College of Arts and Science - where great minds meet

Valery Chirkov

Valery Chirkov

BA [Honors] Yaroslavl State University, Russia; Ph.D., Industrial Psychology, St.Petersburg State University, Russia; Ph.D, Social Psychology, University of Rochester, Roshester, NY


Office: Arts 66
Phone: 966-6529


Sample Publications:


            Chirkov, V. I. (In press). Fundamentals of research on culture and psychology: Theory and methods. New York: Routledge.

                Chirkov, V. I., Ryan, R. M., & Sheldon, K. M. (Eds.). (2010). Human autonomy in cross-cultural contexts: Perspectives on the psychology of agency, freedom, and well-being. Springer.

             Lebedeva, N.M., Chirkov, V. I., Tatarko, A. N. (2007). Culture and Health Attitudes: Russia, Canada, and China. Moscow. Russian Friendship University. 314 p. (in Russian).

Book Chapters:

            Chirkov, V., & Lebedeva, N. (2015). Culture of horizontality and personal autonomy: A humanistic approach to culture change In L. E. Harrison & E. Yasin (Eds.), Culture Matters in Russia - and Everywhere. (pp. 325 -342). Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.


            Chirkov, V. I. (2014). The universality of psychological autonomy across cultures: Arguments from developmental and social psychology. In N. Weinstein (Ed.), Human motivation and interpersonal relationships: Theory, research, and applications. (pp. 27-52). Dordrecht, NL: Springer.

            Chirkov, V. I. (2012). The motivational nature of good living: Human autonomy and why it is good for people and societies. In D. Leontiev (Ed.), Motivation, consciousness, and self-regulation (pp. 105-126). New York: Nova Science Publishers

            Chirkov, V. I., Sheldon, K. M., & Ryan, R. M. (2010). The struggle for happiness and autonomy in cultural and personal contexts: An overview. In V. I. Chirkov, R. M. Ryan & K. M. Sheldon (Eds.), Human autonomy in cultural contexts: Perspectives on the psychology of agency, freedom, and well-being (pp.1-30). Dordrecht, NL: Springer.

               Chirkov, V. I. (2010). Dialectical relationships among human autonomy, the brain, and culture. In V. I. Chirkov, R. M. Ryan & K. M. Sheldon (Eds.), Human autonomy in cross-cultural contexts: Perspectives on the psychology of agency, freedom, and well-being (pp.65-92). Springer.

           Chirkov, V. I., & Ryan, R. M. (2011). A motivational basis of eudaimonic living and well-being across nations. In M. Salama & A. D. Fave (Eds.), Positive psychology for all (pp.67-80). Cairo, Egypt. (in Arabic)

            Chirkov, V. I., Lebedeva, N. M., Molodtsova, I., & Tatarko, A. (2011). Social capital, motivational autonomy, and health behavior: A comparative study of Canadian and Russian youth. In D. Chadee & A. Kosti (Eds.), Social Psychological Dynamics (pp.211-241). Trinidad, W.I.: University of West Indies Press.

            Chirkov, V.I. (2007). Culture, personal autonomy and individualism: their relationships and implications for personal growth and well-being. In G. Zheng & K. Leung & J. G. Adair (Eds.), Perspectives and Progress in Contemporary Cross-Cultural Psychology. (pp. 247-263). Beijing, China: China Light Industry Press.

           Chirkov, V.I. (2006).  Multiculturalism and human nature: A psychological view.  In Dawn Zinga (Ed). Navigating Multiculturalism: Negotiating Change (pp.33-57).  Cambridge Scholars Press.

Selected Articles in the Refereed Journals

            Chirkov, V.I. & Knorre, B. (2015) Russian Orthodoxy and human motivation: The categories of ‘sin’, ‘humility’, and ‘obedience’ in the context of human agency and autonomy. Journal of Psychology and Christianity, 34(1), 26-39.

            Chirkov, V.I. (2011). Human psychological autonomy: Reflections on the debates about its understanding in modern psychology. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 5(9), 609-620.

            Chirkov V.I. (2009). Critical psychology of acculturation: What do we study and how do we study it, when we investigate acculturation? International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 33(2), 94-105.

             Chirkov V.I. (2009). A cross-cultural analysis of autonomy in education: A self-determination theory perspective.  Theory and Research in Education, 7(2), 253-262.

            Chirkov, V.I., Safdar, S., de Guzman, J., & Playford, K. (2008). Further examining the role motivation to study abroad plays in the adaptation of international students in Canada. International Journal for Intercultural Relations, 32, 427-440.

                 Cheah, C. S. L., & Chirkov, V.I. (2008). Parents’ personal and cultural beliefs regarding young children: A cross-cultural study of Aboriginal and Euro-Canadian mothers. Journal of Cross-cultural Psychology, 39(4), 420-423.

             Chirkov, V.I., Vansteenkiste, M., Tao, R., & Lynch, M. (2007). The role of motivation to study abroad in the adaptation of international students: A self-determination theory approach. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 31(2), 199-222.

              Chirkov, V.I., Ryan, R. M., Willness, C. (2005) Cultural context and psychological needs in Canada and Brazil: Testing a self-determination approach to internalization of cultural practices, identity, and well-being.  Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology. 3, 425-443.

              Chirkov, V.I., Ryan, R.M., Kim, Y. & Kaplan, U. (2003). Differentiating autonomy from individualism and independence: A Self-Determination Theory Perspective on Internalization of Cultural Orientations and Well- being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 8 (1), 97-110.

              Chirkov, V.I. & Ryan, R.M. (2001). Parent and teacher autonomy support in Russian and U.,S. adolescents: Common effects on well-being and academic motivation. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 32, 618-635.

                Ryan, R.M., Chirkov, V.I., Little, T.D., Sheldon, K.M., Timoshina, E.L., Deci, E.L. (1999). The American dream in Russia: Extrinsic aspirations and well-being in two cultures. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 25, 1509-152


Teaching & Supervision

I teach in several areas of psychology: 

Culture and psychology, Social psychology and methodology of its research; History and philosophy of psychology, and research methodology and design


There are three major areas of my research interests. 

First, is investigating human motivation in different setting, like academic and health domains.  I am also interetsted in studying self-determined and autonomus motivation cross-culturally;  in particular, how different sociocultural environments determine and shape these forms of motivation, how they unfold and relate to people's well-being and happiness. 

Secondly, my colleagues and I  have started a program of research in the area of psychology of safety, where such topics as culture of safety, motivation for safe and usafe behaviors, social, cultural and cognitive factors of safety engagement and injuries preventions and some others become focus of our attention and research efforts.

Thirdly,  I am interested in studying processes and mechanisms of immigrnats' acculturation in different settings and related to this topic the issue of mechanisms culture and psychology interact and mutually constitute each other. 

All these research topics are accompanied by search for new and innovative ways of conductong sociocultural psychological research.  One of these ways is a realist paradigm that my students, colleagues and I are trying to utilize in our studies.  Further philosophical and methodological elaboration of this paradigm for various forms of psychological investigation is another broad and encompasing area of my passion and devotion.