Psychology. Journal of Higher School of Economics, 2023 (3) en-us Copyright 2023 Sat, 16 Sep 2023 18:26:58 +0300 Editorial The role of working memory at different stages of insight problem solving: a critical review This paper offers a critical review of studies published over the past few years that explore the role of working memory at different stages of insight problem solving. The overall contribution of working memory (WM) to insight problem solving remains a matter of controversy, since there is supporting evidence for both the positive and the negative roles of executive control and WM in insight problem solving. A promising way to approach this contradiction is to trace WM loading dynamics in the course of a solution. Data analysis revealed that insight problem solving is generally WM-demanding, although to a lesser extent than analytic problem solving. The WM load peaks at the beginning and at the end of insight problem solving. The initial WM load may be linked to the interpretation of a problem description, creating the initial representation, and analytic reasoning within the initial problem space. Subsequently, in the case of insight problems, the WM load decreases noticeably, which can be linked to a search for a new representation or to an impasse. At the last stage of problem solving, a short peak in the WM load precedes the solution detection, which can be linked to the restructuring of representation and the beginning of a new solution process in a new problem space. Embodied problem solving: a review of experimental paradigms Recent studies of thinking increasingly often rely on Embodied cognition, a popular cognitive psychology approach. This approach provides ample opportunity to test new hypotheses and ask new questions about the mechanisms of problem solving. This article aims to systematize the existing experimental paradigms for testing hypotheses of this kind, especially those that describe the functional effects of motor activity on problem solving. The review analyzes the main experimental paradigms in this area, namely, the influence of previous motor and/or oculomotor activity on problem solving (when, before solving the main problem, the solver performs certain movements that represent a fragment of a future solution or are semantically related to it), the influence of concurrent motor activity on the process and result of the solution (when performed in parallel with the solution movement tasks have a signifi- cant impact on the process and/or result of the thought process), the influence of interactivity effects on the solution of the problem (when, due to the direct interaction with the problem material, subjects reduce the load on working memory and/or increase the success of the solution), the influence of the number of gestures on the solution (when the number of gestures of a certain type during the description of the found solution is positively correlated with successful solutions), as well as the influence of different modes of motor planning on the process of problem solving (when only one of its types – on-line planning (planning movement in the course of its execution) – positively affects the success of the solution). “Aha!” and “Oh yes!”: how emotions affect insight experience Besides classical “Aha!” moments after successful solutions, researchers have recently examined the “Oh yes!” phenomenon, which occurs when participants are presented with ready-made answers. We investigated the influence of emotional state on insight ratings in these two situations. We propose two alternative models to predict the impact of emotional state on the likelihood of experiencing “Aha!” and “Oh yes!” moments. The first model is based on the feelings-as-information framework and predicts that a generally more positive mood can be attributed by participants to positive emotions from insight. Participants, interpreting their positive state, believe that it is due to insight and will be more likely to experience both “Aha!” and “Oh yes!” insights. The second hypothesis is based on the attribution theory and connects the evaluation of insight with causal attribution. The causes of failure are attributed to external circumstances, while the causes of success are attributed to internal factors. The prediction aligns with the first hypothesis in the case of correct solutions (success situations). However, in the case of unsuccessful solutions (failure situations), the prediction is opposite. We conducted a study using anagrams as the problem-solving task and employed mood-inducing videos to manipulate the participants' emotional state. Questionnaires assessing participants' states revealed that our interventions improved the participants' mood, reduced anxiety and fatigue. The results of the analysis supported the second hypothesis. We discuss that the mechanisms through which emotional state influences insight ratings may vary depending on the type of insight and may be related to different attentional focuses, decision-making strategies, or emotional congruence effects. Using subjective report rating scales to reveal basic processes underlying insight solutions in anagram tasks The research attempted to evaluate the informativeness of subjective rating scales in order to reveal the processes underlying insightful solving of anagrams. Subjects divided into