Psychology. Journal of Higher School of Economics, 2018 (1) http://psy-journal.hse.ru en-us Copyright 2018 Mon, 02 Apr 2018 16:27:59 +0300 Editorial https://psy-journal.hse.ru/en/2018-15-1/217800957.html THE DECISION-TAKING PERSONALITY: INTELLIGENCE, TOLERANCE OF UNCERTAINTY, MOTIVATION, AND SELF-AWARENESSForewordThis series of theoretical and empirical research presents modern approaches to the study of the regulatory role of intelligence in decision-making and shows its connection to structures of various levels in the personality domain. The results obtained by the authors question a number of well-established theoretical interpretational schemes. In particular, this refers to the understanding of the framing effect as a purely cognitive phenomenon, the regulation of choice strategies in conditions of uncertainty at the level of visceral feedback components, the association of the intellectual and motivational scales.The authors share the general idea of the unity of intellect and affect, which does not negate the idea of the multi-level multiple regulation of decisions and actions of a person. The following should be considered when developing these ideas. In decision-making in each situation different processes come forward and take a leading role. In the research aspect, the rationale for the relevant key role of the intellectual or personal components should mean that they are identified as predictors or at least as significantly related to the performance indicators of decision-making (or performance efficiency).In order for the decision-making process to be successful, forecasting is the essential component, or rather a number of processes that enable the prognostic activity of a person. Possible consequences of the choice alternatives are assessed through these processes, which also includes the problems of the “possible in thinking” and the possibilities for personal identity. It is challenging to implement in one research such an integrated approach that would cover all possible aspects of the choice strategies regulation. The presented research is certainly analytical. However, it is aimed at correlating the representation of cognitive and personal aspects in the integral regulation of decision-making and the success of activity.In the paper by T.V. Kornilova, M.A. Chumakova and S.A. Kornilov Intellect and the success of forecasting strategies in the implementation of the Iowa test (IGT) the regulative role of intelligence is analyzed by comparing two approaches to understanding human prognostic activity. The first approach is presented in A. Damasio’s hypothesis of “somatic markers” (Damasio et al., 1996), which has been verified many times in the Iowa Gambling Task. This approach assumes that in decision-making the primary role belongs to the feedback from individual experience that records the experiences of success (or failure) of choices in the hypothetical “somatic markers”. The researcher used subjective experiences (“something lurched inside”, etc.) in the model to postulate the regulatory role of the emotional domain. It has been repeatedly confirmed in the evidence of distorted prediction strategies in patients with various nosology characterized by an emotional imbalance. However, there has been very few studies conducted on the IGT material with norm groups.The authors found that the approach, which results in the generalization of the disturbed mechanisms of prognostic activity regulation as the basic principles of activity regulation in the case of norm, should be considered wrong. In addition, consciousness can be considered as the upper level of activity regulation (in the concept of A. N. Leontiev), in particular, with the idea of the image of the world as a guiding amodal formation that can be directed by a person to address the stimulation and that is relies on systems of meanings. The authors suggested a different (a second) hypothetical understanding, according to which the somatic bases of feedback be considered the sole sources of human cognitive activity in uncertain conditions. The person’s anticipating prognostic activity is guided by the development of an image of the situation. It includes cognitive reference points and is directed by the level of intelligence no less than by the hypothetical somatic markers. This was demonstrated by revealing the connection between the intelligence indicators (crystallized and fluid intelligence were measured) and the success in IGT. “Verbal Intelligence” was a predictor of change in various indicators of the strategies used by the participants at different stages of the game. Without abandoning the idea of the role of hidden emotional components, the authors showed that “general intelligence” and “verbal intelligence” (at different stages of the game) were key factors in the decision-making success requiring the identification of hidden patterns in a dynamic uncertain situation.The formation of anticipations includes their objective content and the guiding role of the image of the world. At the same time, the dynamic regulation of decisions under uncertainty and risk prompts diagnostic problems (in terms of which processes reached the leading level of regulation). Thus, theoretical concepts require a transition to higher-level conceptions of prognostic activity, irreducible to the visceral feedback components.In the study conducted by T. V. Kornilova and S. G. Kerimova Characteristics of personal prerequisites for decision-making (based on the framing effect), susceptibility to the framing effect (viewed in cognitive psychology from