Armyanskii ln., 4-2,
Moscow, 101000, Russia


Nadezhda Radina1, Alexander Porshnev1,2
  • 1 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 30 Sormovskoye Highway, Nizhny Novgorod, 603014, Russian Federation
  • 2 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 16 Soyuza Pechatnikov Str., Saint Petersburg, 190008, Russian Federation

Psychology and Hermeneutics: Hermeneutic Analysis of Understanding Using Mathematical Schemes and Models

2014. Vol. 11. No. 2. P. 90–119 [issue contents]

The paper discusses hermeneutics and hermeneutic analysis in Russian social sciences, humanities and particularly psychology. Some regularities in understanding of texts uncovered by integrating methods of qualitative (hermeneutic analysis) and quantitative analysis (mathematical processing of categorical data) are described. When analysing results of the empirical study, understanding was defined as “layering of meanings” (M. Heidegger) and as a structure of communication that determines intersubjective significance of cognition (J. Habermas). Fiction poetry, fiction prose and non-fiction historic texts about the battle of Borodino were segmented and categorised by a group of readers based on their individual understanding. Then a group of experts classified categories identified. Finally, the texts were re-coded; for each text category an interpretation matrix was reconstructed. Cohen’s kappa coefficient was used to measure inter-rater agreement. Association rules were used to search for interpretation sequences. Hermeneutic analysis of text interpretation using mathematical methods has demonstrated relative uniqueness of the understanding of texts. The degree of agreement in understanding of “cultural texts” depended on communication experience rather than education level. Analysis of interpretations using mathematical methods has shown that poetic texts were being interpreted in a more coherent manner and that the sequence of interpretations was more logical for scientific texts. A phenomenon of absorption of historical events by personal history of the protagonist was described and identified when readers were to understand and interpret a historic fiction piece. The authors believe that complex hermeneutic analysis employing qualitative and quantitative methods alike could be very useful in the research of personal identity, values and experiences.

Citation: Radina, N. K., & Porshnev, A. V. (2014). Psikhologiya i germenevtika: Germenevticheskii analiz ponimaniya v matematicheskikh skhemakh i modelyakh [Psychology and Hermeneutics: Hermeneutic Analysis of Understanding Using Mathematical Schemes and Models]. Psychology. Journal of Higher School of Economics, 11(2), 90-119. (in Russian)
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