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Yuri Alexandrov
Institute of Psychology,
Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow
Svetlana Kirdina
Institute of Economics,
Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow
Vienna, WCSA, November 2012
1

Introduction

Social Mental Models: Main Types




Institutional Models (Matrices): Main Types
Systemic Methodology as a Basis for MultiDisciplinary Synthesis
Complementarity of Social Mental Models
and Institutional Mental Models
Conclusion
Vienna, WCSA, November 2012
2


Comparative studies results of two research
project in different scientific disciplines will
be presented: 1) in Psychology and
Cognitive Neuroscience (supervised by Yuri
Alexandrov); 2) in Economics and Sociology
(supervised by Svetlana Kirdina).
Systemic methodology will be used as a bases
to explain and synthesize the results of two
independent research projects.
Vienna, WCSA, November 2012
3
The notion that every nation has its own
collective mental characteristics and
social mental models, that are distinguish
them from the other nations, is “as old,
as nations themselves” (Hofstede,
McCray, 2010, p.10). Is it possible to
aggregate these variations?
Vienna, WCSA, November 2012
4
Anthropologists, and then psychologists and
neuropsychologists suggest that it is possible to
aggregate variations of individual social attitudes
and mental features in
two types
of social mental models (Holden, 1978; Tower et al.,
1997; Nisbett and others,2001; Kühnen et al. , 2001;
Nisbett, Masuda, 2003; Alexandrov, Alexandrova,
2009; Henrich et al., 2010; Buchtel, Norenzayan,
2008, 2009; Grossmann, Varnum, 2011 etc).
Vienna, WCSA, November 2012
5
Two Main Types of
Social Mental Models
Characteristics
“Dimension” of the
world
Perception of the
world
Type of decision
making
Dominating among
the population of
countries
“Non-western” type
of mentality
“Western” type of
mentality
Continuity
Discontinuity
Holistic and
interrelatedness
Analyticity and
fragmentarity
Intuitive type
Rational type
Eastern countries
and Russia
Western offshoots
and Europe
Vienna, WCSA, November 2012
6
•
As seen from the table, the social mental
models reflect particular perceptions of
the social reality that is characteristic for
the individual belonging to the given
culture, from the point of view of its
“dimension” and unity and
corresponding to this perception the way
of solving problems (decision making).
Vienna, WCSA, November 2012
7
Institutions are formal and informal
rules of social behaviour in different
spheres of the society.
• Stable sets of institutions could be
considered as institutional models, or
so called “institutional matrices” (on
Institutional Matrices Theory see:
Kirdina, 2000; 2004; 2007; 2011 etc)
•
Vienna, WCSA, November 2012
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Politics
Ideology
Structure of economic,
political and
ideological institutions
defines as an
institutional matrix
Economy
Vienna, WCSA, November 2012
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Redistributive economy
X
Y
Market economy
* Redistributive economy with the Center
* Market (exchange) economy
mediating the movement of goods and services
* Centralized political order (top-down model)
* Federative political order (bottom-up model)
* Communitarian ideology (We over Me)
* Individualistic Ideology (I over We)
Vienna, WCSA, November 2012
10
Y
Y
X
X
Russia, China, India,
most Asian, Middle Eastern,
Latin American, and
some other countries
Europe and Western
Offshoots: the USA,
Canada, Australia,
and New Zealand
Vienna, WCSA, November 2012
11
Functions of institutions
X-institutions
Y-institutions
1. Regulating access to
goods (property rights
system)
Supreme conditional
ownership
Private ownership
2. Transfer of goods
Redistribution
(accumulationcoordinationdistribution)
Exchange
(buying-selling)
3. Interactions between
economic agents
Cooperation
Competition
4. Labor system
Employed (unlimited
term) labor
Hired (short and
medium term) labor
5. Feed-back loops
(effectiveness indexes)
Cost limitation
(Х-efficiency)
Profit maximization
(Y-efficiency)
AFIT, Houston, Texas, April 2012
12
Functions of institutions
X-institutions
Y-institutions
1.Territorial administrative
organization of the state
Administrative system
(unitarity)
Federative structure
(federation)
2. Governance system
(decision making)
Vertical hierarchical
authority with Centre on
the top
Self-government and
subsidiarity
3.Type of interaction in the
order of decision making
General assembly and
the rule of unanimity
Multi-party system and
the rule of democratic
majority
4. Access to governing
positions
Appointment
Election
5. Feed-back loops
Appeals to higher levels
of hierarchical authority
Legal suits
AFIT, Houston, Texas, April 2012
13
Functions of institutions
X-institutions of
communitarian ideology
Y-institutions of
subsidiary ideology
1. Core principle of social
action
Collectivism
Individualism
2. Normative
understanding of social
structure
Egalitarianism
Stratification
3. Prevailing social values
Order
Freedom
4. Labor attitudes
Well-being-oriented
Pecuniary-oriented
5. Principles of common
thinking
GeneralizationIntegralism/Holism
SpecializationAtomization/Mereism
AFIT, Houston, Texas, April 2012
14

The material and technological environment is a
key determinant for the prevalence of either X- or
Y- matrices.
The environment can be a communal, indivisible system,
under which the removal of some elements can lead to
the disintegration of the entire system, OR
 The environment can be non-communal, that is, with
opportunities for technological division and separate
using.


