The Evolution of Basic Human Values of the Russians, 2006–2021

The Evolution of Basic Human Values of the Russians, 2006–2021

Magun V.S.

Cand. Sci. (Psychol.), Head of the Unit for Personality Research, Institute of Sociology of FCTAS RAS; Head of the Laboratory for Comparative Studies of Mass Consciousness, HSE University, Moscow, Russia

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The article was prepared in the framework of a research grant funded by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation (grant ID: 075-15-2022-325).

For citation:

Magun V.S. The Evolution of Basic Human Values of the Russians, 2006–2021. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2023. No 12. P. 44-58


The paper describes changes in the basic human values of the Russians between 2006 and 2021. Values were measured by the Schwartz Portrait Values Questionnaire; the data are from the Russian part of the European Social Survey conducted biannually. The regression models indicated the net increase in importance of Stimulation, Hedonism and Self-direction (all three belong to the active personally focused values) and net decrease in importance of Security and Conformity (the passive socially focused values). According to the net change, the values of Power and Achievement (the egoistic personally focused values) became less important, and the two altruistic socially focused values have changed in different directions. The endorsement of Benevolence (caring for close people and friends) grew stronger, and the endorsement of Universalism (caring for the equal treatment of every person in the world and tolerance) became weaker. At the next step, the general trends of value changes throughout the whole 15-year interval (either ascending or descending) were evaluated. It turned out that these general trends matched the direction of the net changes for all the values except for Selfdirection. The endorsement of Tradition did not demonstrate either the net change or any sustainable general trend. The basic human values of the Russians differ in their variability, with the values of Stimulation, Hedonism and Security apparently being the most volatile. Overall, the most noticeable changes can be characterized as a shift towards the values of active individualism. It is assumed that these changes resulted from impulses set by the liberal socio-political, economic and cultural reforms of the early 1990s, and these impulses continued to operate throughout the 15-year interval in question.

basic human values; value change; Portrait Values Questionnaire; monitoring; European Social Survey; regression analysis; effect size


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