Human Capital Multidisciplinary Research Center

1.1.5 Dynamics of Values and Attitudes during the COVID-19 Pandemic in a Comparative Perspective

Boris Sokolov
Project Leader

Context of Research Project within a Subject of Human Capital

Human potential, in addition to knowledge and skills, also includes motivation, ideological and behavioral characteristics of individuals that affect their effectiveness as an employee, as well as their value orientations.

The fundamental values that set normative patterns for societies are changing slowly, but steadily: the richer and safer modern nations are, the more tolerant and liberal the views and attitudes of their citizens become. Moreover, it is believed that individual values are developed in the process of socialization in the early period of life of individuals and then remain relatively stable over the lifecourse. However, it is still not clear to what extent values are resistant to negative economic and social changes that transform the everyday life.

The research project The Dynamics of Values and Attitudes during the COVID-19 Pandemic in a Comparative Perspective studies how external shocks (e.g., the COVID-19 pandemic), causing short-term but severe deterioration in the quality of life, affect the stability of values and attitudes. Do they remain at the same level, or is there a rollback to more conservative views? And if so, how long-lasting are the consequences?

Project Aim

Studying political and social effects of the current COVID-19 pandemic with a special focus on the impact of the pandemic on the fundamental values of the Russian population in comparison with similar effects observed in other European and Asian countries

Project Objectives:

  1. Studying the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the accompanying deterioration of economic conditions on the fundamental values of people in a comparative perspective.
  2. Examining the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic experience on people's attitudes to government and the level of institutional trust
  3. Exploring how the COVID-19 pandemic affected subjective well-being of Russians
  4. Examining how the direct personal experience of encountering coronavirus influences individual values and attitudes to government.

Key Findings


We have documented how the COVID-19 pandemic affected the attitudes of the Russian population on a wide range of issues, including value orientations l (Inglehart and Welzel’s post-materialistic and emancipative values and Schwartz’s basic values), as well as political support, generalized and institutional trust, subjective well-being, what people think about the pandemic itself and the governmental response to it, etc.


We have identified the key determinants of institutional trust in Russia and also revealed the factors affecting individual assessments of governmental responses to the coronavirus crisis. Then, we have documented the differences between COVID-skeptics and the rest of the Russian population in their socio-demographic characteristics, personality traits, values and ideological attitudes.. Finally, using data from Germany and the UK, we established the role of personal values in the complicated relation between anxiety about the coronavirus pandemic and support for ethnic diversity.


Changes in correlation between the COVID-19 pandemic, concern about its consequences and political support in Russia have been identified. The dynamics of COVID-skeptics number among the population as a whole and in certain socio-demographic groups has been studied; in addition, socio-demographic characteristics of COVID-skeptics have been determined. Gender and age differences in the level of anxiety and depressive symptoms were established, as well as the presence of a link between the level of anxiety and a negative experience of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Уровень институционального доверия среди "бывших" и "новых" ковид-скептиков между двумя волнами опроса "Ценности в кризисе" (2020 и 2021 гг.)


  1. B. Sokolov, M. Zavadskaya, N. Soboleva, M. Ukhvatov, A. Shirokanova, A. Scherbak. Values in Crisis: the Sociology of the Coronavirus (RU), NCMU Scientific Digest, Issue No. 2. 2021
  2. Korsunova V., Sokolov B. Value Attitudes of Russians: Comparing the Results of Online and Offline Surveys // Monitoring Public Opinion: Economic and Social Changes. 2022. No. 3. pp. 4-27. doi
  3. Soboleva N., Sokolov B. Changing the Status on the Labor Market During the COVID-19 Pandemic and the Subjective Well-being of Russians // Economic issues. 2021. No. 12. pp. 139-153. doi
  4. Sokolov B., Zavadskaya M. Socio-demographic Features, Personality Traits, Values and Attitudes of Covid-skeptics in Russia // Monitoring of Public Opinion: Economic and Social Changes. 2021. No. 6. pp. 410-435. doi 
  5. The Symphony is Over? The Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Russian Orthodox Church–State Relations2022. Vol. 69. No. 1. P. 58-70. doi

Empirical data bases

Database Values in Crisis (RU) (Values in Crisis-International), 2020-2021


Ponarin E., Sokolov B., Klimova A. Database Values in Crisis (RU) (data on the Russian sample) 2021 (Values in Crisis-International). Certificate of registration 2021622861, 09.12.2021.


  1. Conference Anxious Society and (In-)Abilities of Solidarity (RU) (St. Petersburg, Russia, April 15-16, 2022): Section 5D. (RU) The Impact of the Pandemic on Russian Society: Data Analysis of Three Waves of the Values in Crisis survey (04/16/2022)
  2. XXII Yasin (April) International Academic Conference on Economic and Social Development (Moscow, Russia, April 4-22, 2021): The eleventh international workshop Recent achievements in comparative studies of values (04/07/2022)