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British Social Attitudes Survey, 1990 (ICPSR 3093)

Principal Investigator(s): Social and Community Planning Research


This survey is part of a continuing series 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 has two parts, one administered by an interviewer and the other completed by the respondent. As in the past, the 1990 interview questionnaire contained a number of "core" questions covering the major topic areas of defense, the economy, labor market participation, and the welfare state. The 1990 self-enumerated questionnaire was devoted to a series of questions on a range of social, economic, political, and moral issues. Topics covered (by section) are: (1) Britain's relations with other countries, (2) the role of government and civil liberties, (3) crime, (4) the countryside, (5) divorce, (6) education, (7) the environment, (8) housing, (9) the child care system, (10) health care, (11) economic issues and policies, (12) government spending, (13) taxation, (14) economic activity, (15) new technology, (16) racial discrimination, (17) sexual behavior, (18) the death penalty, (19) strikes, (20) newspaper readership, (21) smoking, and (22) leisure activities. Beginning in 1985, an international initiative funded by the Nuffield Foundation, the International Social Survey Program (ISSP), also contributed a module to the BSA. The topic of the ISSP module in this collection was the role of government. 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

  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions. Please log in so we can determine if you are with a member institution and have access to these data files.


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Study Description


Social and Community Planning Research. British Social Attitudes Survey, 1990. ICPSR03093-v2. Colchester, Essex, England: United Kingdom Data Archive/Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributors], 2005-07-22. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR03093.v2

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR03093.v2

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)


This study was funded by:

  • Nuffield Foundation (United Kingdom)
  • Department of Employment
  • Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts (Great Britain)
  • Department of the Environment (United Kingdom)
  • Department of Health
  • Countryside Commission (Great Britain)
  • Economic and Social Research Council (United Kingdom)
  • Health Education Authority (United Kingdom)
  • Home Office (United Kingdom)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    attitudes, capital punishment, child care, civil rights, crime, defense (military), economic conditions, economic issues, education, environment, expectations, government programs, government spending, health care, housing, internal political conflict, international relations, labor markets, labor strikes, leisure, marital relations, morality, national economy, news media, political issues, political participation, racial attitudes, sexual behavior, social attitudes, social change, social issues, social values, smoking, taxation, technological change, trends, values, voting behavior, welfare services

Geographic Coverage:    Great Britain, Global

Time Period:   

  • 1990-03--1990-05

Date of Collection:   

  • 1990-03--1990-05

Universe:    All adults aged 18 or over living in private households in Britain whose addresses were included in the electoral registers (excluding the "crofting counties" north of the Caledonian Canal).

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

(1) In 1999, Social and Community Planning Research (SCPR) became the National Centre for Social Research. (2) 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 nonmember institutions may request these data directly from the UKDA. (3) The data are provided as an SPSS portable file. (4) The documentation was converted to Portable Document Format (PDF) by the UKDA. The PDF documentation can also be downloaded from the UKDA Web site. (5) The formats for some variables in the SPSS portable file (e.g., REMPLOYE) 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. (6) The documentation contains information for two different studies: British Social Attitudes, 1990, and Northern Ireland Social Attitudes, 1990. However, only the British Social Attitudes dataset is provided in this collection. (7) The British Social Attitudes Survey series began in 1983 and was conducted every year since, except in 1988 and 1992 when the core funding from the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts was devoted to conducting post-election studies of political attitudes and voting behavior in the British Election Study (BES) Survey series.


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

Weight:    There is one weight variable in the data file called WTFACTOR.

Mode of Data Collection:    face-to-face interview, self-enumerated questionnaire


Original ICPSR Release:   2001-05-18

Version History:

  • 2005-07-22 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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