Assessment of the Degree of Involvement of Russians in Enlightenment Projects



The article deals with the issues of involvement of Russian society in the enlightenment projects in present day. The material is based on the results of an online survey of 1213 respondents (54,7% men, 43,3% women), dedicated to assessing the degree of awareness of Russians about existing enlightenment platforms and projects implemented in recent years. As part of the survey, the degree of involvement of respondents in enlightenment projects was recorded based on the identification of the first mentioned (top-of-mind) enlightenment project (knowledge without a hint), knowledge of enlightenment projects with a hint was determined, and the depth for immersion in an enlightenment container and preparation was measured, it is recommended to use one or another enlightenment product. The key channels of perception of advertising information about the main enlightenment projects implemented in the media and network space of Runet were also digitized. According to the data obtained, 53,8% of the respondents could not name a single project on their own (without prompting), more than 13% noted enlightenment projects in social networks and 7% – projects on TV (excluding projects of the TV channel "Culture"). With the induced knowledge, 81,3% of respondents noted enlightenment projects of the TV channel "Culture" (81,3% of respondents replied that they were aware of this project), projects of the Russian Society "Knowledge" (36,6%), and Arzamas platforms (28%). Only 20% of respondents, on average, will see the enlightenment content to the end. Half of the respondents are not ready to recommend any of the projects (or do not know about them), while 22,9% express loyalty to the TV channel "Culture", but on average less than 10% of respondents are ready to recommend the remaining sites. Based on the data obtained, the authors conclude about the quality of enlightenment projects as an indirect indication of the depth of immersion in enlightenment content and the willingness to recommend this or that enlightenment project to their colleagues and/or acquaintances, friends.

General Information

Keywords: enlightenment projects; quality of enlightenment; attention switching; brand awareness; top-of-mind methodology; enlightenment; social networks; educational projects; social media

Journal rubric: Developmental Psychology

Article type: scientific article


Received: 01.08.2023


For citation: Dukhanina L.N., Maksimenko A.A. Assessment of the Degree of Involvement of Russians in Enlightenment Projects. Psikhologicheskaya nauka i obrazovanie = Psychological Science and Education, 2024. Vol. 29, no. 1, pp. 47–60. DOI: 10.17759/pse.2024290104.

Full text


One of the primary goals of the state scale at the present stage is the upbringing of an educated, erudite, highly cultured and harmonious person capable of adequately fulfilling his civic duties, working to build up the cultural and scientific potential of the country. The key environments for fulfilling this task are the fields of education and enlightenment.

The concepts of "education" and "enlightenment" are often identified by the ordinary consciousness. Although, upon closer examination, education is a basic layer (the formation of a personality with a set of knowledge suitable for a full–fledged life in society), and enlightenment is a deeper one, associated with the concept of intellectuality, erudition, a rich inner world, etc. It can be assumed that the phrase "educated person" in everyday discourse can be interpreted only as "superficially informed", while "enlightened person", on the contrary, as "knowing more than others".

The sphere of education, despite permanent reform and frequent changes in the "rules of the game", has fairly clear guidelines: it defines the customer (state) and the consumer of services (target audience), the regulatory framework is verified, the places of provision of educational services (schools, colleges, universities, etc.) are institutionalized, according to special FSES – federal state educational standards predict the results and assess the quality.

Enlightenment is also an important tool of state policy in addressing the issue of improving the standard and quality of life of the population, including in the light of global challenges [1; 9; 12; 17]. Enlightenment makes it possible to focus the attention of the population [23] on the most pressing issues, for example, related to health [11; 15], to increase the level of relevant knowledge and competencies of Russians, to lay down certain ideological attitudes (which was quite vividly used back in the Soviet period). The decree of the President of Russia in 2022 designated national values[1]. Federal and regional budgetary funds are allocated for the implementation of educational projects, but the tasks set for "public enlightenment» are often very vague, and the specific target audience is not clear and transparent in every case.

