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RE: [xmca] empirical evidence (Kohlberg et al., 1968 testing Vygotsky)

I think both Flavell and Kohlberg worked rather on their own, and while
interested in private speech neither was particularly involved with
Vygotsky. It was Bruner and Shep White who included Th and L into the
Harvard undergraduate cognitive course, I believe. My first exposure to
Vygotsky was on advice from Bruner who knew of my interest in language and
cognition. It was not a very popular topic in the early sixties.

-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu] On
Behalf Of Anton Yasnitsky
Sent: Sunday, June 24, 2012 6:52 PM
To: Anton Yasnitsky; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity; eXtended Mind,
Culture, Activity
Subject: Re: [xmca] empirical evidence (Kohlberg et al., 1968 testing

P.S. Correction: as of the time of publication of his 1968 paper Kohlberg
was indicated as affiliated with University of Chicago.

However, he is reported to have joined Harvard the same year, i.e. in 1968.
Which does demonstrate certain affinity between K. and

some of the Harvard gang, although possibly slightly undermines the argument
that he got firsthand knowledge of Vygotsky's texts through Vygotskian

lobby at Harvard. For what it's worth...


 From: Anton Yasnitsky <the_yasya@yahoo.com>
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu> 
Sent: Sunday, June 24, 2012 8:38:29 PM
Subject: Re: [xmca] empirical evidence (Kohlberg et al., 1968 testing
Just a comment on Kohlberg testing Vygotsky in mid-1960s. The study in
question is --

Kohlberg, L., Yaeger, J., & Hjertholm, E. (1968). Private speech: Four
studies and a review of theories. Child Development, 39, 691-736

Google Scholar citation count -- 261 as of now:

Kohlberg et al. addressed the controversy between Piaget and, on the other
hand Vygotsky-Luria as it emerged in the presentation of the 

latter at the IX International Congress of Psychology. The references to the
two Soviet authors mentioned in the Kohlberg et al. paper are:

* Vygotsky, L. Thought and language. Cambridge, Mass.: M.I.T. Press, 1962. 
* Vygotsky, L., & Luria, A. The function and fate of egocentric speech.
Proceedings of the Ninth International Congress of Psychology [New Haven,
Conn., 1929]. Princeton: Psychological Review Co., 1930.
* Luria, A. R. The role of speech in the regulation of normal and abnormal
behavior. New York: Liveright, 1961.

For Vygotsky, Kohlberg, of Harvard, certainly would not need mediation of
Flavell: the book had come out in 1962, and was orchestrated by the bunch of
guys at Harvard, 
which clearly was a stronghold of Vygotsky's admirers back then, i.e. in
1960s and 1970s. 

Generally, from historical perspective this looks like a very interesting
study that deserves serious consideration from scholars interested in the
history of the dissemination 
of Soviet/Vygotsky's psychological ideas. Thanks, Francine, for very
interesting reference.


From: Martin Packer <packer@duq.edu>
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu> 
Sent: Sunday, June 24, 2012 4:51:35 PM
Subject: Re: [xmca] empirical evidence

I've been following up on some of Francine's leads, reading Furster's book
on-line, together his 2001 article on the prefrontal cortex, reading which
has fit nicely with my plan to catch up on the literature about X-system and
C-system in social neuroscience, and systems 1 and 2 in cognitive science. A
couple of observations...

First, I have some sympathy with Anton's view that the lower/higher
functions distinction can be an overly simple dichotomy, and that LSV was in
the process of at least revising it, and perhaps replacing it, when he died.
But if so it is ironic that right now several areas of psychology are in the
middle of a grand exploration of "dual systems" - of automatic and
controlled psychological processes, with different neural substrates - and
LSV's work has, as Francine points out, some direct relevance there. One
might argue that we should hold onto LSV's terminology at least long enough
to engage those researchers in a debate that both we and they could learn

Second, I am starting to think that a decade or more of brain research has
led, seemingly paradoxically, to a greater appreciation of the role of
culture in psychological functioning and development, rather than to more
biological reductionism. Reflecting on the kinds of things that have been
found by brain researchers that implicate culture, this is my list so far -
I am sure more can be added: Plasticity, at the cost of innate capability;
extended course of synaptogenesis and myelination; the importance of
functional units, integrated assemblies, networked and hierarchical; brain
development requires adequate stimulation, provided by adults, directly and
by creating the environment; limbic structures have social & familiar
functions; frontal cortex depends on both lower cortical regions and
external structuring; brain changes associated with tool use.

