Admission to HSE Was a Key Event in My Life
Ekaterina Vasilevskaya is a second year student on the full-time advanced doctoral programme, and also a visiting lecturer at HSE. Since 2016, she has participated in the 'Health Literacy and Its Impact on Weight-Related Behaviors in College Students’ research project at Florida International University, USA. In her interview for the Doctoral School of Psychology, Ekaterina spoke about being admitted to the HSE doctoral programme, and her studies.
How to become a doctoral student
I have spent almost eight years at HSE already: four at the Faculty of Psychology undergraduate programme, two years doing an MA, and two more years on the doctoral programme in ‘General Psychology, Personality Psychology, History of Psychology’. Admission to HSE was a major event in my life. I have become the person I am today largely at HSE thanks to communicating and collaborating with my professors, colleagues and classmates.
About the full-time advanced doctoral programme
The full-time advanced doctoral programme offers a good stipend (by local standards), and the ability to devote yourself fully to research, as you have a unique opportunity to spend time at an international university.
The most important part of the doctoral programme is carrying out research and writing your thesis. Students can choose what they would like to focus on in the upcoming year and plan their activities in advance.
In my doctoral research, I look at people’s views of themselves in the future (their ‘future selves’) and how this correlates with their motivation. The most general question I am interested in is: what characteristics should future selves have in order to motivate people to make this future reality?
The topic of my research is being actively developed in the West, so I knew from the very beginning that I would take up a place at a US university. There is also evidence that what motivates people’s views of their future selves varies from culture to culture, so I was particularly interested in a cross cultural study, which would enable me to compare Russian and American respondents.
Time at Florida International University, USA
I have a lot of great memories of my time at Florida International University. First, it was thrilling to immerse myself in life at an American university and work on a huge campus. Second, I gained invaluable experience in communicating with my American colleagues, working in a laboratory, and attending lectures. Before taking this placement, I was concerned about my level of knowledge, but it turned out that the education I had received at HSE was on a par with that at the American university, and that our educational systems have a lot of similarities.
Doctoral students’ everyday life
When it comes to doctoral students’ everyday lives, HSE students have to attend a selection of obligatory and elective courses. I found the courses in Academic Writing, which helps you write academic texts and give presentations in English, and statistics and data analysis in SPSS and R, to be the most useful. Thanks to the Academic Writing course I was able to prepare a poster presentation for the 31st International Congress of Psychology (ICP2016), which took place in Yokohama, Japan. The courses in statistics enriched my set of data processing methods, which I used when presenting data at that conference.
One of the conditions of doctoral studies is teaching practice, as part of which the doctoral students teach undergraduates. Over these two years, I had the chance to work with students of history, philosophy, and psychology. I’ve had excellent experiences interacting with student audiences.
After graduating from the doctoral programme, I am considering continuing in research and teaching. I am also very interested in psychological counseling and therapy. I am confident that the knowledge, experience and opportunities that I’ve received at HSE will be useful in any professional activity.
Deadline for applying to HSE Doctoral schools is September 15, 2017. Find out more here.
According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 5% of the world's adults are affected by depression. Since treatment options are now available for all stages of depression, better awareness of its nature and causes could help in dealing with this disorder promptly and effectively. The following fact sheet from IQ.HSE summarizes several recent research findings on depression, including its contributing factors and manifestations in today's digital society.
Tatiana Sysoeva and Svetlana Yaroshevskaya, researchers from the Psychological Institute of the Russian Academy of Education, have found out that mistakes in texts play only a minor role in people’s perceptions of the intelligence of the texts’ writers. The content, form of presentation, and other aspects are much more important. The results of the study are published in the latest issue of Psychology, an HSE journal.
Russian researchers have studied the correlation between personality authenticity (the ability to be oneself) and the ability to forgive under different levels of stress. They found that people experiencing chronic stress are more inclined to forgive, while people affected by everyday stress are less inclined to do so. The ability to forgive promotes authenticity. The results of the study, which have been published in the journal Clinical Psychology and Special Education, can be used in life coaching programmes.
Marketers often make ads bright and catchy. However, scientists from HSE University have found out that banner advertising on websites should be neutral in order to influence users more effectively. The results of the study have been published in the Frontiers in Psychology journal.
A group of HSE University researchers (Sofya Nartova-Bochaver, Sofya Reznichenko, Milana Hachaturova and Victoria Erofeeva) and their international colleagues validated the Short Home Attachment Scale (SHAS), a useful tool in cross-cultural research. The SHAS makes it possible to study the level of home attachment in different countries and its influence on individuals’ well-being.
The MendiT Research Lab, based at the HSE University Doctoral School of Arts and Design, will become a resident of the GES-2 Cultural Centre for a month from June 5th. The researchers will introduce members of the urban community to the lab and explore the practices of mending clothes together with them. Some of the lab participants told the HSE News Service what it's like to be searching for a method and object of research.
Doctoral Students Need the Support of Not Only Their Academic Supervisor, but Also of Other Faculty Staff
To successfully defend a doctoral dissertation, PhD candidates need not only the support of their academic supervisor and close friends and relatives, but also system-wide assistance from the university department or faculty where they study. However, HSE University researchers have found that such support can take different forms and that each has a different effect on how confident a student feels in their ability to successfully defend their dissertation. The results of their study were published in the journal Higher Education Quarterly.
Abdul-Raheem Mohammed from Ghana has recently defended a PhD dissertation in cognitive psychology at HSE University via remote procedure. Abdul-Raheem and his academic supervisor, Dmitry Lyusin, talked to the HSE News Service about their cooperation, the advantages and complications of remote PhD defence at HSE University, and the prospects of cognitive science in African countries.
‘As We Fight Climate Change and Poverty, the Focus on Personal, rather than Social Goals, may Prove Harmful over Time’
The 11th International LCSR Workshop of the HSE Ronald F. Inglehart Laboratory for Comparative Social Research, ‘Recent Advances in Comparative Study of Values’, took place as part of the XXIII Yasin (April) International Academic Conference. HSE News Service talked about the study of values and current changes in academic life with Ronald Fischer, who presented an honorary paper ‘Why We Should Aim for Systematic Non-Invariance in Cross-Cultural Research’ at the workshop.