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Matyushkina A. А. Understanding the Problem Situation and its Successful Solution. Izvestiya of Saratov University. New Series. Series: Educational Acmeology. Developmental Psychology, 2018, vol. 7, iss. 1, pp. 62-67. DOI:


Understanding the Problem Situation and its Successful Solution


The goal of this research is to study the process of understanding as a form of productive thinking aimed at solving problematic situations. We demonstrated that the understanding of a meaning of a work of art, which unfolds as a dialogue between two subjects: the author and the reader/audience, can serve as a model for understanding the problematic situation. The standard for understanding is the meaning laid down by the author. The success of the solution is estimated by the degree of approximation to the standard answer and it is expressed by decision levels: from the 1st level – misunderstanding to the 4th level – an accurate, detailed understanding of the meaning. The study involved 134 students-subjects from different departments of Moscow State University named after M. V. Lomonosov, who solved problematic tasks of artistic nature. They had to understand the meaning of literary work as a whole by analyzing a single fragment – a feature film or a short story. In order to do diagnose the intellectual features of the test subjects, the following techniques were used: “Complex analogies”, “Interpretation of proverbs”, “Raven Progressive Matrices”; an experimental and diagnostic technique “Understanding the meaning of a work of art fragment”. Hypotheses: on the part of the subject the success of understanding is determined by the depth of analysis available to him in combination with the motivational and emotional resource of the solution; on the part of the object – evident obviousness of the semantic context that determines the easy way to understand semantic content. We demonstrated that on the part of the subject, the success of understanding the problematic situation is determined by the depth of thinking and the semantic potential of the individual (interest to the problem, experience similar to the problem); on the part of the object – necessary depth of analysis for its solution, given, among other things, by the genre of the work of art. At the same time, the intellectual dialogue, induced by different kinds of hints, creates opportunities for a complete understanding and success of solving the problematic situation. 


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