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.
Alekhin A.N., Koroleva N.N., Ostasheva E.I. (2015). Semantic structures of world image as internal factors in the self-destructive behavior of today’s teenagers. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 8(1), 125-138.
This article presents the results of a theoretical and methodological analysis and empirical study of semantic formations in the structure of a world image as factors in teenagers’ self-destructive behavior in contemporary Russian society. During the teenage years the value-semantic bases of a world image are being formed. A world image is the integral, multilevel representation of the subject, which consists of social reality and himself/herself; it exists in the mind as a unity of sensual fabrications, significations, and personalized meanings. Transformations of semantic components of a world image that are inadequate for the environment or that are externally and internally rigid can serve as preconditions for disadaptation and for one of its extreme forms—self-destructive behavior. The purpose of our empirical research was to determine the main characteristics of basic conceptual formations in the structure of a world image—that is, attitudes, intentions, motives, and values— that serve as predictors of disadaptation in modern teenagers. The teenagers in the study were born in different generations with a ten-year interval (1990–1991 and 2000–2001). Our empirical research of the semantic world-image structures that serve as bases for the self-destructive behavior of modern teenagers consisted of two phases. The first phase provided a comparative analysis of the relationships, value preferences, and basic conceptual intentions that raise the possibility of disadaptation and self-destructive behavior among teenagers. In order to perform this analysis, we analyzed data from the Character-Pathological Diagnostic Poll (PDP) of A. E. Lichko. During the second phase, a comparative analysis was carried out of the basic semantic components of teenagers’ images of the world and self-destructive and normative behavior. The main conceptual world-image structures were defined with the help of projective methods: the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) and the modification for teenagers and youth (TAT-Y), which was developed by A. N. Alekhin and others. The main changes in the value-semantic orientations and personality dispositions of Russian teenagers in the late 20th to early 21st centuries were defined. The features of the semantic organization of these teenagers’ world image as a precondition for disadaptive behavior were uncovered, and the personality preconditions for their self-destructive behavior were identified: their world image is fragmentary and self-contradictory; their personality features include cognitive distortions, a negative emotional state, ambivalence of motives and disposition, and disharmony with world-image semantic structures. The indicator for social disadaptation and behavioral deviation in modern Russian teenagers is evident deformation of personal relationships as the basic cognitive structure of their world image.
teenager, contemporary society, sociocultural transformations, socialization, personality development, self-destructive behavior, disadaptation, value orientations, semantic formations, world image
Sense disambiguation in polysemous words: cognitive perspective
In this paper the authors put polysemy research into the broader context of research into
the mental lexicon, cognitive context conceptual priming, and probabilistic conceptual
modelling. The article adopts a novel approach to the resolution of polysemy and puts it
to an empirical test. The authors argue that priming plays a key role in the activation of
an adequate meaning of a polysemous word. Mental structures, represented by a prime
lexical unit, contain relevant conceptual information on the target word meaning. The
prime triggers a cognitive context that influences the selection process of the target word
This articles concerns the relatively and new and specifically developed in Russia methodology of research of social consciousness. The purpose and in the same time the method of the research using this methodology is reconstruction the system of categories (superordinate personal constructs in the terminology of G. Kelly) through which people perceive world and events around him (her). Especially it is very powerful method when dealing with political and socio-cultural issues, because allows to explicate implicit stereotypes which typically are very deep and difficult for diagnostic. Several examples from different topics of political psychology will be presented.
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.
Psychosemantic Approach to Studying Gender Role Attitudes
This article concerns studies devoted to the analysis of stereotypes of women's behavior using a method of plural identification. This method has developed within the general psychosemantic approach and allows to study not only well realized social and mental representations, but those deep and implicit, too. The article describes three experiments. All of them are cross-cultural. In the first and the second experiments attitudes of Russian and Azerbaijan respondents were compared. The third experiment is focused on comparing the feedback received from Russian and US samples. It has been shown that cultural influence is more important than gender influence when we deal with attitudes towards female behavior and life scenarios. That means that positions of men and women of the same culture have more in common than responses pf women or men from different cultures. The method permits to conduct cross-cultural researches into different (subcultures both in one country or in different countries.
psychosemantics, semantic space, gender, social representations, factor analysis