the perspective of “mind traps” and in the context of correlating the work of cognitive System 1 and System 2 (D. Kahneman et al.)) is presented in a new context: in terms of associations with personal characteristics reflecting a person’s attitude toward uncertainty and individual differences in decision-making. In this study the problem of interaction between the cognitive and personal domains is discussed by comparing two vocational samples (doctors and university lecturers). The prognostic activity is necessarily entwined in the diagnostic process conducted by doctors. Although, the reliance on fundamental knowledge does not exclude the specifics of the individual regulation in decision-making. Amos Tversky in the Harvard study showed that doctors could be prone to the framing effect. But in A. Tversky’s and D. Kahneman’s “prospective theory” research, personal regulation of cognitive phenomena (be it the framing effect or other distortions of decision-making under uncertain conditions) was not studied. On the contrary, according to the concept of the unified functioning of a person’s intellectual and personal potentialand the dynamic hierarchization of regulatory systems, which include the multilevel processes of psychological mediation (Kornilova, 2016), the framing effect should not be considered a purely cognitive phenomenon. Personal qualities, which reflect the person’s attitude to uncertainty, are not only tested by one or more scales in questionnaires, but also fulfill their regulatory role acting as predictors of choice or when structured into latent personal decision-making profiles (Kornilova, 2013).In the study by Kornilova and Kerimova, samples of Azerbaijani doctors and teachers demonstrated, firstly, a more frequent manifestation of framing in the group of doctors, and secondly, the connections of personality traits measured by the Personal Factors of Decision Making and the Melbourne decision-making questionnaire with the criterion of professional affiliation and exposure to the framing effect. The links between risk readiness and rationality with susceptibility (or lack thereof) to the framing effect are more typical for the rational and discursive System 2, rather than the fast and intuitive System 1, and this suggests a greater involvement of the former in the framing effect.The paper by M.S. Zirenko Implicit theories of intelligence and personality: correlations with intelligence, motivation and personality traits based on the measurements of the corresponding variables in students demonstrated the way implicit theories (IT) (which reflect the beliefs about the stability or variability of cognitive and personal characteristics of a person) are engaged in the regulation of their educational activities. Dweck’s division into “constant” and “incremental” ITs is considered for the first time in reference to Russian students in a complex analysis of relationships with motivational and personal factors. The measurements of intelligence were carried out by M. Zirenko on the basis of the ICAR test (the same test was used by the authors of the first research paper, establishing the correlations with the IGT strategies). However, the purpose of the research was to clarify the association of IT to stable structures: cognitive (intelligence) and personal (the Big Five traits, deep motivation, measured by the Edward’s questionnaire). While the correlations between intelligence and the IT of the “Developing (incremental) intelligence” and the “Developing (enriching) personality” were established for students earlier in a number of foreign and Russian studies (Kornilova et al., 2010), the association with the motivation in the questionnaire (which, like TAT, measures motives understood as “sociogenic needs” (in G. Murray’s classification)) was for the first time analyzed differentially for persons of different gender. From the point of view of the specifics of Russian students’ choices, a new fact was established in that both men and women understood intelligence independently of their levels of academic intelligence, fluid and crystallized intelligence. Another established fact was that the measured parameters of intelligence were significantly associated with personal traits: Conscientiousness (for men and women), Openness to experience (for women) and Motivation for self-knowledge (for men). The Developing personality IT of a person found a negative correlation with Verbal Intelligence in women. The correlations of the measured variables of the intellectual and personal potential with the Self-evaluation of learning and GPA achievements are also presented.The study by Yu. V. Krasavtseva using a sample of mid-level managers demonstrated the correlations of three personal properties of the Dark Triad (subclinical Narcissism, subclinical Psychopathy and Machiavellianism) to Tolerance of Uncertainty and direct self-assessments of intelligence and personality.In earlier works in collaboration with M A. Novikova it was shown that, firstly, the significant correlations were found between academic intelligence and self-assessed intelligence (SAI), which corresponds to the results of Western research. Secondly, the means of structural modeling showed the mediating role of the Intellectual I-concept that connects the latent variables of Intelligence and Adapting to uncertainty and risk is demonstrated in students’ samples (Kornilova, Novikova, 2011). Yu. V. Krasavtseva for the first time tested in her study (on a sample of Russian managers) the hypotheses of SAI associated with direct self-assessments of