17.05.2004 | Prof. E.F.Ivanova

A Study of certain psychological features of human rights activists


In this special issue the analysis of a psychological test isdescribed; the test was conducted on the initiative of KharkivGroup for human rights protection among the participants of theseminar on regional human rights protecting groups of Ukraine heldon 13-15 December 1996. The author of the study and of thefollowing text is Professor E.F.Ivanova, Head of the Department ofCommon Psychology of Kharkov University, Doctor of Psychology.


Ivanova E.F.

Throughout the world there are people who react acutely tounjustice, violation of law, abusing human rights, people whoattempt to protest and to act in order to improve the situation.There were and there still are such people in our state. Some ofthem take part in human rights protection movement. At variousstages the movement had specific features. New people joined themovement and brought new ideas. At present human rights protectionactivity has become much more massive and attracted rather manynew participants. Thus, in our society a specific group of peoplehas appeared who are called human rights protectors and whopresumably possess certain peculiarities in their psychology, theircharacter and their personality, the features that determine inmany respects their outlook and behavior.

The present study is the first attempt of investigating certainpsychological peculiarities of human rights protectors. First ofall we studied their opinions on those personal features whichhuman rights protectors must possess (questionnaire No.4), ofseveral peculiarities of their consciousness as well as of realiaof the modern life (questionnaire No.3), their understanding ofspecific features of human rights protection activity and theirroles in it (questionnaire No.5), as well as their self-assessmentas human rights protectors and how they estimate their closeness toan ideal human rights protector(questionnaires Nos.1,2).

We investigated about 50 participants of the human rightsprotection seminar held in Kharkov in December 1996. Some of thequestionnaires where left blank, so the number of differentquestionnaires is not always 50.

The first study concerned the self-assessment of the respondents(questionnaires Nos.1,2) for which we have specially modified theS.Budassi technique. The respondents were asked to range 24personal features which the respondents possess. Thenthe respondents were asked to range the same features as they shouldbe possessed by an ideal human rights protector. In the classicalvariant of this technique the actual ’I’ is compared with the ideal’I’ in our variant with the ideal human rights protector. Thedegree of deviation between the actual and ideal ’I’ determines theself-assessment. The closer the correlation coefficient is to 1,the closer is the real ’I’ to the ideal and the higher is theself-assessment of the respondent as a human rights protector.

As a result of this experiment we received 50 questionnaires, ofwhich 18 were filled in incorrectly, thus we got 32 questionnaires.The results are shown in the following table.

 ¦ Self-assessment ¦ Number of respondents ¦ Per cent.¦
 ¦ 0 - 0.3 ¦ 1 ¦ 3 ¦
 ¦ 0.3 - 0.4 ¦ 2 ¦ 6.25 ¦
 ¦ 0.4 - 0.5 ¦ 6 ¦ 18.75 ¦
 ¦ 0.5 - 0.6 ¦ 4 ¦ 12.5 ¦
 ¦ 0.6 - 0.7 ¦ 4 ¦ 12.5 ¦
 ¦ 0.7 - 0.8 ¦ 7 ¦ 22 ¦
 ¦ 0.8 - 0.9 ¦ 7 ¦ 22 ¦
 ¦ 0.9 - 1 ¦ 1 ¦ 3 ¦

The above-given data show that almost 60% of respondents assessthemself rather highly and 25% have the self-assessment close toideal. This can be the result of a high degree of satisfaction withone’s activity, of understanding that the respondent does what hecan and likes; on the other hand, it can be explained by low degreeof self-criticism, by the inability to assess oneself adequately.

Along with this conclusion, this technique enables singling out theset of desired and rejected features. Among the features that gothighest ranges the leading are the following: integrity (35),objectivity (30), honesty (27) and tolerance (22). Thus, humanrights protectors consider these features to be the most desirablefor the ideal. The rejected features are distributed in thefollowing way: indifference (40), haughtiness (38), aggressiveness(31), recklessness (31), importunity (28). It should be noted thatthe respondents were much more unanimous with respect to therejected features and assessed them practically similarly. Thedistribution of positive features is smeared, there was nounanimous reaction which testifies that the respondents did notsufficiently comprehend what demands should be set before a humanrights protector. To a certain extent these results, as will beshown later, correlate with those obtained by other techniques.

The next was the study of personal features that human rightsprotectors should possess from the viewpoint of the respondents.The latter had to fill in questionnaire No.4 that asked to name 10main features which a human rights protector should possess. We got46 filled in questionnaires in which the main features weredistributed in the following order: persistence (31), honesty (30),integrity (30), bravery (24), good education (24), altruism (18),communicability (16), tolerance (14), dignity (13), activeness(13), tact (12), resolution (12), attention to others (10) and soon.

Since a large number of rather various features was mentioned, weunited them into units, such as: tolerance, altruism, resolution,communicability, sensitivity, good education and professionalism,strength of mind, honesty and integrity, attention to others; wealso singled out properties needed for human rights protection.Among various features some were related to the above-listed groupsand some were omitted since they did not pass under theabove-listed headings and were infrequent (such as belief in God,gentleness, etc.).

Several of the above-listed groups appeared to be a rather closeand we united them into greater blocks. For example, tolerance,altruism and attention to others were united into one block named’tolerance’ good education, professionalism and strength of mindwere united, and the block was named ’good education and strengthof mind’. The other blocks were left unchanged.

By the number of times the features when mentioned in thequestionnaires the first place was won by the resolution block(97), the second place was occupied by the block of tolerance in awider meaning (92), the third place was taken by honesty andintegrity (79). Further places were distributed as follows: goodeducation and strength of mind (75), communicability (46),sensitivity (18), conditions (8). Let us consider the content ofeach block in more details.

1. Resolution. Under this heading rather different features wereunited, such as resolution of a chief (bravery, strong will,activeness, determination, strictness, independence), positivefeatures of a subordinate (meticulousness, discipline), ambivalentfeatures that unite the positive properties both of a chief and asubordinate (persistence, doggedness, pedantry, responsibility) andso-called features of the voluntary communication (the ability todefend one’s views and assurance that one’s own position is right).The leading features appeared to be chief’s (56) and ambivalent(34) ones. Compared to them the merits of a subordinate andfeatures of voluntary communication occurred to be insignificant (4)and (3), respectively.

2. Tolerance. This block was the second by the number of times itwas mentioned in the questionnaires, and the features comprising itmay be divided into several groups. The largest (34) appeared thegroup of features reflecting respect and love to man and otheractive attitudes, such as attention to, sympathizing with, respectand love to man and so on. Somewhat less popular (26) appeared thegroup of properties of passive tolerance (tolerance, patience andso on). The group of altruistic features appeared as popular as theprevious one (26); these features are both active: altruism (18),unselfishness (3), and passive: absence of vanity (2), modesty (2),absence of vindictiveness (1). The block is closed by two importantfeatures: loyalty (4) and patriotism (4).

