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Dynamics of the attitude of the population of Ukraine towards sociological surveys, October 2018

By Volodymyr Paniotto, CEO of KIIS

On October 26 – November 4, 2018, Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) conducted its own public opinion poll. Data were collected from 2043 respondents living in 110 settlements (PSU) in all oblasts of Ukraine (except for the AR of Crimea) with the method of personal interviewing. The sample was stochastic, and it is representative of the population of Ukraine aged 18 and above.

In Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts survey was conducted only in the territories that are controlled by the Ukrainian government, the sample is representative of the population of Ukraine aged 18 and above.

The statistical sampling error (with a probability of 0.95 and for a design effect of 1.5) does not exceed: 3.3% — for indexes close to 50%, 2.8% — for indexes close to 25%, 2.0% — for indexes close to 10%, 1.4% — for indexes close to 5%.


The poll conducted in October 2018 showed that 43% of respondents trust the data of sociological organizations that have been operating for a long time already, 20% - do not trust, others do not have an opinion about this. The level of trust to these sociological surveys has decreased by 4 percentage points over the last year (from 47% in 2017 to 43% in 2018). The balance of trust and mistrust (the percentage of those who trust minus the percentage of those who do not trust) is + 23% (it was + 36% in 2016 and 2017).

In particular, the survey showed:

  • The level of trust in the results of sociological surveys of organizations that have long been working and publishing the results of their research at first increased significantly among the population of Ukraine over 11 years (from 36% in 2002 to 47% in 2004), and then remained more or less stable with some fluctuations. The balance of trust and mistrust to sociological centers (the percentage of those who trust minus the percentage of those who do not trust) increased since 2013: it was +31% in November 2013, then +39% in 2014, and +40% in 2015 (see graph 1). In the last 3 years, the balance has decreased: +36% in 2016-2017 and +23% in 2018.


Graph 1. Trust-mistrust balance to sociological centers (percentage of those who trust minus the percentage of those who do not) from 2002 to 2018

  • Level of trust to sociological surveys is somewhat bigger among women than among men (46% vs. 40%)
  • As to the age, the highest trust in sociological researches is showed among people aged 30-39 and 50-59 (equally 46%). The lowest level of trust is observed among people who are 40-49 years old (38%) and retired people aged 70+ (39%).



Commentary of Volodymyr Paniotto, CEO of KIIS,  NaUKMA professor: 


Given that 43% of respondents trust data of the sociological organizations that have been working for a long time already, and 20% do not trust it, should we feel good or bad about it? We can not accurately compare the research data on trust in sociologists and social institutions that we have just presented. First of all, data on the trust to sociologists may be somewhat inflated, since one can assume that those who do not trust sociological research more often refuse to participate in the study. Secondly, the question there was formulated slightly differently, and we do not know how the nuances of the wording influence the results. However, approximately it can be said that by the level of trust, sociologists yield to volunteers and the church (also the army, perhaps), but they are ahead of other social institutions and groups (the media, and government structures, in particular). Unfortunately, over the past year, confidence in sociological organizations, which has been stable for 10 years, has statistically significantly decreased over the past year. Most likely, this is due to the elections and increasingly widespread use of dirty technologies by the election campaigns i.e. using fake data. Also, it might be due to the emergence of pseudo-sociological companies, and the mean criticism of professional companies by those who consider the presented data unprofitable for their political power. The Sociological Association of Ukraine made a statement on this matter.  



Do you trust the results of sociological surveys conducted by organizations, that have been operating and publishing results of their surveys for a long time already? % of respondents

By years:

  2002 2004 2009 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Yes 36 47 45 51 46 48 50 50 47 43
Difficult to say 32 37 35 34 37 40 36 35 41 35
No 29 13 14 13 15 9 10 14 11 20
Denial from answering 3 3 6 2 2 3 4 2 1 3
Trust-mistrust balance(% of those who trust minus % of those who do not) 7 34 31 38 31 39 40   




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