personality (according to a similar procedure for SAP – self-assessed personality) and with Attitude toward uncertainty in persons who clearly show in their professional activities the stages of decision-making (management activities). The appeal to the properties of the Dark Triad was due to the fact that there were pending questions about the expression of these properties in managers and their relationship with Tolerance-Intolerance to Uncertainty in the personal profiles of the managers. The fact that managers with high Tolerance to Uncertainty rated their intelligence (according to SAI) and their personalities (according to SAP) higher, was considered in favor of the hypothesis about the productive role of a positive attitude toward uncertainty in the personal profiles of managers. The analysis of the interrelationships of these variables with the the Dark Triad traits reinforces the understanding of the level of self-awareness of personalityas playing a major role in the structuring of personal and cognitive components.The article by E. M. Pavlova that completes the issue is aimed at revealing the correlations of Self-Assessment of Creativity to the measurable Creativity, Self-Assessed Intelligence and a person’s attitude to uncertainty. With regard to Self-Assessment of Creativity a procedure similar to the one proposed by Furnham for SAI was used. Structural modeling was used to reveal significant correlations between the latent variables of Creativity, Integral Self-Assessment of Creativity and Intelligence and Adoption of Uncertainty and Risk. The regulative function of the self-awareness of the individual is reconstructed on the basis of a discussion of the data obtained after testing samples of top professionals in creative activities (composers, writers and film directors) and students. It was shown that in psychology students, the self-assessment of creativity is primarily based on accepting uncertainty, whereas the fulfilled representatives of creative professions build their self-assessments on objective results (the productivity of their creative performance).In general, the proposed series of papers gives an idea of the correlation between intelligence and deep motivation in the functioning of the unified intellectual and personal potential of a person, of their combination in self-consciousness at the level of implicit theories and self-assessments of the possibility for the development of intelligence and personality. The research shows the way direct self-assessments of intelligence and creativity are related to each other and to creativity, the way these variables are related to the a person’s attitude to uncertainty and the way the measured multilevel properties are represented in the establishment of decision-making strategies. The results of these studies provide an opportunity for a theoretical rethinking of a number of well-established views on the regulative role of intelligence, attitudes toward uncertainty, and the self-awareness of an individual who makes decisions in conditions of uncertainty and risk (be it an experimental model or real life situations of educational and professional activities, including creative performance).T. V. Kornilova Intelligence and Successful Prognostic Strategies in Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) https://psy-journal.hse.ru/en/2018-15-1/217801240.html Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) is frequently used as a convenient model for studying processes of decision making and prognosis. Clinical studies generally provide support for Damasio’s “somatic markers” hypothesis. Many studies stress out the leading role of emotional components of IGT performance regulation in comparison with intellectual components. In our study the verbal, fluid and general intelligence were measured on a sample of adult subjects (n = 116) from the non-clinical group. Using linear regression, we showed that intelligence was a significant predictor of the successful decision making in IGT, in particular in three last blocks. Verbal IQ also became a positive predictor of the preferences of "good" decks (in block 4). However, intelligence did not significantly predict success in the earliest stage of the game, when the game was the most undefined and cognitive markers haven’t been revealed yet. Thus obtained results reflect the dynamics of decision-making components and changing in the intelligence impact in decision-making regulation. Higher intelligence provides more accurate cognitive representations of the task, choices of correct decks and as a result gaining more money in the task. We conclude by noting that the emotional influences and regulation predicted by the somatic marker hypothesis probably have the leading role at the earliest stages of decision making under uncertainty, where prognostic activity is not yet defined through cognitive markers. Uncertainty reduction related to the formation of game strategies through the large number of trials allows cognitive factors of adaptation and orienting in probabilistic environment take the leading role in decision-making regulation in IGT. Specifics of Personal Prerequisites of Decision-Making Process (Based on the Framing Effect)  in Doctors and Teachers Sample Groups https://psy-journal.hse.ru/en/2018-15-1/217801800.html The article reports on the study of framing susceptibility and personality profiles in medical workers whose occupation is tightly interwoven with decision making related to danger to health, as compared to teachers whose decision making is not related to health. Two