What else have we learned about the brain that implies the centrality of
culture? And what other empirical evidence do we have? And I will start to
work around to the self-directed speech literature that Francine has pointed
to. (How was it that Kohlberg was testing LSV in 1968?? Was it Flavell's


On Jun 24, 2012, at 10:04 AM, larry smolucha wrote:

> Message from Francine:
> Martin,
> Another book that has is excellent review of the research literature on
private speech isPrivate Speech: From Social Interaction to Self-Regulation
Diaz & Berk Eds. 1992.Chapter 5 is my contribution to that book based on my
dissertation (1991) at the U. of Chicago(Chapter 5  titled Social Origins of
Private speech in Pretend Play, pp 123-143).
> Laura Berk (Illinois State University) authored some excellent research
documentingthe emergence of private speech (in Appalacian whites) and its
beneficial role for hyperactive individuals.And, there is also the earlier
Kohlberg, et. a. study of private speech published in 1968.
> My dissertation played a pivotal role in changing the pretend play
paradigm because it providedincontestable empirical evidence of how mothers
show toddlers (age 14 to 28 months) how to use objectsubstitutions during
pretend play (and then gradually diminish their supportive role.)The field
of pretend play research in the USA had been dominated by the Piagetian
paradigm. A detailed review of the pretend play research literature,,
documenting the shift from Piagetian to Vygotskian perspectives is found in
Smolucha & Smolucha Social Origins of Mind: Post-Piagetian Perspectives on
Pretend Play in Multiple perspectives on play in Early Childhood (Saracho &
Spodek Eds.) 1998, pp.34-58. 
> David Wood's (University of Nottingham) research on how mother's scaffold
a construction task with blocksis also excellent (book titled How Children
Learn). And there is Jim Wertsch's early study on the development ofprivate
speech and its self-guiding role during puzzle assembly.
>> Subject: Re: [xmca] empirical evidence
>> From: packer@duq.edu
>> Date: Sat, 23 Jun 2012 22:22:34 -0500
>> To: xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
>> Thanks, Francine. These are very helpful suggestions.
>> Martin
>> On Jun 23, 2012, at 7:12 PM, larry smolucha wrote:
>>> Message from Francine regarding Martin's question about citing the
strongestempirical evidence that deliberate and conscious systems require
cultural mediation:
>>> Once again, I mention the substantial research literature on verbal
regulation ofpsychological functions and its relation to the maturation of
the prefrontal cortices. The research literature on how the verbal guidance
of a more knowledgeable personis internalized as private self-guiding
speech, and then as silent inner speech, hasbeen supported by developmental
neuroscience on the maturation of theprefrontal cortices. 
>>> See Smoluchas 2012 publication Vygotsky's Theory of Creativity:
Figurative Thinking Allied with Literal Thinking -p. 66 cites a recent
review of the research literature on private speech by Winsler et. al.
(2009) Private SpeechExecutive Functioning, and the Development of Verbal
Self Regulation and p. 81 cites Joaquin Fuster's bookThe Prefrontal Cortex
which even contains a discussion of Vygotsky-Luria's model of
self-regulatory inner speechas it relates to the creative imagination and
the distinct maturation of the left and right prefrontal cortices. Note: the
left and right prefrontal cortices do not communication directly to one
another and have been shownto have different executive functions. My 2012
paper also cites Adele Diamond's neuroscience research on the
self-regulatory benefits of verbally guided pretend play in the Tools of the
Mind curriculum (Bodrova & Leong).But then none of this is Activity Theory.
>>> Is there a prevalent bias among Activity Theory proponents to disregard
substantial empirical research supportingVygotsky's traditional
concepts?When I was presenting at the ISCRAT conference in 2002 in
Amsterdam, there was a session on play -the moderator made the uninformed
claim that Vygotsky's theory of play had been overlooked by researchers.On
the contrary, there already was an extensive research literature on
Vygotsky's theory of play - but it was from the traditionalVygotsky theory
not Activity Theory. Never-the-less, that traditional view of Vygotsky's
theory of play had madeVygotsky's theory one of the most influential
theories in preschool education (based on substantial empirical evidence
ofculturally mediated play activities.)
>>>> From: packer@duq.edu
>>>> Date: Sat, 23 Jun 2012 16:26:07 -0500
