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Cultural-Historical Psychology

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (printed version): 1816-5435

ISSN (online): 2224-8935


License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Started in 2005

Published quarterly

Free of fees
Open Access Journal

Affiliated ISCAR


How a National Character Is Constructed: Personality Traits Attributed to the Typical Russian 2416

Allik J.
PhD in Psychology, Professor, Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia

McCrae R.R.
PhD in Psychology, Senior Research Psychologist, National Institute on Aging, USA, USA

Meshcheryakov B.G.
Doctor of Psychology, Professor at the Psychology Chair, The «Dubna» University, Dubna, Russia

Pullman H.
PhD in Psychology, Senior Research Fellow, Department of Psychology, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia

Realo A.
PhD in Psychology, Senior Research Fellow, Department of Psychology, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia

Trifonova A.
BA in Finnish Language and Literature, BA in Psychology, University of Tartu, Estonia, Tartu, Estonia

Mottus R.
PhD Student, Department of Psychology, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia

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.

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

Column: Crosscultural and Ethnopsychological Researches

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      Контекстыне материалы (в свободном доступе):
      Rene Mottus The relationship of cognitive ability to the structure, variability and measurement of personality. Master thesis.
      Rene Mottus, Helle Pullmann, Juri Allik Toward more readable big five personality inventories // European Journal of Psychological Assessment 2006; Vol. 22(3):149–157

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