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Vestnik of Saint Petersburg University. Psychology

Former Title: Vestnik of Saint Petersburg University. Seria 16. Psychology. Education

Publisher: Saint Petersburg University

ISSN (printed version): 2658-3607

ISSN (online): 2658-6010


Published since 2011

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The Scientific and Life Path of the Outstanding Comparative Psychologist N.A. Tikh 8


Troshikhina E.G.
PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, Faculty of Psychology, Developmental and Differential Psychology Department, St.Petersburg State University, St.Petersburg, Russia

The article explores the life and scientific work of Nina Aleksandrovna Tikh (1905–1983), an outstanding Russian zoopsychologist and comparative psychologist, and professor at Leningrad (St Petersburg) State University in 1951–1975. She followed V. A.Wagner, was a student of V. M.Borovsky, and was a colleague of N. Yu. Voitonis, N. N.Ladygina-Kots, G. Z.Roginsky, and M. F.Nesturkh. She made a significant contribution to the development of comparative psychology and zoopsychology. Tikh conducted observations and experiments on animals and birds; she published about fifty works, of which four are monographs. Tikh’s main areas of interest were the origin and development of human consciousness, thinking, speech, and social behavior. Most of all, she was engaged in the least developed problem of anthropogenesis: the history of the transformation of the herd life of human ancestors into the social life of people. For sixteen years Tikh studied the prehistory of social life, observing the herd life of apes in the Sukhumi Monkey Nursery, the medical and biological station of the USSR Academy of Medical Sciences. Tikh concluded that living together in a herd would not have advantages over individual life without mutual help. The materials of these observations, their analysis, and an attempt to reconstruct the development of the hominid community from the herd life of animal human ancestors were included in the final monograph Prehistory of Society, which is a fundamental scientific work.

Keywords: comparative psychology, zoopsychology, anthropology, Sukhumi Monkey Nursery, primates, hominids

Column: History of Psychology


Received: 09.11.2021

Accepted: 20.12.2021

For Reference


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Ladygina-Kots, N.N. (1935). Chimpanzee child and human child in their instincts, emotions, games, habits, and expressive movements. Moscow, State Darwin Museum Publ. (In Russian)

Ladygina-Kots, N.N. (1960). Works of Soviet Scientists in the Field of Comparative Psychology. In: Ananyev B.G. et al. (eds). Psychological Science in the USSR. Vol. 2 (pp. 570–595). Moscow, RSFSR Academy of Pedagogical Sciences Press. (In Russian)

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Psychological Science at Saint Petersburg University: 1966–2016. To the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Faculty of Psychology (2016), ed. A.V. Shaboltas, N.V.Grishina. St Petersburg, St Petersburg University Press.

Roginsky, G.Z. (1948). Skills and beginnings of intellectual actions in anthropoids (chimpanzees) . Leningrad, Leningrad University Press. (In Russian)

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Strier, K.B. (2021). Primate Behavioral Ecology. (5th ed.). Routledge.

Tikh, N.A. (1949) Ontogeny of the behavior of apes. Formation of clinging and grasping reflexes in apes. In: Proceedings of the Sukhumi biological station of the USSR Academy of Medical Science (pp. 226–233). Moscow, USSR Academy of Medical Sciences Publ. (In Russian)

Tikh, N.A. (1950). Herd life of apes and their means of communication in the light of the problem of anthropogenesis. Abstract of Doctoral dissertation (Biology). Pavlov Institute of Physiology, Russian Academy of Sciences. Leningrad. (In Russian)

Tikh, N.A. (1966). Early ontogeny of primate behavior. Leningrad, Leningrad University Press. (In Russian)

Tikh, N.A. (1970). Prehistory of society. Leningrad, Leningrad University Press. (In Russian)

Troshikhina, Yu. G. (1978). Philontogenesis of memory function. Leningrad, Leningrad University Press. (In Russian)

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