Russians, Mokshans and Erzyans: Analysing Projections of National Characters



This research covered three ethnic groups (Russians, Mokshans and Erzyans) and all participants (140 per- sons) were students of the same Mordvinian university. Their task was to evaluate personality traits of the fol- lowing 'evaluation objects' using the National Character Survey: 1) Russian in general; 2) Russian living in Mordovia (regional Russian); 3) Mordva; 4) Erzya; 5) Moksha; 6) oneself. Although there seemed to be no sig- nificant characterological differences between the three ethnic groups of respondents, there certainly were con- siderable differences in their auto- and, most importantly, heterostereotypes. The paper reflects on how posi- tively perceived values in self-descriptions (low Neuroticism, high Openness for Experience, Agreeableness etc.) transform into less positive ones in auto- and heterostereotypes. As it is concluded, ethnocultural close- ness and acquaintanceship between the nations do not guarantee a better understanding of each other's nation- al characters.

General Information

Keywords: ethnic stereotypes, National Character Survey, Big Five, Mordva, Moksha, Erzya, Russian

Journal rubric: Empirical Research

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Meshcheryakov B.G., Shamanina E.A., Allik J. Russians, Mokshans and Erzyans: Analysing Projections of National Characters. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2013. Vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 33–44. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

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:, e-mail:

E. A. Shamanina, PhD student at the Chair of Psychology, Dubna International University of Nature, Society and Man, Dubna, Russia, e-mail:

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:



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