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Regular version of the site

Positive personality strategies and psychological well-being

Priority areas of development: humanitarian
2019
The project has been carried out as part of the HSE Program of Fundamental Studies.

Purpose of work:

The overall goal of the work was to investigate the contribution of motivational and semantic prerequisites to the characteristics of psychological well-being and success in various contexts. In order to achieve this goal, a number of tasks were completed, including:

1) a development of tools for the empirical study of variables related to psychological well-being;

2) a theoretical analysis of the category of personal resources as individual variables that contribute to the psychological well-being and successful implementation of activity;

3) a study of predictors of subjective well-being in connection with successful activity.

The main empirical studies conducted in 2019 concerned the completion of the current project and the implementation of previously set goals. The results of the work are summarized, the analysis of the data obtained is carried out, the articles on the results of the work are published and submitted to print.

Methodsused:The theoretical sections of the report present the results of a methodological analysis of personal and motivational-semantic prerequisites for psychological well-being, in particular, theoretical and methodological research raises the question of the history of the modern view on motivation, expressed once by the popular term “instinct”. In addition, a comprehensive analysis of the problem of loneliness also becomes possible due to a deep theoretical and methodological study. The empirical researches relied on a wide range of methods necessary for psychometric testing of new adaptable research tools, as well as for conducting correlation studies of the prerequisites of well-being.

Empirical base of research

In total, the empirical base consist of 1249 people. The empirical studies presented in the report were conducted on a sample of employees of organizations and high school students in general-education schools in Moscow, in addition, residents from different cities of Russia participated in the studies.

Results

А) Theoretical results:

1. The examination of the history of the use of the concept of instinct in scientific psychology and ethology as an innate internal motivational source of human and animal behavior, as well as the reasons for rejecting this concept as an explanatory one. The closest and most natural explanation for everyday consciousness is deriving human behavior from "internal causes" and deriving driving forces located in the individual himself. Motivation issues are so complex because motivation is not directly observable - we observe only behavior, and we can only guess what caused it. The term of instinct, as a key concept explaining the sources of not only animals’ behavior, but also humans’ behavior, lasted several decades in psychology; in the late 1930s - early 1940s it became the object of destructive criticism and left the stage giving way to a new concept of need.

2. A comprehensive analysis of the problem of loneliness, based on the philosophical foundation, psychological theories of personality and data psychometrics, was conducted. The positive impact of loneliness is based on the fact that it allows to take a break in activity, which is a prerequisite for processing of the life experience and integrating it into the structure of the personality. Perhaps, the level of personal autonomy plays an important role in the perception of loneliness, people with a high level of self-determination are able to conduct effective autocommunication alone with themselves and, thus, do not experience boredom, but engage in productive internal activities. Thus, the formation of the attitude “loneliness is normal”, rethinking the assessment of the experience of this state and the formation of internal communication skills can be the strategy of counseling on the problem of loneliness within the framework of positive psychology.

3. The conduction of the analysis of the concept of the vital world and of the “ontology of the vital world” as a metatheoretical scheme for understanding human life and activity in the world. The paper gives a detailed answer to four questions: (1) what gives the concept of the vital world and the “ontology of the vital world” for understanding human psychology, namely, the methodological aspect, (2) what is the vital world, namely, the ontological aspect, (3) what is the structure of the person’s vital world, namely, the structural aspect and (4) what the vital world can be, namely, its phenomenological aspect.

B) Empirical results:

1. In the study of personal resources as a predictor of burnout in a sample of librarians in the Moscow region, the following results were obtained. The level of professional burnout among the study participants is quite low, in addition, it is the same in urban and rural libraries. The age of librarians is related to the level of burnout. The difference in the level of burnout in people with and without higher education is insignificant. Among the main results, it was shown that personal resources are negatively associated with burnout, and the effect of personal resources varies in groups: the higher is the deviation in burnout, the lower is the contribution of personal resources. In addition, it is found that the effect of personal resources with respect to burnout is on average the same for the rural and the urban libraries.

2. The study of dreams and life choices showed that dreaming reduces the emotional intensity and experience of the importance of choice, presumably by placing the choice in a wider motivational-semantic context. The dreaming process supports a person’s turning to himself, awareness of motives and the most important personal meanings. This means that daydreaming unfolds the “activity of self-determination” (according to D. A. Leontiev) and, therefore, can increase the awareness of choice.