two groups solved anagrams evaluating their own solutions using rating scales of subjective characteristics taken from similar insight study (Danek et al., 2014): solution happiness, solution surprise, solution suddenness, solution certainty, and experience of an impasse. The subjects in the first group (the “Insight” group) solved regular anagrams. The second group (the “Implicit” group) solved anagrams based on a single pattern, which led to an implicit learning effect. It was expected that the values of the subjective rating scales would make it possible to separate insightful solutions of anagrams based on the realization of implicit knowledge from ordinary insightful solutions. The obtained results confirmed the validity of the assumption. The predictors of belonging to different groups were the scales of solution happiness, solution certainty and experience of an impasse. The study has demonstrated that it is possible to use subjective rating scales to separate insightful anagram solutions on the basis of processes that caused them. This indicates that such a subjective reporting technique is an informative method. The results of this study provide new possibilities for improving the self-reporting procedure in insight research. What is a problem in the psychology of thinking and why is it needed? This paper is focused on the problem as the main tool for modeling of thinking and creativity. It traces the history of using problems in the psychology of thinking and analyzes how classical works in this field describe the relationship between a problem, a task, a problem situation, etc. Problem complexity is treated as the key property that allows researchers to study patterns of the solution process. Two main methods of complexity manipulation are facilitation and inhibition. Each may be external or internal in relation to the problem. Studies of external facilitation look at series of similar problems with a gradual increase in complexity, while internal facilitation involves the reduction of sources of difficulty using a hint. External inhibition studies analyze the role of past experience or social pressure, while internal inhibition entails “reverse hints” that lead the participants away from the correct solution path. This article discusses the following issues: which part of the solution should be complicated to further the theories of problem solving? Can the complication of a problem turn it into a qualitatively more complex problem? Internal problem structure is found to be stable, since all experimental manipulations affect the solution process but leave the essence of the problem intact. The path to insight: developing methods to increase the effectiveness of insightful solution detection This paper presents the results of a study on the effectiveness of instructional video as a tool for forming the most comprehensive concept of insightful solutions for a solver; test results of the new scales for evaluating insightful solutions; and finally, the ratio of objective criteria of insightful solutions measured against the formal structure of the problem. We hypothesized that watching an instructional video with a visual image of an insightful solution prior to solving a problem might increase the accuracy of insightful solution detection when compared to a textual definition of insight. We expected that the new scales for assessing insightfulness of a solution will be more accurate than the scales set up by the classic Danek’s questionnaire. Evidence from this study shows the effectiveness of the instructional video in forming a comprehensive concept of an insightful solution. A visual and complex image of an insightful solution with a display of its various criteria can improve the accuracy of an insightful solution detection. This study demonstrated that the assessment with the new scales is more consistent with the formal structure of the problem than the assessment made with the Danek’s questionnaire. The procedural-resultative and cognitive-affective measurements of the new scales more accurately provide differentiate insightful and non-insightful solutions. At the same time, we have found that the objective criteria of an insightfulness of the solution generally correlate with the formal structure of a problem. Monitoring the loading of executive functions while insight problem solving using a single tone paradigm Abandoning the strategy of consciously searching for a solution can be an insight mechanism. A number of studies have shown that control is important for both insightful and non-insightful tasks. From this it follows that the control has different functions. Insight occurs in several stages, at which the role of control is different. In the beginning, the task is solved as non- insightful and control is needed for intelligence. This continues until an impasse in the solution is reached. Next, intuitive processes come to the first role, and the role of control is decreasing. To study the dynamics of control, the subject performs a dual task, solving the main task (insightful or non-insightful, visual or verbal) and simultaneously reacting to sound stimuli (two levels of complexity of reactions). To study the role of control, we propose to use modally non-specific stimuli (sound signals) presented in the single tone paradigm. Twenty-five people took part