Background. When Vygotsky suggested the term rudimentary functions for psychological phenomena, he drew a parallel with organismic rudiments that existed and continue to exist in a number of biological species. These rudiments used to play an important role in the life of an organism and allow us to study that life in the process of its development. Vygotsky originally gave three explicit examples of psychological rudimentary functions: 1) attributing an important decision to the result of a solitaire card game, 2) tying a knot in a handkerchief in order to remember and do something later, and 3) counting on one’s fingers.
Objective. The purpose of this article is to offer a contemporary overview and paths for development of L.S. Vygotsky’s notion of rudimentary function.
Design. This paper, in the genre of a theoretical article, drew on existing research and theoretical literature to advance a theory. I analyzed Vygotsky’s original example of a solitaire game and similar actions (for example, flipping a coin), arguing that these actions represent key events mediating choice and exercising human will over affect. I then focused on three more psychological functions that fit Vygotsky’s definition of rudiments: 1) photographic memory and déjà vu as instances of historically primitive eidetic memory, 2) talking to one-self aloud as a rudiment of a key event forming the self-regulatory mechanism of inner speech in childhood, and 3) fantasizing, which could remind us of our young age, when imagination readily created what was lacking in external world.
Results. This analysis allowed me to vividly illustrate the historical and relational focus of Vygotsky’s theories.
Conclusions. Rudimentary functions, often perceived as mysterious, in their simplicity can be powerful reminders that historically primitive functions do not disappear, but enter complex relationships with other psychological functions, and that many relationships are possible within different cultural-historical formations, with Western civilization being just one example.
cultural-historical theory, higher and lower-order psychological functions, doub- le stimulation
Rehabilitation of semantic aphasia in spanish speaking patient
Background. Aphasia is defined as a language disorder resulting from brain damage. The establishment of the relationship between the assessment and the procedures for rehabilitation is one of fundamental aspects of clinical neuropsychology.
Objective. The objective of this study is to describe the case of a Spanish-speaking patient with semantic aphasia, along with the strategies used in her neuropsychological assessment, and the procedures and results of her rehabilitation.
Design. The study method consisted of a clinical “Case Study” through qualitative neuropsychological syndrome analysis during pre- and post-assessment. The program for rehabilitation was designed especially for this case, and applied in individual therapeutic sessions with the patient. The inclusion of different kinds of material, perceptual, and verbal tasks permitted the patient to follow the levels of formation of actions with spatial orientation, starting from the most concrete level, and passing on to a more general, abstract level. The process of rehabilitation was carried out as a joint activity, taking into account the patient’s motivation and personality.
Results. Important positive changes were obtained by the time of the final assessment. The patient became able to understand complex grammatical structures in sentences and texts, in order to fulfill construction tasks and to express herself correctly both orally and in writing.
Conclusion. The authors conclude that an effective assessment leads directly to the effectiveness of the whole process of elaborating and realizing rehabilitation. Semantic aphasia can be studied in Spanish-speaking patients by using the qualitative methodology of neuropsychological assessment proposed in the works of A.R. Luria.
Background: Gender stereotypes are still a social problem. They display themselves in the process of perception by activating a gender schema as well as androcentrism and gender polarization lenses.
Objective: This paper addresses the dependence of perception on social stereotypes and schemas. e research aimed at understanding how a gender-neutral image of a cat is perceived, and checking such factors as gender schema, gender-stereotyped context, the animal’s weight, the identification of participants with an animal on basis of their own gender.
Design: A Female Cat or Male Cat Test, consisting of 12 pictures, was constructed for this research. We also used the Masculinity, Femininity and Gender Type of Personality Inventory, the Russian version of the Male Attitude Norms Inventory. Tests were conducted on 197 students in Saint-Petersburg and Moscow.
Results: A cat was perceived as male 6.4 times more often than as a female, when each case of perception was counted. It was seen as male 7.2 times more often than as a female when we analyzed how the cat was seen in general by each participant. A gender-stereotyped context influenced perception for some participants. There was no influence of the animal’s weight or identification of participants with an animal on basis of their own gender.
Conclusions: The research supports the hypotheses that perception of a picture of a gender-neutral animal can be explained mainly by gender schema and the interplay between “lenses” of gender polarization and androcentrism. When the last one was activated, the cat was seen as male. Most of cases when the animal was seen as a female can be explained by the influence of polarization lenses (through gender-stereotyped context in the pictures).
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.
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.
methodological crisis, general crisis of socio-humanitarian sciences, crisis in sociology, social reality, social transformations, biosocial problem, human nature
Psychology and culturology: A means of cooperating and problems associated with cooperation
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.
culture, psyche/the psyche, culturology, cultural and historical psychology, cultural psychology, system and consistency approach
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.
motherhood, image of the child, attitude towards motherhood
Dark, cold, and hungry, but full of mutual trust: Manners among the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake victims
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.
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.
social psychology in USSR, social psychology in Russia, theoretical and methodological background, social changes, new paradigm.
Psychosemantic Approach to Art (on a Material of Cinema)
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
Art psychology, psychosemantics, film perception, personal and art constructs, understanding, deed, semantic space, factor analysis.
Beyond Ideologies: The Meaning of Life in the Historical and Psychological Perspective
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.
crisis, civilization, techno-humanitarian balance, worldview, meaning of life, ideology, religion, knowledge-enabled destruction, Anthropic principle, synergetics, universal natural selection
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.
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.
psychological society, the modern liberal citizen, psychological identity, self-management, change in Russia
The Development of Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis in Post- totalitarian and Transitional Societies
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.
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
Narcissism as Clinical and Socio-Cultural Phenomenon
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.
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
Consciousness and Reality in Western and Oriental Tradition. Relationship between Human and Universe
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.
consciousness, western tradition, oriental tradition, Buddhist philosophy
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.
social values, behaviour, spiritual well-being.
A Changing Child in Changing World: Psychological and Educational Problems of the New School
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.
psychology, education, New School, socialization.
Research on Language of Perception Still-Life as a Visual Aphorism
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.
categorical structure, language, image, symbol, art
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.