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School Head — Maria Falikman
Deputy Head — Natalia Tiurina
Deputy Head — Chumakova Maria
The literature on the consequences of academic inbreeding shows ambiguous results: some papers show that inbreeding positively influences research productivity measured by the quantity and quality of publications, while others demonstrate the opposite effect. There are contradictory results both in the studies of different countries and within countries. This variety of results makes it impossible to transfer the findings from one academic system to another, and in Russia this problem has been under-explored. This paper focuses on the relationship between inbreeding and publication activity among Russian faculty. The research was conducted using data from the ‘Monitoring of Educational Markets and Organizations’ survey. The results show that there is no significant effect of academic inbreeding on publication productivity: no substantial and robust differences in publication activity between inbreds and non-inbreds have been found. The paper finishes with a discussion of possible explanations inherent in the Russian academic system.
Although common stereotypes and the OED definition of freedom suggest that freedom and responsibility are incompatible, in three cross-cultural studies, we test the existential psychological premise that freedom and responsibility are actually complementary. In all three studies, a) measures of dispositional freedom and dispositional responsibility were positively correlated; b) emphasizing freedom in an experimental context increased responsibility-taking after failure; and c) Responsibility-taking was slightly lower in Russia, a country typically ranked lower in world freedom indices. In Studies 1 and 2 responsibility-taking was more strongly associated with competence and longitudinal goal-attainment in the Russian sample, suggesting that individual responsibility can compensate for freedom-limiting aspects of socio-cultural contexts. In Study 3 the best predictor of felt free will (especially in the U.S.) was the lay theory belief that “freedom involves taking responsibility for one’s actions.” Supporting a control sensitivity explanation of the socio-cultural differences, a second Study 3 experiment found that Russians were inclined to take more responsibility than Americans, but only when it was requested (not demanded) by family/friends (but not by authorities or by strangers).
This paper examines the role of the place of living (urban or rural society) and its social- cultural context in determining the parent- adolescent child value similarity. We interviewed representatives of two generations: parents and children from 90 families in Moscow and 62 families in Russian villages (n=304 people). Our findings indicated the influence of socio- cultural context (urban-rural) on the transmission of values. Conservation values were primarily transmitted from parents to children in the more traditional, rural context. Openness to change, Self-Enhancement and Self-Transcendence values were transmitted from parents to children mainly in the urban context. Perceived psychological closeness between parents and adolescents (as perceived by adolescents) affected the adoption of values by the adolescents in both urban and rural contexts. All values of adolescents were more similar to the values of peers than to their parents, in both urban and rural contexts.
Modern neuroimaging studies begin to explore neurobiological mechanisms of social norms enforcement. Several regions of frontal lobes and temporo-parieto-occipital cortex play a key role in decision making of social punishment of fairness’ norm violation. The cutting–edge methods of brain stimulation allow to change a frequency and intensity of social punishment in different economic tasks (games). The analysis of modern studies show that brain mechanisms of decision making to punish non–cooperative individual requires further investigation with brain stimulation methods to differentiate a role of frontal and temporo-parieto-occipital regions and clarify its interaction.
The Cognitive Flexibility Inventory (CFI) structure was tested for conformity with empirical data collected on university Russian students (N = 298). The CFI is used to assess the type of cognitive flexibility necessary for individuals to successfully challenge and replace maladaptive thoughts with more balanced and adaptive thinking (Dennis & Vander Wal, 2010). Evidence was obtained for the CFI’s moderate psychometric properties. Confirmatory factor analysis indicated that initial structure of the CFI poor fit to empirical data. The exploratory factor analysis of the CFI’s items conducted on the data of Russian sample was used to determine the number of factors and their items. The two-factor solution was reproduced that was somewhat different from the two-factor solution of developers. The differences were made to original CFI by modifying some items in its subscales. Results from factorial validity investigation indicate Russian version of the CFI (CFI-R) has reliable two-factor structure, excellent internal consistency, and moderate 7-weeks test-retest reliability. Preliminary evidence was obtained for gender dependency of cognitive flexibility aspects assessed by the CFI. The findings suggest that the CFI-R is suitable for its application in research settings, and can be used to assess the university students’ cognitive flexibility. The perspectives for further research are defined to examine the diagnostic potentials of the CFI in research purposes as well as in psychological treatment.
