2010: Discovering key innovative practices in Russian households
This year we have concentrated on three areas that follow the conceptual model of research, adopted in 2009: the study of the innovation perception, analysis of innovation practices dissemination within the households and the identification of skills for innovation.
For the first area, we carried out a secondary analysis of the data with an emphasis on identifying types of consumer behavior and factors influencing the formation of innovative and conservative attitudes and the innovative climate in general. For the second area, we analyzed only a portion of the obtained data (cross-country comparisons of usage of information and communication technologies by individuals and participation in lifelong education). The third area of research was mostly of a methodological and organizational nature (we prepared a program of study, questionnaire and guidance materials for RLMS field work).
Comparative analysis of the public opinion polls carried out in Russia and other European countries demonstrated the following relationships: the higher the country's scientific awareness is, the greater the number of opponents of new technologies. During our research work, we also discovered significant differences in the answers of respondents from Eastern and Western Europe, including weak public interest in Eastern European countries to scientific issues, lower science museum attendance, involvement in scientific and technological issues and the need for scientific knowledge. In these countries, we revealed a low level of scientific literacy of the population, in particular, the worst results were registered in biology (but at the same time the residents of Eastern Europe answered Physics questions no worse than Western Europe citizens, moreover the former are more familiar with concepts such as atomic structure). In addition, the majority of Eastern European residents believe that astrology is a science. Slovenians represent the largest share of those who do not see astrology as science, while Romanians, on the contrary, the lowest share. Despite this, even in Slovenia, half of the population believes that astrology is a science (in Romania this figure is as high as almost 2/3). It can be attributed to the fact that these countries are still not immune to the pseudo-scientific doctrines that were forbidden in Soviet times and these doctrines are actively and even aggressively spread by mass media and are “mimicrying” science.
Among social groups, the largest share of “enthusiasts” could be seen among high-income respondents, but even in this group their number is rather small - 6%. Innovative strategies are more common among the younger generation and Moscow residents as well as respondents with higher education. A conservative strategy is more often seen among people of the older generation (age 55 and older), respondents with lower incomes, and residents of the Volga Region and rural areas.
Thus, the key question about the reasons for the widespread mild conservatism among Russians regarding innovative products and services remains open. As a hypothesis we offer a deficit of reliable information. Verification of this hypothesis is planned in the second cycle of the Monitoring in 2012 – in the survey “Perception of innovations”.
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