The vocational activities of doctors and their social status do not ensure their health. And, falling ill, doctors don’t identify themselves with ordinary patients as they have a deep knowledge of medicine. Thus, the internal picture of a doctor’s illness is both a research and a practical problem: the problem of the psychoprevention of doctors’ illnesses at all stages of their professionalization. The purpose of the research was to study the phenomenological features of the internal picture of doctors’ illnesses using the structural approach. The total number of participants was 132. The experimental group consisted of 66 sick doctors, differentiated according to their stage of professionalization: vocational training (students), professional adaptation (interns), full professionalization (doctors). The control group consisted of 66 people who did not have any medical education. All the control subjects were hospitalized with chronic diseases during the study period. The organization of the research was carried out with the use of clinical-psychological and diagnostic methods, the methods of descriptive statistics, and comparative, multidimensional, and structural analysis. The research revealed the following phenomenological features of the internal picture of doctors’ illnesses: the prevalence of some anxiety in the doctors and high awareness of their health; the doctors’ altruistic orientation; their willingness to work despite difficulties; and their ability to achieve high results in different activities. The structural features of the doctors’ image of their own diseases on the cognitive level were the following: qualitative heterogeneity during in-service activities; a high degree of image integration during in-service activities; and stereotyped perceptions of the disease. The emotional level revealed the emotional distance between doctors and their patients, and the behavioral level revealed doctors’ disregard for the symptoms of the disease. The structural-phenomenological features of the formation of the internal picture of doctors’ illnesses are specific to the circumstances of their origin. For the purpose of the psychoprevention of doctors’ own diseases it is necessary to include these features in the special courses on medical psychology at the stages of vocational training (students) and professional adaptation (interns), as well as in the “psychology in practical medicine” project for doctors.
Fear of disease progression is one of the most common sources of psychological distress in patients suffering from chronic diseases. Fear of disease progression is a situationspecific and fully discernible (reportable) emotion based on personal experience of a life-threatening disease. This article presents the results of a study of cancer patients’ coping behavior according to the levels of fear of disease progression experienced. The presence of pronounced fear of disease progression reflects a negative cognitive-affective response to one’s expectations for one’s own future; this response is related to a decrease in adaptive capacity. To determine the particular characteristics of coping strategies and coping resources in women with reproductive-system cancers according to the level of fear of disease progression. A total of 177 women with reproductive-system cancers were examined, among them 59 with breast cancer and 118 with gynecological cancers. Women with reproductive-system cancers have varying sets of coping strategies and coping resources according to their level of fear of disease progression. For each of the differentiated groups, specific characteristics of the strategies of coping with difficult life situations are described, along with cognitive self-regulation strategies specific to the illness and to coping resources. The women exhibiting moderate fear of disease progression significantly more often adhered to problem-oriented strategies of coping with difficult life situations and illness and had an internal locus of control regarding treatment. Patients with a low level of fear of disease progression tended to use strategies of positive reinterpretation of difficult life situations and illness; an external locus of control regarding treatment prevailed in this group. Patients found to have a dysfunctional level of fear of disease progression displayed significantly higher rates of using cognitive-regulation strategies focused on negative aspects of illness, as well as strategies for avoiding difficult life situations. Fear of disease progression is a psychological problem in women with reproductive-system cancers. Higher levels of fear of disease progression are associated with a decrease in the psychosocial adaptation of women suffering from reproductivesystem cancers.
female reproductive-system cancers, fear of disease progression, cognitive strategies for self-regulation in illness, locus of control in illness, self-efficacy in illness and treatment
Russian students’ awareness of and attitudes toward donating to biobanks
Today in Russia and all over the world significant efforts are invested in building biobanks—specialized facilities for storing biological materials for research and medical purposes. The successful functioning of biobanks depends directly on people’s willingness to donate their biological materials. No previous studies of people’s attitudes toward donations to biobanks have been undertaken in Russia. The goal of this study was to measure attitudes toward biobank donation among young Russians and to evaluate potential sociodemographic and personality factors that play a role in a person’s readiness to become a donor. Data from 542 students at Saint Petersburg State University were collected from group-administered paper-and-pencil questionnaires. Only one-fifth of the students knew about the existence of biobanks, while roughly the same number believed they might have heard something about them but were not absolutely certain. However, the students indicated a relatively high level of readiness to become biobank donors (74%). Willingness to be a biobank donor was correlated significantly with studying biology and was just modestly correlated with students’ values. In addition, we found gender-specific differences in the biobank characteristics that students felt were important in making a decision about whether to donate. The study demonstrated that today the attitudes of the general population (at least, those of the subgroup studied, students) do not pose a problem for the further development of biobanking in Russia.