3. Honor. The third place (79) by the times mentioned inquestionnaires was taken by this block. The majority of points wasgiven to two features: honesty (30) and integrity (30). Thesefeatures were mentioned in 65% of questionnaires, in 28% theymentioned human dignity. Only one feature from other blocks -persistence (31) - can compare with integrity and honesty. Comparedto other blocks, this one contains few features: except theabove-mentioned, justice (4), adherence to principles (1) andincorruptibility (1).

4. Good education and strength of mind. This block won the fourthplace (75). The leading features in it are good education (24) andobjectivity (18). It is interesting that legal education orcompetence was mentioned infrequently, 7 times, professionalism -5 times. In 6 questionnaires (13%) the respondents mentioned thenecessity of being clever, and in 5 questionnaires (11%) theymentioned ingenuity. All other features were mentioned 1 time.

5. Communicability. This block (46) is considerably lesssignificant than the first four. The main features appeared to besociability (16) and ability to negotiate with tact (12). Humor andability to convince was mentioned 3 times, openness,straightforwardness, politeness, the ability to concede and to workin a team were mentioned twice. Actor’s talents and charm werementioned once. Sometimes the respondents named rathercontroversial features, such as straightforwardness and ability tonegotiate with tact. This testifies that human rights protectorshave rather ambivalent ideas about the features they need.

6. Emotionality. Under this heading we united various featurespertaining to emotions: sensitivity (18), reticence (7) andsteadiness (3) appeared to be leading. Optimism, involvement,aloofness, reasonableness were mentioned 2 times each. Here again,as in the previous block, we came across controversial featuressuch as aloofness and involvement.

7. Additional block - conditions. Precisely speaking, they are notfeatures needed by a human rights protector - they are conditionsthat support and encourage human rights protecting activity. All inall they were mentioned 8 times: time to spare (2), mental health(2), passable living standard (2), absence of personal problems (1)and desire (1). All these conditions are rather haphazard.

Thus, the model of the personality of a human rights protector,which was construed on the base of human rights protectors,includes very various features: spiritual, voluntary, emotional andso on. The constructed model resembles a model of a strong-willedleader with abnormally strong tolerance and altruism in theiractive embodiment. For human rights protectors honesty andintegrity are also very essential. Good education and objectivityare important, professionalism and cleverness are comparativelyinsignificant. Communicability and emotional features are nothighly estimated; in these groups they mentioned contradictoryfeatures, which testifies that the comprehension on the side ofhuman rights protectors about themselves (at least in thesespheres) is far from being complete.

Questionnaire No.3 presented a material for the associativeexperiment aimed at revealing the meaning and emotional tint ofcertain realia in modern public life. The respondents were askedto escribe three associative words to each word given by theexperimenter. The latter 12 words and combinations were thefollowing: human rights protector, democracy, freedom, nation,degree of protection, absence of violence, tolerance,discrimination, state, power, Ukraine, the USSR.

We analyzed 48 questionnaires. We shall list some typicalassociations to each of the above-listed 12 words and combinations.

’HUMAN RIGHTS PROTECTOR’. 54 different associations were linkedwith this notion. The most frequent appeared ’advocate’ (8) and’protection’ (8). By meaning they belong to one semantic unit’man-protector’ (16). The next associations are ’fighter’ (6) and’seeker of truth’ (5). Then follows ’man’ (4) and ’honest’ (4).Other words were mentioned from one to three times. In order toanalyze the associations we united them into groups, similar orclose in meaning. We divided the answers into the following groups (some of the associations remained out of these groups):

1. Neutral associations: 1) citizen; 2) man.

2. Positive estimations: 1) honest (4); 2) decent (3); 3) objective(2); 4) educated; 5) just; 6) humane (2); 7) patriot.

3. Negative assessments: 1) chatterbox; 2) fool; 3) coward.

4. Associations with professional activities: 1) advocate (8);2) judge (2); 3) lawyer; 4) prosecutor.

5. Associations with ideological orientation: 1) liberal; 2)humanist; 3) dissident.

6. Associations pointing out the romantic character of theactivity: 1) Don Quixot (2); 2) altruist (2); 3) romantic; 4)knight; 5) man of the future; 6) priest.

7. Associations according to the function: 1) protector (8); 2)fighter (6); 3) seeker of truth (5); 4) diplomate (3); 5) thinks ofothers (2); 6) fulfills a noble mission (2); 7) assistant; 8)defender; 9) tribune; 10) compassion.

8. Associations linked with a specific position in the society: 1)exile (2); 2) disagreeable; 3) stubborn; 4) victim.

9. Associations with concrete persons: 1) Sakharov (2); 2) Bogoraz.

Thus, we separated nine almost non-intersecting series ofassociations to the concept ’human rights protector’. The longestseries is that of associations according to the performed function:it includes 10 different associated words, three of them having thegreatest weight. Somewhat shorter is the series of positiveassessment (eight words) and the associative series pointing outthe romantic character of human rights activity (6 words). Theseries of associations connected with the professional orientationand specific position in the society consisted of 4 words. Howeverin the series connected with professional orientation the word’advocate’ was the most frequent among all associated words. It isinteresting that in this series words were included that reflectopposite functions: advocate, judge, prosecutor. The shortest wasthe associative series with concrete persons or neutral.

These data witness that for people who go in for human rightsprotection the concept ’human rights protector’ is emotionallytinted and united with the romantic character of the activity and aspecific status position of these people in the society.

’DEMOCRACY’. All in all 58 associative words were given. The mostfrequent appeared ’people’ (15), ’freedom’ (11), ’right’ (8),’law-abiding’ (5), ’equality’ (4). Let us analyze the mainassociative groups.

1. Associations connected with functions of democracy: 1) legality(5); 2) oversight of laws by the public (2); 3) protection offreedoms; 4) pluralism; 5) parliamentarism.

2. What does democracy give to people: 1) opportunity to protectand realize rights (2); 2) participation in ruling the state (2);3) independence (2); 4) law and order; 5) social justice; 6) equalrights; 7) freedom of speech; 8) freedom of press; 9) freedom ofreligious beliefs.

3. Associations with concrete countries and historical realia: 1)the USA (3); 2) Greece; 3) Germany; 4) Sweden; 5) Ukraine; 6) The Great Charter.

4. Associations connected with the idea of being united: 1) people(15); 2) majority (2); 3) unity; 4) concord; 5) mutual help; 6)respect.