If enlightenment impact on specified age and professional groups (students, government officials, doctors, etc.) is possible directly through educational and professional organizations, then the widespread involvement of the Russian population in enlightenment projects is a more difficult challenge. A partial solution to this problem is due to the fact that the last decade has sharply shifted the bias of the information field towards the network space, which made it possible to integrate key enlightenment platforms and platforms into it [8; 16].

"People previously known as the audience" [32], using the capabilities of social media, are currently able to independently unite their interests and produce enlightenment content. User hash tags related to education and enlightenment in many micro blogs of social networks allow you to create digital spaces both for personal training of teachers [20] and for educational work with students [30].

According to a study by Chinese colleagues [37], social networks provide teachers with various assistance in obtaining diverse skills. For example, social networks DingTalk and TikTok have a negative impact on teachers' academic performance, while WeChat has a positive impact. In addition, the level of user identification, as well as the degree of involvement in social networks, are also important factors influencing the extent to which social networks can act as a platform and tool for developing professional learning skills and stimulating the development of education.

The abundance of enlightenment content produced creates a serious shortage of user time in order to understand and evaluate the degree of its usefulness. Herbert Simon [34] in 1969 tried to give the first brief description of the concept of the attention economy: "an increase in the volume of information will inevitably lead to a shortage of resources for those who consume this information. Information absorbs the attention of its recipients. Therefore, an abundance of information generates a lack of attention." And if attention is focused cognitive activity on a particular piece of information and at the same time a limited resource, therefore, there is considerable competition for it.

In a society of the like economy [14] and competition for eyeballs [10], new media produce a need for such key values as attention, respect, recognition and reputation, and at the same time satisfy it [2]. Metrics on social networks that record the viewing of posted content in new media (including likes or reposts, etc.) are not guaranteed immersion in text or video material, and the emotional response to such content may vary depending on the interests of the individual. Push notifications [22] (pop-up notifications on the phone or computer screen) will not always provide an opportunity for a layman with FoMO[2] syndrome to finish reading a long read [31].

New media, using entertainment content, try to break through the information noise, attracting the attention of the consumer of information and influencing his expenses (temporary, financial, etc.). S. Watzl argues that attention is taking into account the structure of priorities [36].

According to V. Hendrix, Facebook[3]  users post more than half a million comments per minute, 500 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, and 6,000 tweets are sent to Twitter[4] every second [28]. In such a density of information placement, enlightenment projects should have competitive content [16] in order to compete for priorities in a situation of attention deficit. The quality of an enlightenment product is a means of competition for the attention of a person, and the result of competition indirectly indicates the very quality of the enlightenment product.

Moving away from assessing the economic performance of certain programs (both public and implemented through commercial or private initiative), it is still necessary to answer seemingly simple but very relevant questions – how interesting the enlightenment product is to a wide audience and how much Russian society is involved in the field of enlightenment at the moment.

The answers received will make it possible to clearly identify and use the most promising channels for promoting enlightenment platforms and projects and indirectly determine the quality of the enlightenment product. In this regard, a detailed assessment of the interest of Russians in the enlightenment product [3] as such and an analysis of the effectiveness of already conducted (ongoing) activities to promote and advertise the products of various content makers is relevant.

The method and its features, characteristics of the sample

In the period from October 23 to November 10, 2021, a sociological study of the enlightenment preferences of the population of the Russian Federation was conducted. The study was conducted in the format of an anonymous online survey through a formalized panel of the Yandex network platform “Toloka" using an algorithm that includes a ban on re-filling out forms by the same respondents, as well as blocking (culling) questionnaires filled out too quickly, i.e. in a time incommensurable with the possibility of adequately perceiving the question and formulating an answer to it ("speedsters").

The study was conducted with the key aim of assessing the degree of awareness of Russians about existing enlightenment platforms and projects. The objectives of the study include:

  • assessment of the awareness of the enlightenment project among other enlightenment platforms/products using "spontaneous knowledge" and "knowledge with a hint" (top-of-mind);
  • recording the degree of involvement of respondents in enlightenment projects;
  • determining the depth of immersion in enlightenment content;
  • identification of key channels for the perception of advertising information about enlightenment projects.

