• A
  • A
  • A
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
Regular version of the site

Symposium Participants Drawn to Russian Experience

On November 15-16, an international symposium dedicated to childhood and adolescence took place in Moscow in honour of the 120th anniversary of Lev Vygotsky’s birth. Several participants in the symposium, entitled ‘Lev Vygotsky and Modern Childhood’, were especially interested in the unique Russian experience that flowed from the traditions established by the renowned Soviet psychologist.

‘The Russian traditions have a foundation on long history and careful philosophical considerations, with deeply rooted institutional practices’, said Jarkko Hautamäki, Professor Emeritus Centre for Educational Assessment at the University of Helsinki and Finland & Honorary Professor in the Faculty of Psychology at Moscow State University. ‘A strong emphasis on sciences, mathematics, humanities, literature and art is also obvious and penetrating. A poly-technical education also used to have an important role’.

For Maria Cristina Galmarini-Kabala, Assistant Professor in the Department of History at James Madison University, the attraction to Russia goes back much further in her professional career.

‘I became interested in Russia in 1995, when I graduated from high school and needed to pick a major in college’, she said. ‘After much wavering, I decided to double major in Russian and German languages and literatures. The reason behind my choice to study Russian culture was double: love for Russian literature and fascination with the country's political past and current situation. Those were the 1990s, when it suddenly felt possible for a young Italian woman to go to Russia and observe the country's momentous changes first hand. I have never stopped observing change in Russia since then’. 

Later on, while completing her doctoral studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Professor Galmarini-Kabala chose to focus her dissertation on the history of social rights in Soviet Union. ‘When I went into the archives, I discovered that a whole array of Soviet organizations was devoted to “helping” specific social groups. So, I became intrigued by the issue of help and what it meant to be entitled to state help in the early Soviet and Stalinist regime’.

On their own childhood

Both before and after the symposium, many participants spoke about what they would change about their childhood if given the opportunity. While their answers varied to a certain extent, most seemed to agree that traveling earlier and gaining exposure to other cultures would be one aspect that they would gladly change.

‘I would have started to travel abroad earlier, and I would have selected Russian for my third foreign language’, said Professor Hautamäki.

‘Thanks to my wonderful parents, I grew up surrounded by love and attention, always shielded from all the problems my mother and father had’, said Professor Galmarini-Kabala. ‘One thing that I would change is my exposure to art and music classes. I did not have any, and I deeply regret that. I also wish I had started traveling and seeing the beauty of the world at an earlier age’, she said. 

Anna Chernyakhovskaya, especially for HSE News service

See also:

An Everyday Evil: The Spread of Adolescent Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is a fact of life for many teens today. Psychologists have found that with age, people become inured to acts of aggression. However, cyber harassment is one of the most dangerous forms of bullying. Cyberbullying victims have nowhere to hide, while their parents often have no idea that something bad is happening to their kids, since the bullying occurs in adolescent online communities. Researchers studied cyberbullying among teenagers.

Defending Personal Boundaries: How Birth Order Affects Children’s Psychological Sovereignty

HSE psychologists have studied how the presence or absence of siblings, as well as birth order, affect children’s ability to maintainpersonal boundaries. The results showed that only children and second-born children have the strongest sense of personal boundaries, while first-born children have the least. However, as children become adults, their ability to balance between their own needs and those of others becomes determined more by gender.

'Going to HSE Seemed Like a Great Way to Pursue My Interests’

September 4, 2019 was a day of firsts for the School of Psychology and the Centre for Cognition and Decision Making. Zachary Yaple, who was born in the United States and grew up in England, defended his dissertation, 'Neurophysiological Correlates of Risky Decision-Making'. His defense marked the first PhD to be prepared at the Centre for Cognition and Decision Making and the first PhD to be awarded to an international student by the Doctoral School of Psychology.

The Brain Processes Words Placed on the Right Side of a Screen More Quickly

When reading words on a screen, the human brain comprehends words placed on the right side of the screen faster. The total amount of presented information on the screen also affects the speed and accuracy of the brain’s ability to process words. These are the findings of HSE researchers Elena Gorbunova and Maria Falikman presented in an article that was published in the journal, Advances in Cognitive Psychology.

The Campaign Against Bullying

Educators do not always deal with student aggression in the most effective manner. Sometimes teachers resort to severe and unsystematic methods that only make the bullying worse. According to researchers of the HSE Laboratory for Prevention of Asocial Behavior, the problem requires a comprehensive approach: aggression prevention programmes need to be incorporated into educational policy, and, in turn, schools need to foster supportive psychological climate and trust between teachers and students.

Work That Kills: The Danger of Nonstandard Working Schedules

More than 64% of employed Russians work evenings, nights or weekends, and this is one of the highest figures among European countries. Andrei Shevchuk and Anna Krasilnikova were the first to study the extent of nonstandard working hours in Russia and its impact on work-life balance.

HSE Scholars Propose New Method for Measuring Individual Well-being

Their initial tests were carried out with football fans, by measuring their emotional state. It turned out that, on average, uncertainty about a match result can increase the probability of unhappiness by 13.6%. The results of this study were published in the Journal of Happiness Studies.

Emotions from Touch: What Textures Bring Happiness, and What Cause Anger

Touching different types of surfaces may incur certain emotions. This was the conclusion made by psychologists in a recent empirical study. Previously, emotional perception was generally studied in relation to visual and audial modalities.

What Do Digital Traces Have to Offer for the Study of Psychological Wellbeing?

The round table on ‘Psychological Wellbeing in the Digital Age’ brought together a range of scholars and one industry professional to talk about how a user’s digital footprint—or ‘digital traces’—can be used to discern a person’s psychological state, predict their behavior, and, potentially, even improve their psychological wellbeing.

The Anxiety of Exposure: Why We Suffer from Imposter Syndrome

Researchers from the HSE Perm, in collaboration with an American colleague, confirmed the theory that impostor syndrome fully mediates the link between perfectionism and psychological distress