5. Emotional positive associations: 1) holiday; 2) width; 3) sun;4) red; 5) peace; 6) quiet; 7) dream.

6. Emotional negative associations: 1) theater; 2) demagogy; 3)speculation; 4) political utopia; 5) plutocrats’ power; 6) tyranny.

7. Associations with personal features: 1) will (3); 2) dignity; 3)gentleness.

8. Attributes of democracy: 1) elections; 2) flag; 3) tribune; 4)demonstration.

Here the block of associations connected with what democracy givesto people appeared the most saturated. All other groups ofassociations appeared to be more or less equal. Practically equalappeared the positive and negative emotional associations, whichtestifies that at present people have an ambivalent attitude todemocracy. The perception of this concept is rather utilitarian:what democracy must give to people.

’FREEDOM’. We obtained 59 associative responses to this word. Amongthem there were no undoubtful leaders. Three words were mentionedfive times: ’liberty’, ’life’, ’right’ and five words werementioned four times: ’joy’, ’speech’, ’action’, ’thought’,’opportunity to realize oneself’. We subdivided the associativewords and combinations into 4 groups:

1. What freedom gives and requires: 1) opportunities (4); 2)sovereignty (2); 3) relaxation (2); 4) democracy (2); 5)responsibility (2); 6) brotherhood (2); 7) reason (2); 8) privacy(2); 9) private property; 10) safety; 11) solidarity; 12)development.

2. Emotional positive associations: 1) joy (4); 2) air (2); 3) wind(2); 4) good; 5) exaltation; 6) triumph; 7) youth; 8) breath; 9)light; 10) happiness; 11) white; 12) fresh air.

3. Associations by contrast: 1) absence; 2) zone; 3) encarceration;4) bars; 5) anarchy; 6) ruin and disorganization; 7) demolishedbuilding.

4. Associations connected with the idea of choice: 1) choice (3);2) right of choice (2); 3) right to choose leaders.

The most saturated two blocks are connected with what is given byfreedom and with positive emotional associations. It is noteworthythat one of the most frequent associations is connected with theword ’life’. Concrete associations are absent here, all of them areabstract or fanciful.

’NATION’. This word caused 53 associations, of which the mostfrequent were: ’people’ (11), ’community’ (9), ’state’ (5), ’isdetermined by territory and mentality’ (5), ’etnos’ (4), ’unity’(4), ’pride’ (4), ’Ukraine’ (4). The followed groups were singledout:

1. Synonyms: 1) people (11); 2) community (9); 3) unity (4); 4)ethos (4); 5) race.

2. By which a nation is determined: territory and mentality (5); 2)language (3); 3) culture (3); 4) motherland (2); 5) belonging.

3. Positive associations: 1) pride (4); 2) honor (2); 3) friendship(2); 4) future (2); 5) mutual help; 6) mutual understanding; 7)flourishing; 8) inseparability; 9) spirituality; 10) nobleness; 11)dignity; 12) enlightenment.

4. Negative associations: 1) discrimination; 2) restriction; 3)minority; 4) nationalism; 5) nazism; 6) ghetto; 7) concentrationcamp; 8) mob; 9) fight; 10) blood; 11) black.

5. Associations with concrete nationalities: 1) Ukrainians (2); 2)Russians; 3) Bielorussians; 4) Jews.

6. Associations with concrete countries: 1) Ukraine (4); 2) theUSA; 3) Germany; 4) France.

Among the associations to the word ’nation’ the most frequentappeared: the series connected with the definition of the concept’nation’ and its separate attributes, such as language, culture,etc. The longest are the series of positive and negative emotionassociations. Among positive associations there are manycoincident words from different experimentees; among the negativeassociations there are no repetitions. Among negative associationsthere is a group of words connected with nazism and its crimes.These associations were given by different respondents.

’DEGREE OF PROTECTION’. 49 associations were obtained, the mostfrequent were: ’confidence’ (10), ’order’ (8), ’law’ (8), ’safety’(4), ’comfort’ (4), ’quiet’ (4). The responses can be divided intothe following groups:

1. Associations with the structures that guarantee protection ofthe society: 1) order (8); 2) law (8); 3) constitution (3); 4)discipline (2); 5) right (2); 6) police; 7) court; 8) benefit ofthe doubt.

2. Associations with personal protection and safety: 1) safety (4);2) comfort (4); 3) quiet (4); 4) calm (3); 5) disappearance of fear(2); 6) reliability.

3. Associations with a family: 1) home (3); 2) mother (3); 3) child(3); 4) family (2); 5) love (2); 6) happiness; 7) health; 8)warmth.

4. Associations with material security: 1) high standard of living(2); 2) prosperity; 3) job; 4) well-to-do.

5. Associations with the future: 1) confidence (10); 2) confidence in the future; 3) prospects; 4) hope; 5) eagerness.

6. Associations with objects and weapons for protection: 1) fort;2) handgun; 3) tank; 4) arm; 5) bomb-shelter; 6) bulletproof vest.

The maximum number of associations (and the maximum series inlength) is connected with the realia guaranteeing the socialprotection of man, the second place is taken by associationsconnected with family and related concepts. This testifies that therespondents relate their degree of protection first of all withpublic guarantees and also with their family. A rather long seriesof associations is connected with concrete object and weaponsneeded for protection, half of them capable of serving forprotection only (fort, bomb-shelter, bulletproof vest), while thesecond is capable for active defence (handgun, tank, arm). This confirms that the respondents had in mind rather active defence than passive protection. A new group of associations connected with the future is related to the concept analyzed. This association wasnot present in previous groups.

’ABSENCE OF VIOLENCE’. 70 different associations were obtained andonly three words were repeated four or more times: ’tolerance’ (7),’total good and love’ (5), ’humanity’ (4). The scatter ofassociations is significant and they are difficult to be united ingroups. That is why the following number of groups is small.

1. Synonyms: 1) humanity (4); 2) nonresistence (2); 3)noncompulsion; 4) non-aggression; 5) concord; 6) peace; 7)cooperation; 8) friendliness.

2. Positive emotional associations: 1) quiet water surface; 2)river; 3) kindness; 4) quiet; 5) calm; 6) peacefulness.3. Negative emotional associations: 1) weakness of will; 2) sadism;3) masochism; 4) corrumpability; 5) clans; 6) illegal; 7) nonsense;8) brute; 9) slave; 10) savagery; 11) laissesfaire.

