Vol 17, No 4 (2020): Contemporary Positive Psychology in Russia and in the World


Positive Psychology Celebrates its 20th Anniversary!

Rich G.J., Kurilenko V.B., Novikova I.A.



RUDN Journal of Psychology and Pedagogics. 2020;17(4):575-585
pages 575-585 views


Resiliency and Culture: An Interdisciplinary Approach

Abi-Hashem N.


In recent years, the topics of psychosocial resiliency and cultural competency have been on the forefronts of many academic disciplines and human-care services. This article explores the meaning, nature, and function of resiliency and provides an overview of its foundational role and integrative place in the fields of psychology, pedagogy, physiology, psychotherapy, spirituality, and community. All these explorations and discussions are presented from a sociocultural and interdisciplinary perspective. Most areas of learning and spheres of knowledge could further be advanced if they continue to incorporate cultural resiliency into their basic training approaches and ongoing skillful apprenticeships. This article emphasizes that the essence and manifestation of resiliency is rooted, not only in individual traits or abilities, but also in the capital resources already stored in the larger community - in its cultural wealth and generational wisdom. Resiliency is both an innate capacity, with various dispositions that is dormant within people and groups, and a skill that is gradually learned, intentionally established, and consistently built-up and developed. Then, it will be readily applied as a way-of-life, natural tendency, refined asset, and potential drive or passion for higher-functioning and livelihood, especially in time of adversity, misfortune, and calamity. This article encourages the practice of cross-cultural competence and cross-disciplinary growth. It promotes multi-academic learning and collaboration in order to foster a comprehensive resiliency-training and a dependable approach for survival-coping. Also, this article encourages an enduring social awareness, a continuous emotional empowerment, and a relational respect coupled with cultural humility.

RUDN Journal of Psychology and Pedagogics. 2020;17(4):586-603
pages 586-603 views

Posttraumatic Growth in Cambodia: A Mixed Methods Study

Badaracco J., Sirikantraporn S., Rich G.J., Green J., Porter M.C.


The majority of psychological research has focused heavily on the negative outcomes of trauma and tends to ignore the positive outcomes of experiencing traumatic events. Posttraumatic growth (PTG) is a concept that stems from positive psychology and was originally developed by R.G. Tedeschi and L.G. Calhoun (2004). PTG is the process of growth after trauma and has been divided into five domains: greater appreciation for life, more intimate relationships, personal strength, recognition of new possibilities, and spiritual development. This mixed methods study utilizes archival data collected in 2015-2016 at the American University of Phnom Penh to examine the experience of growth after trauma that 70 Cambodian participants faced from a quantitative and qualitative perspective. Quantitative analysis determined that the Adult Resilience Measure (ARM) and the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI) were considered internally reliable and valid measures when used with Cambodians. It was determined that the number of traumatic events one experiences does not influence one’s ability to experience PTG or resiliency and the concepts of PTG and resiliency are correlated. The qualitative analysis utilized grounded theory to develop a theory of PTG within Cambodia. These results indicated that Cambodians experience PTG in four core categories including: personal strength, relational strength, avenues of growth and religion/spirituality. The quantitative and qualitative results illustrate that Cambodians experience PTG in a similar manner when compared to the original PTG theory. However, there are cultural nuances that must be taken into account when exploring PTG within the Cambodian population.

RUDN Journal of Psychology and Pedagogics. 2020;17(4):604-623
pages 604-623 views

Meaning-Making, Forgiveness, and Gratitude: Nurturing a Healthy, Peaceful, and Prosperous Haiti

Kalayjian A.


We have witnessed the growth and resilience of the Haitian people since 2010 and the devastating earthquake, in over fourteen humanitarian missions. In addition, MeaningfulWorld’s global presence, which aims to raise consciousness and nurture resilience and sustainability among local and global communities in Haiti, has highlighted perspectives from vulnerable and marginalized groups including children, women, and traumatized refugees. The results of this work has addressed the ultimate question in resolving emotional and psychological scars and promoting meaning, healing, hope, reconciliation, and trust: what lessons have we learned from our traumatic past? For MeaningfulWorld ambassadors, the only healthy and permanent means of resolution for past traumas is through integration of emotional intelligence (EQ), spiritual connections, love, meaning-making, forgiveness, and empathy, and nurturing gratitude as a basic foundation. This paper will describe the value of cultivating gratitude as a foundation and utilizing forgiveness and meaning-making through post trauma growth, building resilience, and emotional intelligence. Although historically Haiti has shown resilience, while the lessons learned are not only unclear, it is fragmented, misguided, and focused on fear derived from mass spread of horizontal violence, where the majority of the Haitian population pull one another down, and call it the ‘Haitian disease.’
RUDN Journal of Psychology and Pedagogics. 2020;17(4):624-636
pages 624-636 views

Personal Spiritual-Moral Qualities and Empathy as Components of Higher Moral Capacities: Verification of the Relationship based on a Russian Sample

Ozhiganova G.V.


