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Determining the characteristics of the effective image of the RF Armed Forces in the youth environment
Effective image-correcting activities in the youth environment should be organized on the basis of the psychological structure of the image and the dynamics of its formation, proceeding from the specific purpose of the image in the form of an ideal presentation of the results of this activity - the target image, take into account the mechanisms of image formation and include directions for correcting it. Modeling the processes of everyday consciousness of youth occurring during such a correction is the main task of this chapter. It seems possible to carry out such modeling on the basis of theoretical provisions on the nature and structure of the image of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, its empirically identified features, taking into account the methodological principles of subjectivity, active determination, development and systematicity.
The purposeful activity to create or correct the image should be preceded by the identification of the "image problem": the discrepancy between the ideal and the actually existing image. Since the image is created with well-defined goals, the subject of correction needs, firstly, the formation of a target image that describes what an effective image should be and, secondly, determining which parameters of the real image should be adjusted to achieve the goal. Such a system of image characteristics is necessary for the formation of a psychological model of the image of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation - structured in a certain way a variety of information about the image object corresponding to the "calculated" or developed image with certain goals.
The study made it possible to describe the real state of the image of the RF Armed Forces, but it did not reveal in the youth consciousness a type of image of the RF Armed Forces, which could be called “Positive” (see clause 2 of Chapter 2). Since the main goal of the image of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in the youth environment is to create a positive attitude towards military service, it is necessary to identify the parameters of the image that contribute to the formation of such an attitude. It can be assumed that such an “Effective” image will be characterized by high values for the factors “Status Assessment”, “Social Importance”, “Personal Intimacy”, rather high values of the “Romance - Ordinance” factor and an unexpressed assessment of the factor “Service Severity”.
To verify this assumption, the presence (absence) of positive attitudes toward military service was chosen as a criterion for the effectiveness of the image. The empirical indicator was the corresponding indicators on the scale of attitudes toward military service as a whole. The sample of subjects is divided into 3 groups in relation to military service as a whole. The first group consisted of subjects with attitudes toward military service exceeding the average sample by no less than? standard deviation (more than M +??). The second group consisted of subjects with average values on the scale of attitudes to military service (M???). This group did not participate in further comparisons. The third group included subjects with a low level of attitudes to military service (less than M -??). The first and third groups, which have opposite values in terms of severity of attitudes toward military service as a whole, were compared by the average values of the perception factors of the RF Armed Forces. The comparison results are shown in table 19. The significance of differences in average values was determined using Student's t-test.
Comparison of groups with low and high grades on the scale of attitudes toward military service according to the perception factors of the Armed Forces
Thus, the analysis of the relationship between the factors of perception of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and attitudes to military service made it possible to partially confirm the hypothesis about the features of the theoretically possible “Effective” type of image. The use of an empirical indicator of image performance - the severity of the attitude toward military service, makes it possible to present the characteristics of this type of image as follows (see Fig. 21): high values according to the perception factors of the RF Armed Forces “Status Assessment”, “Social Significance”, “Personal Intimacy” , and an unexpressed assessment of the severity of service factor. The factor “Romance - Ordinary” does not have a significant impact on the attitude to military service and is not a significant characteristic of the “Effective” type of image.
In a previous study (see paragraph 3 of Chapter 2), the dependence of the type of image on the severity of social and military identity was confirmed. Based on the established relationship between the type of identity and attitudes to military service, it can be assumed that these types of identities of young people influence the attitude to military service.
Correlation of factors of perception of the RF Armed Forces and attitudes towards military service
To test this hypothesis, a comparison was made of the levels of military and social identity in youth groups with different attitudes toward military service (see table 20). The nonparametric Mann-Whitney criterion was used as a criterion for the significance of differences. It was revealed that groups with high and low values for military service do not differ at a statistically significant level in terms of the severity of military identity and only slightly differ in severity of social identity. In other words, both social and social identity practically do not affect the attitude of young people to military service. A contradiction arises between the established influence of these types of identities on the typology of the image of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, the relationship between the type of image and attitudes towards military service and the lack of a connection between a particular type of identity and the severity of attitude towards military service.
Assessment of the reliability of differences in the level of military and social identity in youth groups with different attitudes towards military service
To resolve this contradiction, the relationship of the military and public aspects of identity with attitudes to military service was investigated by analysis of variance. Analysis of variance revealed not only the role of each separate independent variable, but the effect due to the interaction of several independent variables on the dependent variable. The setting for military service as a whole was such a dependent variable. Independent variables were the military and public aspects of identity. The results of the analysis of variance are shown in table 21.