biobank, public attitude, public opinion, awareness, Rokeach Values Survey, university students, cross-sectional
The contamination of young people’s notions about narcotics and psychoactive substances as a threat to psychological security
The study described in this article investigated contemporary young people’s perceptions of drugs and psychoactive substances (PAS). In the course of the research the following hypothesis was tested: in young people’s perceptions about drugs and PAS there are differences in emotional coloring, coherence, and tolerance. J.-C. Abric’s structural approach was used as the basic methodology. The free-associations method provided the bulk of the empirical material. The results obtained were processed via prototypic analysis (by P. Vergès’s method), indexing of emotional associations (by E.E. Pronina’s method), and frequency and content analysis.
As a result the core and the periphery of the perceptions of youth about drugs and PAS were described, and generalized notional categories that synthesize the structural elements of the perceptions were identified. The study revealed that the perceptions of young people about drugs and PAS do differ in coherence, tolerance, and emotional coloring. Perceptions of drugs are firm, consistent, and negative, while perceptions of PAS are less coherent but dynamic and have an ambivalent emotional coloration. The results are of prognostic importance for understanding young people’s attitudes toward drugs and PAS and can be used to design programs and measures directed to the prevention of PAS and drug abuse.
perceptions, structure of perceptions, core and periphery of perceptions, perceptions of drugs, perceptions of psychoactive substances
An existential criterion of normal and abnormal personality in the works of Carl Jung and Carl Rogers
This article is the third in a series of four articles scheduled for publication in this journal. In the first article (Kapustin, 2015a) I proposed a description of a new so-called existential criterion of normal and abnormal personality that is implicitly present in the works of Erich Fromm. According to this criterion, normal and abnormal personalities are determined, first, by special features of the content of their position regarding existential dichotomies that are natural to human beings and, second, by particular aspects of the formation of this position. Such dichotomies, entitatively existent in all human life, are inherent, two-alternative contradictions. The position of a normal personality in its content orients a person toward a contradictious predetermination of life in the form of existential dichotomies and necessitates a search for compromise in resolving these dichotomies. This position is created on a rational basis with the person’s active participation. The position of an abnormal personality in its content subjectively denies a contradictious predetermination of life in the form of existential dichotomies and orients a person toward a consistent, noncompetitive, and, as a consequence, onesided way of life that doesn’t include self-determination. This position is imposed by other people on an irrational basis. Abnormality of personality interpreted like that is one of the most important factors influencing the development of various kinds of psychological problems and mental disorders — primarily, neurosis. In the second article (Kapustin, 2015b) I showed that this criterion is also implicitly present in the personality theories of Sigmund Freud and Alfred Adler, although in more specific cases. In the current work I prove that this criterion is also present in the personality theories of Carl Jung and Carl Rogers, where it is implicitly stated in a more specific way. In the final article I will show that this criterion is also implicitly present in the personality theory of Viktor Frankl.
human nature, human essence, existential dichotomy, normal personality, abnormal personality
Adaptation of instruments developed to study the effectiveness of psychotherapeutic processes
The objective of the research was to adapt for use in Russian-language contexts a set of instruments that assess the effectiveness of psychotherapeutic practices. The instruments explore the effectiveness of different types of therapy, without evaluating the abstract, idealized characteristics or specifics of each approach, specialist, or therapeutic case. The adapted instruments are based on reflective data about the significance of therapeutic events, from the point of view of both the client and the therapist. We translated, edited, and adapted forms developed by John McLeod and Mick Cooper — a “Goals Form”, a “Goal Assessment Form”, a “Post-Session Form”, and a “Therapy Personalization Form”. The adaption was intended to cohere with the stylistic and cultural aspects of the Russian language. The research showed that the instruments and the methods have great potential for practical and theoretical application in qualitative studies to formulate hypotheses and to verify them in quantitative studies. The phenomenological analysis reveals the reliability, appropriateness, and validity of the adapted instruments for identifying specific meanings of the psychotherapeutic cases considered. The instruments can be used in studies exploring helpful aspects and effectiveness in different types of therapy (cognitive, existential, outdoor therapy, online counseling, etc.) with different groups of clients. It is reasonable to continue the use of the Russian-language version of the instruments in further studies exploring the effectiveness of psychological practices. The adapted instruments facilitate comparison and cross-cultural studies, and formulation of meaningful hypotheses about the effectiveness and quality of the psychotherapeutic process.