in the study. No significant differences in dynamics were obtained. The probe-task was performed much more slowly from the middle stage of solving a non-insightful task to the end of the solution. The execution of the probe-task when solving the insightful task was uniform. A non-insightful task forces you to operate with voluminous intermediate data; this requires more resources of the central executor block. What determines professional plans in high school students? Sustainable professional development of the young generation is a foundation for the present, a resource for the future, and it makes a significant contribution to the economic, environmental, and social stability of our society. As never before, professional self-identity and realistic professional plans become relevant for the persistent career development of modern schoolchildren and students. The present article theoretically substantiated three factors that are fundamental for studying the psychological characteristics of the high school students’ professional plans: personality traits, conscious self-regulation, and career adaptability. The empirical study had its purpose to examine carefully the relationship between personality traits, conscious self-regulation, career adaptability, and professional plans of high school students in the Russian schools. To this end, a conceptual model of intrapersonal and regulatory predictors of the certainty and sustainability of the young people's professional plans was proposed and tested on a sample of schoolchildren in grades 9, 10, and 11 (N = 675). Methods: “Self-Regulation Profile Questionnaire, SRPQM-2020” by V.I. Morosanova, the Russian adaptation of “Career Adapt-Abilities Scale, CAAS” by M. Savikas and E. Porfeli, the Russian adaptation of the “The Big Five Inventory-2 (BFI-2)” by K. Soto and O. John, as well as the ad hoc questionnaire on the students' professional plans. The structural modeling analysis of the obtained data demonstrated that certainty and stability of the professional plans in the high school students depend on the developmental level of their career adaptability, including all career-oriented resources: concern, control, curiosity, confidence. At the same time, the conscious self-regulation of achieving goals also contributes to the certainty and sustainability of students' professional / academic plans through their career adaptability, which acts as a mediator of this influence. As for personality traits, they make an indirect contribution to the professional plans of young people, determining the development of conscious self-regulation and career adaptability. The results obtained reveal the importance of general psychological (conscious self-regulation) and professionally oriented (career adaptability) resources of students in their professional development. Everyday representations of authenticity: from childhood to youth Authenticity is a personality trait, which implies loyalty to one's true self, correspondence to the personality, spatio-temporal life circumstances, and vocation. Three main paradigms of the interpretation of authenticity are compared - person-centered, existential, and agent paradigms. To study the dynamics of everyday experience of authenticity, an exploratory study was conducted on the respondents of three ages: primary school children (7–12 years old, SDage = 1.12), adolescents (12–17 years old, SDage = 1.62), and youth (18–23 years old, SDage =0.92).Each group included 150 people and was balanced by gender. The main method was a research interview followed by a structured tabular thematic analysis. The interview included five thematic blocks covering the main manifestations of authenticity - authentic living, accepting external influence, self-alienation, behavior, and balance of social/individual. The results demonstrate the greater relevance of the existential and agent paradigms for describing the respondents’ authenticity. In all ages, authenticity was described as an initially social feature, stimulated by interaction with other people and manifested in it. The influence of other people was not considered by respondents as a source of self-alienation, regardless of age. The descriptions of authenticity become richer and more differentiated with age. In primary school children, authenticity is reflected weaker, and the state of self-alienation is recognized with difficulty. Finally, manifestations of authenticity are age-specific and closely related to the content of the developmental tasks of each of the considered stages. The results obtained can be used in further research and applied programs. Relationship between objective professional success and life satisfaction of sports coaches The article discusses the specifics of the relationship between professional success and life satisfaction by the example of sports coaches. According to research results, life satisfaction is likely to precede performance in general, including objective and subjective assessments of success. However, the feedback and mutual amplification of these parameters are possible. At the same time, adaptation to successful events in life and activity is often observed, which dulls positive emotions and mood, weakening feelings of satisfaction. The specific conditions of sports activities with periodic ups and downs of its participants