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Independence Raises Pride – Future Evokes Fear and Interest

The study conducted near the upcoming Finland’s Independence Day shows that independence positively engages the Finns. Finland’s future, however, has more often a crippling than engaging effect.

”Finland Through the Eyes of Empathy” is a series of three studies. The first study concentrates on the emotions Finland’s independence and its future evoke among the Finns. The study is conducted by the empathy analytics company NayaDaya Inc. together with the global research and data companies YouGov and Statista.


Nearly 80 % of Finns have positive emotions, especially pride (42 %), toward Finland’s independence. Finland’s future, however, splits the nation: the most common emotions are fear (23 %) and interest (20 %). Women (28 %) are more often afraid of the future than men (19 %).


”Pride evoked by the independence is an indicator of incidents that are building success, self respect, and social value among the Finns. These incidents dominate the way the independence is valued and engage everyone in it. Over 60 percent of the Finns are participants, not bystanders”, says Timo Salomäki, Head of Global Growth at NayaDaya Inc.


Fear of Finland’s future paints a picture about challenging threats and concerns that distress and incapacitate people. On the other hand, interest about the future reveals opportunities that are lucrative, raise curiosity, and are within one’s reach. These types of opportunities motivate people to take action. Emotions toward the future more often have a crippling (37 %) effect than engaging (34 %) effect.


"The results tell about a nation that is proud of its achievements but sees the future as contradictory, as a threat and as an opportunity. The future is uncertain so it is natural and useful to experience fear since it keeps us on our toes. Dominant fear paralyzes us and does not let us engage in building our joint future. Fortunately, many of us see Finland’s future through keen eyes as a manuscript that we ourselves are writing”, enhances CEO Timo Järvinen from NayaDaya Inc.


There is a connection between the political affiliations and emotions. Pride linked to independence is more typical among those in the right wing than the left wing. Fear for Finland’s future is more predominant in the opposition than among the cabinet parties. Among all profession groups, the entrepreneurs are the most interested in the future. Approximately 15 % of the respondents express no emotions toward Finland’s independence or future – these are regarded as indifferent.


”Empathy helps us to understand people’s different perspectives and emotions. These results challenge us to find ways to harness the already broad positive commitment to Finland’s independence to become an asset for us when we are building our future. How could Finland solve both internal and global problems together with others so that we simultaneously would manage to keep hold of the reins and the emotions, which are generating positive engagement, would be experienced more?” ponders Timo Järvinen.


Facts about the study

  • Emotion data was collected through the YouGov online panel November 25-27, 2020

  • The quota sampling was implemented on the basis of age, gender, and geographic location to represent the Finnish population of 18 years or older

  • Other variables are, among many, family lifecycle, urbanization, income level, profession, education level, use of social media, and political party preference

  • For the overall results (N=1002) the margin of error is ±2,8 percentage points

  • The data was analyzed with the NayaDaya® Empathy Analytics, based on scientific theory, University of Geneva research, and algorithm which predicts behavior and engagement

Appendix: Research report with key findings and infographics


Additional Information

Timo Järvinen, CEO, NayaDaya Inc., timo@nayadaya.com, tel. +358 40 505 7745

Timo Salomäki, Head of Global Growth, NayaDaya Inc., timos@nayadaya.com, tel. +358 40 709 2399


NayaDaya Inc. is an empathy analytics company that reveals the way emotions and behavior interact with phenomena and brands. Through data, insight, empathy, and impact, we empower organizations, authorities, brands, and leaders to strive for a sustainable change. If you respect science, empathy, and data, we would love to discuss with you. News and further information: www.nayadaya.com