For contemporary societies, psychological research on moral behaviour, moral manifestations and personality traits has acquired special relevance. In addition, the recent rise of positive psychology offers an important perspective on the study of spiritual-moral qualities (virtues), demonstrating the degree to which a person’s happiness in life relates to high spiritual-moral guidelines. Various aspects of personal spirituality, morality and empathy are actively being studied by international scientists; however, in Russian psychology, studies on this topic are scarce. Utilizing a Russian sample, such a study, including the context of higher moral capacities, was conducted for the first time. The theoretical part of this article addresses the issues related to the higher moral capacities, providing definitions and indicating difference between moral capacities and moral abilities: higher moral capacities appropriately belong to the category of spiritual capacities. As part of higher moral capacities, the following components are distinguished: spiritual-moral qualities as a manifestation of a spiritual altruistic orientation and empathy as a manifestation of moral feelings associated with decentration, empathic feeling and empathic care. The relationship between these components is analysed in the empirical part of the article. The purpose of the study was to examine the relationship between indicators of personal spiritual-moral qualities and empathy. The data for the study were collected and processed using The Spiritual Personality Inventory by A. Husain, M. Anas (adapted by G.V. Ozhiganova) and The Interpersonal Reactivity Index by M. Davis (adapted by N.A. Budagovskaya, S.V. Dubrovskaya and T.D. Karyagina). The empirical study involved 90 high school students (girls represented 56% of the sample). The results confirmed our hypothesis: a correlation analysis revealed a relationship between indicators of personal spiritual-moral qualities and empathy in three aspects: (1) cognitive (the ‘Decentration’ scale), (2) affective (the ‘Empathic Feeling’ scale) and (3) behavioural (the ‘Empathic Care’ scale). No relationship was found with the ‘Personal Distress’ scale reflecting non-spiritual, egocentric tendencies. These findings allow us to consider spiritual-moral qualities (related to a spiritual altruistic orientation) and empathy (disclosed as ‘decentration’, ‘empathic feeling’ and ‘empathic care’) as components of higher moral capacities.

RUDN Journal of Psychology and Pedagogics. 2020;17(4):637-655
pages 637-655 views


Selection of Educational Routes by High School and College Graduates: A Positive Psychology Approach

Lubovsky D.V.


Utilizing both perspectives from modern positive psychology and common, conventional theories, this article examines how graduates of high schools and colleges choose individual educational routes (IER). The significance of the issue of choosing IERs is discussed; additionally, the current state of research in this area is described. Methodological difficulties were revealed in the study of the choice of IERs by graduates of high schools and colleges and in the practice of psychological and pedagogical support for choice. Major contradictions and unresolved problems were identified in the theory and practice of psychological and pedagogical support for graduates of high schools and colleges in choosing their IERs. The most important data and findings on the choice of IERs made by modern high school and college students are presented, contradictions in the available data are revealed, and the specific features in disabled students’ choosing IERs are described. In addition, an analysis of the main approaches to studies of students’ choice of IERs (sociological, subjective and based on positive psychology) was conducted. Furthermore, the importance of positive psychology for solving existing problems in research and in the practice of psychological and pedagogical support for graduates of high schools and colleges in choosing IERs was described. The article provides a brief overview of recent positive psychology research on the choice of educational routes, and outlines the prospects for its application in solving urgent research and practical problems related to psychological and pedagogical support for students’ choice of IERs.
RUDN Journal of Psychology and Pedagogics. 2020;17(4):656-670
pages 656-670 views

Cognitive Factors of Life Satisfaction among the Russian Elderly

Belovol E.V., Boyko Z.V., Shurupova E.Y.


