Department of Political Science and International Relations, HSE in St. Petersburg in association with the Ronald F. Inglehart Laboratory for Comparative Social Research and the International Political Science Association (IPSA) are continuing to accept applications for the 4th instalment of the IPSA–HSE Summer School for Methods of Political & Social Research. The School will be held online from August 9 to August 22, 2021.
Ronald Inglehart, the founding father of the Laboratory for Comparative Social Research, passed away on May 8th. Despite a serious illness, he worked until the last days of his life: last December, his book Religion's Sudden Decline was published by Oxford University Press, and in recent months he has been working on a new monograph on China. The death of the world-famous scientist was responded by the World Values Survey Association (WVSA), the World Association for Public Opinion Research (WAPOR), the International Political Science Association (IPSA), the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR), the University of Michigan, as well as many other organizations, associations and a huge number of colleagues around the world. The words of memory and recollections about Inglehart were also published by his colleagues from the LCSR, which has recently been named after him.
In the memory of Ronald Inglehart
In Russia, 2021 was declared the Year of Science and Technology. HSE has always paid special attention to the development of science, and more than 40 international laboratories have played an important role in the development of the university as a world research centre. One of the University’s first such laboratories was theRonald F. Inglehart Laboratory for Comparative Social Research (LCSR), named after its academic supervisor at the time, American sociologist and political scientist Ronald Inglehart. HSE News Service spoke with LCSR Laboratory Head and professor of sociology Eduard Ponarin (HSE – St. Petersburg) about the Laboratory’s work over the past decade.
Violetta Korsunova, Junior Research Fellow at LCSR, has received a PhD in Sociology. Congratualtions!
The World Values Survey Association has announced the first release of the brand-new World Values Survey dataset. Fieldwork for this 7th wave was conducted from mid-2017 to early-2020. This includes 78 countries and societies on all inhabited continents around the globe.
Types of childfree and how society contributes to this trend
Why egalitarian values don’t catch on in post-Soviet countries
The Laboratory for Comparative Social Research of the National Research University Higher School of Economics announces a call for the 10th LCSR International Workshop, which will be held within the XXI April International Academic Conference on Economic and Social Development. It will take place in Moscow from the 6th till 10th of April 2019. The deadline was extended. The last day to submit your paper is December 29, 2019.
Co-playing, or playing video games together, is a social practice that enriches relationships and game experience by providing the players with informational and social support. This study explores how co-playing integrates into friendship in two small (6–7 people), male communities of adolescent and adult friends. Both communities are local and school-based; both focus on co-playing Dota 2. The study focuses on the leadership in these small networks, compares their co-playing patterns, and the ways in which co-playing affects the relationships in both communities, enhancing their bonding social capital. We apply network analysis and personal interviews to compare and contrast how the co-playing communities emerged, are maintained and evolve along with the friendship. The main conclusion is that such co-playing communities emerge around a single Dota 2 enthusiast in the early secondary school as a common pastime, but co-playing video games increases bonding social capital among the community members. Network analysis demonstrates the differences in leadership in the teen and adult communities. The research shows how video games are embedded in collective everyday friendship and how co-playing communities function in support of such a relationship. The findings could be further tested against female and mixed co-playing communities.
How are candidates without official party affiliation able to succeed in authoritarian elections? We analyzed 1,101 independents who took part in city council elections in Russia’s regional capitals between 2014 and 2018. We found that independent candidates’ electoral fortunes depended both on their personal resources enabling them to attract voters’ support and pre-electoral deals with the regime. We also discovered that the chances of being elected were higher for those formally independent candidates who were the regime’s hidden representatives. For the latter group, the chances to win the race were boosted mostly by pre-electoral deals, rather than their personal resources.
Moral self-evaluation can be an important predictor of social behavior, personal attitudes and quality of life. It also allows exploring the construction, maintenance, and protection mechanisms of the moral self-scheme as a special type of social identity. Within this study, in a two-stage experiment, the authors develop and test several tools for measuring moral self-evaluation: idiographic and conventional versions of the Moral Constructs Scale based on the repertory grid technique. Both versions were found to be significantly related to Moral Self-Approval Subscale, as well as to theoretically relevant constructs (general self-esteem, life satisfaction, moral emotions of guilt and shame), which serves as evidence in favor of their validity. However, the relationship patterns indicate that there may be different types or components of moral self-evaluation. The authors note the multicomponent nature of both versions of the Moral Constructs Scale, reflecting their greater sensitivity in comparison to other scales measuring moral identity and self-esteem. Some possible directions for future research using the proposed tools are discussed in conclusions.
The recent work has shown that historical family structure is of great importance because it affects institutional development and wealth today. In our paper using data from the Russian empire we look at the predictors of historical family type. Our analysis is based on the Russian census from 1897 and census like materials as well as on different global geographical databases. In total the collected dataset contains 829 observations at the district level. We show that extended families were more widespread in areas 1) with better agricultural conditions where agriculture is the prevalent type of economy 2)where the level of insecurity and threat is higher 3) populated by ethnicities with strong group identity that tend to protect their integrity from strangers. Indeed, land ownership, population density and religion revealed to be insignificant.
Any country in order to stay afloat sooner or later is forced to undertake large-scale internal reforms in various policy areas. However, structural reforms often bear adverse consequences for the population. As the studies of the US and European states show, one of the most crucial negative consequences is the decrease in mass support for the government that has initiated the reform. The latter manifests itself in a drop of approval ratings, trust in government, propensity to vote for the incumbent at the forthcoming elections. Such a decrease may lead to decreased legitimacy of the political power, thereby destabilizing the current political system. Is it possible to strike the balance between the necessity of reform and upholding trust on the society’s behalf? Can a government carry out painful reforms without provoking hatred? What conditions facilitate such balance? Although the factors of mass support play the central role in nowadays’ political science, the answers to the questions mentioned above remain unanswered. This article examines different options available to governments in order to preserve their mass support and legitimacy when conducting unpopular reforms, with a special emphasis on media framing. Using various theoretical sources and the recent literature on political support in Russia, it identifies various factors that may facilitate the use of the latter option in the Russian context.