In a communal environment the X-matrix
institutions are dominant and the Y-matrix
institutions are complementary. In a noncommunal environment it is the opposite.
Vienna, WCSA, November 2012
15


If “non-western” social mental model prevails
in nation-states, the institutional X-matrix
prevails accordingly.
If “western” social mental model prevails in
nation-states, the institutional Y-matrix
prevails accordingly.
Vienna, WCSA, November 2012
16


Social mental models of both types
(“non-western” and “western”) are
presented in each country population,
but one of them permanent prevails.
Institutional models (matrices) of both
types (X-matrix and Y-matrix) coexist in
each country, but one of them historically
prevails.
Vienna, WCSA, November 2012
17
Systemic approach has been used in each above mentioned
independently carried out research project:
•
Theory of functional systems and concept of
systemogenesis (Anokhin, P.K., 1963. Systemogenesis as
a General Regulator of Brain Development, Progress in
Brain Research, Vol. 9, The Developing Brain,
Amsterdam, Elsevier) in the psychological research
project .
•
System paradigm in economic theory (Kornai J., 1998.
The System Paradigm. W.D. Institute Working Papers
278 : William Davidson Institute at the University of
Michigan) and systemic approach for the analysis of
complex social phenomena (Zaslavskaya T.I., works of
1970-1980th , in Russian) in the economic and
sociological research project.
Vienna, WCSA, November 2012
18
•
•
The prevailing social attitudes (mentality), on the one
hand, and the structure of institutions, on the other
hand, are related to their rootedness in the social
consciousness and social practice. This, in turn, is due
to the mechanisms of mental and institutional
structures folding (Alexandrov Yu., Kirdina S, 2012.
Mentality, Institutions and “Effect of Increasing Returns”.
Psychology and Economics, vol. 4, № 2).
The similarity of the reproduction mechanisms of
mental models and institutions is related to the fact
that they reflect the common ways of self-organization
of living systems. Setting connections in the human
brain between neurons, as well as institutions in the
social system, are a sort of “instructions”, which
define the rules of activity and ensure the development
both mental models and institutional structures.
Vienna, WCSA, November 2012
19
Active interactions of population with the
environment are resulted in the creation and
fixing of prevailing mental and institutional
structures, which use as a means of goals’
achieving for different types of societies.
Type of environment (communal or noncommunal) could be considered as a key
factor of differentiation.
Vienna, WCSA, November 2012
20
Mentality
Institutions
Material environment
Vienna, WCSA, November 2012
21

Historical research shows that the prevalence of one or
the other type of social mental models as well as
institutional matrices has a steady character. Even if,
by virtue of external pressures or under influence of
distorted internal reasons, attempts are made to replace
one dominant social mental model or institutional
matrix with the other subordinanted one, such a
situation of outright reversal is, as a rule, short-lived
(in historical time). Attempts at systematic institutional
and mental change in Eastern Europe under influence
of the USSR or in the countries of Latin America under
pressure of the USA were vivid examples.
Vienna, WCSA, November 2012
22
70%
60%
Percentage in global GDP
50%
40%
X-GDP
30%
Y-GDP
20%
10%
0%
1820
1850 1870 1890 1910 1930 1950 1970 1990 2010
Beijing, China, October 2012
23









Александров Ю.И. Введение в системную психофизиологию //Психология XXI века / Под ред.
В.Н.Дружинина. М.: Пер Се, 2004.
Александров Ю.И., Александрова Н.Л. Комплементарность культур//От события к бытию.
Грани творчества Г.В.Иванченко. Сб.научных статей и воспоминаний.М., Изд.дом
Государственного университета Высшей школы экономики. 2010.
Александров Ю.И., Александрова Н.Л. Субъективный опыт, культура и социальные
представления. Москва: Издательство «Института психологии РАН», 2009.
Александров Ю.И., Кирдина С.Г. Типы ментальности и институциональные матрицы:
мультидисциплинарный подход. // СОЦИС, 2012. № 7.
Институциональных матриц теория. / Социологический словарь. / Отв. редакторы Г.В. Осипов,
Л.Н. Москвичев. М: ИНФРА-М, 2010.
Кирдина С.Г. Институциональные матрицы и развитие России. М: ТЕИС. 2000; 2-е изд.
Новосибирск: ИЭиОПП СО РАН, 2001.
Матрица институциональная в социологии /Социологическая энциклопедия, М: Мысль, 2003,
т. 1.
Alexandrov Yu., Kirdina S. Mentality, Institutions and “Effect of Increasing Returns”. //
Психология и экономика (Psychology and Economics). 2011. Т.4, № 2.
Kirdina S. Prospects of Liberalization for S&T Policies in Russia: Institutional Analysis //
Sociology of Science and Technology, 2010, vol. 1, № 2.
Vienna, WCSA, November 2012
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

Using a systemic approach we built the classifications
of countries by the dominated types of mentality
defined on the basis of psychological research, and
types of institutional matrices, that defined on the basis
of economic and sociological research. There are
concurring classifications.
Global challenges ask for finding an optimal balance of
predominant and alternative (or complementary) types
of institutions and types of mentality as well for
today’s nation-states.
Vienna, WCSA, November 2012
25
Thank you for
your attention!
[email protected]
[email protected]
www.kirdina.ru
Vienna, WCSA, November 2012
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