Russian Federation

Irina Sirotkina and Roger Smith

in The Oxford Handbook of the History of Psychology: Global Perspectives

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780195366556
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Russian Federation

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  • History and Systems in Psychology



There are three periods of Russian history that exhibit significant elements of continuity and discontinuity: the tsarist period, the Soviet or Bolshevik period, 1917–1991, and the contemporary period of the Russian Federation. The chapter describes the origins of psychology in connection with the freedom of human life and the modernization of the country. It traces institutionalization in clinical and academic settings and the large expansion of psychological activity in the Soviet Union. It discusses the shaping framework of politics as it affected the fate of Vygotsky’s and Pavlov’s work, as well as research and occupational areas like pedology and psychotechnics. From the 1950s, there was renewed growth, diversification, and contact with Western science. In 1989–1991, withdrawal of state support resulted in some emigration of psychologists, but rapid growth of popular psychology.

Keywords: Bolshevik; institutionalization; modernization; Pavlov; pedology; popular psychology; psychotechnics; Soviet Union; Vygotsky

Article.  22755 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; History and Systems in Psychology

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