groups of Azerbaijani medical doctors and teachers participated in the study. Framing susceptibility was measured with Kahneman’s “Asian Disease Problem” task. We compared personality profiles of doctors and teachers who did and did not show susceptibility to framing, using a set of behavioral measures indexing attitude towards uncertainty and risk and decision making strategies. Specifically, we used the Melbourne Decision Making Questionnaire, Budner’s Tolerance of Ambiguity Scale, and Personality Factors of Decision Making (LFR-21) questionnaires, all validated previously on Azerbaijani samples. The results indicated that doctors were more susceptible to framing than teachers. At the same time, professional group differences were established for personality variables – tolerance for uncertainty was markedly lower in doctors compared to teachers and was linked in to rationality in doctors (in teachers, it was linked to intolerance to uncertainty). Doctors also demonstrated higher avoidance in decision making. In the overall sample, framing susceptibility was associated with vigilance, hypergivilance, and rationality. The study lays a foundation for viewing framing effect not as a cognitive bias phenomenon but as a personality-mediated individually-differentiating characteristic of decision making. Implicit Theories of Intelligence and Personality: Relations to Intelligence, Motivation and Personality https://psy-journal.hse.ru/en/2018-15-1/217802819.html Implicit theories (IT) reflect core beliefs about malleability of cognitive and personality human attributes. IT participate in the interpretation of the social world, regulate behaviors (through goal setting, adjustments after failures, learning strategies, etc.), and are valid predictors of achievement (Dweck, 2006). Nevertheless, little is known about the IT’s relationship to the components of the intellectual and personality human potential. The purpose of this research is to examine the extent to which IT are related to cognitive (intelligence) and personality (Big-Five personality traits, motivation) structures. A sample of 307 students completed the intelligence test (ICAR), the Ten-Item Personality Inventory and the Edwards Personal Preference Schedule; additionally, GPA was obtained for 49 students. Results demonstrate similar as well as distinctive correlations between the measurements in men and women. In particular, in both men and women, malleable intelligence beliefs do not depend on intelligence level, fluid or crystallized, but are largely related to personality characteristics: conscientiousness (in both men and women), openness to experience (in women), and intraception motivation (in men). Malleability of personality beliefs correlates negatively with crystallized intelligence (only in women). Mastery goal orientation in both men and women is related to openness; academic achievement is predicted by conscientiousness. The results are discussed from the perspective of the integrated intellectual and personality potential. The Relationship between Self-Assessed Intelligence and Self-Assessed Personality, Tolerance of Uncertainty and the Dark Triad Traits in Managers https://psy-journal.hse.ru/en/2018-15-1/217803236.html In this study we present the empirical results on the evaluation of relationships between three personality traits — subclinical narcissism, subclinical psychopathy and Machiavellianism, — collaboratively known as the Dark Triad, with tolerance of uncertainty and direct self-assessments of intelligence and personality. A group of Russian adults in managerial positions were tested: we measured levels of personality features via questionnaires and asked participants to estimate their IQ scores using a normal distribution graph, and, in a similar manner, to evaluate the location for their personality on a polar graph of “bad” and “good” in two conditions: (1) at the moment and (2) if circumstances were different. We found that the higher managers rated their intelligence, the “better” they estimated their personalities to be. Also, tolerant to uncertainty managers considered their IQ to be higher and their personalities, both at the moment and if circumstances were to change, to be “better”. Finally, managers with higher levels of narcissism and Machiavellianism rated their intelligence and personality higher, while those with lower levels of subclinical psychopathy tended to assume that their personality could be “better” under different circumstances. Cognitive and personality components of self-regulation and self-awareness may be regarded as a complex and multi-dimensional area for further research, as, among other factors, self-assessment serves as a direct and indirect association between the widely regarded positive personality features (tolerance of uncertainty) and the Dark Triad traits.  