4. Associations with concrete countries and people: 1) India; 2)Gandi; 3) Tolstoy.

5. Religious and philosophical associations: 1) religion (2); 2)Christian moral; 3) Veddic philosophy.

It is of interest that the series of negative associations is verylong (it is the longest series in all the experiment and is almosttwice longer than that for the positive associations). Theemotional intensity of this series is also rather high. One ofthe reasons of such a negative attitude to this phenomenon is thenegative attitude to Christian moral, to Leo Tolstoy’s teaching andother forms of passive nonviolence that was cultivated in our society for decades. Another reason is the necessity for people, involved in human rights protection activity, to be active, because passive nonviolence for them is a dead-end. Anyway, one must agree that in the studied group there are respondents who actively reject the idea of nonviolence.

’TOLERANCE’. 60 associations were obtained and the most frequentappeared the following: ’temperance’ (10), ’reticence’ (5),’respect’ (4), ’calm’ (4). We singled out the following groups:

1. Associations with personal features: 1) reticence (5); 2) calm(4); 3) humility (3); 4) wisdom (3); 5) good character (2); 6)self-control; 7) pliancy; 8) equanimity; 9) integrity; 10)attention to others; 11) dignity.

2. Associations with desired properties: 1) tact and ability tonegotiate (3); 2) gentleness (2); 3) good education (2); 4)acknowledgement of other people’s rights.

3. Negative : 1) slavery (2); 2) absence of rights; 3)totalitarism; 4) nervous atmosphere; 5) fear before securityservices.

4. Associations with countries and historical personalities: 1)Ukraine (2); 2) the USSR; 3) India; 4) Gandi.

5. Religious associations: 1) christianity (3); 2) religion (2); 3)buddhism; 4) Christ; 5) teacher; 6) church; 7) graveyard.

The block of associations connected with personal properties andfeatures appeared the most representative. The number of negativeassociations is twice less than to nonviolence, and the words arenot so intensive. The number of religious associations increased,the series seemed to be continued. Upon the whole the respondentsseem to accept tolerance more than nonviolence, since the lattercaused a large number of strong negative associations.

’DISCRIMINATION’. 64 associations were obtained. The most frequentare: ’abuse or violation of rights’ (12), ’violation’ (6),’suppression’ (5), ’humiliation’ (5), ’oppression’ (4), ’racism’ (4).We have singled out the following groups:

1. Forms of discrimination: 1) racism (4); 2) fascism (2); 3)apartheid (2); 4) communism; 5) collectivism; 6) totalitarism; 7)genocide; 8) segregation; 9) nationalism; 10) national; 11) sexual.

2. Associations with those who is discriminated: 1) women (2); 2)negro (2); 3) minority; 4) Ukrainians in Ukraine; 5) women ofUkraine; 6) servicemen.

3. Countries and realia connected with discrimination: 1) Africa(2); 2) Orient; 3) the SAR; 4) the USSR; 5) GULAG.

4. Negative associations: 1) unjustice (2); 2) barb; 3) abuse; 4)persuasion; 5) extradition; 6) dishonesty; 7) bad morals; 8)meanness; 9) war; 10) black; 11) evil (2); 12) lawlessness (2); 13)hell.

Blocks dealing with various forms of discrimination and withnegative associations appeared the most representative.Associations from second and third groups seemed to be ratheroccasional. It testifies that the word considered is understood onthe conceptual level (various form of discrimination are mainlyshown) and has a negative emotional coloring. Discrimination israther associated with Negros, the SAR, Africa and in a much lesserdegree is associated with realities of our life.

’STATE’. 62 associations were given to this word. The most frequentappeared the following: ’apparatus’ (7), ’coercion’ (6),’protector’ (5), ’bureaucrat’ (4), ’prison’ (4). We have dividedthe associations into the following groups:

1. Functions of the state: 1) coercion (6); 2) power (3); 3) force(2).

2. Forms of the state: 1) empire (2); 2) totalitarian (2); 3)republic; 4) free; 5) Soviet; 6) Ukrainian.

3. Attributes of the state: 1) bureaucrat (4); 2) army (3); 3)people (3); 4) frontiers (3); 5) territory (2); 6) constitution(2); 7) flag (2).

4. State as a machine for coercion: 1) prison (4); 2) violate; 3)deprive of individuality; 4) suppress dissidents; 5) concentrationcamp; 6) bullet; 7) zone; 8) cell; 9) execution; 10) misfortune;11) heaven through bars.

5. State as a protecting machine: 1) defender (5); 2) instructor;3) guarantor of order; 4) skeleton of the nation.

6. Associations with corruption: 1) corruption; 2) bribe-taker.

Among the associations with the word ’state’ the most frequent werethose connected with violence, coercion, oppression, corruption, prisons. This can be explained that such associations are mainly connected with the realia of Soviet and post-Soviet life, i.e. the state is perceived as the former or present one, not like an abstraction. The proportion of neutral and positive associations was much less, which testifies about the negative attitude.

’POWER’. 73 associations were obtained. The most frequent are:’violence’ (10), ’corruption (8), ’dictator’ (4). Although thespread of the data appeared significant, the associations were easyto classify.

1. Kinds of power: 1) democratic (2); 2) liberal; 3) totalitarian;4) authoritarian; 5) Soviet; 6) usurped; 7) corrupted.

2. Power attributes: 1) state (2); 2) laws (2); 3) administration(2); 4) bureaucracy (2); 5) government; 6) leader; 7) parliament;8) king; 9) clerk; 10) management; 11) policy; 12) right.

3. Power as coercion: 1) violence (10); 2) dictatorship (2); 3)stern leadership; 4) tyrany; 5) coercion; 6) oppression; 7)genocide; 8) weapon; 9) club.

4. Power and corruption: 1) corruption (8); 2) racket (3); 3) mafia(3); 4) thiefs; 5) bribes; 6) bribe-taking; 7) money; 8) crime; 9)cruelty; 10) octopus; 11) clique.

5. Realia of Soviet life: 1) militia (2); 2) fat militia colonel athis desk; 3) party committee; 4) governmental car.

6. Positive associations: 1) necessity (2); 2) order; 3)opportunities; 4) achievements; 5) legality; 6) wisdom; 7)confidence; 8) tests.

7. Negative associations: 1) braking laws (2); 2) fear (2); 3)spoil (2); 4) torture; 5) giftless; 6) hotiness; 7) unjustice; 8)dog; 9) stranger; 10) idiots at the top; 11) deprivation of rights;12) absence of rights; 13) equanimity to people; 14) abuse; 15)insolence.

It is noteworthy that the associations to the word ’power’ are verynegative emotionally, which expresses the negative attitude to thedenotate. Power is perceived as violence, corruption, violation oflaws and, in general, a phenomenon alien to people. The longestseries are related with negative associations.

