus on society and interpersonal relations affecting the respondents’ inner feelings. The second group’s (those learning in Russian) self-descriptions featured positive self-esteem as an important component of emotional well-being. Self-criticism was not associated with negative feelings and others’ judgments. In the texts of Russian-speaking students there was a tendency to use self-embellishment as a way of self-enhancement. This group was less inclined to focus on society.
Conclusions: The characteristics of these two groups’ self-depictions gravitated toward two different self-constructs: independent (for those learning in Russian) and interdependent (for the participants learning in Azerbaijanian), the division being in line with the individualistic and collectivistic culture, respectively.
Keywords: Self-attitude, self-consciousness, open-ended self-descriptions, psychological defense strategies, socio-cultural differences in self-descriptions