Model of Connections between Self-Esteem of Creativity and Intelligence, Tolerance of Uncertainty and Creativity https://psy-journal.hse.ru/en/2018-15-1/217803502.html Relation between self-esteem and creativity (as a cognitive ability) highlights the regulative function of the self-awareness. Self-esteems of different kinds and different generality function in interaction with other components of intellectual and personal potential of a person, and they take leading role in psychological regulation of person’s productive activity. Tolerance for uncertainty and intuition are such components, and they are connected to the productive choice and other types of novelties. In this paper we describe a study of creativity (as a result of subject’s creative behavior assessed by experts), its self-assessment, intuitive style, and tolerance for uncertainty among creative professionals (writers, composers, and directors, n = 53) and control group of psychology students (n = 593). With correlation analysis, we show that psychologists base their self-esteem on acceptance of uncertainty, whereas creative professionals orient toward the objective results of their creative activity. Using the confirmatory factor analysis we verify structural model of Creativity, integral Self-esteem of creativity and intelligence and Acceptance of uncertainty and risk. The positive connection of integral Self-esteem with Creativity and Acceptance of uncertainty and risk was shown as well as the negative connection between Creativity and Acceptance of uncertainty and risk. According to the results, unlike self-esteemed intelligence, integral self-esteem is connected both to acceptance of uncertainty and success in creative activity. Kinaesthesia and Sources of Information on Movements Imagined from 1-st or 3-d Person Perspective in Cross-Country Skiers with Various Level of Expertise https://psy-journal.hse.ru/en/2018-15-1/217804239.html The present article is dedicated to the study of an imagery perspective as a form of mental image with a set of distinct properties in terms of its use in sports. In addition to kinesthetic modality, which is traditionally viewed by sports psychologists as such a property, we have studied the use of different modes of imagined movement appraisal at various levels of sports expertise. The sample consisted of 54 ski racers in maximum possible range of ranking. The subjects imagined their own performance of V1 skating technique successively concentrating on 8 elements, which had been taken as a basis for 11 imagination task items. Each imagination task was accompanied by filling in the specially constructed report form, which collected data on imagery perspective and kinesthetic modality as well as on modes of imagined movements control, differentiated by modality (visual/ non-visual) and appraisal criterion (movement structure/ result). Sport expertise was determined based on expert assessment of technical merit of 7 V1 skating elements used as a part of the imagination task and number of cycles in two 100-meter roller-ski skating trials, one of which had been conducted in the dual-task settings. Groups of the subjects were formed according to their prepotent imagery perspective, as well as to their level of expertise, by means of cluster analysis. Corresponding distributions within the groups formed on the basis of the prepotent perspective showed that intensity of kinesthesia is higher in cases of the prepotent perspective, whereas increased frequency of use of visual and non-visual control modes is associated with third- and first-person imagery perspective, respectively. Distribution of modes of control on expertise is consistent with already known laws for real movements confirming equivalence of underlying processes in action and mental image. The Patterns of the First-Graders’ Noncognitive Development at the Very Beginning of Their School Life https://psy-journal.hse.ru/en/2018-15-1/217804686.html Socio-emotional and personal development of a child is one of the key factors that determine the success of the educational process at its early stages. How successful the first steps of a child in his/her first year at school will be is certainly associated with the level of his/her personal, social and emotional development (Merrel, Bailey, 2008). The understanding of the characteristics of the socio-emotional development and identification of its typical patterns may allow teachers to build educational process more efficiently, and students will be more effective and productive. Socio-emotional development is a kind of basis for the education of the junior schoolchildren (Bradley et al., 2001). In the present paper we make an attempt to describe the main patterns of social emotional and personal development of a child in the beginning of the first year at school on the basis of the results of a large-scale study of the first-graders of the Russian schools. In the paper the instruments are presented, which were developed on the material of a large empirical project IPIPS (The International Performance Indicators in Primary Schools). The research was performed on a large sample (N=1218) in the Republic of Tatarstan. In the result the stable patterns of development were identified, characteristic for the Russian first-grader in the beginning of study at school. The acquired results may become the important instrument for individualization of education and self-assessment of a teacher and a school as a whole at the important stage of beginning of education.  