The Arctic region is one of the most sensitive and vulnerable to climate change. The dramatic melting of Arctic ice has several negative consequences for the whole ecosystem as well as for a way of life of native people but it also creates new opportunities for the region. First, it opens up potential for exploitation of large deposits of natural resources such oil and gas. Second, it shrinks Arctic shipping routes which offer significant economic savings for many countries. These benefits has already attracted many countries, both Arctic and non-Arctic, thus resulting in potential conflict of interests. In our paper we present a mathematical approach to the problem of conflict resolution in the Arctic. First, we propose an approach how the level of interest in each part of the region should be evaluated with respect to main resources - oil, gas, fish and maritime routes. Second, we present several models of areas allocation to resolve the problem of conflict resolution. As a result, we applied several scenarios of areas allocation, evaluated their efficiency based on the total satisfaction level and identified conflict zones in the Arctic.
Our study employs the network approach to the problem of international migration. During the last years, migration has attracted a lot of attention and has been examined from many points of view. However, very few studies considered it from the network perspective. The international migration can be represented as a network (or weighted directed graph) where the nodes correspond to countries and the edges correspond to migration flows. The main focus of our study is to reveal a set of critical or central elements in the network. To do it, we calculated different existing and new centrality measures. In our research the United Nations International Migration Flows Database (version 2015) was used. As a result, we obtained information on critical elements for the migration process in 2013.
We consider an application of power indices, which take into account preferences of agents for coalition formation proposed for an analysis of power distribution in elected bodies to reveal most powerful (central) nodes in networks. These indices take into account the parameters of the nodes in networks, a possibility of group influence from the subset of nodes to single nodes, and intensity of short and long interactions among the nodes.
Modern neuroimaging studies begin to explore neurobiological mechanisms of social norms enforcement. Several regions of frontal lobes and temporo-parieto-occipital cortex play a key role in decision making of social punishment of fairness’ norm violation. The cutting–edge methods of brain stimulation allow to change a frequency and intensity of social punishment in different economic tasks (games). The analysis of modern studies show that brain mechanisms of decision making to punish non–cooperative individual requires further investigation with brain stimulation methods to differentiate a role of frontal and temporo-parieto-occipital regions and clarify its interaction.
Nontransitivity of winningness of chess arrangements (i.e., their relations like in the rock-paper-scissors game) is recently found property of chess environment. The concept of interactivity of a game, i.e., extent of its parties’ interaction (interpenetration) is introduced. Games of different interactivity are analyzed, and nontransitivity is considered as a consequence of high interactivity. Consequences of nontransitivity of superiority (domination) for cognition of complex systems and mastery of them are discussed.
Despite the growth of negative attitudes to homosexuals in Russia the research into this topic has been extremely scarce. Based on the analysis of social discourse, we have created a pool of items and undertaken three empirical studies aimed to develop and validate the Russian Attitudes to Homosexuals Inventory (RAHI) and investigate the associations of homophobic attitudes with a range of demographic and psychological variables. In Study 1 we used an online sample (N = 1,007) and explored the structure of the item pool, finding 8 factors, 5 of which referred to different dimensions of perceived threat of homosexuals (to individuals, morals, society, Russian culture, and heterosexual lifestyle) and 3 described social strategies directed at homosexuals (criminal punishment, medical treatment, and discrimination vs. protection). The scales were highly reliable (α = .82-.91) and formed a single second-order dimension, labelled general index of homophobia. Negative attitudes to homosexuals were stronger in males, religious respondents, and those heterosexuals who denied having experienced any feelings of same-sex attraction in their life. In Study 2 (paper-based sample, N = 292) we cross-validated the second-order structure of the RAHI. Using hierarchical multiple regression we found that homophobia was positively predicted by authoritarianism and negatively predicted by experience of same-sex attraction and social contact with homosexuals as friends. We also found weaker positive associations of homophobia with religiosity, social identification with gender, masculinity, extraversion, and social desirability, as well as a negative association with openness. In Study 3 we used contrast groups of neutral and anti-homosexual online community members (N = 330 and N = 107) to check the criterion validity of the RAHI. The findings are in line with the existing body of research from other countries, but reveal the culturally-specific features of the content of Russian homophobia (e.g., homosexuality is viewed as a result of Western influence). The RAHI emerged as a valid and reliable tool, which can be used for future Russian-language studies.
