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Psychological expedition to Central Asia

The original study was deducted about 45 years ago. A. Luria published his findings 1974 in his book “On the historical development of cognitive processes”. It describes the data of an experimental study of mental functions in illiterate people living in the peripheral parts of Uzbekistan and other countries in Central Asia. The study proved a significant influence of social life and literacy on the structure of logical reasoning. In the conclusion of this book Luria indicates, that his colleagues often advised him to repeat this study in 40 years, but the author did not considere it reasonable, as radical changes in cultural and educational level of Asia population must equalize the differences in cognitive processes with people from central regions. As so, the study was reanalyzed about 40 years later and it was found that Life values of endogenous peoples are more nature centered than in e.g. Russians from central regions. Nomadic and settled subgroups with the same level of education differed in some neuropsychological tests, revealing the influence of social life conditions. It confirms Luria’s idea about cultural determination of cognitive processes but also shows that life conditions are as important cultural factors as literacy. The life attitudes and values of inhabitants of Kamchatka, living in specific and difficult life conditions, differ from those in people e.g. from central regions of Russia. Namely, they realize the unique character of own culture, national values and common interests of their own ethnic group with others living at the same place.




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