Psychology in Russia

This field activity will involve a bus trip from the ship to the campus of St. Petersburg State University (SPSU), for a tour of campus facilities, including lunch at some point, and then the bus back to the ship for an on-ship debriefing.  It is anticipated that we will be able to visit with students and staff in the Psychology department, formally or informally.

 Cognitive processing takes place an on underlying foundation of simple learning processes that early Russian psychologists explored, in particular Pavlov and Bekhterev, who had connections with this university (SPSU).  In modern terms, learning and cognition research has been heavily dominated by American scholars, so in visiting SPSU we will be acknowledging the historic roots of much of early learning research, enriching our understanding of higher mental processes.

The visit also allows us to sample the atmosphere of a different type of university, a somewhat different approach to higher education.  St. Petersburg State University is highly regarded, typically second only to Moscow State University, arguably Russia’s oldest, and its Law School has produced many members of Russia’s contemporary political elite (e.g., Putin and Medvedev).   St. Petersburg also has connections with many great Russian writers and musicians.