Person’s Cognitive Flexibility: Theory, Measurement, and Practice https://psy-journal.hse.ru/en/2018-15-1/217805118.html 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. Emotional Contagion and Music https://psy-journal.hse.ru/en/2018-15-1/217805575.html The present article compares alternative theories of communication of emotions from music to listener in a non-cognitive way by means of emotional contagion. According to the main proponent of attentional model, S. Davies, the emotion expressed in music is the object of listener’s attention and it is recognized by her as the cause of her emotional state, generated by music. Crucial to Davies’ account is the notion that the listener does not hold emotion-relevant belief about music which is not the intentional object of her emotion. By contrast to this, advocates of simulation model (J. Robinson, T. Cochrane) argue that in case of emotional contagion music functions as a stimulus by activating motor and other physiological systems. Emotional contagion, which is based on motor mimicry, occurs automatically; emotion recognition is not its necessary precondition, but, according to Robinson, it can even become the impediment, blocking or lowering the effect of contagion. As the analysis of arguments onboth sides based on the findings of the newest studies in (musical) psychology and neuropsychology has shown, the discovery of mirror neurons, which are viewed today as a key factor in the phenomenon of imitation, provides supportfor the simulation model: mirror neurons are activated both during the specific action and its observation. The article also emphasizes such advantages of this model as parsimony and scope. The most serious objection to the supporters of the simulation model is about the lack of connection between the  recipient’s emotion and its source: the emotion, contained in music, directly produces physiological activation, which is transformed into emotion as a result of a listener marking his/her state according to the context. Stating that the supporters of the attentional model and their opponents operate by different concepts of emotions, the author concludes that for the resolution of their dispute it is needed to elaborate the criteria of evaluation and comparison of both approaches, which would be able to claim for consensus.  Spatial Autocorrelation of Educational Attainment in the Russian Federation https://psy-journal.hse.ru/en/2018-15-1/217805818.html Spatial autocorrelation is a measure of the degree in which objects, situated in a close proximity, have a tendency for similar values of a given index. Since recently psychology started to study spatial autocorrelation of national IQ (mean intelligence in a country). The article presents the results of the calculation of spatial autocorrelation of educational attainment (calculated from a mean score of the Unified National Exam of young people, who made it into a college for a budget education in 2014), as well as crime, birthrate, infant mortality, urbanization, net migration and personal income for 75 regions (subjects) of the Russian Federation. These results showed that, though all the mentioned indices are characterized by the spatial autocorrelation, its value varies. Low spatial autocorrelation has net migration, which is probably due to the fact that even a slight difference in life conditions between neighbor regions may promote intensive migration from the region with the worse conditions to the regions with better conditions, including the neighboring one. Low spatial autocorrelation of personal income can be explained by the fact that in the Russian Federation personal income in the region to a great extent is determined by oil and gas production, while mineral deposits are hardly characterized by the spatial autocorrelation on the level of such territorial units as subjects of the Russian Federation. Spatial autocorrelation of educational attainment is probably lessened by the fact that the scores were received by averaging the scores of the Unified National Exam for all specialties of all universities of the region without the consideration of possible differences of regions in prestige value of specialties and number of budget places in universities. Role of Beta and Gamma Oscillations in Working Memory Functions https://psy-journal.hse.ru/en/2018-15-1/217806148.html Working memory, the brain’s ability to retain information that is not directly present in the sensory systems, underlies many higher cognitive functions. The putative neurobiological basis of working memory is the self-sustained spiking activity of neurons in the associative regions of the cortex. In addition to the firing rates, collective oscillatory activity of neural ensembles in various frequency ranges is modulated during working memory tasks. In this review, we discuss the existing experimental evidence for the possible roles of beta and gamma oscillations in implementation of working memory functions. We specifically focus on the role of these oscillations in the different phases of the experimental tasks; in particular during the presentation of the to-be-memorized stimuli and during retention of the stimuli in the working memory. We demonstrate that the various studies provide a converging evidence toward the role of the prefrontal gamma oscillations in stimulus encoding and for the prefrontal beta oscillations in working memory retention. We also discuss the reviewed data in a more general framework that implies specific roles for the beta and gamma oscillations in the organization of neural activity. The framework suggests that gamma oscillations are related to the bottom-up propagation of information, as well as to changing the states of the neuronal populations. At the same time, the beta oscillation are presumably related to top-down influences and to maintaining the status quo. Finally, we discuss the main problems of proving the causal roles for prefrontal beta and gamma oscillations in stimulus encoding and retention, as well as lacunea in our understanding of the mechanisms via which beta oscillations influence the activity of the working memory networks. We discuss the potential role of experiments with invasive and non-invasive cortical stimulation, as well as the role of computational modeling of the neural activity in solving  the aforementioned difficulties.