The methodology for assessing brand awareness or brand awareness (brand awareness) is aimed at measuring the ability of the target audience to remember (knowledge is assessed without a hint) or to learn (knowledge is assessed with a hint) the title/brand of a company or product. This technique was borrowed by us in order to conduct this research from the arsenal of marketing tools for a differential approach to the evaluated product (from spontaneous and induced knowledge to willingness to recommend this product) and indirectly indicates the health of the brand (the degree of loyalty to it of the target audience) and its position among the positions of similar brands of other players (competitors).

The questionnaire included 5 main questions to identify enlightenment preferences and a social passport characterizing the respondent (level of education, gender, age, level of urbanization, marital status, degree of religiosity, income level).

The study involved 1,213 respondents aged 11 to 90 years living in Russia (54.7% of men and 43.3% of women). Among the respondents, 3 age groups were identified, surveyed in equal proportions: from 11 to 25 years old; from 25 to 50 years old; from 50 to 90 years old.

According to the level of education, the audience of respondents is differentiated as follows: higher education – 48.7%; incomplete higher education – 12.4%; secondary (including specialized secondary) education – 37.7%.

The audience of respondents is localized in Russian cities: the largest number in district centers (35.7%); residents of regional centers are represented in the amount of 32.3% of the total number of respondents; residents of large cities with a population of more than 1 million people – 23.1%; residents of Moscow – 8.9%.

Analysis of the results obtained

Respondents were asked to name at least 3 online youth enlightenment projects dedicated to the most outstanding pages of Russian history and key achievements of Russian science (Table 1). Slightly more than half of the respondents (53.8%) could not name a single project. More than 13% mentioned enlightenment projects on social networks and 7% – projects on television (excluding projects of the TV channel "Culture"). In a single sample block, we combined enlightenment projects of a patriotic nature, as cultivating love for a large and small Homeland ("Immortal Regiment", "I remember, I am proud", "Russia is a country of opportunities", "My country is my Russia", "Pushkin Map"), they were indicated by about 5% survey participants. The projects of the Znanie Society of the Kultura TV channel (3%) were among the top ten in terms of the number of mentions. Among other "named" enlightenment projects and platforms, the most popular were: Arzamas (key topics – history, culture) – 5.9%, "Post–science" – 2.2% (exact sciences, anthropology, philosophy, etc.), "Science 2.0" and "Science PRO" - 1.7% (a wide range of sciences – anthropology, archaeology, astrophysics, biology, linguistics, medicine, cosmonautics, etc.). Among others, the global resource "Wikipedia" (1.2%), the encyclopedia "Great Minds of Russia" (1.2%), the online publication about modern culture and art Colta (0.7%), the enlightenment TV program "Galileo" (0.4%), the popular science magazine "Schrodinger's Cat" and the volunteer the Gutenberg Smoking Room project (0.4%), a network resource for online education Coursera (0.3%). The channel of the Russian anthropologist Stanislav Drobyshevsky, the enlightenment project of the psychologist Mikhail Labkovsky, the Dmitry Zimin prize "Enlightener", the portal about the origin of man "Anthropogenesis", the federal project "#НАОСТРИЕНАУКИ", the multiplatform channel "History of Everything" and a number of other popular science projects were mentioned once.