The overall aim of this article was to examine factors related to life satisfaction in old age. There are several approaches to understanding life satisfaction in psychology. Some theories that emphasize objective circumstances as most influential for life satisfaction are commonly labelled bottom-up theories, whereas theories that focus on stable individual characteristics are commonly labelled top-down theories. It is argued that certain personality traits, in particular extraversion and neuroticism, partly determine a person’s satisfaction with life. At the same time, cognitive factors related to life satisfaction are rarely the subject of empirical research. In this study, age, social status (works, does not work, in retirement), type of family (nuclear or extended), and a number of indices of cognitive functioning (cognitive flexibility, memory - short-term and long-term, creativity and thinking) were used as predictor variables of life satisfaction. Ninety-seven respondents aged 50-84 participated in the research, which finds that, along with non-cognitive factors of life satisfaction, cognitive factors play great roles as well. Based on the data obtained, an empirical model of cognitive factors of life satisfaction was constructed. This research demonstrates that all cognitive variables examined (flexibility of thinking, long-term memory, short-term memory, thinking and creativity) make positive contributions to increasing satisfaction; notably the roles of long-term memory and creativity are especially salient. This study also found satisfaction is significantly higher among working older respondents when compared with their non-working colleagues, with the oldest employees the most satisfied. Family status is a factor related to life satisfaction in old age as well, since old people who live with a spouse are more satisfied than those who live in extended families with children and grandchildren. A regression model combined variables from top-down and bottom-up theories. The model includes memory and age as personal characteristics, and family type as a circumstantial predictor for life satisfaction in old age.

RUDN Journal of Psychology and Pedagogics. 2020;17(4):671-684
pages 671-684 views

Wisdom as a Factor in Preventing Emotional Burnout among Medical Professionals

Mekhtikhanova N.N., Murzina J.S., Rusakova J.E.


The authors of this article examine wisdom as an internal resource in a sample of medical workers that can prevent the development of unhealthy deviations and preserve professional and life longevity. The aim of this work was to study the relationship between wisdom and emotional burnout in medical personnel. The article provides a theoretical analysis of the study of emotional burnout in medical workers, offers a description of the phenomenon of wisdom, and describes foreign empirical research on wisdom in the medical field. To collect data, the authors used The Level of Wisdom Questionnaire by N.N. Mehtikhanova and The Inventory for Diagnosing Emotional Burnout by V.V. Boyko. An empirical study conducted with 184 employees of the Tyumen Regional Clinical Hospital found signs of emotional burnout in 53.8% of the respondents. A comparison of groups of the surveyed medical workers having different levels of emotional burnout revealed significant differences in terms of wisdom. A correlation analysis showed a negative relationship between wisdom and emotional burnout of the medical personnel ( rs = -0.48, p < 0.001). A comparison between the groups of male and female respondents showed significant differences in terms of wisdom ( U = 1267.50, p = 0.016) and in terms of emotional burnout ( U = 1253.00, p = 0.013): wisdom was higher in the group of men, while emotional burnout was higher in the group of women. A pairwise comparison using the Mann - Whitney U -test revealed differences in wisdom between the groups of junior medical personnel and managers ( U = 31.00, p = 0.007) as well as between the groups of nurses and managers ( U = 326.00, p < 0.001). Wisdom in both cases was higher for the group of managers. In sum, results of this study found that wisdom helps medical personnel resist burnout syndrome. The formation of this quality will help medical workers to better preserve their mental health and professional longevity.

RUDN Journal of Psychology and Pedagogics. 2020;17(4):685-704
pages 685-704 views


The Relationships between Moral Foundations, Social Beliefs and Attitudes towards Economic Inequality among Russian Youth: A Case Study of Altai Krai

Sychev O.A., Protasova I.N.


This article presents the results of an empirical study on the relationships between moral foundations, social beliefs and attitudes towards economic inequality among young people. The topic of attitudes towards economic inequality has primarily been considered by sociologists and economists in the context of group differences, while its psychological factors and correlations have remained understudied. Different negative consequences of economic inequality can be mediated by such psychological mechanisms as subjective perception of existing inequality or personal attitudes towards it, which indicate the significance of this problem. In our study, we put forward a hypothesis that attitudes towards economic inequality among young people are related to moral foundations and social beliefs. To test this hypothesis, a study was conducted with a sample of 215 students (21% of the sample were male). The subjects completed The Scales of Dangerous World Beliefs and Jungle World Beliefs by J. Duckitt, The Moral Foundations Questionnaire by J. Graham and colleagues, and The Scale of Beliefs about Inequality by J. Kluegel and E. Smith. One of the objectives of this study was the development of a Russian version of the questionnaire by J. Kluegel and E. Smith, which full version is given in the appendix of the article. The correlations revealed that attitudes towards inequality are related to moral foundations (fairness, purity, and loyalty) and beliefs in a jungle world. Additionally, structural equation modeling has shown that approval of equality and inequality is most closely related to family welfare. Furthermore, this study found that the relationship between attitudes towards inequality and individualizing moral foundations is mediated by beliefs in a jungle world. Thus, sense of fairness and the value of caring for the weak and defenseless is opposed to beliefs in a jungle world and approval of inequality.

RUDN Journal of Psychology and Pedagogics. 2020;17(4):705-718
pages 705-718 views

Relationship between Perfectionism and Forms of Social Activity of Russian Young People: The Case of the Saratov Region

Bocharova E.E.