’UKRAINE’. 73 various associations were given to this word. Themost frequent of them appeared to be: ’motherland’ (10), ’state’ or’independent state’ (9), ’country’ (4). The associations wereclassified into the following groups:

1. Country, state: 1) state (7); 2) country (4); 3) territory; 4)people; 5) nation; 6) Europe.

2. Native land: 1) motherland (8); 2) my motherland (2); 3) home(2); 4) our big home; 5) native.

3. Associations with independence: 1) independence (3); 2)independent state (2); 3) shattered handcuffs; 4) independent; 5)sovereign; 6) proud; 7) free.

4. Associations with the future: 1) prospects (3); 2) future (2);3) hope (2); 4) progress; 5) development; 6) way to democracy.

5. Associations with the past: 1) Chernobyl; 2) famine; 3)repressions; 4) Belovezhskaya thicket.

6. Associations with concrete realia: 1) forest (2); 2) village; 3)straw hat; 4) kayak; 5) rushes; 6) Ukrainian pie; 7) borshch; 8)folk dance gopak; 9) black soil; 10) ’yellow sun on the bluebackground’.

7. Associations with concrete persons: 1) Shevchenko; 2) Kravchuk;3) Oksana Zabushko.

8. Associations with family: 1) mother (3); 2) children; 3) baby;4) grandpa; 5) life.

9. Associations with suffering: 1) beggar (3); 2) unfortunate land(2); 3) unfortunate people (2); 4) unfortunate state; 5) suffering;6) disease; 7) pity; 8) bitterness; 9) offence; 10) ruination; 11)poverty.

10. Ambivalent associations: 1) indeterminacy; 2) crisis; 3)vagueness; 4) contradiction; 5) ’democracy’ 6) quasi-legal state;7) independent republic painfully constructing ... what?; 8) free,independent and beggarly due to stupidity of separate and allpeople.

Among the groups described four groups stand out being more or lesssimilar in length. These are associations with suffering, withconcrete realia, ambivalent and connected with the idea ofindependence. It can be taken for granted that one of the mainideas about Ukraine is connected with suffering and withindeterminacy of her present status.

’The USSR’. 69 various associations were obtained. The mostfrequent of them appeared: ’totalitarism’ (9), ’empire’ (9),’prison (of peoples)’ (7), ’empire of evil’ (5). We singled out thefollowing groups:

1. The former state: 1) past (3); 2) state (2); 3) independentstate; 4) world in the past; 5) former friendship; 6) formercommunity of Soviet people; 7) former common motherland.

2. Concrete realia: 1) Moscow (2); 2) Kremlin; 3) camp forpioneers; 4) mountains; 5) communal flat; 6) sausage.

3. Emotionally colored realia of the past: 1) home-sickness (3); 2)adieu; 3) childhood; 4) atavism; 5) good that it is dead.

4. Associations with the ideology: 1) utopia (2); 2) ideology; 3)anarchy; 4) communism; 5) communism is ’opium for people’.

5. Ideologically colored realia: 1) CPSU (2); 2) Lenin (2); 3) KGB(2); 4) GULAG (2); 5) Siberia; 6) Stalin.

6. Associations connected with suppression: 1) totalitarism (9); 2)terror (2); 3) violence (2); 4) genocide; 5) murders; 6)repressions; 7) suppression of dissidents; 8) enslaving.

7. Associations with imprisonment: 1) prison (7); 2) fetters; 3)barbed wire; 4) large outer zone.

8. Associations connected with war: 1) civil war; 2) tank; 3)commissar.

9. Negative associations: 1) empire of evil (5); 2) ruination (3);3) hypocrisy (2); 4) false hoods (3); 5) shame; 6) death; 7)monster; 8) fгar; 9) terror; 10) nonsense; 11) snowstorm.

10. Associations connected with violations of rights and laws: 1)absence of laws (2); 2) absence of rights; 3) violation of rights;4) absence of freedoms; 5) discrimination.

Among the associations with ’the USSR’ negative associationsconnected with oppression, violations of rights and laws,concentration camps, prisons, etc. dominate. There is littlehome-sickness connected with emotionally positive remembrances. Afew years passed since the fall of the USSR and it is regardedfirst of all as an oppressing machine, empire of evil, and prison ofpeoples.

Our technique enabled us to clear out some peculiarities ofunderstanding the realia of modern life by human rights protectors;this technique permitted us to make conclusions about separatefeatures of their outlook. It is worth of noting that theirattitudes are often ambivalent, which is typical for the outlook ofpeople living in post-totalitarian societies (E.Golovakha,N.Panina). Secondly, most suggested concepts provoked a profoundemotional reaction, which testifies of very personal attitude tothe phenomena involved. Thirdly, the respondents revealed anegative emotional attitude to many realia and concepts. Thus, suchwords as ’power’, ’state’, ’the USSR’, ’discrimination’ and’nonviolence’ triggered a highly negative emotional reaction. Thesemantic fields of the concepts ’power’ and ’state’ are rathersimilar, which testifies that these two concepts are inseparablymerged in people’s consciousness. The both of these concepts areunderstood first of all as a machine for violence and coercion,both of them are associated with corruption. Another pair thatblended in reactions of human rights protectors is ’discrimination’and ’nonviolence’, which are almost equally unacceptable for ourrespondents. Their ideas of phenomena related to the future areambivalent. All this confirms the idea on the ambivalence ofoutlook of people in post-totalitarian societies, human rightsprotectors included.

In order to understand better those people who conduct human rightsprotection activity, to clear out their targets, successes,results, their attitude to this activity, their personal historythat led them to this activity and so on, we applied the techniqueof unfinished sentences, following the classic prototype, but withquite different content and verbal formulas. We used 24 unfinishedsentences aimed at investigating what respondents know about humanrights, goals of human rights protection activity, what they thinkabout results and success of human rights protection activity,about their personal attitude to this activity and about theirbiography, all in all in five spheres. Each sphere used fourunfinished sentences; besides, we had one block of four unfinishedsentences which did not concern these topics and were used as adistraction. The sentences were arranged in different order.

The respondents received a blank each with 24 unfinished sentences(questionnaire No.5); the respondents had to finish the sentences.All in all we received 49 questionnaires. It appeared that in36 questionnaires all the sentences were finished, and in 13questionnaires some sentences remained uncompleted. These twogroups of questionnaires were processed separately. The analysis ofthe data obtained will be carried out separately about each of thefive spheres.


It was checked by the sentences of the type: ’Human rights, it is...’, ’At present human rights are ...’ and so forth. Less than50% of the respondents tried to give some rational definition ofhuman rights. They explained human rights as a way of interactionof man and society, a set of rules, moral norms and laws. A numberof the respondents defined them as natural inalienable rights ofman. Several just listed concrete human rights (for life, forlabour, etc.). Others (more than 50%) expressed their emotionalattitude (’human rights, this is what we never had’, ’this is thebasis of life’), they gave assessments (’it is the highest value’),they noted pragmatic consequences (’it is what improves life’).