Table 1. The number of mentions of the most famous enlightenment projects (spontaneous knowledge)

Enlightenment project


of mentions (%)

I do not know such projects


Enlightenment projects on social networks


Enlightenment projects on TV

(except for the Kultura channel)


Arzamas Enlightenment Project


Enlightenment projects of patriotic orientation "I remember, I am proud", "The Immortal Regiment", "Pushkin's Map", "Russia is a country of opportunities", "My country is my Russia"


Kultura TV Channel


Enlightenment project "Post-Science"


Enlightenment projects about science "Science 2.0", "Science PRO"


Enlightenment projects of the Russian Society "Znanie"


Great minds of Russia








Schrodinger's Cat/Gutenberg's Smoking Room




Others (no more than 1 mentions)


The next set of questions evaluated the list of enlightenment projects offered to the respondent for fame (knowledge with a hint) from 9 titles in terms of the fact of their fame. From the point of view of fame (Table. 2) the highest scores were given to the Kultura TV channel (81.3% of respondents replied that they were aware of this project), the least recognizable is the international science popularization project Science Slam (10.6%), the format of which implies short speeches by scientists in an informal atmosphere. The projects of the Russian society "Znanie", which are in second place, are much less well-known than the projects of the TC "Culture" (36.6%), but they are more well-known than the projects of the Arzamas platform, which is third with a 28% popularity index.

Table 2. Assessment of knowledge with the help of enlightenment projects

Title of the enlightenment project (organizer)

Known (%)


Kultura TV Channel



Russian Society "Znanie"









Schrodinger's Cat









Gutenberg's Smoking Room



Science Slam



Each of these projects (sites) has a corresponding group (public page) in the most popular Russian social network VKontakte. As of June 1, 2023, the number of subscribers to these resources is as follows (see Table 3).

Table 3. The number of subscribers of groups (public pages) of specified enlightenment projects (sites) on the VKontakte social network (as of 06/01/2023)

Title of the enlightenment project (organizer)


Number of subscribers


Kultura TV Channel



Russian Society "Znanie"









Schrodinger's Cat







There is no VKontakte page, there is a Telegram channel (4.3 thousand subscribers)


Gutenberg's Smoking Room



Science Slam



The audience of the group of the Russian society "Znanie" on the VKontakte social network almost doubles the audience of the Culture TV channel, but in fact it is the Culture channel that is recognized by respondents as much more well-known. Even more evident are the indicators of the popularity of the Arzamas and PostNauka platforms with more than half a million VKontakte audience, but only 28% and 26.1% of respondents are known, respectively.

It cannot be denied that the Kultura TV channel is a long–standing, monumental brand on a federal scale. However, the recognition indicators of the Znanie Society and Arzamas in comparison with the audience of their pages on social networks indicate that a significant part of the content they publish may pass by subscribers (who simply skip their publications by "scrolling" the feed).

In general, our conclusions are confirmed by an analysis of the depth of respondents' immersion in the content of the enlightenment platforms they are looking for (Table 4) – the Kultura TV channel tops the TOP, but all other sites are popular with only a small part of the respondents (they are regularly viewed/studied by only 3% to 9% of respondents). The index of "viewability" is also quite low (on average, only 20% of respondents get acquainted with the content to the end), which, in our opinion, may be due to the so-called "clip thinking" and a high degree of attention switching for most of the audience, who are used to getting acquainted with chronologically short content (memes, videos in the format Shorts, Reels) and not ready to waste time watching long video lectures and documentaries, listening to long podcasts, etc.

Table 4. The depth of immersion in the content

Title of the enlightenment project (organizer)

I watch it quite regularly (%)

I started watching it once, but I didn't finish it (%)

I saw the ad, but I didn't watch it (%)


Kultura TV Channel















Russian Society "Znanie"





Schrodinger's Cat










Gutenberg's Smoking Room





Science Slam









As part of the questionnaire, respondents were also asked to list those enlightenment projects that they could recommend to their friends for viewing. The sample shows (Table. 5) that exactly half of the respondents are not ready to recommend any of the projects (or do not know about them), while 22.9% express loyalty to the Kultura TV channel, but on average less than 10% of respondents are ready to recommend the rest of the sites.

Table 5. Willingness to recommend enlightenment projects to others

Title of the enlightenment project (organizer)


of mentions (%)

I don't know/I'm not ready to recommend any


Kultura TV Channel








Schrodinger's Cat


Enlightenment projects of the Russian Society "Znanie"


Gutenberg's Smoking Room


Enlightenment projects on TV (NTV, Russia, etc.)





