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Regular version of the site

Book chapter

The psychological condition of russian society in the context of the covid-19 pandemic

P. 262-266.
Deyneka O. S., Maksimenko A.

The problem of the psychological impact of a pandemic, quarantine and self-isolation on the state of society
attracts increased attention of specialists (Hua J., Shaw R., 2020; Li S., Wang Y. et all, 2020, Enikolopov
S. et all, 2020; Fedosenko E., 2020). The objective of our work was to find the most common attitudes and
types of responses of Russians to the epidemic COVID-19 taking into account their involvement in social
networks, critical thinking and severity of psychopathological symptoms. The study was carried out during
the recession of the first wave of the pandemic in early June 2020. The main tool was the questionnaire of
T. Nestik in an abridged version. Additionally, a questionnaire of critical thinking was used (CTI, Epstein,
adapted by S. Enikolopov and S. Lebedev, 2004); test of psychopathological symptoms SCL-90-R; social
media engagement questionnaire (Karadag, 2015) was used. The study involved 986 people (56.9% male,
43.1% female) aged 18 to 76 years. Using exploratory factor analysis, 6 types of responses to the epidemic
situation caused by COVID-19 were identified (fans / opponents of the "conspiracy theory"; responsible /
irresponsible, covid-dissidents, covid-optimists, misophobes, anti-vaccinators). The dominant belief among
the respondents is that the emergence of new infectious diseases is a natural process of mutation that occurs
in nature without the participation of people, or the result of someone's mistake. Conspiracy theories were
significantly more common among elderly people and women. Citizens see salvation from the epidemic in
the moral conscience and responsibility of everyone. At the same time, they do not trust both official
information and information from fellow citizens. Representatives of the older generation have higher
confidence in the country's leadership, in the possibilities of medicine and science, and in fellow citizens.
Correlations of non-critical thinking with manifestations of misophobia and fear of new epidemics were
revealed. Depressive subjects were more concerned about the illegal behavior of fellow citizens and
misophobia. Long-term fear of epidemics has been correlated with anxiety. Among those who prefer social
networks to official information (television, radio, print), statistically significantly more are those who not
only do not trust official information about the epidemic situation, but also do not trust their fellow citizens,
attributing to them possible facts of concealing information about the disease because of the fear of being
quarantined. Thus, the COVID-consciousness of Russians demonstrated a combination of rather
contradictory attitudes.