Russian Citizens’ Social Mood, its Structure and Influence on Helping Behaviour

Russian Citizens’ Social Mood, its Structure and Influence on Helping Behaviour

Mersiyanova I.V

Cand. Sci. (Sociol.), Head of the Department for NGO Economy and Management, the Social Science Faculty, Director, Center for Studies of Civil Society and the Nonprofit Sector, HSE University, Moscow, Russia.

Briukhno A.S.

Research Intern, Research Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Studies, Center for Studies of Civil Society and the Nonprofit Sector, HSE University “Higher School of Economics”, Moscow, Russia

ID of the Article:

This work was supported by the Program for Basic Research of the National Research University Higher School of Economics

For citation:

Mersiyanova I.V, Briukhno A.S. Russian Citizens’ Social Mood, its Structure and Influence on Helping Behaviour. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2023. No 9. P. 29-40


Social mood is a complex phenomenon that encompasses emotional and rational perceptions of economic, political and social processes by the general population, and the impact of these processes on personal well-being. Social mood is considered to be a combination of four main aspects: (1) perception of the political, economic and social situation in the country; (2) general emotional state; (3) degree of optimism; (4) generalized trust and willingness to unite. Based on the data of an all-Russian survey conducted in 2022 by the Center for the Study of Civil Society and the Non-Profit Sector at the HSE University (Moscow, Russia), it was revealed that overall positive social mood prevails in the modern Russian society. Cluster analysis revealed six groups that differ from each other in terms of the four of social mood aspects listed above. The data show a statistically significant connection between social mood and participation in volunteering and informal helping behavior. In particular, respondents who demonstrate a greater willingness to unite and higher levels of trust are generally more likely to participate in helping behavior, although a pessimistic attitude is associated with significantly less involvement regardless of declared willingness to unite. Meanwhile, respondents exhibiting optimistic perceptions of their future are more likely to participate in helping others irrespective of trust and willingness to unite.

social mood; social wellbeing; helping behavior; volunteering


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Content No 9, 2023