This study tests a model of the socio-economic adaptation of Russian-speaking immigrants in Belgium. It examines the roles of language skills and length of stay in Belgium, and of ethnic and religious identification in their acculturation preferences in their adaptation. The study showed that language skills were positively related to preferences for integration and assimilation, while length of stay was negatively related to separation. In turn, integration and assimilation predicted higher socio-economic adaptation, and separation predicted lower adaptation. Ethnic and religious identification also played a role. In sum, more orientation toward the host society (integration and assimilation) promoted better adaptation.
This article presents the results of a study on the relationship of acculturation profiles of Russian-speaking immigrants in Belgium, the duration of their stay, and their socio-economic adaptation. The data came from a socio-psychological survey of 132 Russian-speaking immigrants in Belgium (first generation) and were processed using latent profile analysis. We found three latent groups with differing acculturation profiles, largely resembling integration, assimilation, and separation. We found that a more positive orientation towards the host society (assimilation and integration) was associated with more socio-economic adaptation; moreover, the group with an assimilation profile was more adapted than the group with an integration profile. Also, the level of socio-economic adaptation was higher for immigrants who have stayed in the host country for more than five years.
The chapter discusses the possibilities and limitations of different policy measures aimed at promoting behavior change at a large-group scale.
According to the embodied cognition theory, speech is largely based on the body motor and sensory experience. The question, which is crucial for our understanding of the origin of language, is how our brain transforms sensory-motor experience into word meaning. We have developed an auditory-motor experimental procedure that allowed investigating neural underpinning of word meaning acquisition by way of associative "trial-and-error" learning that mimics important aspects of natural word learning. Participants were presented with eight pseudowords; four of them were assigned to specific body part movements during the course of learning – through commencing actions by one of participant’s left or right extremities and receiving a feedback. The other pseudowords did not require actions, and were used as controls. Magnetoencephalogram was recorded during passive listening of the pseudowords before and after learning. The cortical sources of the magnetic evoked responses were reconstructed using distributed source modeling (MNE software). Neural responses to newly learnt words were significantly enhanced as compared to control pseudowords in a number of temporal and frontal cortical regions surrounding the Sylvan fissure of the left hemisphere. Learning-related cortical activation was inversely related to the number of trials needed to acquire the word meaning (this value varied between participants from 74 to 480 trials to the learning criterion). Our findings revealed a neural signature of associative learning of meaning of nonsense words and highlighted the role of sensory-motor transformation for association-grounded word semantics.
Walter Freeman's work emphasises the role of individual activity and intentionality as opposed to the traditional stimulus-reaction view and the machine metaphor. The results of our computer modeling studies suggest the nonlinear dynamics of experience emerging from perception-action cycles. We consider the perception-action cycle as a behavioral continuum of anticipated outcomes of actions. Neuroscientific research shows that each behavioral act is based on the activity of behaviorally specialized neurons distributed across the brain. Active learning during individual development leads to an increasing differentiation of the structure of individual experience through the formation of such groups of behaviorally specialized neurons. We consider the differentiation of individual experience as a nonlinear process which is implemented at different levels, and argue that consciousness and emotion can be described as dynamic characteristics prominent at the most and least differentiated systemic levels, correspondingly.