>>>> To: xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
>>>> Subject: [xmca] empirical evidence
>>>> We had about 5 topics swirling around together over the past few days,
and I hope the discussions continue. But somewhere in the middle I sent the
message copied below, which seems not to have arrived on the XMCA server.
Someone recently asked me what evidence I have that culture makes a
difference to human psychological functioning, and I want to pass the
question along. What do each of you consider to be the best evidence we have
that culture is constitutive of psychology?
>>>> Martin
>>>> Here's what I sent two days ago:
>>>> What would people say is the strongest empirical evidence we have that
LSV was correct in his claim that the HPFs, deliberate and conscious
systems, require cultural mediation?
>>>> Martin
>>>> On Jun 21, 2012, at 8:42 AM, Peter Smagorinsky wrote:
>>>>> Thanks Anton. I'm working from Smolucha's translation and accompanying
commentary, so perhaps am not so much looking for additional proof, but
rather trying to grasp the claim as made and illustrated in her article on
>>>>> But then, perhaps that's too limiting. I must wonder about my own
reading of LSV if I've missed all the different versions of higher mental
processes. It's possible that I seized on the first notion I could
understand--that higher mental processes are those specific to a culture,
and thus those that embody cultural concepts so that they guide
activity--and interpreted the others in light of that schema. 
>>>>> I see creativity as being a capability through which such concepts may
be developed, within existing channels and contours. But--and I hope I'm not
repeating myself excessively--creativity itself seems more the engine of
development than the product of development. Particular sorts of creativity
seem cultural, if national art forms are taken as examples (Dutch painters
chose topics, styles, and forms quite different from those that occupied
French impressionists or Magdalenian cave wall artists). But creativity
itself doesn't strike me as the cultural framework through which these
genres of expression were produced, but rather a "lower" psychological
process that is widely shared rather than culturally specific.
>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>> From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu]
On Behalf Of Anton Yasnitsky
>>>>> Sent: Thursday, June 21, 2012 9:06 AM
>>>>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>>>> Subject: Re: [xmca] Smolucha - pronunciation/genealogy
>>>>> Like I said, I am under the impression that Vygotsky's expression
"higher psychological [mental] functions" for Vygotsky means so many things
(although in different texts authored in different periods of his life) that
it is bordering on total meaninglessness. Therefore, rephrasing our
character, "everything can be ... higher mental function", no problem with
that :)
>>>>> Thus, if I may reformulate the question, we are looking for the
textual proof that Vygotsky did refer to creativity as higher
mental/psychological function, right, Peter?
>>>>> AY
>>>>> P.S.
>>>>> By the way, speaking of mental/psychological, here is a funny thing:
despite his virtually boundless flexibility in many respects, Vygotsky NEVER
used the word "mental" (literally: psychic, psychical -- psikhicheskie) when
he referred to functions, but only "psychological". Later on, this phrase
was pretty consistently "corrected" by his devoted best students in many
--but not all--of his posthumous publications of  Soviet period. Curious
detail, isn't it? A recent study that has been done back in Germany
demonstrates this mysterious peculiarity of Vygotsky's discourse of his
lifetime period as opposed to his posthumous publications, and will be
published shortly in several international languages in PsyAnima, Dubna
Psychological Journal ( http://www.psyanima.ru/journal/2011/4/index.php ).
>>>>> ________________________________
>>>>> From: Peter Smagorinsky <smago@uga.edu>
>>>>> To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
>>>>> Sent: Thursday, June 21, 2012 6:23:57 AM
>>>>> Subject: RE: [xmca] Smolucha - pronunciation/genealogy
>>>>> In any case, in service of the scholarly discussion, I'm genuinely
puzzled by the idea that creativity is a higher mental function, and would
appreciate further clarity to that provided by Anton. Thx,p
>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>> From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu]
On Behalf Of Peter Smagorinsky
>>>>> Sent: Thursday, June 21, 2012 6:20 AM
