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Regular version of the site

Positive Psychology — Even Gloomy People Can Be Contented

Ken M. Sheldon is Academic Supervisor at the HSE International Laboratory of Positive Psychology of Personality and Motivation. He talked to HSE English News about his collaboration with HSE and about working in an international environment.

— You are a professional on motivation. So, what were your motives in joining HSE last year?

— I would be dishonest if I didn’t say that the money was part of the attraction!  But I am glad to say that it has been a real pleasure getting to know the researchers at the lab, and that I am very happy with the progress of our many different projects.  I suspected this would occur, which was my main motivation:  to develop interesting new research questions, and answer them.

— How would you describe the current project you're working on?

— We are currently writing up a lot of data that we collected last year, at multiple locations in Russia and the U.S. We completed and submitted one paper on freedom and responsibility, and will soon be completing and submitting three other papers.

— How is it going in terms of working in international environment, in multicultural office?

— Very well.  My main complaint concerns the devaluation of the Rouble!  We have had a few communication difficulties in the lab, but not many, and nothing serious.

— You've been interested in factors which help people to be sustainably happy for quite a long time. What is your background? Could you be a psychoanalyst now after all these years in scientific research?

— This is a question we are not addressing directly in our Russian projects, although it is in the background.  We have some relevant data so maybe we will get to that.  No, I could not be a psychoanalyst, that takes years of specialized training, and is not a research kind of job.

— What are your professional plans and goals for 2015-2016?

— Keep doing what we’re doing!  I will spend more time in Moscow next summer, where we will further develop our articles together.

— Have you worked out your own secret for happiness? What would you recommend to achieve a positive attitude to life?

— It is trite:  Do what you love, and this will keep the positive experiences coming in, that are required to maintain us in the upper half of our potential “set range” for happiness.  Even a gloomy person (by temperament) can at least be contented, if he or she can do this.

Anna Chernyakhovskaya, specially for HSE News service

 

See also:

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According to researchers of the Moscow City Pedagogical University (MSPU) and HSE University Vladimir Postavnev, Irina Postavneva, Vadim Peskov and Alexey Dvoinin, certain personality traits can help older scholars stay productive and creative for a long time. The study findings are published in Acta Biomedica Scientifica.

HSE University Researchers Adapt Emotional Contagion Scale to Russian Language

Scholars from the HSE Institute for Cognitive Neuroscience have translated the Emotional Contagion Scale into Russian and validated it on Russian-speaking participants. It was the first study of how people unconsciously ‘catch’ other people’s emotions using a Russian sample. The results of the survey, which involved more than 500 respondents, demonstrate that women are more inclined to imitate emotions of others than men. The study was published inFrontiers in Psychology. 

‘Our Experience Shows That Motivation and Patience Can Achieve the Impossible’

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Poverty, Perfectionism and the Struggle for Social Status: Five Scientific Facts about Depression

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.

People Do Not See Spelling Mistakes as a Sign of Limited Intellect

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.

It’s Easier to Forgive When You Are Under Chronic Stress

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.

Users Better Recognise Neutral Banner Ads

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HSE University Researchers Learned to Measure People’s Attachment to Home

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