Online mode of data collection provides greater variability of questionnaire visualization tools than the traditional "paper" format. This determines that researchers should be aware about how various elements of the questionnaire design affect the quality of data collected via online surveys. This article presents an overview of the Russian and foreign studies on the answer to this question. We consider following aspects: (1) visual design of the screen, (2) layout of rating questions, (3) visualization of open-ended questions, (4) presentation of non-substantive response options. In conclusion we make a number of recommendations concerning the questionnaire design features that can help researchers to make their surveys more effective, and to increase the data quality.
Year-by-year more and more educational institutions offer various massive open online courses (MOOC). Simultaneously, the interest of online users in the offer keeps rising. To orient the users in the variety of courses ratings of MOOCs are developed based on participant satisfaction levels. However, the satisfaction level is not only influenced by the course content but also by the participants’ individual characteristics. As the courses are assessed by different groups of participants, the question arises as to how these ratings should be used to compare the courses. The problem is especially true for the MOOCs where participants represent a heterogeneous group. To study the relationship between the participants’ characteristics and their satisfaction with the courses the authors use the data of the surveys involving participants who took part in 13 MOOCs proposed by the National Research University Higher School of Economics on the National Open Education Platform. The surveys were conducted before and after the courses. Using the regression analysis the authors show that a number of individual characteristics are strongly linked to the level of satisfaction with the course content if its options are controlled. Important predictors are extrinsic motivation to take a certain course to get acquainted with its format and the level of knowledge before and after the course. Those participants who have higher initial level of knowledge are more likely to give poor assessments for the course compared to those participants who are less familiar with the topic. Thus, using the ratings to compare the MOOCs with each other would be wrong as the courses are assessed by different groups of participants. It is more advisable to draw up separate ratings which would reflect the assessments given by “advanced trainees” and “freshmen”.
The study reveals the essence of the involvement of Russian science in the world scientific community in terms of transition state and explores the degrees of involvement that help better understand its nature. The article analyses the specifics of scientific life, as well as its aspect related to the international communication; the author describes the specific features of the Russian scientific community that has led to problematisation. The author presents an alternative vision of the topic; this vision is not aimed at the problematisation, but at different circumstances it was caused by.
This article discusses the influence of the social and institutional trust on charitable activities of Russians. Two most common Russian charitable practices are presented in the study: monetary donations and volunteering. The paper explores theoretical bases and summarizes the results of empirical analyses describing the relationship between these practices and generalized and interpersonal trust as well as trust in non-profit institutions. Data of Russian nationwide representative survey (N = 1500, 2015) are analyzed using binary logistic regression to assess the impact of trust on Russian monetary and time donations. The authors reveal that trust in non-profit organizations prevails over general interpersonal trust as a factor that facilitates Russian participation in charities. The authors also conclude that institutional trust is a stronger predictor to donate money to charity compared to volunteering.
World-class sporting events are one of the most significant macro-markers of identity. They reflect the cognitive, emotional, normative value and behavioral aspects of the interactions between the state and the individual. The following article describes the Russian young people’s state identity in the context of Olympic Winter Games 2014 in Sochi. Using survey and focus-group methods we tried to understand if the official channels of information are relevant to that uses youth and if it is true that “sport as a celebration” unites the individual and the state. The results of the study are the following. (1) The behavioral and emotional elements of the state identity of young Russians demonstrate a strong dependence. However, a positive attitude to the Olympic Games as a special “public-and-private” celebration is formed mainly within small social groups, first of all in the family. News reports in the media, and discussions in official press do not make any difference for the young people. (2) The knowledge of any facts concerning Olympics does not lead to positive emotional, as well as to changes in behavior. Distrust to official sources of information and the desire to “search for truth” in Internet sources increase communicative gap between the government and the youth. (3) The assessment of around-olympic events has been developed through the “Russia is unique” formula. Here, this popular attitude was manifested in the inability to bring the business to a successful end, the inevitability of serious problems in a negative comparison with other (primarily Western) countries. This indicates the dominance of negative identity among Russian youth.