We review the psychological theory of flow and focus on the notion of the autotelic personality, arguing that self-transcendence (understood within the existential tradition of Frankl and Längle as the individual’s ability to establish inner relationships with values) can be viewed as a personality disposition conducive to flow experience. The study aimed to investigate the effects of situational task meaning and dispositional self-transcendence on productivity and flow experience. We present a pilot quasi-experimental study conducted in a student sample (N = 82) Students were asked to work in small-group settings on a creative task, which consisted in finding solutions to a social problem. Each group was randomly assigned to an instruction presenting the problem as happening either in a distant country (low-meaning) or in their home country (high-meaning condition). The outcome variables were measures of flow, perceived meaning of the task, and satisfaction with time spent working. The solutions generated by the students were rated by three experts. The experimental manipulation had a main effect on the quality of the resulting solutions, but not on the subjective experience of the participants. A number of significant interaction effects were found, indicating that the associations of self-transcendence with experiential outcomes tended to be linear under the low-meaning condition, but curvilinear under the high-meaning condition. The findings suggest that self-transcendence is particularly beneficial to flow in situations with unclear meaning, but very high levels of self-transcendence may hinder flow in highly meaningful situations. Overall, the findings suggest that self-transcendence can be considered as a disposition of the autotelic personality.
flow experience, self-transcendence, personal meaning, autotelic personality
Speech and semantic
Cognitive abilities and creating metaphorical names
The cognitive processing of metaphor creation has been insufficiently investigated. Creating metaphors requires the ability to work in a fantastic, impossible context, using symbolic and associative means to express oneís thoughts. It has been shown recently that intelligence plays an important role in the creation of metaphors, but it is not the main factor in determining their success. The present research explores the roles of conceptual abilities, categorical abilities, and flexibility (as the factor creativity) in metaphor creation. Participants (n = 38 young adults) were asked to come up with names for three photos, without any special instruction to create metaphors. To classify conceptual abilities we used ìConceptual Synthesisî (M. A. Kholodnaya, 2012); to measure categorical ability we used the subtest ìSimilaritiesî (D. Wechsler, 1955); to identify the role of creativity in the metaphor process we used the test of ìUnusual Usesî (J. P. Guilford, 1960). The creation of complex metaphorical names was associated with a tendency to create highly organized mental structures and to retain them within the general semantic context (r = 0.344, p < 0.05). The tendency to create single-level situational connections was associated with a tendency to give specific names to photos (r = 0.475, p < 0.01). Photographic images proved out to be fruitful stimuli to investigate the processing of visual information. We developed a preliminary classification of names: 1) concrete; 2) situational; 3) abstract; 4) metaphorical (M1 and M2). We identified two types of metaphorical names — perceptual and complex metaphors — that relate to conceptual abilities in different ways. It is inaccurate to speak about a general concept of ìmetaphorical abilitiesî; we should differentiate the psychological mechanisms that lie at their base.
The success of cross-cultural online communication in an academic environment is defined by the degree of student involvement in such an interaction. The authors’ experience testifies that a number of objective, language, and psychological factors may decrease the activeness of these interactions, and as a result learning may not be effective for students in these types of cross-cultural interactions. Among such factors the current article investigates the influence of a communicator’s speech peculiarities on a recipient’s willingness to maintain interaction in native-to-nonnative, written online communication in the English language. The study was aimed at verifying a hypothesis about the influence of Russian communicants’ speech characteristics on American communicants’ willingness to maintain conversations. The research method chosen was content analysis. Thematic chats involving Russian and American students participating in the Global Understanding course were analyzed. The results of the content analysis allowed us to distinguish certain Russian communicants’ written speech characteristics, such as the prevalence of language and grammar mistakes, the degree of vocabulary richness, and the use of complex sentences. Significant correlations were discovered between the American communicants’ willingness to maintain conversations and the number of mistakes, indicators of lexical richness and scarcity in Russian communicants’ utterances. Language and speech mistakes as well as the quantity of words in the utterances of micro themes had the highest number of significant correlations with indicators of the willingness to maintain conversations. The first factor, language and speech mistakes, decreased the willingness to maintain conversations, whereas the second factor, the number of words in Russian students’ utterances, increased such willingness.
