Research objectives: to investigate bottom-up and top-down modulation of human information processing and representation; to develop and test specific research methods which uncover new opportunities in the analysis of factors and determinants that influence performance on various cognitive tasks and emotional information processing.
Empirical base of the research: heterogeneous samples of participants recruited in accordance with the aims of the research. The experimental method has been used together with inventories.
Research results. In the course of the work, the following results have been obtained. In perceptual tasks, we have described the phenomena of subjective perceptual chunking in visual search for letter stimuli; the left-to-right asymmetry in visual search for letter stimuli in various types of letter strings has been revealed; we studied the representation of Russian inflectional and derivational morphology in the mental lexicon using the simultaneity judgments for word parts; the limitations of visual averaging have been described and a psychophysical model explaining these limitations has been proposed; we obtained data supporting the existence of a common factor in various visual disappearance illusions. We found a systematic influence of the emotional state on attentional control (positive emotions widen the focus of attention, whereas negative emotions narrow it). We specified the performance standards for the “Dot Probe” test relative to the individual differences of the participants. Besides, the collected data were used to demonstrate the high psychometric properties of Videotest (an original method for the investigation of emotional intelligence) and to confirm its validity. We exposed the influence of task presentation order on the measures of creativity. The processes of category formation have been studied in detail, a study which allowed us to distinguish two types of knowledge use in participants: search for ready generalizations in semantic memory and adaptation of previous knowledge to the current conditions. We also analysed the processes of multiple categorization in intergroup interaction.
Implementation of the research results. The current study was an investigation into fundamental issues of human cognition and did not imply direct implementation of its results into practice. However, the results can be used in a number of applied areas, from the usability of a vast variety of visual displays to teaching formal subjects and stimulation of creative thinking in various professionals. The obtained results are also important in the understanding of intellectual development in both children and adults. The results of the subset of studies in problem solving and concept formation might be used to improve current teaching methods.