>>>>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>>>> Subject: RE: [xmca] Smolucha - pronunciation/genealogy
>>>>> My apologies to Francine if my mnemonic sounded snide--I was going
from the pronunciation guide on the article that I had scanned, and I have
no idea of who put it there. With a name like Smagorinsky (which also might
be an Ellis Island adjustment), making fun of people's names is not usually
part of my approach. I'm glad to have the correction. Peter
>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>> From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu]
On Behalf Of larry smolucha
>>>>> Sent: Wednesday, June 20, 2012 9:22 PM
>>>>> To: xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
>>>>> Subject: [xmca] Smolucha - pronunciation/genealogy
>>>>> Message from Francine Smolucha:
>>>>> I have been a member of XMCA for several years - anyone could
haveasked me how to pronounce my last name.
>>>>> I not surprised that the discussion of the work my husband and I have
donebegins with a snide comment about our last name.Growing up in Chicago as
a Polish-American, other ethnic groupswould often make fun of your last
name, and tell insulting Polish jokes abouthow stupid Poles are. Polish
immigrants often had their last names Americanizedby immigration officials
at Ellis Island. In order for other ethnic groups to be able topronounce,
and spell a Polish last name, Poles would typically use an easy English
>>>>> My husband's family would usually say Smo-lou-ka.Some family members
would say Smo-lou-cha.The proper Polish pronunciation is Smo-whoo-ha
(Smolucha has an umlaut over the u).The Smolucha family 'Y' chromosome is
Scandinavian (Vikings who settled Eastern Europecirca 800 A.D.) - we had the
National Geographic Society's Genoanthropology project do aDNA analysis.
>>>>> When I married into the Smolucha family, I chose to use my married
name out of respect formy husband's family. By the way, my maiden name is
Polish too.
>>>>> As I have been working on my new paper titled "A Vygotskian Theory of
Cultural Synergy andCultural Creativity", my conversation with a
Latin-American colleague required that I debunksome popular misconceptions
about 'white ethnics.' So I retell the story here:
>>>>> My own family is 'Celtic' Polish in origin (the Krakov area was
settled by Celts, Vienna was originally a Celtic village). The European
Celts disappeared from history. Poland itself did not existfor over 150
years (from approximately 1760 until 1918) - while it was divided among
Prussia(then Germany), Austria, and Russia. [The Palestinian loss of
statehood is not unique in history.]One of my great grandmothers ran an
illegal underground school in her farmhouse near Vilna where she taught
children how to read and write the Polish language. The Czar had
orderedanyone doing so to be shot. Her son (my grandfather) had to be
smuggled out of St. Petersburgon a cattle ship bound for Canada after the
aborted 1905 Russia revolution - he was a memberof a student group being
hunted down by the Czar's orders. Back in Krakov, my other grandfatherwas
serving in Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph's 'Polish' cavalry (Austrian
occupied Poland beingrenamed Galactia) - 
grandpa's wife was Spanish Hapsburg.
>>>>> My parents, both first generation Americans, did not attend high
school, instead my Dad worked in the Chicago Stock Yards as a teenager (you
might recall Upton Sinclair's book The Jungle.)My mom was a factory girl.
They grew up in that famous Chicago ghetto known as Back-of-the-Yards.Five
months after they were married, Pearl Harbor was attacked -  my Dad served
in the Army fieldartlllery, doing four beachheads in the South Pacific
(Aleutians, Kwajelian, Philippines, & Okinawa).His unit would have landed in
the first wave in the Invasion of Japan - which was cancelled whenJapan
surrendered after the atomic bombs were dropped. Mom spent the war years
building fighterplanes in a defense plant - yes, Rosie the Riveter.
>>>>> We come from a family heritage of people who think for themselves and
are honor bound to do theright thing.
>>>>> If anyone is interested in discussing the Vygotsky Theory of
Creativity that we have been publishing in thelast 27 years, I welcome the
scholarly discourse. In addition to my 1992 Reconstruction of
Vygotsky'sTheory of Creativity, you might read our 2012 publication
Vygotsky's Theory of Creativity: Figurative thinking Allied withLiteral
Thinking [in Contemporary Perspectives on Research in Creativity in Early
Childhood Education}.
>>>>>                        __________________________________________
>>>>> _____
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