The analysis of theoretical work on the psychology of activity by leading Russian psychologists has shown that the principle of the activity approach is deeply and comprehensively developed in Russian psychology and has reasonably acquired the status of a paradigm. Conceptual models of the activity approach can be successfully applied while setting exploratory programs and developing specific research designs. It can be reasonably argued that the activity approach has not only had a rich past, but it also has a successful present and future. This study reports on the general structure of the activity psychological functional system (APFS) that is close to the general structure of the physiological functional system suggested by P. K. Anokhin. However, the APFS in its components and the relationships between them is filled with a new content that is primarily determined by the human mind. The issue of the ability’s place in an activity structure is addressed in this paper. Understanding activity from the standpoint of system genesis reveals the essence of human development processes and provides for understanding of the relationship between activity and development; it shows the place of abilities in the implementation of activities and enables the understanding of the development mechanism in abilities and activities. It is shown that abilities are mechanisms of activity realization, and that activity may be considered from the position of a system of abilities employed to accomplish it that undergoes permanent changes in regard to the composition and the extent of the constituents’ interaction.
The role of higher education in shifting the economy to an innovative development path is considered. It is shown that innovations in the sphere of material production and in other sectors of the economy are carried out at low rates, and the higher school of Russia makes a very modest contribution to their implementation. The reasons for the current situation are analyzed, among which are insuffi cient funding for universities, deregulation of the labor market, curtailing scientifi c research. The ways of mobilization of the innovative potential of higher education are proposed, among them are the updating of the content of education and the strengthening of the relationship of universities with science and production through the development of targeted training. The management issues of higher education and science are touched upon.
The special factor determining a science development is the arrangement of its conceptual categories. This is completely relevant to theoretical issues of ability and giftedness studies. In present article based on the analysis of the researches, most notably native classical psychologists, and our empirical data the definition of theoretical constructs “ability” and “giftedness” is provided. The approach to determining the nature of ability is founded. The ability is considered in three dimensions: as inherent, subject-activity and personal. It is highlighted that the abilities of the human being (personality) should be considered simultaneously in three dimensions. In each dimension at that it would be shown the irregularity and heterochrony of their (abilities) development. This helps to understand the nature of a complete process of ability formation and development. The suggested concept for ability structure makes it possible for answer the basic methodological question about the relationship between inclinations and abilities. It concerns the consideration of the ability of an individual as the properties of physiological functional systems that implement certain mental functions. It is shown that the ability development is based on a definite natural foundation by completing with intellectual operations acquisition (abilities of subject of an activity), and being under control and directing impact of the motivation and moral qualities (abilities of a personality). Other implications of a proposed view on the nature of ability are discussed in the article. Given that the giftedness in majority of researches considered as qualitatively feature specificity combination of abilities that determines the success in a certain activity and based on the proposed definition of ability the concept of “giftedness” is defined. Some principal issues of giftedness theory is addressed to considerations.
The article defines understanding as a fact of our mental life. It reviews how understanding is reflected in language, in philosophical literature, in theology. A significant amount of research in the field of psychology is devoted to the problem of understanding, however, the process is obviously under-explored in terms of the mechanisms of understanding in teaching/learning. The following questions are raised: When did the problem of understanding arise? What are the mechanisms of understanding? The paper identifies three factors of understanding-misunderstanding: the connection of understanding with thought producing; the alienation of personal meaning of knowledge when it transforms into meaning; individual models of the child’s world which begin to shape before language is acquired and continue to develop in everyday concepts. The paper attempts to give answers to the questions from the perspective of the cultural-historical approach. Basing on the proposed ideas about the mechanisms of understanding- misunderstanding, it discusses the ways of achieving understanding in the educational process. It is argued that understanding is always concrete as it refers to a particular student, particular topic of the lesson and is closely related to motivation.
The results of the investigation of a substantive thought generating supported with intellectual operations are presented. The theoretical basis of the study is a conception of a person’s mental ability to thought generating that characterizes his/her intelligence. The proposed approach enables to describe a thinking activity as a process of generating thoughts, which constitute a content of thinking, and as a process of working with thoughts through the intellectual operations. In experimental study conducted with participants (in the sample of university students, N = 50) that were in different conditions of solving a mental task and with different level of intellectual development the composition of intellectual operations was defined, the productivity of their use in continuum of thinking activity development was shown, and the way of their practical acquisition was described. The results demonstrate that the increasing of the productivity of substantive thought generating is at the expense of abstracting and mediating. It was identified that this productivity appeared as the tendency to discern the functional properties of conceivable object by abstracting from its properties which make sense from their personal meaning for thinker as the thinking activity was developed in the beginning, and mediating these properties in the middle and at the end of this process. The important result shown in the study was the interactive effect of the conditions of mental task solving and the level of intellectual development on productivity of thinking in the end of that process. This interaction explants the specify of a certain operation use in thinking activity development and the productivity of generating a substantive thought that make personal sense for thinker subject to the level of his/her intellectual development. The findings of the study are the basis for understanding the learning to think by the acquisition of intellectual operations in solving a certain mental task.