The focus of this paper is the reaction in social networks to state repressions against the protesters. Being practically unexplored, this topic is examined by the authors at the intersection of two major areas of protest politics: first, the interrelationship between repressions and protest activity and, second, the role of social networks in the dynamics of protest. Basing on the existing theories, we assume that the discussion of the suppressed action should be broader, and should attract more attention of users than the discussion of the action that took place peacefully. In addition, we hypothesize that the violent nature of the suppression of the protest tends to bring its discussion beyond the range of political sympathizers. To test the hypotheses we analyze two protest actions, which took place with a lag of less than a week and were characterized by an overlapping composition of the organizers, but passed according to fundamentally different scenarios. The first action, “Rally in defense of the Internet” / “Rally against Telegram blocking”, took place on April 30, 2018. The second protest action, “He is not our Tzar,” was timed to coincide with the inauguration of V. Putin for a fourth term (May 5, 2018). We collected all publicly available posts (original posts, reposts, comments), containing the word "rally" in any form, from the “Vkontakte” social network for the period in question. The tools of network analysis and descriptive statistics were applied to examine the data. It was shown that the action, suppressed by the police, caused a wider discussion in social networks, - due to both a better resonance in the comments and to a longer and broader discussion in the original posts. The same set of users discussing both actions generated a larger number of posts about the action suppressed by the police. Moreover, the posts devoted to the discussion of this action were more likely to cause a “costly” user reaction. Suppressed rally turned out to provoke a more centralized and “dense” communication. All these empirical findings are in accordance with our hypotheses. Thus, the use of violence by the police contributes both to the expansion of the number of actively involved users and to the improvement of the “quality” of their participation.
The article examines the phenomenon of excessive online gaming, in particular, the massively multiplayer online role-playing games addiction (MMORPG addiction). The author distinguishes between two notions – dependence and excessive dedication. The article poses questions concerning the impact of excessive online gaming on social skills and intensity of communications between the gamers. Based on the foreign literature analysis the study describes such concepts as game, game addiction, gaming dedication, social capital, social skills, and intensity of communications between gamers. The paper also contains results of empirical study conducted among 479 users of multiplayer online games who took part in online survey. The authors use logic and simple linear regression in the study. The findings show that excessive online gaming has a bad effect on the intensiveness of communications; however, there is also a positive impact on social skills. These results differ from those obtained by foreign colleagues who record exceptionally negative effect of online gaming excess. The authors of the article review the desocializing effect of excessive online gaming and assume that it may be overestimated by other researchers.
Among the digital phenomena of political discourse of the XXI century, the Internet meme occupies a special place. It is understood not only as a manifestation of network creativity, but also as an artifact of modern culture of participation, a way of public discussion, an instrument of electoral and protest communications. The article analyzes the processes of semantic confrontation of Runet virus messages, designated as «memes war», highlights the main types of this confrontation and examines the communicative cases of recent years, allowing to draw conclusions about the specifics and technologies of such a «war».
Most universities all over the world face the problem of the widespread use of cheating practices by students. Despite the considerable efforts of researchers and practitioners to identify the reasons and circumstances that contribute to students` academic dishonesty, as well as to develop methods to combat their dishonest behaviour, the situation has not improved. Therefore, in this article, we attempt to answer the question of why the existing methods for combating academic dishonesty show low efficiency. Moreover, we pay attention to the fact of how students perceive dishonest practices, in which cases they justify and consider them fair, and in which cases they criticize them. Six regimes of criticism and justification, in which students publicly express their attitude towards academic fraud, were identified based on the Sociology of Critical Capacity by L.Boltanski and L.Thevenot. This theory was applied to the analysis of 23 semi-structured interviews with Russian and British students. Moreover, there were proposed possible methods for academic fraud prevention, which also consider the principles of equivalence used by students in their criticism or justification of dishonest practices.
Igor Semenovich Kon is one the most vivid, talented and well-known Russian social scientists. As a scientist he was unique both in his great professional influence and authority (even now, seven and a half years after his death, he has one of the highest citation index rating among Russian sociologists), and in his broadest scientific erudition, which allowed him to work productively in various spheres of social science. As he wrote, his work was mainly in “dealing with intellectual bridge-building” through the integration of data from different sciences, the development of an interdisciplinary approach and the placing of any empirical research and concepts into a global historical context.