The following projects/titles were mentioned less than 10 times as possible recommendations: Moya Planeta TV channel, Discovery TV channel, Heads and Tails show, Galileo program, Redroom project, encyclopedia "Great Minds of Russia", projects "Science 2.0", "Science PRO", etc.

The final question suggested noting those resources (from the given ones) on which the respondent saw advertisements for enlightenment projects (Table 6). The leaders, obviously, were the YouTube video hosting (24.9% of respondents often saw advertisements), television channels (19.9%) and the VKontakte social network (17.1%).

Table 6. Advertising channels for enlightenment products


I've seen it often

I've rarely seen it

I haven't seen it

YouTube Video Hosting








VKontakte social network




Social network Instagram[5]




Telegram Messenger








Outdoor advertising




Social network





Odnoklassniki social network









No significant age differences were found in the responses of respondents to the knowledge of enlightenment projects, however, a very noticeable trend was the choice of the older respondents of the TV viewing format, and the consumption of social media content by young people.

The analysis of correlations showed that women are significantly more likely than men to know the enlightenment projects of the Russian society "Znanie" (p<0.05), "Arzamas" (p<0.05) and the TV channel "Culture" (p<0.001). Moreover, women demonstrate a significantly higher degree of involvement in the projects of the Russian society "Znanie" (p<0.05) and enlightenment projects "Arzamas" (p<0.05). The analysis of age characteristics showed that older people are more aware and involved in all enlightenment projects presented in Table 2 (p<0.001).

Knowledge with a hint about Coursera enlightenment projects turned out to be positively significant (p<0.001) related to the level of education of the respondents. At the same time, more educated Russians were involved in enlightenment projects "Schrodinger's Cat" (p<0.01), Science Slam (p<0.01), "Coursera" (p<0.001).

Finally, the subjective levels of income and urbanization of the respondents are also associated with the degree of involvement in enlightenment projects and knowledge with a hint: in large cities, respondents with a higher subjective income level are significantly more involved in enlightenment projects "Coursera" (p<0.001), "Arzamas" (p<0.05) and "Gutenberg's Smoking Room" (p<0.05).

Conclusions and discussion

In general, the survey results showed the following:

  • the respondents are not sufficiently aware of the ongoing enlightenment projects (slightly more than half of the respondents do not know about them). As it was shown earlier, for the successful implementation of an enlightenment product, all marketing measures to promote it were effective: the enlightenment organization creating it must have a powerful internal culture, broadcast to the external environment (through symbols, trademarks, etc.). In addition, the product itself must solve current and future tasks of society and the individual, among which experts highlight traditional values (life, human health), skills of the future and self-employment, media, digital, political, financial and legal literacy, healthcare, family values. Product promotion can be ensured by the implementation of four main directions: advertising, public relations, direct marketing (sales) and sales promotion. The choice of tools depends on the gender, age, quantitative and qualitative characteristics of the target audience [5];
  • there is actually no top-of-mind brand in the field of Russian  enlightenment (the Kultura TV channel is more recognizable, but in this case this is hardly related to the nature of the content broadcast on it, most likely, it is known due to its monosyllabic title and long-standing presence in the federal television broadcasting network). Enlightenment, which has moved mainly to the video format, is forced to compete with the entertainment genre of many programs. For the youth audience, the implemented format of enlightenment is inextricably linked with the game format and carnival [4]: business games, case studies, entertainment stories, etc. For a more age group, the traditional format will be attractive – lectures, discussion clubs, etc.;
  • if we talk about the social network segment of enlightenment platforms, it can be noted that many posts even in popular public sites (Kultura, Russian Society Znanie, Arzamas, etc.) have low coverage or, with sufficiently high coverage, do not receive audience feedback ("I like" marks, reposts, comments). At a glance, this happens with  massive content (long videos, podcasts) and content on unpopular topics (highly specialized, outside the mass agenda). This may be due to the "clip thinking" and the high degree of attention switching of the majority of the audience, who prefer to "scroll" the tape [13] and not immerse themselves in the content deeply;
  • the key channels for the perception of advertising information about enlightenment projects are the YouTube video hosting, television and the VKontakte network.