also imply a constant transformation of emotional states (which creates a certain protection against adaptation). Without denying the assertion about the linear relationship between professional success and life satisfaction, a hypothesis about the possibility of the existence of a non-linear relationship between these parameters was put forward and tested. The study was carried out with the participation of 60 coaches of different levels of professional success, whose level of satisfaction with life was assessed. The results of one-way ANOVA showed significant differences in life satisfaction depending on the level of professional success of coaches (F = 6.836, p < 0.001). Evidence suggests that a high level of professional success does not always lead to a high level of life satisfaction. Probably, the results obtained confirm the negative impact of stress experienced during significant competitions by all participants, on the level of happiness and satisfaction with life. Perhaps, there is a phenomenon of adaptation to successful events in life and work. The results obtained can be useful in planning and conducting psychological counseling of coaches to improve the effectiveness of their activities; for the prevention and correction of symptoms of excessive emotional stress in sports coaches. A study of correlations between newborn children outcomes and emotional states and attachment to a fetus in women pregnant using in-vitro fertilization Children's development in the early years is significantly linked to further well-being. Among many factors involved in early development are mother’s attachment to the fetus and her emotional state during pregnancy. The current study prospectively explores mothers’ characteristics during the third trimester of pregnancy and their newborn children outcomes. The sample included 300 women with natural conception (NC) and 127 women with in-vitro fertilization (IVF), and their newborn children. For mothers, the following instruments were used: the Maternal Fetal Attachment Scale, the Clinical Scale for Self-assessment of Irritability, Depression and Anxiety. For newborns, the following parameters of newborn children outcomes were assessed: gestational period; the length and weight; the Apgar score in the first and fifth minutes after birth. All components of maternal attachment to the fetus were in the normal range for most women in both groups. All aspects of maternal attachment to the fetus were significantly greater in the IVF group. In both groups, more than 35% of women experienced depression and 43% of women experienced moderate/severe levels of anxiety. In the NC group, greater scores on giving of self and enjoying of watching tummy jiggle as the baby kicks inside were associated with less irritation in mothers. In the IVF group, the indicators of women’s attachment to their fetus were not associated with emotional states. Neither mothers’ attachment to their fetus nor their emotional states during pregnancy predicted newborn children outcomes. Children born from IVF had a statistically lower gestational period than in the NC group. Models of the Self: the potential for developing and enhancing of subjectness of Self The paper presents a distinctive experience of dialogue between two researchers that is comprised of the creative synthesis of their original concepts of subjectness of Self and ways of enhancing it. Here, the dialogical interaction of scientists is manifested not in academic controversy, but in “integrating”, or connecting, the researchers’ concepts related to a common study object and providing profound insight into this object that is unattainable outside of dialogue. The problems solved by the researchers are associated, firstly, with a new reflection on their relevant research; secondly, with the development of the scientific theory of the Self of Personality; thirdly, with substantiating the possibility of achieving “creative consistency”, or “creative partnership” in theoretical research; and, fourthly, with demonstrating the significance of scientific dialogue in psychology of personality as the art of aligning researchers’ standpoints for the benefit of human cognition. The purpose and original result of the dialogical integration of the presented concepts was deeper and more expanded knowledge about the structure of Self the Subject, about the properties of the Self that determine its subjectness, about the Unknown Self and the active attitude of the personality towards it, about self-identity of the Self and ways to achieve it, and about the self-causality of the Self and methods of its empirical research. The method of conceptual analysis and synthesis, the method of hermeneutics, and reflexive and phenomenological methods were applied for searching, operating and revealing knowledge about the Self and its subjectness. The dialogue was within the space of general personology, a trend in the study of personality that was founded by the researchers. It presupposes the unity of cultural-hermeneutic, theoretical-empirical, practical and self-positing approaches in research, counseling and psychotherapy of personality. The dialogue has resulted in the development of a new field of science, personology of Self. The paper contains the voices of both the authors and all those who have inspired their views and ideas.