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Regular version of the site
vision

Educated Russians Smoke Less

In recent years in Russia, female smoking has increased, while the opposite holds true for men; in addition to this, smoking has increased at higher rates among those with lower levels of education compared to more educated Russians.

August 25

Russia's Ranking in Global Innovation Index

Russia has improved its ranking in the Global Innovation Index, but still has a long way to go.

People More Important Than Money for Innovation

The greater the proportion of working people with university education in a region, the higher its innovation activity.

Voluntary Health Insurance Serves the Healthy and Wealthy

Voluntary health insurance schemes tend to enhance access to healthcare for those who are not much in need.

Publications

Does biological endowment matter for demand for financial services? Evidence from 2D:4D ratio in the Russian household survey

There are many studies revealing factors which influence the demand for financial services. However genetic features, determining the individual's overall postnatal behaviour, have not been studied within this context. This paper extends the previous literature by studying to what extent individual biological endowment, proxied by prenatal testosterone (PT, measured by the 2D:4D ratio), can determine personal demand for bank services and insurance. We use the data from the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS) of 2011–2012. Our findings confirm the existence of the link between inherent biological variation and financial inclusion: PT affects the use of bank cards, intention to borrow from a bank, having a bank deposit and the consumption of insurance products.

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Semenova M., Andrievskaya I.
Personality and Individual Differences. 2017. Vol. 104. P. 155-165.
Aug 9, 2016

SPATIAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE LARGEST RUSSIAN CITIES DURING THE POST-SOVIET PERIOD: ORIENTING TOWARDS TRANSIT OR MAINTAINING SOVIET TRENDS

Russian cities are traditionally characterized by high levels of public transport ridership, compared to the Western cities. Moreover, the cities were intensively developing during the Soviet era when the private transport was literally absent. Thus, it can be assumed that the spatial structure of Russian cities (as well as the spatial structure of the majority of the former USSR cities) is a perfect illustration of the Transit Oriented Development (TOD). In this paper the spatial development patterns of 13 Russian cities are analyzed to assess the current situation and the prospects for transit oriented development in the Russian Federation. А brief history of urban spatial development during the Soviet period is provided. Fundamental differences between TOD and Soviet Style Development (SSD) are discussed, such as the absence of competition between the private and public transport and the absence of private ownership of land

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Basic research program. WP BRP. National research university Higher School of economics, 2016
Aug 2, 2016

Individual and culture-level components of survey response styles: A multi-level analysis using cultural models of selfhood

Variations in acquiescence and extremity pose substantial threats to the validity of cross-cultural research that relies on survey methods. Individual and cultural correlates of response styles when using 2 contrasting types of response mode were investigated, drawing on data from 55 cultural groups across 33 nations. Using 7 dimensions of self-other relatedness that have often been confounded within the broader distinction between independence and interdependence, our analysis yields more specific understandings of both individual- and culture-level variations in response style. When using a Likert-scale response format, acquiescence is strongest among individuals seeing themselves as similar to others, and where cultural models of selfhood favour harmony, similarity with others and receptiveness to influence. However, when using Schwartz’s (2007) portrait-comparison response procedure, acquiescence is strongest among individuals seeing themselves as self-reliant but also connected to others, and where cultural models of selfhood favour self-reliance and self-consistency. Extreme responding varies less between the two types of response modes, and is most prevalent among individuals seeing themselves as self-reliant, and in cultures favouring self-reliance. As both types of response mode elicit distinctive

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Smith P., Vignoles V., Becker M. et al.
International Journal of Psychology. 2016.
Aug 9, 2016

Formation of homophily in academic performance: students prefer to change their friends rather than performance