Assessment of the joint influence of types of identity on attitudes towards military service
As can be seen from the table, the effect due to the combined influence of independent variables is statistically significant at the level p <0.01. The analysis of variance made it possible to clarify the idea of the influence of social and military identity on attitudes towards military service: the orientation to military service is expressed precisely in the case of a joint manifestation of social and military identity. Therefore, an important factor in a positive attitude towards military service is the simultaneous development of social and military identity among young people.
Thus, the reconstruction of the “Effective” type of image, carried out taking into account the purpose of its creation - attracting young people to military service, allows you to determine the characteristics of perception, the formation of which should be directed corrective work. These features include four perceptual factors identified as a result of a factor analysis of the results of semantic scaling: high values for perception factors of the RF Armed Forces “Status Assessment”, “Social Significance”, “Personal Intimacy”, and an unexpressed assessment of the severity of service factor.
The task of image correction involves determining a certain set of characteristics of the object that is most significant for the image audience. In other words, from the infinite number of characteristics of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation that can be perceived, it is necessary to select those that will determine a more effective image.
In an empirical study using the method of semantic scaling described earlier (see clause 2 of Chapter 2), the semantic scaling of the concepts “Armed Forces of Russia”, “Armed Forces of the USSR in 1945” and “Ideal Armed Forces for Russia” was carried out . It is required to find out whether these scales are equally significant for the description of the Armed Forces. The set of the most significant characteristics of the Russian Armed Forces in terms of their perception by young people is an image profile of the Russian Armed Forces.
To solve this problem, the modules were summed up from the middle of the rating scale given by each test subject when scaling the modern Armed Forces of Russia, the Armed Forces of the USSR in 1945 and the Ideal Armed Forces for Russia. The seven-point rating scale is reduced to the form: from -3 to +3 with the middle of the scale as zero, located at an equal distance from both poles.
Thus, irrelevance, from the point of view of the subject, of any sign for the description of the evaluated object was encoded with zero. The assessment module (in the range from 0 to 3), showed the significance of this scale for describing an object (Armed Forces). As a result of summing up the difference modules from the middle of the scale when evaluating three objects by each subject, a matrix of the significance of the scales is obtained to describe such an area of perception as the Armed Forces. This matrix expresses in points (from 0 to 9) the subjective significance for the tested qualities-scales when assessing the Armed Forces of our country, taking into account the history and ideas about the future. The average empirical values of the relevance (significance) of the scales range from 3.3 to 7.6 (Appendix 16). Scales whose average relevance values exceed the threshold in? This interval is shown in Table 22. It can be noted that only 5 of the most significant signs for the perception of the Armed Forces stood out among the vivid characteristics of the modern image of the RF Armed Forces (see paragraph 2 of Chapter 2).
The most significant (relevant) characteristics of the perception of the Armed Forces
A theoretical analysis (see clause 1, chap. 1) showed that the image of the RF Armed Forces is formed in the process of comparing the information received by the subject of perception about the real Armed Forces and their ideal. The characteristics of such an ideal can be determined by analyzing the answers of subjects who scaled the concept of “Ideal Armed Forces for Russia” according to 50 proposed criteria (see Appendix 17). The most significant characteristics of the ideal RF Armed Forces are given in Table 23. The obtained data were interpreted taking into account the theoretical average of the scales on which the assessment was carried out (Mteor = 4). It should be noted that the ideal image of the Russian Armed Forces in the minds of young people is characterized by pronounced unambiguity, as evidenced by the consistency of the responses of the subjects (the average value of the standard deviation for the most significant characteristics is 0.67).
The most pronounced signs characterizing
the ideal image of the RF Armed Forces in the youth environment
A comparison of the images of ideal and real Armed Forces of the Russian Federation will determine the most significant characteristics that reveal the difference between a real image and an ideal image that has developed in the mass consciousness of young people (see. Fig. 22). In order to identify such signs, a semantic space of differences between the real image of the RF Armed Forces and their ideal is constructed.
Comparison of images of ideal and real Armed Forces of the Russian Federation
The semantic space was constructed on the basis of the difference of the data matrix: from the scaling matrix (for 50 attributes) of the concept “Armed Forces of Russia”, a similar matrix of the concept “Ideal Armed Forces for Russia” was subtracted. The calculation was carried out according to the formula:
where Ri is the magnitude of the discrepancy between ideal and real RF armed forces on the basis of i, Si is the estimate of real RF armed forces on the basis of i, and S? i is the estimate of ideal RF armed forces on the basis of i.
