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Cultural-historical psychology (also called the school of Vygotsky, sociocultural psychology, socio-historical psychology, activity theory, cultural psychology, cultural historical activity theory, and social development theory) is a theory of psychology founded by Lev Vygotsky at the end of the 1920s and developed by his students and followers in Eastern Europe and worldwide.
Cultural-historical psychology emerged as a response to Cartesian dualism between mind and body in psychology of that time as a deliberate attempt to establish a new paradigm in psychological research that would overcome the narrow objectivism of behaviorism (Watson) and subjectivism of introspective psychology of Wundt, James, and others. It focuses on human development to make genetic claims about the function of mind in activity. These claims could be part of, or a basis for, a return to the unity of human sciences. It also emerged just when the Silver Age, or Renaissance, of the Russian culture was in decline. A major characteristic of cultural-historical psychology was its tendency to integrate knowledge about humans by drawing on various approaches and methods.
Vygotsky and his associates postulate in principle a non-adaptive character and the mechanisms of higher psychical (mental) functions development. Defining the main goal of psychological inquiry as an objective study of human consciousness, the members of Vygotsky's school investigate the role of cultural mediation and such cultural mediators as word, sign (Vygotsky), symbol, myth (Losev, V. Zinchenko) in the development of human higher psychical functions, development of personality and its 'topmost' phenomenology.
Human beings who are different in terms of cultural beliefs are also different from each other psychologically.
A basic distinguishing feature of cultural-historical psychology is that "the species-specific characteristic of human beings is their need and ability to inhabit an environment transformed by the activity of prior members of their species. Such transformations and the mechanism of the transfer of these transformations from one generation to the next are the result of the ability/proclivity of human beings to create and use artifacts - aspects of the material world that are taken up into human action as modes of coordinating with the physical and social environment." In this way, research has been done into the effects of literacy and mathematics outside of traditional schooling to understand how cognition develops embedded in a given place and time.
See also 
- Leading Activity
- Social development theory
- Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition (LCHC)
- Critical psychology
- Constructivism (learning theory)
- Zone of proximal development
- Wertsh, James, V., Rio, Pablo and Alvarez, Amelia. Sociocultural Studies of Mind (1995)
- Heine, S.J.(2008). Cultural psychology p.2.
- Cole, M. (1995). "Socio-cultural historical psychology". In Jim Wertsch et al.,. Sociocultural studies of mind. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. p. 190.
- Cole, M. & Scribner, Sylvia. (1981). The Psychology of Literacy. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
- Saxe, G. (1990) Culture and cognitive development : studies in mathematical understanding. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum Press.
External resources 
- Зинченко В. П. (1993). Культурно-историческая психология: опыт амплификации. Вопросы психологии, 1993, N 4.
- Культурно-историческая психология [Cultural-historical psychology], International psychological journal (in Russian)
- Lev Vygotsky Archive at marxists.org
- A.N. Leontev Archive at marxists.org
- A.R Luria Archive at marxists.org
- Cole, M. (1996). Cultural Psychology: a once and future discipline. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
- Wertsch, James. (1985). Mind as Action. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Antropología Sociocultural. Construccion - Deconstrucción del Aprendizaje. 
- Yasnitsky, A. (2011). Lev Vygotsky: Philologist and Defectologist, A Socio-intellectual Biography. In Pickren, W., Dewsbury, D., & Wertheimer, M. (Eds.). Portraits of Pioneers in Developmental Psychology, vol. VII.
- van der Veer, R. & Yasnitsky, A. (2011). Vygotsky in English: What Still Needs to Be Done. Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science html, pdf
- Yasnitsky, A. (2011). Vygotsky Circle as a Personal Network of Scholars: Restoring Connections Between People and Ideas. Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science, doi:10.1007/s12124-011-9168-5 pdf
- Heine, S.J. (2008). Cultural Psychology. New York:W.W.Norton.