Research shows that object-location binding errors can occur in VWM indicating a failure to store bound representations rather than mere forgetting (Bays et al., 2009; Pertzov et. al. 2012). Here we investigated how categorical similarity between real-world objects influences the probability of object-location binding errors. Our observers memorized three objects (image set: Konkle et. al. 2010) presented for 3 seconds and located around an invisible circumference. After a 1-second delay they had to (1) locate one of those objects on the circumference according to its original position (localization task), or (2) recognize an old object when paired with a new object (recognition task). On each trial, three encoded objects could be drawn from a same category or different categories, providing two levels of categorical similarity. For the localization task, we used the mixture model (Zhang & Luck, 2008) with swap (Bays et al., 2009) to estimate the probabilities of correct and swapped object-location conjunctions, as well as the precision of localization, and guess rate (locations are forgotten). We found that categorical similarity had no effect on localization precision and guess rate. However, the observers made more swaps when the encoded objects have been drawn from the same category. Importantly, there were no correlations between the probabilities of these binding errors and probabilities of false recognition in the recognition task, which suggests that the binding errors cannot be explained solely by poor memory for objects. Rather, remembering objects and binding them to locations appear to be partially distinct processes. We suggest that categorical similarity impairs an ability to store objects attached to their locations in VWM.
Feature binding is an essential aspect of sensory perception, since most realistic objects can be identified only by grasping conjunctions of multiple features and their patterns. Psychophysiological mechanisms of this phenomenon are still under debate; importantly, mutually exclusive points of view exist concerning the role of attention in feature binding. The current study aimed at testing the hypothesis that mismatch negativity (MMN) to specific feature conjunctions may depend upon attention. Two experiments were conducted in the auditory and visual modalities respectively. Within each experiment, we used four stimuli that differed in two distinctive features, with two feature conjunctions designated as standards, and two feature conjunctions designated as deviants. Features used in the auditory modality were tone pitch and location; Gabor grating orientation and spatial frequency were used in the visual modality. Attentional modulation involved four conditions: selective attention to targets, selective ignoring of nontargets, nonselective attention within a given modality, and deviation of attention to a task in a different modality. The basic finding was that MMN was evident only in conditions of within-modality attention. MMN was reduced or abolished in response to ignored feature conjunctions, as well as in conditions of the cross-modal distraction of attention. Thus, contrary to previous studies of MMN under feature conjunctions, our data show that the preattentive stage of feature conjunction processing requires a proper top-down attentional influence.
Supported by Russian Foundation for Humanities, project No 15-06-10742.
Psychology is a discipline standing at the crossroads of hard and social sciences. Some of psychology journals are attributed to SCIE in Web of Science database while others to SSCI (and some to both). So it is especially interesting to study bibliometric characteristics of psychology journals. We study not the citedness itself (IF etc.) but the citation distribution across papers within psychology publications. This is, so to say, “indicators of the second order” which measure the digression of the citations received by individual papers from the journal’s average. This also influences the publication strategies of the authors. Some journals guarantee to the author receiving of the mean number of citations while others have much more “All or Nothing” grade when any individual paper may have many cites or not have them at all. We also define four different types of psychology journals and explore their characteristics separately.
"How can psychology faculty and students become more involved in international psychology?" This has become a more common question inside and outside the USA, for at least five reasons. (a) Origins. From its very origins in Europe in 1879, our "scientific study of behavior and mental life" began as an international field. (b) Growth. Over 75% of the world's psychologists became concentrated in one region (North America) through most of the 20th Century, though this has dropped sharply since 1990, to under 25% in 2016, as psychological science and practice grow much faster outside North America. (c) Diversity. Since the 1970s, we psychologists have increasingly recognized the importance of human diversity (including cultural diversity) in our teaching, research, and practice. (d) Barriers. There have been barriers separating the indigenous psychologies in 194 nations and other regions of the globe (Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America). (e) Resources. These barriers are now being reduced by new resources and technologies, such as the Internet and MOOCs (Massive Open On-line Courses).
This chapter reviews why and how we can best internationalize our psychology teaching, in six parts: (a) The remarkably international origins of psychology in the late 1800s, followed by a decline in the 1900s. (b) The overdue rise of "diversity" within psychology in the 1970s, including cross-national diversity. (c) The emerging concept of "international psychology," as a new form of diversity. (d) Some challenges to a truly international psychology. (e) Twelve suggestions for U.S. and non-U.S. faculty and students to overcome these challenges. This includes a concise overview of current resources to help new and veteran faculty and their students to deepen their involvement in international psychology: organizations, conferences, publications, websites, funding, technologies.