The resulting matrix with intervals of values from 0 to 6 characterizes the differences in the image of the real RF Armed Forces and their ideal. Average values on scales characterizing this difference are given in Appendix 18. The most noticeable differences for young people were insecurity, lack of prestige, lack of comfort in office conditions and relationships, and compulsory nature of service (see Fig. 23).
From a practical point of view, it is more convenient to assess the differences between the real RF Armed Forces and their ideal, analyzing not a whole set of features, but a limited number of invariant indicators of these differences. Knowing the vectors of “desired changes” allows for more effective image correction. To obtain factors that reveal the difference between a real image and an ideal image that has developed in the mass consciousness, it is advisable to apply the factor analysis procedure.
The most noticeable differences between the image of the real Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and their ideal
(average values on a scale from 0 to 6).
The factor analysis was based on the obtained matrix of differences between the real and ideal image of the Armed Forces. The calculation of the matrix of the relationship of the scales is carried out using the correlation coefficients. Subsequently, the relationship matrix was factorized by the principal component method with subsequent rotation of Varimax. The decision to isolate 3 factors was made on the basis of an analysis of the eigenvalues of the correlation matrix exceeding unity, the trace criterion, and the criteria of interpretability and invariance. A matrix showing the load of the scales by the selected factors is given in Appendix 19. The obtained factors reflect the three dimensions of the semantic space and are interpreted based on the names of the scales that have more weight on this factor. The selection of only three factors leads to the conclusion that the characteristics of the ideal image of the Russian Armed Forces are poorly differentiated in the minds of young people.
The first factor explaining 30.6% of the variance of traits was called “More Effective”. It represents a strong, but undivided assessment of the mismatch between the images of real and ideal RF Armed Forces. As well as in the factor of perception of modern RF Armed Forces, this factor included scales giving an “objective” assessment (see table 24). The concept of “efficiency” can serve as a semantic core around which features having high factor loads are grouped. Indeed, most of the scales express the meaning of the readiness of the RF Armed Forces for the effective implementation of their tasks (prepared, organized, responsible, strong, etc.). Thus, the main direction of improving the image of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, from the point of view of young people, can be considered increasing efficiency, the ability to solve the tasks facing them.
Scales that constitute the “More Effective” Perceptual Factor
The second factor explaining 12.6% of the variance was made up of signs reflecting the need to eliminate the severity of the service, the desire to change the attitude towards the military man, to make the service more comfortable (see table 25). The factor received the name "Comfortable."
Scales that constitute the “Comfortable” perception factor
The third factor explaining 6.9% of the variance was called “Personally Significant” (see table 26). The factor characterizes both the degree of closeness of the subjects of the RF Armed Forces, familiarity with them, and a subjective assessment of power (large, combat, fast, reliable - as opposed to small, peaceful, slow, unreliable). The sign of collectivism-individualism reflects the importance of inclusion in collective activity. Considering the totality of these signs from the perspective of an individual perceiving the RF Armed Forces, the selected factor is interpreted as an increase in the degree of influence of the RF Armed Forces on the individual, an increase in the subjective significance of the army.
Scales that constitute the perception factor “Personally Significant”
These factors reveal the main parameters for improving the Armed Forces of Russia from the point of view of youth. Such features of comparing the real Armed Forces of the Russian Federation with their ideal, which is present in the everyday consciousness of youth, should be taken into account during the correction of the image characteristics of the army.
A generalization of the image parameters that influence a positive attitude to military service, the characteristics of the RF Armed Forces, relevant for young people to perceive, and the most noticeable differences between real and ideal RF Armed Forces made it possible to determine the main characteristics of an effective image of the Armed Forces:
• assessment of the state of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation as effective and causing pride;
• social significance, perception as “ours”;
• personal significance of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation for young people;
• comfort of service and relationships;
• endowment with traditional masculine qualities (masculinity, courage, strength, etc.);
• organization, discipline and responsibility that inspire confidence;
Thus, empirical research and theoretical analysis made it possible to single out the image characteristics of the RF Armed Forces that make up their target image. The focus of image correction activities on achieving these characteristics will help to create a productive image of the RF Armed Forces, which favorably affects the behavior of young people. The presence of a clear target image is a necessary condition for successful activity and an important element of the socio-psychological model for correcting the image of the RF Armed Forces in the youth environment.
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Determining the characteristics of the effective image of the RF Armed Forces in the youth environment
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