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The General Social Survey (GSS) is a survey used to collect data on demographic characteristics and attitudes of residents of the United States. The survey is conducted face-to-face with an in-person interview by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, and was conducted every year from 1972 to 1994 (except in 1979, 1981, and 1992). Since 1994, it has been conducted every other year. The survey takes about 90 minutes to administer.
The data collected about this survey includes both demographic information and respondent's opinions on matters ranging from government spending to the state of race relations to the existence and nature of God. Because of the wide range of topics covered, and the comprehensive gathering of demographic information, survey results allow social scientists to correlate demographic factors like age, race, gender, and urban/rural upbringing with beliefs, and thereby determine whether, for example, an average middle-aged black male respondent would be more or less likely to move to a different U.S. state for economic reasons than a similarly situated white female respondent; or whether a highly educated person with a rural upbringing is more likely to believe in a transcendent God than a person with an urban upbringing and only a high-school education.
GSS results are freely made available to interested parties over the internet, and are widely used in sociological research. The data are generally available in formats designed for statistical programs (e.g. SPSS).
From the GSSDIRS Introduction:
"The GSS (General Social Survey) is an almost annual, 'omnibus,' personal interview survey of U.S. households conducted by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) with James A. Davis, Tom W. Smith, and Peter V. Marsden as principal investigators (PIs). The first survey took place in 1972 and since then more than 38,000 respondents have answered over 3,260 different questions."
See also Edit
- German General Social Survey (Allgemeine Bevoelkerungsumfrage der Sozialwissenschaften - ALLBUS)
- British Social Attitudes Survey (BSA)
- International Social Survey Programme (ISSP)
- GSSDIRS provides a website that allows users to search GSS information, test hypotheses, and look for interesting correlations.
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