intercultural communicative competence, cross-cultural online communication, written communication, language and speech mistakes, willingness to maintain interaction
Eye movement parameters while reading show cognitive processes of structural analysis of written speech
This paper gives an overview of the published data on eye movement parameters while reading sentences in different languages with both local and global syntactic ambiguity. A locally ambiguous sentence contains a syntactically problematic phrase that leads to only one interpretation, while a globally ambiguous sentence has more than one distinct interpretation. In the first case the ambiguity persists only to the end of the sentence, when it is successfully resolved; in the second case the ambiguity is still present after reading the whole sentence. The obvious difficulty in analyzing the structure of locally and globally ambiguous sentences leads to increased reading time compared with unambiguous sentences. The syntactic ambiguity increases two major parameters: the fixation duration when reading words critical for interpreting the sentence, and the frequency of regressive saccades to reread those words. The reading time for critical words, disambiguating the local ambiguity, depends on the principle of early/late closure (i.e., high/low attachment): preferring a recurrent pattern to associate the critical word with a distant or closer word, respectively (as determined by its position in the sentence), and differs across languages. The first study of eye movement parameters in reading globally syntactic ambiguous sentences in the Russian language is reported in this paper. Our findings open up the prospects of quantitative studies of syntactic disambiguation in Slavonic and Romano-Germanic languages.
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.
Human activity (professional and production-related) occurs within the context of explicit or implicit competition and proves to be more or less productive and creative. Operationalization and measurement of the competitiveness of personality without due regard for personal and situational interactions reduces the content of the notion. Competitiveness requires a high degree of personal energy, flexibility, intelligence, and creativity in regulating activity. However, enlarging the domain of psychological studies has necessitated the study of personality in the context of the natural social situations in which it functions. This structural and functional analysis allows expansion of the description of the phenomenology of the competitiveness of personality as well as classification of the strategies of competitive behavior. In this study competitive-behavior strategies (1,064 critical incidents in professional activities) were analyzed using the Critical Incident Technique and thematic content analysis. To classify the data set, I used two-step cluster analysis as an exploratory method and analyzed the cross-tables of several categorical variables using the log-linear method of model selection. I applied the Solution Tree method for categorical variables to build a dependent-variable hierarchical model with the relevant predictor values. Through analysis of the results of the cluster analysis, the hierarchical model, and the functional and situational analysis of the context, it is possible to single out and validate three types of competitiveness strategies: the dependent, irrational, destructive, short-term strategy (quasi-competitiveness); the dependent, rational, constructive, short-term strategy; and the free, rational, constructive, long-term strategy. Study of the nature of competition and a subject’s competitive-behavior strategies is required to analyze, predict, and correct destructive strategies for enhancing performance.
Typical male and female roles and relationships can be observed at different social levels: intergroup, intragroup, interpersonal, intrapersonal. In adolescence, increased development of gender characteristics (gender identity, gender stereotypes, gender roles) appears at all levels. Since the leading activity at this age is interpersonal communication, research into gender characteristics and their influence on relations in the student group is one of the most important tasks of modern psychology.
One hundred and forty teenagers in grades 6-8 from secondary schools in Moscow, aged of 12–14, were involved in the research. Special social-psychological techniques were applied for assessment of status relations (sociometry, referentometry, methodology for defining the informal intragroup power structure) and gender characteristics (Bem Sex Role Inventory in classical and modified versions), as well as correlation and cluster analyses.
We found that representations about the group leader contained clear masculine features. We underline the discrepancy between the qualities attributed to the image of the leader and the qualities of the actual group leaders. Thus, the image of the leader includes predominantly masculine characteristics, while actual high-status group members describe themselves with both feminine and gender-neutral features. Finally gender-typed behavior and masculine traits are more typical of low-status teenagers.
status group structure, gender identity, gender stereotypes, teenagers