Practically half of the respondents believe that human rights wouldnot be violated if the level of legal knowledge in the society ishigh. As many believe that, to achieve this target, a developedcivil society which is free, democratic and law-abiding, must bebuilt. A few respondents answered that it is impossible on ourEarth.

Where practically all the respondents are unanimous, that is in theopinion that now and here human rights are brutally and massivelyabused. This was proclaimed by about 70% of the respondents. Manyrespondents wrote that human rights need protection not less thanin the USSR, that violation of human rights is criminal, thatpeople do not understand what human rights mean. Three respondentsout of 36 expressed the opinion that the situation with humanrights in Ukraine is improving.

A special sentence concerned human rights in Ukraine. Here again acertain similarity of opinions was revealed. More than 75% of therespondents consider that human rights in Ukraine ’are violatedmore and more’, ’are brutally trampled’, ’are in the criticalstate’. Many pointed out that this is an urgent problem, that therights are declared but not protected either by the society or byprivate people. Human rights protectors reckon that human rightsare not comprehended by people as a problem or as a value; for themthese are abstract theoretical notions.

In the second subgroup (who left some sentences incompleted) theresponses were somewhat different. In the sentences about humanrights the endings were: ’this is what we need’, ’this is whateverybody must know’. Such responses testify that the respondentsare not sufficiently knowledgeable about this question. In thesentence about what is needed to stop violations of human rights, agreat variety of responses was observed, but the main motive of allresponses was to fight and to defend the rights. The overwhelmingmajority of respondents of this group believes that human rightsare violated here and now, some believe that people ’do not knowtheir rights’, that the rights are not ’comprehended’. All, whoanswered the question on human rights in Ukraine, said that therights are absent, are not fulfilled, are violated and so on.

11 sentences of this group were incompleted, 5 concerned humanrights in Ukraine and 3 concerned human rights at present. Amongthe completed sentences some were humoristic, which also meansunwillingness to answer.

%Goals of human rights protection activity

More than 30% of the respondents believe that the main goal ofhuman rights protection activity is the protection of rights eitherabstract or from the state. About 15% answered that human rightsprotection activity is needed ’to lead full life’, ’to feel oneselfa man’. Other responses can be divided into two groups: in thefirst (about 10% the respondents believe that human rightsprotection activity is needed for the society (’to create ademocratic society’, ’to evaluate the laws of our state from theviewpoint of international norms’), in the other the respondentsrelate human rights protection activity to personal use (’to knowone’s rights’, ’to be free’, ’not to be slaves’, ’to survive in themodern world’ and so on). Only two questionnaires affirm that thedeveloped knowledge and respect to laws is needed to people inorder not to come to conflict with others.

The sentence that required the response to the question what is themost important in human rights protection activity was answered inthe ambivalent way. A great attention is paid to personalproperties of the people who go in for human rights protectionactivity. The answers were: ’adherence to principles’, ’honesty’,’dignity’, ’purity’, etc. The answers listing such properties asopenness, ability to protect laws and rights, actual assistance topeople who suffered of unjustice were represented in equalproportions. Separate answers name ’legal enlightenment’, ’masspropaganda and changing outlook’, ’fight for freedom’ and so on.Some responses sound like warning: ’avoid empty chatter’, ’knowwhat you want’. These results force us to conclude that the groupof respondents have rather different views about the main goals oftheir activity.

The sentence ’By observing human rights...’ permitted therespondents to escribe the ending either to outer entities (state,other people) or to oneself. About 30% address their response tothe society believing that ’By observing human rights the society(state) becomes law-abiding and democratic’. Some direct theirresponses to themselves finishing the sentence by ’... the stategrants us the opportunity to be free’ or ’... to live like humans’.In one of the responses observance of human rights is connectedwith foreign states: ’... shows us how to live’. In three answersthe respondents name Ukraine and affirm that ’... she will becomecivilized’.

In other responses (less than 30%) the active side is representedby man who will be ’satisfied’, ’bring assistance to other people’,’to fill himself human’, etc. In some sentences the thought iscontained that by observing human rights people will be sure that’their own human rights would be observed’. In a few answers agreater community of people is involved, for example ’by observinghuman rights we unite the humanity’. The main mass of therespondents did not express so large scale intentions.

The question for what is needed human rights protection activitygot a family of rather uniform answers. More than 40% consider thatthe goal is to protect human rights and to shape a democratic civilsociety. This must be such society where ’the main principle willbe: not a man for state, a state for man!’. In some answers it isnoted that human rights protection activity is needed ’to keepsociety together’, ’to increase responsibility of state officers’,’to get rid of negative phenomena’. Some more idealistic goals wereexpressed, such as ’to realize the ideal of justice’, ’to makepeople better’, ’to help people, who lost all hopes, to find a newhope’. In a number of responses there ia a motive of avoidance: ’toprevent war’, ’to prevent revolutionary situation’. Severalresponses are directly connected with Ukraine: ’to assist thecreation of independent Ukraine’, ’to help our country survive’,’to prevent Ukraine to become European Cuba’. Some responses arepersonal: ’to fill oneself human’, ’to respect oneself and so on’.

The answers of the second group are slightly different. 13sentences are incompleted (mainly the sentence ’By observing humanrights ...’). Talking about the necessity of knowledge and respectto law, the respondents of this group directed their answers tothemselves: ’we shall defend ourselves’, ’we shall feel ourselvessure and free’, ’we shall live normally’, etc. While answering whatis the most important in human rights protection activity, theywere more unanimous, indicating such personal qualities asactivity, persistence, honesty, objectivity, etc. and their ownwish to do it. In a few answers the necessity is mentioned of legalenlightenment and knowledge of sources of violating human rights.By observing human rights, we, according to the respondents of thisgroup, ’are going to civilization’, ’feel ourselves civilized’,’save ourselves’. The respondents of the two groups answered thelast question in the similar fashion. They believe that humanrights protection activity is needed in order ’not to fall into thegorge of lawlessness’, ’to protect and be protected’, ’to show thepower that it exists for us’ and so on. There are answers relatedto Ukraine (’to confirm the legal base of Ukraine’) or to abstractman (’to assist man become a man’).

Thus, people who go in for human rights protection activity putbefore themselves the goal related to two spheres: to society andto man.