The phenomenology of positive psychology is associated, first of all, with the assessment of the positive significance of mental phenomena, processes, states and properties of an individual, a qualitative analysis of which makes it possible to determine the degree of realisation of personal capabilities in various spheres of life, contributing to the maintenance and improvement of significant resources of one’s own self. In this regard, of particular interest is the development of the topic of the relationship between perfectionism and forms of social activity of an individual, since the case in hand is the role of individuals and their subjective properties as a resource of not only personal, but also social, capital. The purpose of the study presented in the article is to conduct an empirical study regarding the relationship between perfectionism and various forms of personal social activity. The study involved representatives of student youth aged between 16 and 19 years ( N = 236): high school students ( n = 118) and university students ( n = 118) in Saratov and the Saratov region (Russia). The methodological tools included: a questionnaire aimed at registering various forms of social activity and their manifestations (R.M. Shamionov, I.V. Arendachuk, E.E. Bocharova and others) and The Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale (P.L. Hewitt, G.L. Flett, adapted by I.I. Gracheva) to study the relationships between the manifestations of the parameters of perfectionism. The hypothesis of the study was the assumption of the presence of multidirectional relationships between the manifestations of the parameters of perfectionism and self-assessments of various forms of social activity. As a result of the study, the authors established the dominant manifestation of the internal locus of perfectionism and identified the presence of multidirectional relationships between perfectionism and forms of social activity of the students, which made it possible to clarify the specifics of its functional manifestation in the deployment (or limitation) of social activities. It was shown that when the internal locus of perfectionism was fixed, the social and economic activities of the students were deployed, while the educational, spiritual, protest and subcultural activities were limited. However, when the external locus of perfectionism was fixed, the young people initiated subcultural activities against the background of limited educational and developmental activities. In sum, findings from this research can be implemented in the practice of advisory services in educational institutions, and in the organization of socially useful activities for young people, by taking into account their perfectionist orientation.

RUDN Journal of Psychology and Pedagogics. 2020;17(4):719-737
pages 719-737 views

Adaptation of a shortened version of Peterson and Seligman’s Values in Action Inventory of Strengths (VIA-IS) with a Russian-language sample

Bashkatov S.A.


The Values in Action Inventory of Strengths (VIA-IS) designed by C. Peterson and M. Seligman is in widespread use in modern psychological research. It includes 240 questions aimed at describing personal qualities relating to a person’s strengths and virtues of character. In 2002, M. Seligman published an abridged version of the VIA-IS in English, measuring the same strengths as the full version of the inventory, but containing 48 items instead of 240. There is no doubt about the convenience of using the abridged version of this questionnaire for conducting large-scale studies on large samples of respondents. Following this logic, the purpose of this research was to adapt this shortened version of the VIA-IS for a Russian-speaking sample. Examination of data gathered from 239 respondents revealed sufficient internal consistency of the inventory: all six of the scales demonstrated sufficient values of Cronbach’s alpha coefficients. Verification of the inventory for retest reliability, carried out six months after the first testing, yielded positive results: it was determined that the correlation coefficients of the data on the scales were within required values for adequate test-retest reliability. A convergent validity test also showed good results. The conformity of the factor structure of the Russian-language abbreviated VIA-IS to the original English-language abbreviated inventory was verified using confirmatory factor analysis. In conclusion, the Russian-language version of the abridged VIA-IS can be used for the psychological measurement of personality strengths of mentally healthy Russian respondents within the context of the positive psychology framework.

RUDN Journal of Psychology and Pedagogics. 2020;17(4):738-754
pages 738-754 views


Book Review of Lambert, L., & Pasha-Ziadi, N. (Eds.). (2019). Positive Psychology in the Middle East/North Africa: Research, Policy, and Practice. Cham, Switzerland: Springer

Rich G.J.



RUDN Journal of Psychology and Pedagogics. 2020;17(4):755-758
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United Nations Psychology Day 2020 focused on Multilateralism

Sandanapitchai P., Takooshian H.


As the United Nations marks its 75th anniversary in 2020, psychologists are increasingly involved in the work of the UN since 1945. This reached new heights on May 27, 2020, as the 13th annual Psychology Day at the United Nations drew a record attendance of 1,271 participants from 104 nations, to hear four international psychologists describe different aspects of their work on “multilateralism.” This report offers a summary of the Day, including its four messages by Drs. Fathali Moghaddam, Susan Michie, Michele Gelfand, and Sarah Lyons-Padilla.
RUDN Journal of Psychology and Pedagogics. 2020;17(4):764-769
pages 764-769 views

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