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British Social Attitudes Survey, 1983 (ICPSR 8391)

Principal Investigator(s): Airey, C.R.; Jowell, R.


This survey, the first in an annual series, is designed to monitor trends in a wide range of social attitudes in Great Britain. The British Social Attitudes Survey (BSA) is similar in purpose to the General Social Survey carried out by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) in the United States. The BSA questionnaire had two parts, one administered by an interviewer and the other completed by the respondent. This survey contained questions on political orientation, including attitudes toward the parties, likely voting behavior in the next British General Election, political tolerance, and relations with other nations. Other topics include beliefs and expectations concerning both national and personal economic conditions, attitudes toward government spending and programs, social problems such as crime and racial prejudice, and attitudes toward marriage and sexual mores. Additional demographic data gathered included age, gender, education, occupation, household income, marital status, social class, and religious and political affiliations.

Series: British Social Attitudes Survey Series

Access Notes

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Study Description


Airey, C.R., and R. Jowell. British Social Attitudes Survey, 1983. ICPSR08391-v2. Colchester, Essex, England: United Kingdom Data Archive/Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributors], 2004. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR08391.v2

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR08391.v2

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This study was funded by:

  • Nuffield Foundation (United Kingdom)
  • Economic and Social Research Council (United Kingdom)
  • Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts (Great Britain). Monument Trust

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    attitudes, defense (military), economic conditions, expectations, government programs, government spending, international relations, labor markets, marriage, morality, national economy, national elections, political affiliation, political attitudes, political participation, public confidence, racial attitudes, religious denominations, sexual attitudes, social change, social classes, social issues, trends, values, voting behavior

Geographic Coverage:    Global, Great Britain, United Kingdom

Time Period:   

  • 1983

Date of Collection:   

  • 1983-03--1983-06

Universe:    Adults (18 or over) living in private households in Great Britain whose addresses were included in the electoral registers.

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

In 1999, Social and Community Planning Research (SCPR) became the National Centre for Social Research.

Under agreement with the UKDA, the data are disseminated as they were received, without additional processing by ICPSR. This agreement also provides that ICPSR will disseminate the data only for use within its member institutions. Persons from non-member institutions may request these data directly from the UKDA.

The data are provided as an SPSS portable file.

The documentation was converted to Portable Document Format (PDF) by the UKDA. The PDF documentation can also be downloaded from the UKDA Web site at http://www.data-archive.ac.uk/.

The formats for some variables in the SPSS portable file (e.g., WHYGO1) are not wide enough to accommodate the missing value specifications. For some procedures SPSS will display these missing values as asterisks. Users can widen the formats to display the actual missing value codes.


Sample:    Multistage stratified random sample consisting of four stages. The sample was drawn from the electoral register.

Data Source:

personal interviews, and self-enumerated questionnaires


Original ICPSR Release:   1985-12-20

Version History:

  • 2004-08-26 The data and documentation were resupplied by the United Kingdom Data Archive (UKDA). The data are now available as an SPSS portable file and the documentation has been converted to PDF by the UKDA.

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