More than a quarter of Russians are afraid to respond honestly to polls about the nation
About 26 percent of Russians are afraid to express their personal opinions in public opinion polls concerning circumstances in Russia, reports the newspaper Kommersant, referring to a new study by the Levada Center.
Speaking of surveys in general, 49 percent of respondents expressed the view that the Russians are reluctant to respond to sociological surveys. More than half of respondents said they believe Russians fear the consequences of answering sociological surveys honestly. 20 percent of the survey participants believe Russians are uncomfortable about the situation in the country today.
“The problem of socially acceptable responses in surveys is nothing new,” says political consultant Konstantin Kalachev. “This is called a social spiral of silence. People follow the majority. They are afraid to stand out, superstitiously prefer not to stir the pot, and they answer with pre-readied, upbeat mantras.”
The Levada Center is an internationally respected independent polling and sociological research organization, based in Moscow.
The center is named after its founder, the first Russian professor of sociology, Yuri Levada.