3. A study of the connection between academic results and the optimistic attribution style has shown that the style of explaining success can ultimately be more important for students' achievements than how they explain failure. In addition, an optimistic attributive style regarding positive events is more important in terms of life satisfaction and well-being in relationships with people. Current data show that an optimistic attributive style in relation to success is not just a disposition that develops after students begin to study well. Instead, an initially high score of attributive style for positive events can help students to perform better. The results of the study are consistent with the theory of self-efficacy, according to which the idea of ​​effectiveness in specific areas better predicts academic performance than the idea of ​​efficiency in general.

C) Methodical and applied results:

1. The result of the study of attributive style among students was the formulation of the following recommendation: work with students should go in the direction of the development of attributions of success. Instead of teaching students how not to “dramatize” when something goes in wrong way, it may be more important to teach them to celebrate when things are going well, or more specifically, to teach them to recognize the stable and global aspects of their own personality and life that leads to good results.

2. The scale of professional apathy (G. Schmidt) was for the first time translated into Russian and successfully adapted. The Russian version of the scale is a reliable and valid diagnostic tool designed to measure professional apathy as a partial or complete loss of professional motivation among employees of modern organizations.

The degree of implementation, recommendations for the implementation or the results of the implementation of the outcomes of research

The results of empirical studies can be used in teaching (within the framework of university and school educational environments), as well as in the practice of professional counseling. The obtained empirical data provides a basis for expanding resilience programs, and also lays the foundation for further theoretical and practical work on the problem of personal resources and motivational prerequisites for well-being.

Publications:


Leontiev D. The dialectics of aloneness: positive vs. negative meaning and differential assessment // Counselling Psychology Quarterly. 2019. Vol. 32. No. 3-4. P. 548-562. doi
Гордеева Т. О., Сычев О. А., Осин Е. Н., Титова Грэншам В. А. Краткий опросник оптимистического атрибутивного стиля // Психологический журнал. 2019. Т. 40. № 6. С. 76-86.
Rahmadani V. G., Schaufeli W. B., Ivanova T., Osin E. N. Basic psychological need satisfaction mediates the relationship between engaging leadership and work engagement: A cross-national study // Human Resource Development Quarterly. 2019. Vol. 30. No. 4. P. 453-471. doi
Titova L., Sheldon K. M. Why do I feel this way? Attributional assessment of happiness and unhappiness // The Journal of Positive Psychology. 2019. Vol. 14. No. 5. P. 549-562. doi
Sheldon K. M., Prentice M. Self-determination theory as a foundation for personality researchers // Journal of Personality. 2019. Vol. 87. No. 1. P. 5-14. doi
Леонтьев Д. А., Федорович Е. Ю. Миф об инстинкте // Человек. 2019. Т. 30. № 4. С. 53-71. doi
Леонтьев Д. А. Человек и жизненный мир: от онтологии к феноменологии // Культурно-историческая психология. 2019. Т. 15. № 1. С. 25-34. doi
Sheldon K. M., Titova L. Why do I feel this way? Attributional assessment of happiness and unhappiness // The Journal of Positive Psychology. 2018. Vol. 14. No. 5. P. 549-562. doi
Chen C., Elliot A. J., Sheldon K. M. Psychological need support as a predictor of intrinsic and external motivation: the mediational role of achievement goals // Educational Psychology. 2019. Vol. 39. No. 8. P. 1090-1113. doi
Колачев Н. И., Осин Е. Н., Schaufeli W. B., Desart S. Личностные ресурсы и выгорание у сотрудников библиотек Московской области // Организационная психология. 2019. Т. 9. № 2. С. 129-147.
Sheldon K. M., Corcoran M., Prentice M. Pursuing Eudaimonic Functioning Versus Pursuing Hedonic Well‑Being: The First Goal Succeeds in Its Aim, Whereas the Second Does Not // Journal of Happiness Studies. 2019. Vol. 20. No. 3. P. 919-933. doi
Yang Y., Li W., Sheldon K. M., Kou Y. Chinese adolescents with higher social dominance orientation are less prosocial and less happy: A value-environment fit analysis // International Journal of Psychology. 2019. Vol. 54. No. 3. P. 325-332. doi