The modern promotion of enlightenment content in new media, including social networks, occurs through infotainment [6; 7] and a culture of participation, including the use of rhetorical forms (memes) [24], and also carries ethical problems [19; 21]. E. Jenkins and M. Kuzinets [29] argue that various rhetorical forms are easier to attract attention and are remembered because of the attention-saving context in which memes circulate. The memes themselves are examples of a "culture of participation." In addition, memes spread the very concept of a culture of participation [33]. Commercial enlightenment projects often resort to disinformation and fakery in search of popular appeal and sensationalism [18]. In this regard, enlightenment projects in the interests of the State should be distinguished by their placement and have such designations.

In addition to the insufficient promotion of educational projects among ordinary people, it is necessary to note the rather moderate demand of Russians for educational content. By analogy with the concept of lifelong learning (LLL – lifelong learning), proclaimed by the Unesco Declaration in 1997 in Hamburg (UNESCO, 1997) [35], lifelong learning (LLE – lifelong enlightenment) broadens horizons and benefits both individuals [25], acting against a number of diseases (such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's), and society, developing independence and a sense of responsibility in people [26; 27].

A survey by SuperJob[7] conducted in 2022 showed that 51% of Russians are going to undergo training without any participation from the employer in the coming year. Among the types of study are trainings, seminars, advanced training courses and additional education. Moreover, there are age differences. It turned out that the older the respondents, the less likely they plan to study. Thus, 57% of respondents plan to study among people under the age of 24, but 47% of people aged 45 and older plan to study.

Russians who are interested in enlightenment explain their continuous interest in new knowledge not by the possibility of career advancement or increased earnings (5th and 6th places in the rating of interests in new knowledge), but by personal growth, self-development, expansion of knowledge and other non-material incentives.

The  survey conducted by us in 2017 in Russia [3] revealed gender and age differences in interest in enlightenment content, which are harmoniously combined with the data obtained two years later. Thus, boys have a higher interest in programming (22%), technology (23%), military-patriotic activities (16%), while girls prefer music (32%), cooking (33%), foreign languages (25%), art (27%), psychological training (21%), master classes in style and fashion (23%).

In addition, the enlightenment preferences of Russians, as can be seen from these measurements, continue to be influenced by mass culture, which undoubtedly actualizes the problem of preserving and transmitting spiritual heritage in intergenerational interaction.

Limitations and prospects of the present study

As part of the continuation of the study of the phenomenon of modern enlightenment, it is worth analyzing in more detail the attitude of the audience to specific educational content (in particular, to evaluate the coverage of posts on various topics and the response to them on social networks). The survey was conducted before Meta resources (Instagram and Facebook) were blocked on the territory of the Russian Federation.

[1] Decree of the President of the Russian Federation No. 474-FL "On the approval of the Foundations of State Policy for the Preservation and strengthening of traditional Russian spiritual and moral values." URL:

[2] Fear of missing out.

[3] Instagram Facebook and Instagram were banned in Russia by the court, which recognized Meta as an extremist organization. URL:

[4] Access to Twitter has been restricted in Russia. URL:

[5] Currently, the Instagram social network is blocked for use on the territory of the Russian Federation.

[6] Currently, the Facebook social network is blocked for use on the territory of the Russian Federation.

[7] Every second Russian plans to study without the help of an employer. URL:


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Information About the Authors

Lubov N. Dukhanina, Doctor of Psychology, PhD in History, Professor, State University of Management, Mytishchi, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Aleksandr A. Maksimenko, Doctor of Sociology, PhD in Psychology, Professor of the Department of Psychology, HSE University, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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