How a National Character Is Constructed: Personality Traits Attributed to the Typical Russian

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Abstract

Three thousand seven hundred and five participants drawn from 40 different samples and 34 regions all over the Russian Federation were asked to rate personality traits of the typical Russian living in their region using the 30-item National Character Survey (NCS). Compared with the crosscultural mean profile of autostereotypes across 49 nations (Terracciano et al., 2005), the ratings showed that the typical Russian rarely feels depressed or inferior, is dominant, forceful and speaks without hesitation, has vivid imagination, active fantasy life and intellectual curiosity, and is able to reexamine social and political values. There was only one prevalent stereotype of the typical Russian, spreading from Kamchatka to the borders of the European Union, without identifiable geographic or any other regularity in the sample-to-sample variation. Profiles of the typical Russian converged weakly with assessed personality traits of young Russians but not with older Russians. A strong relationship was established between social capital and national character stereotypes: individuals who were inclined to believe in the honesty of other people and trust them were also disposed to describe the typical Russian in more socially desirable terms.

General Information

Keywords: Russian Character and Personality Survey, National Character Survey, personality, autostereotypes, social capital, Revised NEO Personality Inventory

Journal rubric: Empirical Research

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Allik J., Mottus R., Realo A., Pullman H., Trifonova A.V., McCrae R.R., Meshcheryakov B.G. How a National Character Is Constructed: Personality Traits Attributed to the Typical Russian. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2009. Vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 2–18. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)

References

    1. Abate M., Berrien F. K. (1967). Validation of stereotypes: Japanese versus American students. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, № 7. Р. 435—438.

Information About the Authors

Juri Allik, PhD in Psychology, Professor, Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Tartu, Foreign Member of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters, Tartu, Estonia, e-mail: juri.allik@ut.ee

Rene Mottus, PhD Student, Department of Psychology, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia, e-mail: rene.mottus@ed.ac.uk

Anu Realo, PhD in Psychology, Senior Research Fellow, Department of Psychology, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia, e-mail: anu.realo@ut.ee

Helle Pullman, PhD in Philosophy, Senior Research Fellow, Department of Psychology, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia

Anastasia V. Trifonova, PhD Student, Research Intern, Centre for Sociocultural Research, National Research University Higher School of Economics, BA in Finnish Language and Literature, BA in Psychology, University of Tartu, Estonia, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8780-7859, e-mail: avtrifonova@hse.ru

Robert R. McCrae, PhD in Psychology, Senior Research Psychologist, National Institute on Aging, USA, Bethesda, USA, e-mail: mccraej@grc.nia.nih.gov

Boris G. Meshcheryakov, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Department of Psychology, FSGN, State University “Dubna”, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the International Scientific Journal "Cultural-Historical Psychology", Dubna, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6252-2822, e-mail: borlogic1@gmail.com

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