Soviet Psychology: History, Theory, Content, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Soviet Psychology

History, Theory, Content, 1st Edition

By John McLeish


308 pages

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Originally published in 1975, this title sets out to show us the differences between Soviet and other ways of thinking about nature, man, and society. The basic factor distinguishing Soviet psychology is that it views phenomena from the perspective of a highly articulated body of theoretical assumptions, and rejects the inductive ‘eclecticism’ of Western psychology.

The theoretical framework within which Soviet psychology functions is the product of a distinctive socio-political and cultural development in Russia profoundly shaped by the institutions of autocracy and Orthodox religion, and the economic system of serfdom, and the radical revolt which grew up in opposition to this and advocated materialism, secularism, and atheism. This radical philosophic tradition in Russia, best represented by the writings of Chernishevski, fused with the doctrines of Marxism and the new science of behaviour developed by Sechenov and Pavlov to create the theoretical framework of Soviet psychology.

The book also analyses the discussions, controversies, and decrees which are at the root of the contemporary science of behaviour in the Soviet Union, and points to the impressive body of empirical knowledge which has arisen.

Soviet Psychology is unique in presenting Soviet psychology from an ‘inside’ point of view, and in making us appreciate the strongly theoretical stance of Soviet psychology which Professor McLeish claims is unlikely to be much influenced by the new atmosphere of détente.

Table of Contents

Preface. Introduction Part 1: The Historical Foundations 1. The Social and Political Context 2. The Origins of Russian Psychology Part 2: The Methodological Foundations 3. The Origin of Objective Psychology Part 3: The Content of Soviet Psychology 4. The Revolution and its Effects: 1917–1929 5. Influence of the Five-Year Plans: 1929–1936 6. Soviet Psychology in the Stalin Era: I (1935–1947) 7. Soviet Psychology in the Stalin Era: II (1947–1953) 8. Half a Decade of Pavlovian Psychology: 1950–1955 9. Soviet Psychology: a Survey 10. Summary: Russian Psychology and its Soviet Form 11. Comparative Perspectives: British, American, and European. Bibliography. Index.

About the Series

Psychology Revivals

Psychology Revivals is an initiative aiming to re-issue a wealth of academic works which have long been unavailable. Following the success of the Routledge Revivals programme, this time encompassing a vast range from across the Behavioural Sciences, Psychology Revivals draws upon a distinguished catalogue of imprints and authors associated with both Routledge and Psychology Press, restoring to print books by some of the most influential scholars of the last 120 years.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Europe / Russia & the Former Soviet Union
PSYCHOLOGY / Social Psychology
PSYCHOLOGY / Movements / Behaviorism