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Bryzgalin E.A. (2020). Intercultural analysis of value orientations of Wikipedia authors. National Psychological Journal, [Natsional’nyy psikhologicheskiy zhurnal], (13)1, 3–17


Background. A wide circle of multidisciplinary researchers share interest in motivation factors of Wikipedians, i.e. virtual volunteers, members of the online world’s largest online encyclopedia «Wikipedia», who consolidate personal resources to manage comprehensive aggregation of free knowledge. Nevertheless, the question of the driving forces of this prosocial behaviour is still open.

Objective. It is assumed that for a full understanding of the determined online activities of Wikipedians we need to analyze the value orientations to which they give personal preference. In accordance with this, the following goal was set: to identify the shared values of the experienced transnational core of Wikipedia authors.

Design. Based on the semantic units derived from previous cycles of disparate academic studies of Wikipedia’s practical development, we conducted a content analysis of a transnational survey. The recipients were 65 authors of multilingual Wikipedia segments (83% males and 17% females) with average experience of 9.9 years compilation of encyclopedic articles.

Results. The constitutive system of invariant internal and external value orientations characteristic of Wikipedians is disclosed. It is found that in the most cases Wikipedians find a number of personal significant reasons for participating in the Wikipedia, the reasons resonating with their inner essence.

Conclusion. The internal value orientations of Wikipedians include: self-development (self-improvement, self-assertion, self-realization); reciprocal (mutual) altruism; a tendency to high quality and systematization of knowledge; a pleasure of creation; autonomy; recreation (hobby, entertainment); meaningfulness; preservation of personal heritage. The external value orientations include: preservation and development of the cultural heritage / language segment; promotion and popularization of Wikipedia (its ideology and principles); low transaction costs and convenience (attractiveness) of the system; affiliation; social identity; improvement peace («Weltverbesserungs Antrieb»); building bridges between cultures and languages. It is summarized that a detailed study of the identified value orientations and also other psychological characteristics of Wikipedia volunteers can significantly expand theoretical concepts of functioning and the applied value for the organization of volunteer practices to disseminate knowledge as the highest value of humanity.

Received: 02/12/2020
Accepted: 02/28/2020
Pages: 3-17
DOI: 10.11621/npj.2020.0101

Sections: Psychology of virtual reality;


Keywords: Wikipedia; free knowledge; online community; virtual volunteering; prosocial behaviour and thinking; value orientations (VO);

Available Online 31.03.2020

Table 1. Research results of internal values

Internal Values (N=65)

Absolute frequency (N)

Relative frequency (%)

Specific gravity (k)














Altruism (as a reciprocal exchange of knowledge)




Trend towards high quality and systematization of knowledge




The pleasure of creation








Recreation (hobby. entertainment)








Preservation of personal heritage




Table 2. Research results of external values

Internal Values (N=65)

Absolute frequency (N)

Relative frequency (%)

Specific gravity (k)

Preservation and development of the cultural heritage / language segment




Promotion and popularization of Wikipedia (ideology and principles)




Low transaction costs and convenience (attractiveness) of the system








Social Identity




«Weltverbesserungs Antrieb» (World improvement drive)




Building bridges between cultures and languages





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Bryzgalin E.A. (2020). Intercultural analysis of value orientations of Wikipedia authors. National Psychological Journal, [Natsional’nyy psikhologicheskiy zhurnal], (13)1, 3–17

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