Numerous experimental studies have revealed that two statistical measures of biological populations—(a) the correlation between certain parameters of their members and (b) the dispersion of theses parameters—simultaneously increase under stress conditions. Later on, this effect was confirmed also for financial systems. In our study we tested the applicability of these two stress-indicating statistical measures to Ukrainian society. We examined the prolonged stress period preceding the 2014 Ukrainian economic and political crisis. We considered the dynamics of 19 major public fears which got spread in the Ukrainian society during this period: of economic regress, of breakdown of the state, of losing sovereignty, etc. The study revealed that there was a simultaneous increase in the total correlation between the fears (by about 64 per cent) and also in their statistical dispersion (by 29 per cent) during the pre-crisis years. It is suggested that these measures may be a useful tool for monitoring stress onset and for possible steps that can be taken to prevent societal crises.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-123
Number of pages26
JournalPsychology and Developing Societies
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, © 2017 Department of Psychology, University of Allahabad.


  • Public fears
  • correlation
  • dispersion
  • the 2014 Ukrainian crisis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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