Self-continuity—the sense that one’s past, present, and future are meaningfully connected—is considered a defining feature of personal identity. However, bases of self-continuity may depend on cultural beliefs about personhood. In multilevel analyses of data from 7,287 adults from 55 cultural groups in 33 nations, we tested a new tripartite theoretical model of bases of self-continuity. As expected, perceptions of stability, sense of narrative, and associative links to one’s past each contributed to predicting the extent to which people derived a sense of self-continuity from different aspects of their identities. Ways of constructing self-continuity were moderated by cultural and individual differences in mutable (vs. immutable) personhood beliefs—the belief that human attributes are malleable. Individuals with lower mutability beliefs based self-continuity more on stability; members of cultures where mutability beliefs were higher based self-continuity more on narrative. Bases of self-continuity were also moderated by cultural variation in contextualized (vs. decontextualized) personhood beliefs, indicating a link to cultural individualism-collectivism. Our results illustrate the cultural flexibility of the motive for self-continuity.
During several decades Soviet academic psychology community was isolated from the West, but after the collapse of the Soviet Union each of the 15 countries went its own way in economic, social, and scientific development. The paper analyses publications from post-Soviet countries in psychological journals in 1992–2016, i.e. 25 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Results show that 15 post-Soviet countries have produced in sum less than one percent from the world output in psychological journals. There is a huge diversity in the number of papers between 15 post-Soviet countries. Russia, Estonia, and Lithuania are the leaders among them. Authors of the more than 90% of all post-Soviet countries' papers are affiliated with these three countries. The most intensive collaboration is between Russia, Estonia, Lithuania, and Georgia and between three Baltic countries. Post-Soviet countries also differ in publication patterns.
Binocular rivalry is a phenomenon of visual competition in which perception alternates between two monocular images. When two eye’s images only differ in luminance, observers may perceive shininess, a form of rivalry called binocular luster. Does dichoptic information guide attention in visual search? Wolfe and Franzel (1988) reported that rivalry could guide attention only weakly but that luster (shininess) “popped out”, producing very shallow reaction time (RT) × set size functions. In the present study, we have revisited the topic with new and improved stimuli. By using a checkerboard pattern in rivalry experiments, we found that search for rivalry can be more efficient (16msec/item) than standard, rivalrous grating (30 msec/item). The checkerboard may reduce distracting orientation signals that masked the salience of rivalry between simple orthogonal gratings. Lustrous stimuli did not pop-out when potential contrast and luminance artifacts were reduced. However, search efficiency was substantially improved when luster was added to the search target. Both rivalry and luster tasks can produce search asymmetries, as is characteristic of guiding features in search. These results suggest that interocular differences that produce rivalry or luster can guide attention but these effects are relatively weak and can be hidden by other features like luminance and orientation in visual search tasks.
Children use numbers every day and typically receive formal mathematical training from an early age, as it is a main subject in school curricula. Despite an increase in children neuroimaging studies, a comprehensive neuropsychological model of mathematical functions in children is lacking. Using quantitative meta-analyses of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies, we identify concordant brain areas across articles that adhere to a set of selection criteria (e.g., whole-brain analysis, coordinate reports) and report brain activity to tasks that involve processing symbolic and non-symbolic numbers with and without formal mathematical operations, which we called respectively number tasks and calculation tasks. We present data on children 14 years and younger, who solved these tasks. Results show activity in parietal (e.g., inferior parietal lobule and precuneus) and frontal (e.g., superior and medial frontal gyri) cortices, core areas related to mental-arithmetic, as well as brain regions such as the insula and claustrum, which are not typically discussed as part of mathematical problem solving models. We propose a topographical atlas of mathematical processes in children, discuss findings within a developmental constructivist theoretical model, and suggest practical methodological considerations for future studies.