Homophily, the tendency of individuals to associate with others who share similar traits, has been identified as a major driving force in the formation and evolution of social ties. In many cases, it is not clear if homophily is the result of a socialization process, where individuals change their traits according to the dominance of that trait in their local social networks, or if it results from a selection process, in which individuals reshape their social networks so that their traits match those in the new environment. Here we demonstrate the detailed temporal formation of strong homophily in academic achievements of high school and university students. We analyze a unique dataset that contains information about the detailed time evolution of a friendship network of 6,000 students across 42 months. Combining the evolving social network data with the time series of the academic performance (GPA) of individual students, we show that academic homophily is a result of selection: students prefer to gradually reorganize their social networks according to their performance levels, rather than adapting their performance to the level of their local group. We find no signs for a pull effect, where a social environment of good performers motivates bad students to improve their performance. We are able to understand the underlying dynamics of grades and networks with a simple model. The lack of a social pull effect in classical educational settings could have important implications for the understanding of the observed persistence of segregation, inequality and social immobility in societies.

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Smirnov I., Thurner S.
arxiv.org. physics.soc-ph. Cornell University, 2016
Jun 30, 2016

Elections, Protest and Trust in Government: A Natural Experiment from Russia

How do flawed elections and post-election protest shape political attitudes? Taking advantage of the largely exogenous variation in the timing of a survey conducted in Moscow, we examine the short-term impact of the parliamentary election of December 4th, and the large protest of December 10th on trust in the Russian government. The fraud-marred parliamentary election had little effect on attitudes toward government, perhaps because allegations of vote improprieties were not new information. In contrast, the large protest of December 10th increased trust in government. Heightened trust arises largely from non-supporters of the ruling party updating their beliefs rather than from social desirability bias, a perceived improvement in government performance, or a “halo” effect. This finding is consistent with the view that autocrats can increase trust in government by unexpectedly allowing protest without repression. It also suggests that when evaluating trust in government citizens may cue not off the content of the protest, but off the holding of the protest itself.  

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Web publication. 2342-205X. BOFIT, 2016
Jul 20, 2016

Attitudes to homosexuals in Russia: content, structure, and predictors

Despite the growth of negative attitudes to homosexuals in Russia the research into this topic has been extremely scarce. Based on the analysis of social discourse, we have created a pool of items and undertaken three empirical studies aimed to develop and validate the Russian Attitudes to Homosexuals Inventory (RAHI) and investigate the associations of homophobic attitudes with a range of demographic and psychological variables. In Study 1 we used an online sample (N = 1,007) and explored the structure of the item pool, finding 8 factors, 5 of which referred to different dimensions of perceived threat of homosexuals (to individuals, morals, society, Russian culture, and heterosexual lifestyle) and 3 described social strategies directed at homosexuals (criminal punishment, medical treatment, and discrimination vs. protection). The scales were highly reliable (α = .82-.91) and formed a single second-order dimension, labelled general index of homophobia. Negative attitudes to homosexuals were stronger in males, religious respondents, and those heterosexuals who denied having experienced any feelings of same-sex attraction in their life. In Study 2 (paper-based sample, N = 292) we cross-validated the second-order structure of the RAHI. Using hierarchical multiple regression we found that homophobia was positively predicted by authoritarianism and negatively predicted by experience of same-sex attraction and social contact with homosexuals as friends. We also found weaker positive associations of homophobia with religiosity, social identification with gender, masculinity, extraversion, and social desirability, as well as a negative association with openness. In Study 3 we used contrast groups of neutral and anti-homosexual online community members (N = 330 and N = 107) to check the criterion validity of the RAHI. The findings are in line with the existing body of research from other countries, but reveal the culturally-specific features of the content of Russian homophobia (e.g., homosexuality is viewed as a result of Western influence). The RAHI emerged as a valid and reliable tool, which can be used for future Russian-language studies.

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Gulevich O., Osin E. N., Isaenko N. et al.
Psychology. Journal of the Higher School of Economics. 2016. Vol. 13. No. 1. P. 79-110.
May 15, 2016

Videos

Dr. Matteo Feurra: "Brain Stimulation and Cognitive Functions"

May 27