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Extremism among College and High School Students in Moscow: Diagnostics Features

Authors: Puzanova Zhanna Vasilyevna, Larina Tatiana Igorevna, Tertyshnikova Anastasia Gennadyevna


In this day and age, extremism in various forms of its manifestation is a real threat to the world community, the national security of a state and its territorial integrity, as well as to the constitutional rights and freedoms of citizens. Extremism, as it is known, in general terms described as a commitment to extreme views and actions, radically denying the existing social norms and rules. Supporters of extremism in the ideological and political struggles often adopt methods and means of psychological warfare, appeal not to reason and logical arguments, but to emotions and instincts of the people, to prejudices, biases, and a variety of mythological designs. They are dissatisfied with the established order and aim at increasing this dissatisfaction among the masses. Youth extremism holds a specific place among the existing forms and types of extremism. In this context in 2015, we conducted a survey among Moscow college and high school students. The aim of this study was to determine how great or small is the difference in understanding and attitudes towards extremism manifestations, inclination and readiness to take part in extremist activities and what causes this predisposition, if it exists. We performed multivariate analysis and found the Russian college and high school students' opinion about the extremism and terrorism situation in our country and also their cognition on these topics. Among other things, we showed, that the level of aggressiveness of young people were not above the average for the whole population. The survey was conducted using the questionnaire method. The sample included college and high school students in Moscow (642 and 382, respectively) by method of random selection. The questionnaire was developed by specialists of RUDN University Sociological Laboratory and included both original questions (projective questions, the technique of incomplete sentences), and the standard test Dayhoff S. to determine the level of internal aggressiveness. It is also used as an experiment, the technique of study option using of FACS and SPAFF to determine the psychotypes and determination of non-verbal manifestations of emotions. The study confirmed the hypothesis that in respondents’ opinion, the level of aggression is higher today than a few years ago. Differences were found in the understanding of and respect for such social phenomena as extremism, terrorism, and their danger and appeal for the two age groups of young people. Theory of psychotypes, SPAFF (specific affect cording system) and FACS (facial action cording system) are considered as additional techniques for the diagnosis of a tendency to extreme views. Thus, it is established that diagnostics of acceptance of extreme views among young people is possible thanks to simultaneous use of knowledge from the different fields of socio-humanistic sciences. The results of the research can be used in a comparative context with other countries and as a starting point for further research in the field, taking into account its extreme relevance.

Keywords: Extremism, FACS, youth extremism, diagnostics of extremist manifestations, forecast of behavior, sociological polls, theory of psychotypes, SPAFF

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