VSU is one of the few universities in the world studying the addictive behaviour problem. The research in this sphere of psychology is conducted under the supervision of Associate Professor Olga Makushina.
The Department of General and Social Psychology is the only one in Russia that studies interpersonal dependency phenomenon. The results of their research can be implemented by the healthcare and educational services, as well as law enforcement authorities. With the current rapid growth of personal dependency on the Internet, shopping, video games, job, and other people – both in Russia and in other countries – the research into the problem is becoming more and more important.
Olga Makushina's innovative approach to the problem suggests that today's measures for preventing addictive behaviour are not effective enough. The researcher focuses mostly on the addicts themselves, their personality and their relations with the immediate environment. She has proved that our dependency on the people closest to us form a kind of "dependency shell' and results in addictive behaviour.
Olga Makushina has participated in testing the psychognostic methodology developed by the USA psychologists under the supervision of Professor Robert Bornstein, PhD (Adelphi University, NY) and adapting this methodology to the research conducted in Russia.
Today, this methodology is the only one in Russia that allows the diagnosis and study of the dependent personality. The results were presented at the meeting of The Society for Personality Assessment in Chicago in 2012. In Russia the methodology was professionally reviewed and included in the Year-book of professional reviews and overviews (Tchelyabinsk, 2010), the Methods of psychological diagnostics and measurement (2010), and the list of the most effective methods published in «Psychology of Dialogue. Psychology Dictionary» (Moscow, 2011).
– There are just a few psychology centres in Russia that have suggested a methodology that passed professional review. We are glad that the Department of General and Social Psychology is working at the cutting edge of scientific progress and collaborates actively with Russian and international colleagues. We are developing and adapting effective methods that can become a breakthrough in studying the most complex psychological phenomena, – said Karina Gaidar, Head of the Department.