The experiment is embedded in the monthly omnibus survey of the highly reputable independent Russian firm Levada Market Research (LMR), using their regular multi-stage area probability sample* designed to be representative of the adult Russian Federation population. Interviews are conducted face-to-face. For the experiment in question, all respondents are handed a card with a list of four non-sensitive items: 1. I usually read no fewer than one newspaper or journal in a week; 2. I want to see Russia be a country with a high standard of living; 3. I can name the first name of the chair of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation; 4. I am satisfied with my income level. A randomly selected third of the sample receives on their card a fifth item, positioned between items 3 and 4 in the list above: "In the last presidential elections of March 18 I voted for Vladimir Putin." Another randomly selected third of the sample receives on their card the following fifth item, also appearing between items 3 and 4 in the list above: "Last week I watched at least one television program." All respondents are then asked: "Think, please, about which of the statements on this card you are prepared to agree with. Do not tell me with which of these you agree and disagree, only tell me the number of statements on the card that you are prepared to agree with. Give your answer in a single number, from 0 to [4/5]." The enumerators are instructed to record only a single number (or codes for refusal to answer or hard to say).
*Based on data from the Russian state statistical agency in 2015, LMR’s sample is distributed among the country’s eight federal districts and the capital city Moscow, with each district divided into five strata proportionally to adult population size. All cities with a population of over one million are included as self-representative units; in the remaining (non self-representing) strata, probability proportional to size (PPS) is used to elect 1-10 urban settlements (or rural districts in rural areas). The number of interviews in a given stratum is divided equally among selected settlements. In total, 137 primary sampling units (PSUs) are drawn, including 99 urban settlements and 38 rural districts in 48 subjects of the federation (official federation-forming regions). In each selected settlement, two electoral districts (or two villages in a rural district, 18 districts in Moscow, and 8 districts in St. Petersburg) are selected at random from a complete list of electoral districts (or villages where appropriate), resulting in about 280 secondary sampling units (SSUs). Selection of households is accomplished by the random route method using route lists, and one eligible adult per household is selected according to gender, age, and education level. People institutionalized in prisons or hospitals, people conscripted into the military, the homeless, and people living in very remote, difficult-to-access, or extremely small settlements are excluded from the sample.