Ukraine’s Map of Emotions as of 2016. The results of the first measuring of the emotional state of the entire country on Live TV.

Research period: October 9, 2015 – December 20, 2016 

The studio of the most popular political TV program in Ukraine, Shuster Live, became a tool for measuring the emotional state of the whole country. This study was conducted with the help of the unique format of the TV program. 

Format

Every Friday “all of Ukraine” gathered in the studio: 100 people who comprised a small stochastic sample stratified by age, sex, region and type of settlement demographically representing the population of Ukraine as precisely as possible. A team of professional sociologists selected the participants of the show by the stochastic method. All citizens of the country had an equal chance of getting into the studio. In order to prevent bias of the participants, the sociologists hand-selected participants at random; nobody could sign up or arrange to participate in the talk show. The sociologists worked in every region of the country.

Opinions of these 100 participants, with some minor deviation, could be considered representative of Ukrainians’ opinions as a whole. Each guest was given a personal tablet for expressing their attitude toward politicians and leaders of public opinion, who spoke live in-studio or on video. Every eight seconds “all of Ukraine” was to press either the “support” or “don’t support” button. The results of this continuous live poll reflected the attitude of the whole country toward the most acute issues and the politicians speaking in the studio. 

 

The first study of mass emotions

In October 2015, the show’s host, Savik Shuster, started asking “All of Ukraine” the same question at the start and the end of the program. He asked the participants their emotional state when they arrived and what emotion they had when leaving. The guests had only three options to choose from:  

  •  hope for tomorrow
  •  fear of tomorrow
  •  humiliation caused by the conditions you live in 

These questions were meant to enable Savik Shuster to test in practice the theory of the basic mass emotions of the outstanding French political scientist Dominique Moïsi. According to this theory, there are three basic collective emotions that form the geopolitical climate of a certain territory: hope, fear and humiliation. Moïsi states that the political and economic situation in a country also depends on which of the mass emotions prevails among its population.  

The study lasted for 46 weeks and involved 4,600 people. The team of analysts, led by Savik Shuster, registered those answers given at the end of the talk show, since they presumed that by the start of the program the participants might have been too elated by the fact that they had come to the capital city, Kyiv, to take part in the extremely popular TV show. By means of a special computer program analysts divided all the respondents into seven categories: region of origin, gender (men and women), and generation (ages 18-29, 30-44, 45-59 and 60+). 

It turned out that, in 2016, 63.7% of Ukrainians lived with hope for tomorrow, 17.5% lived in fear, and 18.8% in humiliation.  On the face of it, it is good that the majority of Ukrainians hope for the future. However, the author of the research came to the conclusion that in a stable society the ratio between these three emotions should be as follows: 76% of people should live with prevailing hope for tomorrow, while fear and humiliation should each be felt by only 12%. 

The Extremes 

The most depressive region at the moment of the poll was the Dnipropetrovsk region: every third representative (29%) of the younger generation (Millennials; aged 18-29) and one-third (31%) of the active generation (aged 30-44) lived with fear of the future, and every third representative (30%) of the senior generation (60+) lived with humiliation. The results of the poll can be seen in the table below. 

 

DNIPROPETROVSK REGION

In this region the level of hope was the lowest in the country: 57%. 

Strata  

Hope 

Humiliation 

Fear 

Region, total

57% 

20% 

23% 

Millennials: aged 18-29  

62% 

9% 

29% 

Active generation: 30-44 

59% 

10% 

31% 

The middle-aged: 45-59 

59% 

24% 

17% 

Senior generation: 60 + 

49% 

30% 

22% 

Men 

60% 

16% 

23% 

Women

54% 

24% 

22% 

 

The results received by Savik Shuster’s team coincided with those of the UN-HABITAT research program of 2012/2013. According to its findings, Dnipro, the capital of the region, was declared to be the fastest-dying major city in the world. This fact may account for the emotions of fear and humiliation with which people lived in the region four years after the UN-HABITAT research. 

Our findings showed that the most optimistic people in Ukraine lived in the Khmelnytskyi region. On average, 78% of its inhabitants lived with hope for the future in 2016. However, in contrast with most of the locals, 60%(!) of the people aged 60 and above lived in humiliation. 

 

KHMELNYTSKYI REGION 

In 2016, the highest level of hope for the future was registered in this region.

Strata  

Hope 

Humiliation 

Fear 

Region, total

78% 

12% 

10% 

Millennials: aged 18-29  

81% 

11% 

8% 

Active generation: 30-44 

63% 

16% 

21% 

The middle-aged: 45-59 

80% 

10% 

10% 

Senior generation: 60 + 

40% 

60% 

0% 

Men 

77% 

12% 

11% 

Women

79% 

13% 

8% 

 

We are publishing seven maps of the emotional state of different categories of inhabitants of Ukraine in 2016. 

The illustrators tried to show the emotional state of Ukrainians by means of mixing three basic colors: blue, yellow and red.

Blue stands for hope.

Red stands for fear.

Yellow stands for humiliation. 

In each region the designers mixed these colors according to the percentage of the findings of the research. Therefore, if a territory is bluer than the others, this means that there are more people living with hope here. The red and brown hues stand for a large share of fear mixed with humiliation. 

The data on Donetsk and Luhansk regions reflect only the findings among residents of the territories living under Ukrainian law.

Unfortunately, Crimea was left as “the blank spot,” because in 2016 residents of the peninsula could no longer come to Kyiv for participation in the program. 

We hope that Crimeans will actively take part in the online poll on our website, and we will learn what emotional state they are living in now. 

For more details about the findings of the first study of mass emotions in Ukraine, you can read Savik Shuster’s book Freedom of Speech vs. Fear and Humiliation. A Social Experiment on Live Television: the First Map of Collective Emotions of a Country. 

The first study of mass emotions in Ukraine displayed a shocking emotional difference between regions, generations and sexes. 

As a means of restoring the balance among Ukraine’s citizens, Savik Shuster has proposed experimental introduction of a universal basic income (UBI): monthly payments of a certain sum of money to each citizen of the country. For more details you can read here

We are open to constructive criticism and suggestions. The method of studying people’s emotional state is only starting to develop. It is going to improve with each new study, and we hope that results of our work will help make people’s lives better.