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Эмоции и поведение украинцев на карантине: специальный проект

Emotions and behavior of Ukrainians under quarantine: special project

Date posted: 06.04.2020 Print Full version

According to the survey carried out by the Sociological Group Rating on April 1-2, during the quarantine period the frequency of news watching has increased significantly among the respondents (almost half of them started following news more often).

One-third of the polled indicated they had begun to watch movies and series, to clean their homes, to cook more often. About a quarter said they had extended self-development periods, socializing with their family, sleeping, eating, and listening to music. Every fifth person has become more involved in his/her hobbies, reading books, or doing sports.
Nevertheless, quarantine has had a significant impact on the outdoor activities - almost half have indicated they went out to take a walk these days less often than usual. The restrictions also have had a significant impact on communication with friends: about 40% said they talked to them less often than they used to do. Every fifth person has had to restrict communication with his or her loved ones and sporting activities.
Considering the gender cut: there are gender differences in quarantine behavior patterns. Thus, women follow the news and cook somewhat more often. Men are more likely to do sports, spend more time on sleep, alcohol, and sex. Especially it refers to those men who are now quarantined and not going to work.
Considering the age cut: the representatives of the youngest age group (18-29 years) are more likely to watch movies, engage in self-development, sports, hobbies, chat with friends and family, sleep, eat, listen to music, and have sex. Due to quarantine, the representatives of the youngest and young age groups (up to 40 years), not older people, have started cooking more often. And even men do it much more actively than they used to do before quarantine. Interestingly, age group under 40 is more likely to mention their restrictions on walking outdoors as compared to others.
Respondents' behavior changes based on their quarantine employment also attract interest. Thus, respondents who do not go to work (do not work or work remotely) have begun spending much more time on sleeping, cooking and eating, sports, hobbies, communication with loved ones, studying and self-development, books, films, and TV series. Even those who go to work have started watching more films and news, increased their sleeping and eating time (although less than those quarantined respondents). Quarantine almost has not affected the frequency of sexual intercourse.
Data analysis allowed to group respondents' answers into 5 different quarantine behaviors. The proposed grouping is done with the use of factor analysis. Therefore, the first group tries to devote more time to self-development (sports, hobbies, reading, studying). Representatives of the second group have begun to rest more (watch movies, series, eat, sleep, listen to music). A specific quarantine group (we call it "hedonism") spends more time buying things and food online, drinking alcohol, and having sex. Representatives of the other two groups spend more time on communication or doing housework.
Among the basic emotions, the respondents feel joy and interest / excitement most often. Wonder, anger, sadness, and fear are less explicit. Disgust, guilt, shame, and indifference – even less explicit. Emotions are the relevant background of our mood and psychological well-being. Therefore, the emotions’ researching is exactly what is happening to a person these days, as opposed to feelings that are usually long-term and stable and do not change significantly under the mood influence. Emotions are situational, they are easier to manage and change personal emotional background with the help of simple things.
Age. Representatives of the youngest age group (18-29 years) feel joy and indifference more often than others; young people (30-39 years old) – anger. Middle-aged respondents are more likely to be surprised. Interestingly, the elders are less likely to feel indifference, antipathy, and wonder as compared to others. Traditionally, older people are more concerned about others - children, grandchildren, and their physical health. Moreover, a previous “Rating” study found that Ukrainians now worry about their loved ones’ health far more than about their own health. At the same time, sadness is more common for older people. It is also interesting that the older age group is less likely to be afraid, despite the fact that they are at a risk group today.
Gender. Women are more likely to feel joy, wonder, interest / excitement, guilt, and sadness as compared to men; men are more inclined to be indifferent, hostile, and angry. Thus, the male spectrum of emotions is at the negative pole, while female one is bipolar. This is the traditional gender distribution of the emotional spectrum. Moreover, women are more emotional than men are (not referring the experiences, but in manifestations and behavior, because culture allows emotions to be expressed to women, while men should hide their emotions (exceptions are emotions that confirm masculinity). Men are supposed to be less afraid as compared to women, and considering the norms of men's gender roles, they are not entitled to it and should be bold and brave; that is the reason why men rarely reveal the emotions of fear. Women's sense of guilt - " I do something wrong", "I am guilty of something" – are based on the evolutionary culture of feelings, because women are often "guilty" and their behavior, occupation, actions are more often condemned (and self-condemned) for non-compliance with women's gender roles and status.
Interesting correlations between changes in the frequency of getting jobs under quarantine and emotional well-being have been recorded. Thus, our activities are capable of managing emotional states, just as emotional states cause changes in activities and behavior. Moreover, the emotional background also depends on the physical condition of the person and the physical parameters of the environment (comfortable temperature in the room or street, sun, fresh air, sufficient distance with other people, personal space - all this allows us to maintain the psychological boundaries of the individual, to feel better, and to be in good humor).
Thus, those who have started watching the news more often recently, have mentioned that they were afraid and surprised more often as compared to others. This is not surprising, because news provides information and facts to "sell" us emotions and "involve" in watching. It is always easier to attract to negative emotions than to positive ones, they are better felt, reflexed (people think about them and notice them), and remembered. Negative emotions are the most devastating stressors of human life.
Those who drink alcohol more often feel fear, antipathy, anger, wonder, and sadness more often, so alcohol does not help to improve emotional state, but on the contrary, immerses a person in destructive experiences.
Those who now less often communicate with friends and family are more likely to feel sad and angry. On the contrary, those who communicate with friends more often are more likely to feel joy. Social isolation is an unusual and uncomfortable condition for the individual; people are social creatures seeking for affiliation (to be with others, to feel belonging) and social facilitation (requiring “reinforcement” from other people who are motivators of activity and behavior).
On the other hand, those who are having sex and make online purchases more often are more likely to feel surprised and delighted and much less sad. In addition, there is a trend that those who have become less active in sports, hobbies, or simply listening to music, experience negative emotions such as sadness, anger, and fear more often than others.
Those who have started sleeping more feel indifference, antipathy, and anger more often. A person's consciousness tries to save them from stress, therefore, sleep "switches off" worries for a certain period, but does not help to overcome them.
Those who have started going outdoors more often are more likely to experience joy (triggered by physical environmental parameters that can enhance the emotional background), but at the same time their feelings of guilt have increased (due to quarantine restrictions).
We can change our emotional background with simple things, such as watching less news (so not to  worry and fear), talking to family and friends (to feel joy and not be sad). Involvement in constructive activities also helps to enhance the emotional background: sex, hobbies, sports, fresh air, and favorite music. Avoiding destructive behaviors helps not to immerse yourself in negative emotions: too much alcohol, sleep, news, and loneliness (lack of communication).
Sample: 1300 residents of Ukraine aged 18 and older. 
The margin of error with confidence level 0.95 does not exceed 4%.
 Period of the survey: 1-2 April, 2020. Internet poll using CASI method (Computer-Assisted Self Interviewing). 
Based on a random sampling of mobile phone numbers. 
The project was implemented in collaboration with the National Research Network “POLLARIS”.

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