Social Sentiment Index

At the beginning of each uneven month Levada Center presents the recent changes of public sentiments in Russia – Social Sentiment Index (SSI) dynamics.

As many internationally acknowledged indices (like Consumer sentiment index – CSI produced by University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA; the Conference Boards’ Consumer confidence index) the Social Sentiment Index (SSI) in Russia is the broadest indicator of development of mass sentiment in society, and reflects the influence of mass consciousness on the country’s development.

Public opinion research in Russia indicate that there is strong correlation between people’ political, economic and social sentiments and attitudes, which aggregate into unified social sentiment vector. SSI measures the influence of subjective social sentiments, reflecting the balance of individual’s preferences and sentiments, on the development of the whole country, on the actual political and economic behaviour of the population.

Important advantage of the SSI is its forecast capacity – its trends anticipate possible changers in economic development of the country in several months.

SSI calculations are based on the data from regular national representative public opinion polls in Russia (N=1600, adult urban and rural population, age 18+).

SSI Methodology

All the questions used in calculating the SSI seek to bring out positive or negative perceptions (or a pattern of change in these perceptions) in order to sharpen the expressiveness of the indicator. The focus is on four elements:

  • respondents’ family current situation (sub index FI, 2 questions)
  • general economic and political situation in Russia (sub index RI, 3 questions)
  • Assessment of President and government (sub index PI, 2 questions)
  • Expectations for personal and country situation (sub index EI, 5 questions)

An individual index for each question is calculated as the difference between positive and negative answers, to which 100 is added to avoid negative values of the index. The aggregate SSI is calculated as the arithmetic mean of individual indices. Thus, the SSI varies in the range from 0 to 200, where values below 100 indicate the prevalence of negative appraisals among the public.

QUESTIONS USED TO CALCULATE THE SOCIAL SENTIMENT INDEX (SSI)

Family Index

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR MOOD OVER RECENT DAYS?

  1. Excellent
  2. Good, even
  3. Tense, irritated
  4. Anxious, depressed
  5. Don’t know

DO YOU THINK YOUR FAMILY LIFE BECAME BETTER, WORSE, OR NOT CHANGED DURING THE LAST 12 MONTH?

  1. Definitely better
  2. Slightly better
  3. Not changed
  4. Slightly worse
  5. Definitely worse
  6. Difficult to answer

Russia Index

WHAT IS YOUR APPRAISAL OF RUSSIA’S CURRENT ECONOMIC SITUATION?

  1. Very good
  2. Good
  3. Average
  4. Bad
  5. Very bad
  6. Don’t know

DO YOU THINK TODAY RUSSIA IS DEVELOPING IN THE RIGHT OR THE WRONG DIRECTION?

  1. In right direction
  2. In wrong direction
  3. Difficult to answer

WHAT IS YOUR APPRAISAL OF THE OVERALL POLITICAL SITUATION IN RUSSIA?

  1. Good
  2. Calm
  3. Tense
  4. Critical, explosive
  5. Don’t know

Power Index

DO YOU APPROVE OR DISAPPROVE DMITRY MEDVEDEV’S JOB AS A PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA?

  1. definitely yes
  2. probably yes
  3. probably no
  4. definitely no
  5. Difficult to answer

DO YOU APPROVE THE ACTIVITY OF THE CURRENT GOVERNMENT?

  1. definitely yes
  2. probably yes
  3. probably no
  4. definitely no
  5. Difficult to answer

Expectation Index

HOW DO YOU THINK A YEAR FROM NOW YOU AND YOUR FAMILY WILL LIVE BETTER OR WORSE THAN NOW?

  1. Definitely better
  2. Slightly better
  3. Not changed
  4. Slightly worse
  5. Definitely worse
  6. Difficult to answer

HOW DO YOU THINK A YEAR FROM NOW LIFE IN RUSSIA WILL BE BETTER OR WORSE THAN NOW?

  1. Definitely better
  2. Slightly better
  3. Not changed
  4. Slightly worse
  5. Definitely worse
  6. Difficult to answer

DO YOU THINK THE CURRENT GOVERNMENT WILL BE ABLE TO IMPROVE THE SITUATION IN THE COUNTRY IN A YEAR?

  1. Definitely yes
  2. Rather yes
  3. Rather no
  4. Definitely no
  5. Difficult to answer

WHAT DO YOU THINK AWAITS THE RUSSIAN POLITICS OVER THE NEXT FEW MONTHS?

  1. Considerable improvement of the situation
  2. Some improvement of the situation
  3. Some worsening of the situation
  4. Considerable worsening of the situation
  5. Difficult to answer

WHAT DO YOU THINK AWAITS THE RUSSIAN ECONOMY OVER THE NEXT FEW MONTHS

  1. Considerable improvement of the situation
  2. Some improvement of the situation
  3. Some worsening of the situation
  4. Considerable worsening of the situation
  5. Difficult to answer
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