DOI: 10.17689/psy-2015.1.5


УДК 159.923


The Psychological Health of Russian Students


© 2015 Ershova Regina Viacheslavovna *, Varchenko Nataliya Nikolaevna **, Gankin Konstantin Aleksandrovich ***, Semina Tatyana Maksimovna ****, Omelchanko Elena Valerievna *****, Erofeeva Maria Aleksandrovna *******


*PhD in Psychology, Professor, Head of the Chair of Psychology Moscow State Regional Institute of Humanity and Social Sciences (Kolomna),


**Project Manager, Head of Representative Office "Sambon Precision and Electronics" (Republic of Korea) in Moscow (Moscow),


***Chief Programmer of the Representative Office "Sambon Precision and Electronics" (Republic of Korea) in Moscow (Moscow),


****postgraduate Moscow State Regional Institute of Humanity and Social Sciences (Kolomna),


*****Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology Moscow State Regional Institute of Humanity and Social Sciences (Kolomna),


******Ph.D. assistant professor, Head of the Chair of Social Pedagogy Moscow State Regional Institute of Humanity and Social Sciences (Kolomna), 



Annotation.  The new concept of teacher education in Russia is intended to change the system of teacher training. Unfortunately, it is not based on knowledge of the psychological characteristics of today's students. In 2013-2015, we studied cognitive abilities, psycho-emotional portrait, psychosocial characteristics and psychophysical condition of students of teacher training institution of higher education. 466 students took part in our research: 331 females, 135 males. Pupillometry demonstrated that about 13 % of students had intensive, and 11,04% acute pathological fatigue, thus, a fifth of the surveyed needed rest and recovery. 17% of students showed the residual effects of resource loss. About 11-14% of the students had excessive, pathological neuroticism, anxiety, emotional impulsivity and extraversion. The attention switching exceeded the age norm by one third. 13, 95% showed extremely fast switching, high distractibility, inability to concentrate on one thing, reduced ability to memorize and remember the information. The results can be connected with phenomena of digital dementia which means a deterioration in cognitive abilities caused by over-use of smart phones and game devices that hampers the balanced development of the brain. The results of study show the actual need of psychological support of the education process in higher educational institutions.

Keywords: psychological health; attention; working memory; cognitive control; digital dementia, internet-addiction, pupillometry.


Психологическое здоровье российских студентов

© 2015 Ершова Регина Вячеславовна*, Варченко Наталия Николаевна**, Ганькин Константин Александрович***, Семина Татьяна Максимовна****, Омельчанко Елена Валерьевна*****, Мария Александровна Ерофеева******

* доктор психологических наук, заведующая кафедрой психологии Московский государственный областной социально-гуманитарный институт (Коломна),

**Руководитель проекта, Глава Представительства ОАО "Самбон Пресижн энд Электроникс" (Республика Корея) в Москве (Москва),

***главный программист Представительства ОАО "Самбон Пресижн энд Электроникс" (Республика Корея) в Москве (Москва)

****аспирант кафедры психологии Московский государственный областной социально-гуманитарный институт (Коломна),

*****кандидат психологических наук, доцент кафедры психологии Московский государственный областной социально-гуманитарный институт (Коломна),

******кандидат педагогических наук, доцент,  заведующая кафедрой социальной педагогики Московский государственный областной социально-гуманитарный институт (Коломна),


Аннотация: Новая концепция педагогического образования в России призвана поменять систему подготовки учителей. К сожалению, она не опирается на знания о психологических особенностях современных студентов. В 2013-2015 г. нами было проведено исследование когнитивных способностей, психоэмоциональных особенностей, психофизического состояния, психосоциальных характеристик студентов педагогического вуза. Было обследовано 466 человек от 17 до 25 лет: 331 девушка, 135 юношей. У 12,9% обнаружен высокий нейротизм, истеричность, Безудержность реакции, снижение контроля было отмечено у 13, 73% испытуемых. Показатели переключаемости студентов на 1/3 выше возрастной нормы. 13,95% имеют крайне быструю переключаемость - что свидетельствует о повышенной отвлекаемости, неспособности сосредоточиться, сниженных возможностях к запоминанию и сохранению информации. Полученные результаты могут быть проявлением «цифрового слабоумия» - нарушением когнитивных способностей, связанным с чрезмерным использованием смартфонов, игровых приставок и других цифровых устройств, и приводящим к нарушению в развитии мозга. Результаты исследования свидетельствуют о необходимости организации психологического сопровождения процесса обучения в вузе.

Ключевые слова: психологическое здоровье; внимание; оперативная память; когнитивный контроль; цифровое слабоумие; интернет-зависимость; пупиллометрия.


Since the collapse of the USSR, the Russian educational system has been in a situation of protracted reform, which is called modernization last years. In fairness, we have to notice that a similar process has a global  scale today. One of the reasons might be the fact that modern society exists on the crest of the third (post-industrial or informational) wave of changes, which is associated with too many changes in too short period of time, according to the remarks of the sociologist and futurologist Elvin Toffler [Toffler, 2002]. Obviously education must play a huge role in  society`s process of adaptation to change. We are talking about a new philosophy of education, the "education programs oriented to changes" or "preparing people for the future." Unfortunately, we have a lot of problems in this area which are caused by imbalance between the rate of changing of the environment and the limited speed of human response. A key figure in education was and still is a teacher. Teachers are responsible for training and educating the man of the Future, who will be capable to live in the information world according to its laws.