Military intervention is a method of international conflict resolution. Previous research has revealed the main factors influencing attitudes toward specific wars. In this study we investigated factors which predict attitudes toward war in general. We hypothesized that general attitudes toward war are predicted by psychological hardiness. However, this link is mediated by alienation from self, relationships and society. Russian residents (N=1427) filled out the scales for psychological hardiness, alienation and attitudes toward war. Structural equation modeling confirmed the hypotheses. The results showed that low psychological hardiness predicted high alienation from self, in relationships and society. Alienation, in turn, was linked to general attitudes toward war. Higher alienation from self and in relationship was correlated with more positive attitudes toward war, but higher alienation from society was related to more negative ones. These results are discussed with reference to the content of social norms and representations.
Data Envelopment Analysis is not very well applicable when a sample consists of firms operating under drastically different conditions. We offer a new method of efficiency estimation on heterogeneous samples based on a sequential exclusion of alternatives and standard DEA approach. We show a connection between efficiency scores obtained via standard DEA model and the ones obtained via our algorithm. We also illustrate our model by evaluating 28 Russian universities and compare the results obtained by two techniques.
Ethnic prejudices is a crucial factor affecting the relationship between ethnic groups. To measure blatant ethnic prejudice questionnaires are used which include questions and statements that reflect different aspects of negative attitudes towards ethnic groups. Since most of these techniques were created in North America and Western Europe, they reflect the content of ethnic prejudices prevalent in these regions, and need cultural adaptation. The aim of this study is to adapt the scale of blatant and subtle prejudice by Pettigrew and Meertens (Pettigrew & Meertens, 1995) for a Russian sample. The study included a pilot phase and a main phase. Participants of the pilot phase (N = 354) filled out the original version of the questionnaire translated into Russian, evaluating migrants who arrived in Russia from Central Asia and the Caucasus. The results showed the low structural validity of the original version of the scale. Participants of the main phase of the study (N = 402) filled out a modified version of the questionnaire, which included 28 statements that form six scales. The results showed that the highest structural validity is exhibited by a five-factor model, which includes the following scales: the perceived economical threat, the perceived physical threat, the avoidance of close contact, the perceived problems in adaptation, the exaggeration of cultural differences. The results demonstrated that Russian prejudices against migrants from Central Asia and the Caucasus are associated with relative deprivation, ethnic identity and the intensity of intergroup contact. The structure of the methodology is universal and the link between individual factors and variables depend on the group that serves as the object of prejudice. In particular, relative deprivation and the number of contacts are more tightly linked to prejudice against migrants form Central Asia than prejudice against migrants from the Caucasus.
Political leaders need the support of other citizens to exercise that influence and perform their functions. According to the leader categorization theory, people give more support to the leaders which fit a certain prototype – the idea of a perfect leader. In this study we analyze the link between just world belief, Russian national identity and the idea of a perfect leader. We assumed that the more people believe in a just world, the stronger their national identity is. The more they identify with Russia, the more support they expect from their political leader, and the more power they award to him. Members of psychological and political groups in Russian social media have participated in the study (N = 294). They filled out an online version of the survey, which included scales for measuring just world belief, Russian national identity and the idea of a perfect political leader. To test the hypotheses structural modeling was used. The results confirmed the hypotheses. At the same time, they show, that belief that the world is just towards other people plays a bigger role, than belief in the world being just towards one’s self.
Aleskerov et al.  and  estimated the degree of manipulability for the case of multi-valued choice (without using any tie-breaking rule) and for Impartial Culture (IC). In our paper, we address the similar question for the multi-valued choice and for Impartial Anonymous Culture (IAC). We use Nitzan-Kelly's (NK) index to estimate the degree of manipulability, which is calculated as the share of all manipulable voting situations, and calculate indices for 3 alternatives and up to 10000 voters. We have found that for the case of 3 alternatives Nanson's procedure shows the best results. Hare's procedure shows close, but a bit higher results. The worst aggregation procedure in terms of manipulability is Plurality rule. Additionally, it turned out that NK indices for IAC are smaller than NK indices for IC.
Humans’ civilization has a system of different social tools, institutions, and types of positive and negative work, with teaching/learning determined by the different interests of many actors. Negative work is more hidden and less studied. A paradoxical adaptive problem for teachers with good intentions is design of teaching/learning that equips pupils for learning in future environments unknown to the teachers.