Project «Cognitive mechanisms and discursive strategies…


In 2017, the RSUH Research and Study Center for Cognitive Programs and Technologies was granted a world-class laboratory status within the framework of the project «Cognitive mechanisms and discursive strategies for overcoming socio-cultural threats in historical dynamics: multidisciplinary research» with the support of the Russian Science Foundation.

The project is focused on the development of cognitive tools and research models for systematic analysis of socio-cultural threats as factors having a significant impact on modern society development. Unprecedented complex study of mechanisms of conceptualization and discursive representation of real and hypothetical risks (within the changes in the Russian-speakers worldview) were carried out, communicative strategies for preventing and overcoming public threats in the history of Russia were studied, and ways of responding to the present day challenges were suggested within the framework of multidisciplinary approach.

The members of the research team addressed the following questions:

  • — How to differentiate between imaginary threats and the real dangers, false alarms and alarmist moods and moral panics from situations that really require urgent intervention of society and the state;
  • — How a person and society should respond to various risks, relying on natural mechanisms of self-protection, common to all cultures, but manifested in each in its own way;

The research demonstrates close cooperation of representatives of several research fields:

  • — Psychologists and neurophysiologists performed a semantic mapping of the Russian language lexicon conceptual structures in the coordinates of the brain of Russian native speakers, and on this basis they studied the perception of threats and aggression manifestations;
  • — The representatives of cognitive linguistics revealed and described the mental and language mechanisms structuring the reactions of the Russian native speakers and representatives of the Russian culture to threatening behavior, various kinds of dangers, challenges that a person faces as an individual and as a member of a certain socio-cultural community;
  • — Philologists studied the reflection and comprehension of the most critical challenges of society in Russian literature, beginning with the classical works of Pushkin, Dostoevsky and Tolstoy, up to the Russian novels of the 21st century, nominated for prestigious literary awards and offering an artistic interpretation of the dramatic events of recent decades;
  • — Historians showed how the menaces that threaten society are reflected and interpreted in historical sources, what was the man afraid of in different epochs, and how he tried to overcome his fears and build a strategy of resistance with the help of the word.