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Comparative Study
. 2012;47(1):76-87.
doi: 10.1080/00207594.2011.614618. Epub 2011 Oct 5.

Coverage of Russian Psychological Contributions in American Psychology Textbooks

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Comparative Study

Coverage of Russian Psychological Contributions in American Psychology Textbooks

Maria Aleksandrova-Howell et al. Int J Psychol. .

Abstract

Internationalizing psychology is an important component of current globalization trends. American textbooks on the history of psychology and introductory psychology were surveyed for the presence of historical and contemporary important Russian psychologists to assess the current status of Russian-American crossfertilization. Of a list of 97 important Russian psychologists, as determined by the editors of the Russian journal Methodology and History in Psychology, less than 22% are mentioned in the reviewed texts. The most common names were Pavlov, Luria, and Vygotsky. As the internet is arguably the single most important factor affecting the increase of international communication and dissemination of knowledge, we also searched for these 97 names on various websites, most notably Wikipedia and Google. Forty-one internet sites contained some amount of biographical information about Russian psychologists. On Wikipedia, 14 Russian psychologists had articles documenting biographical information. We also developed a rubric to determine the amount of information available on the internet for these psychologists and compared Wikipedia's mean score with various other websites. Wikipedia pages on average had a significantly higher score than the rest of the internet. Recommendations to improve Russian coverage in America are provided and include: (1) developing pages on Wikipedia and other virtual venues highlighting Russian contributions, (2) soliciting articles for US journals from Russian psychologists, and (3) incorporating Russian contributions in introductory and historical textbooks. We provide a partial bibliography of Russian contributions that can be used by authors of such textbooks. We would like to thank Dr Viktor Fedorovich Petrenko and Dr Igor Nikolaevich Karitsky from the journal Methodology and History of Psychology for supplying the names of the Russian psychologists. We would also like to express our appreciation to Robert García for reviewing and editing an earlier version of this manuscript.

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