Perception of COVID-19 During the 2020 Pandemic in Russia



In order to study the perception of the COVID-19 pandemic and its relationship with the emotional state of the population, an online study in all regions of Russia conducted from April 27 to May 27, 2020, The study involved 1192 people, of whom 981 were women (82%) and 211 men (18%) aged 18 to 81 years (M=36.5, SD=11.0). The methodological complex consisted of a socio-demographic questionnaire, the state scale from the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, the Russian Version of the Perceived Stress Scale (Cohen, Kamarck, Mermelstein, 1983; Ababkov, et al., 2016); as well as the Russian Version of the Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire (Broadbent, et al., 2006; Yaltonsky, et al., 2017), modified specifically for this study. Significant differences were found in experiencing stress, anxiety, and perceptions of the pandemic by gender, while anxiety and stress were found to be related to income. A significant correlation found between the attitude to coronavirus “as an exaggerated threat” with greater calm, greater understandability of the pandemic, and less control. However, if the respondent has relatives who have got sick COVID-19, then the perception of the pandemic becomes more threatening, less understandable, and more controlled. It was revealed that the assessment of the threat from a pandemic plays a mediating role between the fear of an unknown disease and the possibility of its control. The probability of cultural differences in the perception of the pandemic and its control is discussed, and the possibility of using the cultural-historical methodology and the concept of “subjective pattern of disease” to assess the public perceptions of the COVID-19 pandemic is formulated.

General Information

Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic, coronavirus, cultural-historical concept, subjective pattern of disease, stress, anxiety, perception of the COVID-19 pandemic

Journal rubric: Empirical Research

Article type: scientific article


Acknowledgements. the authors are grateful for technical support of the research Doctor of Psychology, Honored Professor of the Lomonosov MSU, Aleksandr G. Shmelev

For citation: Pervichko E.I., Mitina O.V., Stepanova O., Koniukhovskaia J.E., Dorokhov E.A. Perception of COVID-19 During the 2020 Pandemic in Russia [Elektronnyi resurs]. Klinicheskaia i spetsial'naia psikhologiia = Clinical Psychology and Special Education, 2020. Vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 119–146. DOI: 10.17759/cpse.2020090206. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Elena Pervichko, Doctor of Psychology, Associate Professor of Department of Neuro- and Pathopsychology, Faculty of Psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Olga V. Mitina, PhD in Psychology, Leading Researcher of the Laboratory of Communication Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Olga Stepanova, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor of the Department of Methodology of Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Julia E. Koniukhovskaia, Visiting Researcher of the Laboratory of Communication Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Associate Professor of the Faculty of Social Sciences of the Department of Psychology of the Center for Fundamental and Consultative Personology, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Egor A. Dorokhov, PhD Student, Department of Personality Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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