In the early 1930s, Alexander Romanovich Luria set out with a group of fellow Russian psychologists for the steppes of central Asia. Their mission: to study the impact of the socialist revolution on an ancient Islamic cotton-growing culture and to establish guidelines for a viable Marxist psychology. The data collected among several remote groups of Uzbeks and Kirghiz supported the original hypothesis: the very structure of human cognitive processes differs according to the way in which social groups live out their various realities. For Luria, the legitimacy of treating human consciousness as a product of social history legitimized the Marxist dialectic of social development. The penetrating observations Luria drew from it, have cast new light on the workings of cognitive activity.
The late A. R.Luria was professor of Psychology, University of Moscow.