Beginning with the historic racial desegregation in the United States, and spreading to other parts of the world, policy makers, guided by the findings of social scientists (e.g., Allport, 1954), have advocated for increased intergroup contact (e.g., in schools and neighborhoods) as the key to prejudice reduction and increased social cohesion. Recent work on the ‘irony of harmony’ effect ( Saguy, Tausch, Dovidio, & Pratto, 2009), however, suggests that intergroup contact can undermine disadvantaged group’s support for social change toward greater equality (e.g., Çakal, Hewstone, Schwär, & Heath, 2011; Dixon, Durrheim, & Tredoux, 2007). Using a large and heterogeneous dataset (N = 12,997 individuals from 69 countries), we demonstrate that intergroup contact and support for social change toward greater equality are positively associated among members of advantaged groups (ethnic majorities and cis-heterosexuals), but negatively associated among disadvantaged groups (ethnic minorities and sexual and gender minorities), supporting the ‘irony of harmony’ effect. Specification curve analysis revealed important variation in the size—and at times, direction—of correlations, depending on how contact and support for social change were measured. This allowed us to identify one type of support for change, willingness to work in solidarity for social change, that is positively associated with intergroup contact among both advantaged- and disadvantaged-group members.
There is ample evidence that morphological and social cues in a human face provide signals of human personality and behaviour. Previous studies have discovered associations between the features of artificial composite facial images and attributions of personality traits by human experts. We present new findings demonstrating the statistically significant prediction of a wider set of personality features (all the Big Five personality traits) for both men and women using real-life static facial images. Volunteer participants (N = 12,447) provided their face photographs (31,367 images) and completed a self-report measure of the Big Five traits. We trained a cascade of artificial neural networks (ANNs) on a large labelled dataset to predict self-reported Big Five scores. The highest correlations between observed and predicted personality scores were found for conscientiousness (0.360 for men and 0.335 for women) and the mean effect size was 0.243, exceeding the results obtained in prior studies using ‘selfies’. The findings strongly support the possibility of predicting multidimensional personality profiles from static facial images using ANNs trained on large labelled datasets. Future research could investigate the relative contribution of morphological features of the face and other characteristics of facial images to predicting personality.
Soon after the collapse of Soviet-type communism in Central and Eastern Europe, a new geopolitical division began to reshape the continent. Our study demonstrates that this newly emerging geopolitical divide has been underpinned by a corresponding cultural divergence, of which “emancipative values” are the most powerful marker. Using the European Values Study/World Values Survey 1990 to 2014, we find that the former Iron Curtain no longer constitutes a cultural boundary because the ex-communist states that joined the European Union have been converging with the West’s strong emphasis on emancipative values. Instead, a new and steeply growing cultural gap has emerged between the European Union and its Eastern neighbors. The two competing geopolitical formations in the West and East—the European and Eurasian Unions, respectively—have diverged culturally in recent decades. The divergence goes back to contrasting supranational identities that originate in different religious traditions, which rulers have increasingly accentuated to strengthen their nations’ endorsement or dismissal of emancipative values. Through this sorting-out process, emancipative values became an increasingly significant marker of a Western-vs-Eastern cultural identity. Our study is the first to link this groundbreaking cultural transformation to civilizational identities and geopolitical rivalry.
Objectives: The Dark Triad traits (i.e., narcissism, psychopathy, Machiavellianism)
capture individual differences in aversive personality to complement work on other
taxonomies, such as the Big Five traits. However, the literature on the Dark Triad
traits relies mostly on samples from English-speaking (i.e., Westernized) countries.
We broadened the scope of this literature by sampling from a wider array of countries.
Method: We drew on data from 49 countries (N = 11,723; 65.8% female;
AgeMean = 21.53) to examine how an extensive net of country-level variables in economic status (e.g., Human Development Index), social relations (e.g., gender equality), political orientations (e.g., democracy), and cultural values (e.g., embeddedness)
relate to country-level rates of the Dark Triad traits, as well as variance in the magnitude of sex differences in them.
Results: Narcissism was especially sensitive to country-level variables. Countries
with more embedded and hierarchical cultural systems were more narcissistic. Also,
sex differences in narcissism were larger in more developed societies: Women were
less likely to be narcissistic in developed (vs. less developed) countries.
Conclusions: We discuss the results based on evolutionary and social role models
of personality and sex differences. That higher country-level narcissism was more
common in less developed countries, whereas sex differences in narcissism were
larger in more developed countries, is more consistent with evolutionary than social
We recommend you to use the following HSE affiliation:
Лаборатория сравнительных социальных исследований, Национальный исследовательский университет «Высшая школа экономики».
Laboratory for Comparative Social Research, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russian Federation.
The source of the research financing is strictly required:
Статья/монография/глава подготовлена в ходе/в результате проведения исследования/работы в рамках Программы фундаментальных исследований Национального исследовательского университета «Высшая школа экономики» (НИУ ВШЭ) и с использованием средств субсидии в рамках государственной поддержки ведущих университетов Российской Федерации "5-100".
The article/book chapter/book was prepared within the framework of the Basic Research Program of the HSE University Basic Research Program and funded by the Russian Academic Excellence Project '5-100'.