The Constructive Tension between the Real and the Ideal Portrait of Scientists: Romanian Scientists' Self-images during Communism

By Cătălin Mamali.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies

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The present study deals with the tension between the real self-portrait and the ideal portrait in the case of scientists and will try to determine its relation with a number of factors such as the: structure of motivation, extrinsic versus intrinsic; intensity of motivation, calculated by the three infrastructural dimensions of each motivational factor either of intrinsic or extrinsic type—valence, expectancy, instrumentality redefined in terms of locus of control or agency; work satisfaction; formal status within the research system; and field of research (exact sciences—mathematics, physics, chemistry, engineering and technological sciences, social sciences, biological sciences). 30 bipolar traits used in Mitroff’s study on Apollo moon scientists were applied to a representative sample of Romanian scientists in a longitudinal study carried out during the communist regime, in order to determine how they perceive their self-portrait and the portrait of the ideal scientist. The study identifies the main types of traits (cognitive orientation, intellectual traits, moral traits, attitudes toward self-other relationships, political orientation) that are marked by the smaller distance between the ideal scientist and the self-portrait. The findings suggest that the representations of the self-portrait of the researchers who work in more formalized scientific areas are closer to their representations of the ideal scientist than the representations of the researchers who work in less formalized scientific areas.

Keywords: Real Self-portrait, Ideal Portrait, Motivational Strength and Quality, Distance between Ideal and Real Portrait

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp.99-127. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 643.094KB).

Dr. Cătălin Mamali

Teaching, Department of Psychology, Loras College, Dubuque, Iowa, USA

Cătălin Mamali received his Ph.D. from the University of Bucharest in 1976. He has published research on motivation, interpersonal cognitive behavior, interpersonal relationships within totalitarian societies, interrogative orientations of scientists, the interface diary-correspondence, and on participative methods. He has published also a few books such as: Interknowledge (1974); Motivational Balance and Coevolution (1981); The Gandhian Mode of Becoming (1998). He received a Fulbright scholarship 1990-1991 when he worked at the Department of Communication Studies, University of Iowa with Steve Duck. Since 1992, he joined, as an independent scholar, the Project of Rhetoric of Inquiry. He taught at Mount Mercy College, Loras College, University of Madison at Platteville-WI. Presently, he teaches at NICC-IA. He participated in various cross-cultural studies initiated, among others, by Johan Galtung, by John Harvey, by Otto Klineberg, by J. Botkin, M.Elmandjra, & Mircea Malizta within the Rome Club, and most recently in a study initiated by Shalom Schwartz, Gian Vitorrio Caprara and Michele Vecchione.