The Cognitive Flexibility Inventory (CFI) is a brief self-report measure of the type of cognitive flexibility necessary to successfully challenge and restructure maladaptive beliefs with more balanced and adaptive thinking; it is particularly popular for use with English speakers. The CFI has recently been translated into five languages (Chinese, Japanese, Iranian, Turkish and Russian), although estimates of reliability and validity of these translated versions are scarce. This study reports on the factor structure, internal consistency, reliability, and construct validity of the CFI. We adopted the CFI for a Russian-speaking population, using student sample of 445 first and second-year undergraduates (M = 18.59 years, SD = 1.19) and found that a two-factor model fitted the data well. However, the structure of the CFI was revised because of some modifications, which were made to the original English to match the Russian equivalents of items originally developed to assess the definite aspect of cognitive flexibility. The CFI-R showed good internal consistency and suitable 7-week test-retest reliability. The construct validity of the Russian version of the CFI was studied by computing correlations with other related measures of cognitive flexibility (Attributional Style Questionnaire), depressive symptoms (Beck Depression Inventory), coping (Ways of Coping (Revised)) and rigidity (Tomsk Rigidity Questionnaire). Furthermore, to assess whether the construct validity were affected by psychopathology we examined results for nonclinical and clinical samples, using “known-groups” method. The clinical sample reported lower cognitive flexibility than did the nonclinical sample on the CFI-R’s total score and its subscales’ scores. Findings in the present study suggest that the psychometric properties of the Russian CFI are comparable to the English original, making it appropriate to research assessment of the type of cognitive flexibility in Russian speaking population.
In present work an attempt to unravel the mystery of consciousness issue is addressed to. This is done on the basis of the analysis of the mind and consciousness relationship; by bringing the term “thought” to the mind and consciousness contents determination; by considering the role of cognitive processes in forming the mind and consciousness contents; and by analyzing the reflection’s involvement in the self-awareness.
Cognitive flexibility is considered as a person’s mental ability to organize one’s own cognitive activity and intellectual behavior in response to changing environmental conditions. Though the construct of cognitive flexibility has been well investigated in different contexts of its manifestation, yet there is no general operational definition of this construct in cognitive studies. This study aimed to explore the current theoretical views on the problem of a person’s cognitive flexibility and to indicate the contribution of these views to the development of the measures of cognitive flexibility within the psychological treatment. In brief review of Russian and foreign cognitive studies, the ideas about the term “cognitive flexibility” has been summarized as a mental ability of a person, a skill to change cognitive attitudes in response to the changing conditions of one’s own life. It was shown that there has been a lack of definitions in Russian to describe the phenomenon of cognitive flexibility, and it has not been studied in terms of content and forms of its manifestation in human behavior, especially, in intellectual behavior. In foreign cognitive studies the term cognitive flexibility is widespread. It is referred to in studies of cognitive abilities and skills. The majority of researchers determine its operational definition as a general property of personality’s cognitive system. At the same time, it is not known what this property is. For the purposes of the present study, the approach to examine the person’s flexibility has been put forward. It was considered as a specific ability of cognitive system and a property of different cognitive processes. This approach uses abilities as the properties of functional system, which bring about specific mental functions. In reviewing the existing measures of cognitive flexibility, it was demonstrated that the lack of operational definition of this construct usually leads to the choice of the instrument in accordance to aims and goals of the research. Cognitive tests and self-report measures were considered as two main instruments in examining person’s flexibility. Their applicability was proved and it was shown that the instruments examine the type of cognitive flexibility needed for change to adaptive behavior within psychological treatment.
The Cognitive Flexibility Inventory (CFI) structure was tested for conformity with empirical data collected on university Russian students (N= 298). The CFI is used to assess the type of cognitive flexibility necessary for individuals to successfully challenge and replace maladaptive thoughts with more balanced and adaptive thinking (Dennis & Vander Wal, 2010). Evidence was obtained for the CFI's moderate psychometric properties. Confirmatory factor analysis indicated that initial structure of the CFI poor fit to empirical data. The exploratory factor analysis of the CFI's items conducted on the data of Russian sample was used to determine the number of factors and their items. The two-factor solution was reproduced that was somewhat different from the two-factor solution of developers. The differences were made to original CFI by modifying some items in its subscales. Results from factorial validity investigation indicate Russian version of the CFI (CFI-R) has reliable two-factor structure, excellent internal consistency, and moderate 7-weeks test-retest reliability. Preliminary evidence was obtained for gender dependency of cognitive flexibility aspects assessed by the CFI. The findings suggest that the CFI-R is suitable for its application in research settings, and can be used to assess the university students' cognitive flexibility. The perspectives for further research are defined to examine the diagnostic potentials of the CFI in research purposes as well as in psychological treatment.
Theoretical analysis of views of foreign and domestic philosophers and psychologists, sources from Christian literature to reveal the “conscience” notion has been done. It has been shown that though thousand-year history of active use of the notion in philosophy, scientific and fiction literature its content is still little-studied. The authors understanding of the problem of relation between knowledge of moral norms and conscience; moral behavior and behavior “according to conscience” is presented. Moral qualities as person’s fundamental moral dispositions along with absolute moral values that define conscience action and intraindividual conscience’s structure are marked. Functional manifestations of conscience, its hypothetical mechanisms are described, introduced formal model of conscience open the door to empiric study of “conscience phenomenon” in psychology.
The author reveals the key problems of the development of the content of General secondary education, which include: the ratio of universal human and unique ethno-cultural components of education, the volume of education, the refl ection of the General culture in the content of the school subject.