The authors discuss the problems of selection of respondents for participation in online surveys. The results and the experience of the use of the respondent-driven sampling (RDS) used in online surveys among students of the Higher School of Economics were analyzed in the article. The authors checked whether the web-based RDS corresponds to the basic assumptions such as reciprocity of communications between respondents, random selection and respondent` capability to adequately assess the size of the ego network. An additional question referred to the influence of the “seeds” (first RDS respondents) on the dynamics and the quality of the final sampling was also studied. To answer the questions, two online RDSbased surveys were carried out by the author (online RDS-1 and online RDS-2). The key difference between these two studies is that the “seeds” in the second one were selected out of the researchers` own personal contacts. The authors conclude that the dynamics of the online RDS is more effective if the “seeds” know the researcher in person. At the same time, online RDS-1 and online RDS-2 did not provide the exact assessment of the control parameters of the population. Based on the results of the study the authors define problems for future research.
Increasing the effectiveness of housing institutions is of the utmost importance at the current stage of the
housing reforming. In this regard, a question has arisen as to whether the owners are ready (and to what extent) to
be involved in the public control over the house management. The article considers how apartment owners participate in the activities of the neighborhood communities in their multistorey buildings. The study is based on the report drawn
from the nationwide study “Russian awareness of the housing reforms” conducted by VCIOM in 2016 and commis
sioned by Nonprofit Partnership ZhKKh Konrol (National centre of public control in the housing sector), as well as the
interviews with the activists represent ing multistorey buildings. The interview data were collected in Moscow, Moscow, Leningrad and Kaluga oblasts. The article employs the concept of social capital and L.Thevenot's pragmatic approach. Two types of activists are singled out: (1) social innovator in new houses, and (2) house manager upravdom) in old houses. Activists are facing difficulties trying to gather the owners for meetings as they do not have enough experience in civic and political activities. Activist practices are still in their infancy. Activists are eager to introduce new practices, however, common people fail to realize the importance and the impact these practices may have on the quality of housing and utilities sector. The gap can be reduced through further aware nessbuilding efforts by the Housing Reform Assistance Fund
The article attempts to define the role of gender factor behind the relationship between prices and how the population perceives the prices. The authors describe methodological limitations of the gender factor and propose possible ways to overcome them in terms of quantitative research methods and qualitative tools of data collection. In the quantitative studies a shift in the assessments of gender differences in price perceptions is caused by different levels of adaptation to price changes and real income movement. To avoid underestimation of gender differences, it is important to extend the temporal coverage of the data being analyzed. Within qualitative data collection methods, the sample is divided into subgroups based on the following categories: gender, specific perceptions of information, and economic behavior pattern. The authors consider that the methodological improvements proposed in the article will help overcome the limitations of research design resulted from the underestimation of gender differences when investigating the factors shaping price perceptions.
Based on the full-time enrollment data in the Russian universities in 2011—2016, the paper provides an analysis of gender-related preferences among the applicants. Specialties where the share of the representatives of the same gender exceeded two-thirds on a regular basis are marked as «male» or «female». Those specialties where there is relative parity of men and women are referred to as «neutral». Almost all the male specialties are related to engineering; simultaneously, engineering sciences are not presented in the «neutral» and «female» groups.
An analysis of the Unified State Exam average score used by applicants to apply for the target program reveals that the results presented by female applicants are higher even if the program is «male». However, women having more choice opportunities this way do not use them to the full extent: only few male-dominated programs show a steady growth in the share of women. In such a situation, where the number of men enrolled in engineering programs significantly exceeds the number of women is typical not only for Russia but also for many EU countries. A series of studies points to the influence of popular gender stereotypes on the career choices of men and women as a major reason behind this phenomenon.
I examine attitudes of Muslim migrants in Western Europe to the statement “When jobs are scarce, men should have priority over women” compared simultaneously to local Europeans and to their former compatriots back in the sending societies. Using a harmonized dataset combining European Social Survey as the core source, World Values Study, and European Values Study, and, I apply non-nested multilevel logistic regression. The survey shows that migrants in general assimilate fast and follow the trend of the receiving society, whereas Muslim migrants are society substantially less egalitarian gender-wise then local Europeans and other migrants (to various extent), however more liberal than their former compatriots.