The problem of the quality of teacher’s training is the most discussed at all levels of social hierarchy today. The claims about future teachers are numerous: they do not master the methods of teaching, they know little about their own subject, they can not work with children who have 'special' educational needs. The question of so-called "double negative selection" is vigorously debated: according to opinion polls, 80% of the students have admitted that they enter teacher training faculties for the sake of getting a diploma of higher education. After the graduation only those, who cannot find a more suitable place of work, return the school. It is not possible to change this situation immediately. Any reorganization, modernization or development require time, material and intellectual costs.

The Ministry of Education and Science has prepared a project "Concept of supporting the development of teacher education", which aims to change the entire system of teacher training.

Professionals managers are well aware that this change is necessary to undertake, but it`s known that the results of every change are directly related to the knowledge of peculiarities of the people they have to work with. In our case we talk about students (the future teachers), responsible of the future of our country.

 There is enough knowledge about the psychological characteristics of the kids. The complex changes in contemporary Childhood confront teachers, psychologists, educators and parents with a number of challenges [Feldshtein, 2011, p. 45-54].  The students` psychology   has been studied much less.

In the 80s in scientific literature, a new term «a digital native» appeared.   The term was proposed by Mark Prensky to name the children who had been born in the digital era and would not be able to ( could not) imagine their life without digital media and communication. [Ershova, 2014 ].

Computers and the Internet have now become familiar learning tools, sources of information, entertainment and communication.

In our country there is increasing implementation of information technology in the educational process: interactive whiteboards, multimedia presentations and distance learning  these are seen as instruments that improve the training activities and development of the child,  who are surrounded by digital gadgets not only in school, but also at home.

Since September 2016 only the textbook which have free downloadable electronic copy may be used in schools in the Russian Federation.

Meanwhile, in 2007, South Korean psychologists have found cognitive and emotional disorders in children and adolescents in their country that have been called «digital dementia». Note that South Korea – is a country which previously embarked on the path of digitization. Today, 83.8% of South Koreans have access to the Internet, 73% of Koreans have a smartphone (in the US - 56.4%, in Russia - 36.2%) [Spitzer, 2014]. At the beginning of March 2015, all news agencies released the news story about how the 12-year-old American twice tried to poison his mother because she didn’t let him use his smartphone.

Digital dementia in children and adolescents is manifested in the following ways: as an attention disorder of (instability, high mobility, inability to concentrate), memory impairment, low cognitive control, depression. Moreover there are changes in the brain similar to those that occur after traumatic brain injury or early senile dementia. Experts explain the reason for such disturbance with the early interaction with digital technologies and new learning format, does not imply a deep analysis of information processing and memorizing material [Spitzer, 2014; Brod, 1984].

In 2012, we invited a group of first-year students (56 people) to participate in a study. They had to abandon the usage of computer, mobile phone, TV for a week. During this time they had to keep diaries twice a day (in the morning and in the evening) to measure their emotional state using the Personal Feeling Scales (of Wessman- Ricks). 24 students (16 girls and 8 boys) agreed to participate in survey, but 15 students declared its withdrew from the survey after 1 or 2 days of participation. The remaining nine participants (6 girls and 3 boys) - asked to complete the survey in 5 days instead of the original seven days. A steady decline of activity and mood by the 4th-5th day were observed in 3 students. 2 students had used their telephone once; two others could not give up watching TV and have increased watching TV time by 13% versus the usual time. On average, the students have increased their reading time by 11% and communication with friends by 13%. Two participants noted that they had slept more. All students agreed that five days without digital devices was extremely difficult.

In 2013-2015, the Company conducted a comprehensive survey to study computer addiction and some aspects of mental health (status) of students. It was attended by 466 volunteers, whose average age was 19.7 years: 331 were girl and 135 were boys [Ershova et al., 2014]. Computer addiction was studied by Russian version of the questionnaire Chen (Chen Internet Addiction Scale (CIAS) in adaptation KA Feklisova, VL Malygina) [Maligin et al., 2011]. The questionnaire allows parallel measurement of specific symptoms of addiction, among which are: tolerance, withdrawal symptom, compulsion and psychological aspects of addiction: the ability to manage personal time and the presence of intrapersonal problems.

Cognitive, psycho-emotional features, psychophysical condition and psychosocial characteristics were performed with the usage of pupillometry «SSaS» («Sambon Stress and Soul»), developed by the South Korean company «Sambon Precision and Electronics Co., LTD», That allows the determination of the physiological and psychological characteristics of the subject for the reaction of the pupil to light flash.

It is known that the pupillography method (registration and analysis of a pupillary reflex - pupil reaction for light stimulus) allows us to find dependence of an examinee`s physical conditions and characteristics of his/her vegetative nervous system’s activity, i.e. common reactivity, speed of reaction, overall stamina, restoration ability of an organism after load [Minoru Nakayama et al., 2004].

Pupillography testing consists of:

-       synchronous video registration of pupil reactions for supraliminal light stimulus (flash more bright than minimal for photoreaction) of both eyes;

-       automatic processing of eye images and pupillogram building;

-       computing of pupillographic parameters;

-       interpretation of results. 

Pupillograms are registered three times during the test. First and second registrations are made with a light stimulus of 3 LUX intensity and a 10 ms duration (it is weak flash). Third light stimulus has an intensity of 145 LUX and a duration of 30ms (strong flash). The duration of each registration is two and a half second (2,5).  The flash is set off simultaneously for both eyes. Pupillogram’s registration of both eyes is done synchronously with an accuracy of no more than 200 microseconds. The overall time of the procedure is about 3 minutes.

The method of "SSaS" is based on the analysis of three basic phases of pupillary reaction (fig.1):

1. Latent period: the time between the moment of the light stimulation and the start of the pupil constriction.

2. The phase of pupil constriction, reflects the condition of the parasympathetic nervous system,

3. The restoration phase reflects the condition of the sympathetic nervous system.