%The result or success of human rights protection activity

40% of respondents consider that the successful result of theiractivity is successful protection of human rights and diminishingthe number of cases when human rights are abused. More than 10% ofthe respondents consider their activity successful if they reachconcrete results: removal of the source of the violation,improvement of the life of citizens, achievement of set goals, etc.About 20% consider their activity successful if it develops suchtheir personal features as bravery, persistence, resolution, etc.Some name the achievement of certain emotional and spiritualstates, such as hope, joy or freedom. One of the answers says thatit is ’the triumph of Christian morals’, another that it is a’white dream’. The usefulness of human rights protection activityis understood rather uniformly: ’when one can help concrete people’(about 30%) or ’when one gets concrete positive results’ (almost50%). A few answers tell that human rights protection activity isuseful when one sees that younger people ’start to do the same’,when ’children learned something’, ’when one can make a citizen outof a slave’, i.e. they reflect the enlightenment and breeding afact of human rights protection activity.

The viewpoints of the respondents concerning what is needed for thesuccessful human rights protection activity are rather different:starting from having money and ending by unselfishness. Havingfinances was mentioned by 20% of the respondents; unity, goodorganization and the like was marked by 17%; ability to use massmedia - by 14%; professional education - by 14%. A few answers tellabout the necessity of contacts with international organizations,of uniting the efforts of human rights protection organizations andthe society. Again some responses mentioned personal qualities,such as the necessity to be brave, principal, honest,knowledgeable, persistent, sincere, impecunious, etc. Somequestionnaires mention the ability to convince the state or thosewho must be protected. Thus we see that in the question what isneeded for the successful human rights protection activity, therespondents were not of the same mind.

Answers about the results of human rights protection activity are also rather different. 17% of the respondents (that is the maximum) considered that the results of their activity are ’restoration ofviolated rights’, ’decrease of the number of cases when humanrights are violated’, ’professional assistance that led tovictory’. The next group of responses expresses the relation to theefficiency of human rights protection activity, which, in theiropinion, ’a little above zero’, ’still unsatisfactory’, ’still notnoticeable’. However, the word ’still’ in many such answers showsthat the respondents consider such state of affairs temporary. Somerespondents connect the results of human rights protection activitywith the diminishing of the level of violence in the society, withreduction of crime, with development of the law-abiding democraticstate, with the restoration of justice. Others tell that thisresult is long expected, although difficult to achieve. Theiractivity ’makes the state reckon with people’, and, at the sametime, ’sometimes is not adequately evaluated by those who wereprotected’.

The answers of the second group to this block of questions aresimilar to those of the first group. The success of human rightsprotection activity are more or less concrete: ’defeat of abureaucrat’, ’liberation of prisoners of consciousness anddissidents’, ’protection of concrete rights’ and, in general,’concrete results’. The latter can be progress of society or legalenlightenment. In two answers the success is understood assatisfaction of the respondents obtained from their activity. Butthis group differs from the first one in a much weakerinsatisfaction with their results. ’We help lonely people butgeneral problems remain unsolved’. The respondents are ratherunanimous as to the criteria of usefulness of human rightsprotection activity. It is useful when ’there is a result’, ’canactually assist’, ’can make the power to respect people’. As wellas in the first group, there is a wide scatter of opinions as towhat is needed for the successful human rights protection activity.They name the wish, capabilities (without telling which), activeactions. The personal features needed for the activity are bravery,resolution, determinacy, calm, professionalism, ’belief in thenoble character of the goal’. As in the previous group theymentioned the necessity to finance their activity and to unite allactivists. One of the responses suggests ’to shoot orthodoxcommunists or to put them behind bars, as they did it before’.

%Personal attitude

This block of questions was aimed at understanding of the personalattitude of human rights protectors to their activity and relatedcircle of problems. Their answers were distributed as follows:first of all, a group was revealed that regard their human rightsprotection activity as a citizen’s duty (25%). The wording wassuch: ’I fulfill my citizen’s duty’, ’I bring good to people of mycountry’, ’I promote constructing democratic society’, ’I improvethe situation with human rights’ and so on. About 15% of therespondents regard their activity as mere help to other people (’Ihelp those who cannot help themselves’). Still another groupmentions what changes occurred in their lives after they started toparticipate in human rights protection activity: ’I met manyinteresting people’, ’I live fast’, ’I protect my ideals’. Therewas only one answer but we find it very important: ’I am changingmy outlook’. Several answers note that the respondents ’feltthemselves real people’, ’felt that they were needed’. In 14% ofanswers a Christian attitude to human rights protection activity ismentioned: ’I am bringing love to my neighbors’, ’I bring mercy’,’I bring Christian charity and redeem my sins’, and, at last, ’Inot only help to others, but I am saving my sole’.

The answers about the personal attitude to human rights protectionactivity divided the respondents into two groups: the firstregarded their activity as personal, belonging to their demands andtheir personal relations; the other group regarded it as service tosociety. More than 15% of respondents consider human rights ’theinalienable part of social life’, ’the base of civilized society’.And more than 10% consider human rights ’the base of human life’.About as many respondents (14%) believe that human rights are’unalienable demand of man’, ’opportunity to grant help’. As manyrespondents put human rights at the top in their own hierarchy ofvalues saying that it is ’sacred’, ’above all’, ’anothercommandment’, etc. Two questionnaires contained references to thepast and to the future. One says that human rights guarantee theconstruction of the future democratic state in Ukraine and theother states that human rights will prevent the return oftotalitarism and the USSR.

As to the personal opinion what they find the most principal in theproblem of human rights about 30% consider that it is protection ofman and help to him. It can be protection of dignity, spiritualfreedom, etc. More than 20% consider that the most principal goalis to change people’s outlook: ’to squeeze slave’s psychology’, ’toimplement into the social consciousness human rights as value’.There are mentions of the necessity to create efficient laws, tomove ahead and to achieve freedom in all regions of Ukraine. Morethan 10% point out the necessity ’to embody into life what iswritten on paper’.This block of sentences about the personal attitude contain asentence to be continued about how the respondent behaves, reacts,acts when he comes across with the case of abusing human rights.The responses showed different attitude and behavior in such asituation. We classified these reactions into ’emotional’,’rational’, ’active’, ’professional’. We shall dwell on each of thegroups in some more details. The most numerous appeared the groupwith the rational type of reaction (more than 35%) where therespondents first think what to do, then try to understand thecauses of the rights violation, think whether they can be of anyhelp and so on. A little smaller (slightly more then 30%) is thegroup with the active type of behavior (’cannot pass by’). Comingacross with the violation, the respondents of this groupimmediately start protecting, they attempt to remove the source,they ’react depending on the situation’. A group of responses whichis not connected with the momentous and direct action, but directedto the search of assistance and collaborators of the search ofvaroius opportunities to find a way out, on the search ofinformation, is close to the second group. The next group consistsof the respondents with the emotional type of reaction (about 30%).The respondents describe a rather diverse spectrum of feelings:from ’become frantic of their insolence’, ’sympathize with thevictim’, ’become ferocious as a wild beast’ down to ’I fill pains inmy heart’ and ’I fill that I cannot stand it any more’. The mostfrequent emotion is indignation. The last group has a professionaltype of reaction; the group is the smallest and is professionallyconnected with legal counselling. The respondents of this group,coming across a violation of human rights, ’establish to whichbranch of law the violation relates’, ’consult the victim’, ’advisehim to turn to this or that instance’. Among the responses thereare references (infrequent) to their own experience of turning tothe proper instances, because their own rights were abused.

