To Learn What Emotions Are and What They Do
— Was your decision to choose this topic for research emotional or rational?
We have become interested in studying the effects of emotion in decision making because models of rational choice do a bad job explaining the behavior of individuals. We believe that emotions provide insight into people's goals and concerns and as such they provide an important input in everyday decision processes.
— How would you explain the idea of "a feeling is for doing approach" in a few words for non-specialists?
If one wishes to understand emotions, what they are and what they do, it is instructive to study how they are felt. Our approach is influenced by Nico Frijda's emotion theory and William James' ideas about pragmatism. We believe that emotions are signals about our concerns being threatened (or served), and that emotions also provide information about what to do to in order to achieve our goals (or continue to achieve our goals). In short, we think that emotions have evolved to provide behavioral guidance.
— What are the major findings in your research?
Specific emotions that resemble each other, such as regret and disappointment, or guilt and shame, still involve different experiences and hence also prioritize different behaviors to act on the concerns that are represented by the different emotions. We have now applied our theory to these emotions, and to envy, pride, greed and anger. The results are remarkable, and we continue to learn and be amazed by what emotions are and what they do. The study of emotions, in particular that of their behavioral consequences, proves to be rewarding and inspiring and there is still enough to do.
— What are the criteria chosen in your research? How do you prove your findings?
We are eclectic in our research. We do experiments in which we induce emotions and investigate how they influence behavior, but we also do survey research in which we ask about autobiographical recalls of emotions experiences. And, we also study the effects of emotion cross culturally. Together, these findings ideally triangulate and provide insight into the behavioral effects of specific emotions.
— How did your cooperation with the HSE start? What are the goals and further plans?
We first came to HSE in 2012 and taught about economic psychology and behavioral economics. We were very satisfied with this experience and the mutual interest in economic behavior and cross cultural studies. We hope to extend this collaboration in research and a dual degree program with Tilburg University and HSE. Russia is a huge country with an impressive history in psychology and we think that Tilburg University and HSE can cooperate and join forces to our joint benefit.
Anna Chernyakhovskaya, especially for HSE news service
Social Adaptation, the Secrets of Communication, and Animal Therapy: Psychological Welcome Week Comes to a Close
In a series of events that ran from September 13–21, psychologists from the HSE University Centre for Psychological Counselling spoke to students about communication traps and establishing trusting relationships, the challenges of adapting to a new environment and the resources required to do so, the university’s emergency psychological service, and animal therapy. The event programme also included English-language events.
HSE University researchers Evgeny Osin and Irina Turilina conducted an intervention study looking into the effectiveness of a short-term online mindfulness meditation course. They discovered that even after a three-week course of daily 10 to 15-minute meditation sessions, novice participants benefitted from improved emotional wellbeing, concentration, motivation and self-reflection. The practitioners were also less likely to fixate on negative thoughts. However, these effects only applied to people who already had sufficiently high levels of self-control and motivation to meditate and were thus less likely to give up on the practice. The research is presented in an article published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being
Regardless of personal ideas about gender equality, people tend to turn a blind eye to someone else’s sexist attitudes if they perceive this person as having positive and valuable characteristics such as high intelligence.
Very little attention has been paid to the impostor syndrome phenomenon in Russian scientific literature. Moreover, until now, no Russian-language methodology has been tested to measure the severity of impostor syndrome. This situation has been rectified by scientists from HSE University and the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA).
The values of collectivism remain important for young people. They promote a sense of loyalty to family and a willingness to accept support from loved ones. Young people who value mutual assistance and a close relationship with others are more satisfied with life, regardless of whether they belong to a collectivist or individualist type of culture.
A Dossier of Deities: HSE University Scholars Create Electronic Database of Chinese Mythological Characters
The Institute for Oriental and Classical Studies (IOCS) at HSE University is developing an electronic database of Chinese mythological characters and motifs. Because nothing like it has ever been compiled, it meets an enormous demand. Project originators Elizaveta Volchkova, Olga Mazo, Aglaya Starostina and Alevtina Solovyova told IQ what they are attempting to accomplish and why Chinese mythology is both complicated and fascinating.
When partners are of the same religion, it helps to compensate for any differences in their values, while monocultural couples are more satisfied with their marriage.
Dr Anatoly Kharkhurin joined HSE University in 2019 as an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences. He received his PhD in Experimental Psychology from the City University of New York and taught in the United States and the United Arab Emirates. This academic year he is teaching Psychology of Thinking and Reasoning and Psycholinguistics. Dr Kharkhurin shared with The HSE Look his perspective on the prospects for the digital transformation of social communication.
The Third International Kotchoubey Readings ended on October 9. Held online for the first time, this year’s event looked at ‘Digital Solutions for Private Collectors.’ Following are the topics the experts discussed and the results HSE students achieved.
Researchers from HSE University compared the effect of two meditation practices – loving-kindness meditation (LKM) and compassion meditation (CM). Loving-kindness meditation turned out to be more effective when it comes to increasing happiness, but, in contrast with previous studies, compassion meditation also did not result in a growth of negative emotions. The paper was published in Mindfulness journal.