University of Oulu

A.A. Sozinov, S. Laukka, A.I. Lyashchenko, A. Siipo, M. Nopanen, T. Tuominen, Yu. I. Alexandrov, Greater learning transfer effect for avoidance of loss than for achievement of gain in Finnish and Russian schoolchildren, Heliyon, Volume 6, Issue 6, 2020, e04158, ISSN 2405-8440,

Greater learning transfer effect for avoidance of loss than for achievement of gain in Finnish and Russian schoolchildren

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Author: Sozinov, A. A.1,2; Laukka, S.3; Lyashchenko, A. I.2,4;
Organizations: 1V.B. Shvyrkov Lab. Neural Bases of Mind, Institute of Psychology RAS, Moscow, Russia
2Faculty of Psychology, State Academic University for the Humanities, Moscow, Russia
3Learning Research Lab., Department of Education, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
4D.V. Ryabinkin's School #1392, Moscow, Russia
5Department of Psychology, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia
6Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-09-10


Classification of behavior into principal categories of approach and avoidance is grounded in evolutionary considerations and multiple results of behavioral, self-report, and brain-activity analyses. Contrasted via measures of cognitive processes, avoidance is accompanied by greater cognitive engagement than approach. Considering outcome as a key constituent of behavioral underpinnings, we interpret approach/avoidance distinction in terms of structure of experience: avoidance domain provides more detailed interaction with the environment, than approach domain. Learning outwardly similar behaviors aimed at gain or loss outcomes manifests formation of different structures that underlie further learning. Therefore, we predicted difference of learning transfer between gain and loss contexts that was revealed here by introducing two tasks for different groups of schoolchildren in Finland and Russia. The cultural specificity of gain/loss differences was also evident with employed measures, including error rate and post-error slowing. The results support that avoidance-motivated behavior is organized as a more complex organism-environment interaction, than the approach-motivated behavior.

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Series: Heliyon
ISSN: 2405-8440
ISSN-E: 2405-8440
ISSN-L: 2405-8440
Volume: 6
Issue: 6
Article number: e04158
DOI: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2020.e04158
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 516 Educational sciences
Funding: Consecutive parts of the study, including planning and organization of the research in Finland and Russia, data analysis and preparation of the article, have been supported by Center for International Mobility (Finland), the Russian Science Foundation (project #14-28-00229), Russian Ministry of Science and Higher Education (Institute of Psychology, RAS) project #0159-2020-0001, and contract with the Foundation for the New Forms of Education Development #RUOM1019.
Copyright information: © 2020 Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (