Newsletter 2004
Russian Culture and Belief

     For as long as I can remember I have always had a passion for psychology and a fascination with pursuing a career in pediatric clinical therapy. This year Psychology professor Dr. Jeff Rudski invited me to combine my interests in psychology and Russian by participating in his research into the superstitious beliefs held by different cultures. My first task was to translate several surveys into Russian. Our primary survey was the Suinn-Lew Asian Self Identity Acculturation Scale which rates the participant’s acculturation to the American lifestyle. The second survey asked individuals to rate their personal acceptance of certain superstitious such as the belief that a black cat or the number 13 is bad luck. The third survey asked participants to rate how culturally prevalent these superstitious beliefs are. The last part of the preparation for the study involved having a demographic questionnaire so that we could find a demographically similar American population to serve as our comparison group. The completed packet was then distributed among the members of the local Russian community and we are currently in the process of examining the collected data.
     As my studies at Muhlenberg College come to a close, I am getting ready to pursue a higher level of education in psychology as I apply for graduate programs in clinical psychology. Now, in my last semester at Muhlenberg College, I can objectively examine the role that my combination of Psychology and Russian Studies majors has played to make me the person that I am today and enhance my future career as a clinical psychologist.

--Zoya Feldman ’04