The research is supported by a grant of the Russian Science Foundation (project № 18-18-00439 “Psychology of human beings in conditions of global risks”)
The project involves theoretical and empirical research on socio-psychological mechanisms shaping attitudes to global risks. The project’s relevance is associated with the ever-increasing worries about global geopolitical, social, economic, and technological risks in civil society.
Individual’s and group’s attitudes to natural and anthropogenic risks influence social conduct more and more. Collective phobias related to global risks are being used in election campaigns and information warfare. However, the socio-psychological mechanisms shaping persons’ and group’s attitude to global risks have not been made clear yet: along with acknowledgment of global risks’ psychological aspects significance, the world science witnesses deficiency of theoretical empirical research in this area. The project is aimed at detecting conditions when objective global threats become subjectively significant risks for an individual and for a social group, and factors shaping subjective position in relation to global risks, individual’s and group’s readiness to accept them as challenges, that is opportunities for coping and growth.
The factors for constructing social representations about global risks, that will be researched: geopolitical (including international military conflicts, nuclear threat, large-scale terror attacks, state power weakening etc.); social (forced migration, social unrest etc.); ecological (climate change, extreme weather phenomena etc.); economic (unemployment, abrupt changes in energy prices etc.), and technological (unexpected harmful consequences of new technologies introduction, including artificial intelligence, genetic engineering etc.). For the first time ever the socio-psychological types of individual’s relation to various global threats sources as well as means for coping with them will be extracted. For this purpose the qualitative and quantitative socio-psychological methods shall be used as well as Big Data analysis and psychophysiological methods of eye-tracking and electroencephalography.
Based on theoretical analysis of research in the field of global risks social psychology, there has been devised a program of empirical study of mechanisms and resources for individual’s and group’s coping with ‘grand challenges’. The mechanisms of emergence and functioning of collective fears over global threats will be defined, as well as the role played by collective feelings, collective memory and past collective traumas - all shaping attitude to global risks. The socio-psychological mechanisms of shaping global identity in different social groups of Russians will be detected for the first time ever; as will be the socio-psychologial mechanisms of shaping the long-term image of Russia’s and humanity future. The socio-psychological concept of social entities’ (family, organization, metropolitan population, Russian society in general) resilience in the global risks setting will be worked out.
The project is aimed at developing socio-psychological technologies for supporting the positive vision of future, reflexive and proactive search for new opportunities when meeting big challenges. The means of supporting social sensitivity of the individual, large social groups and Russian society in general to long-term challenges will be offered. Some practical recommendations for deliberate coverage of global risks problematics in mass and social media will be worked out, which will support immunity to panic feelings, proactivity and constructive search for common solutions.