The answers of the second group about their personal attitude arerather unlike. First of all, the block of questions where thelargest number (15) of incomplete sentences was given, whichtestifies that it was difficult for the respondents to expresstheir attitude, because they do not clearly understand their ownopinions in this sphere. The responses with a clearly expressedsocial position are very few; mainly they focus around the idea ofassisting other people: ’I help people’, ’I help others and growmyself’, ’I am happy when I help someone to preserve one’sdignity’. The members of this group believe that human rights are’sacred’, that they are ’inviolable’ and they are ’identical toreligion’. Some mention that ’this is a myth in Ukraine’. The mostimportant point in the problem of human rights for them is thefreedom of speech and religious beliefs, man’s right for life andinviolability, observance of the constitution; one wished that’even children in Ukraine should understand that human rights areprotected’. The last sentence was completed by few, saw that it isimpossible to find any types. It is interesting that the rationalprofession groups did not give responses at all.

%Personal histories

As to the beginning of their human rights protection activity therespondents answered in two manners: either they answered when (inwhich year) it began, or what became the cause of their activity.The year when they started human rights protection activity wasindicated by 21 respondent. Five started it in the sixties, one inthe seventies, four in the eighties and eleven in the nineties. Theways of the respondents to this activity were different: fromabstract outlook to real activity, from ’reading samizdat’,’understanding of the abyss to which totalitarism draws people’,’understanding that if one does not fight he will die a slave’ andso on. The second way led from a concrete fact of real assistanceto people: ’help to political convicts and their families’,’recorded a trial when they considered the case of a stevedore whoorganized a strike’, ’protected my pupils from the despotism ofSoviet school system’ and so on. The third way led from actualviolations of rights (of other people or of the respondent). Somepeople were attracted to human rights protection activity afterreading documents or description of works of some human rightsprotection organizations.

Various reasons led the respondents to the understanding that theywant to become human rights protectors. About one third wasprovoked by concrete cases of abuse: ’became a witness of brutishlawlessness’, ’when I saw offended people’, ’when I came acrosslawlessness’, ’when I saw human rights violation’ and so on. Alittle smaller number of the respondents developed their activitystep by step and in the process took the final decision: ’when Ibegan to fight for human rights quite efficiently’, ’when Iunderstood that the greatest joy for me is my real help to thosewho need it’, ’when I saw that people confide in me’, ’when I beganto participate in the activities of Amnesty International’ and soon. Some people were pushed to human rights protection activitywhen their own right were abused (’when my own rights wereviolated’, ’when I understood my helplessness’ and so on); whenthey got acquainted with the information on abusing human rights(’read on dissidents in the USSR’, ’when examples of abusing humanrights became known’); when they understood that the overwhelmingmajority of the population were legally illiterate, when theylearned the international legal standards. The adjacent sentencewas about the conditions under which the respondent would not starthis human rights protection activity. A little less than one thirdbelieve that they would not do it if the state structures did notviolate human rights. Several respondents hope for the result andsuccess, otherwise they would not join human rights protectionactivity. Others write that their inner interest, their innerdemand to help other people push them to human rights protectionactivity. The cause may be one’s experienced or observed unjustice.Some respondents cannot imagine a situation when they would notprotect people (’if I did not live’, ’if I did not think’).

The last sentence contained a question when the respondent wouldfinish his human rights protection activity. 30% answered: ’when myforces leave me’, ’when I die’. More than 15% will stop theiractivity when our state becomes law-abiding. One of thequestionnaires words it in such a way: ’when in our country thesituation will become such which is possible only in a utopia’. Anumber of respondents will stop their activity if ’there is nonecessity’, ’a man would not see the final goal’, ’if I see that Iam useless’. Some respondents name concrete threatening reasons:’if it endangers my family’ or situative reasons ’when I gettired’, ’when I get married’. Three respondents answered that theywould never stop their activity.

Personal histories of the second group look a little different.Five people gave a concrete date when they began human rightsprotection activity: one began in late sixties, two - in lateeighties and two - in nineties. A quarter of the group gaveindefinite answers: ’suddenly’, ’recently’, ’long ago’, ’do notremember’. Several people got involved after their own collisionwith unjustice of after having learned about the work of humanrights protection organizations (Amnesty International andorganization of soldiers’ mothers). The cause that led therespondents of this group to human rights protection activity wastheir personal observance of lawlessness: ’I felt it on my ownskin’, ’when Kharkov administration began to close Ukrainianschools in the sixties’, ’when I began to come to military units’and so on. The respondents of this group would not start theiractivity unless ’the public opinion made me’ (13%), if not anaccident, not a destiny of concrete people, if they did not see’rights violation everywhere’, if this activity ’did not correspondto what I am convinced of’. 13% more answered that ’nocircumstances exist that would force me to stop my struggle forhuman rights’. The conditions when they would stop to fight forhuman rights are described as follows: ’if there is no necessity’,’not soon’, ’when I die’, ’never’. This answers were given in equalquantities. Some questionnaires connect human rights protectionactivity with personal qualities (’if I cannot od it’) or withchanges in the personal life (’when I leave this country’).

Summing up we must say that this technique has enabled us tocomprehend what is human rights protectors’ attitude, outlook,ideas. We have seen different causes that led them to human rightsprotection activity. We have singled out various types of reactionswhen human rights protectors come across with a case of humanrights abuse, so we can predict what type of reaction and behaviorwill be revealed in a similar situation. The data and results ofour technique have permitted us to see how diverse are the respondents and to specify some concrete characteristics of this diversity.

The conducted investigation has convincingly shown that humanrights protectors have psychological peculiarities, some specificfeatures of their outlook, different ideas of the modern liferealia, specific reaction in some situations and so forth. The dataobtained and the techniques used can serve as a base for furtherdevelopment of diagnostic methods which can be applied in differentspheres of public practice, including human rights protectionactivity.

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