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Elmira Community Study, 1948 (ICPSR 7203)

Principal Investigator(s): Lazarsfeld, Paul F.; Berelson, Bernard R.; McPhee, William N.


This four-wave data collection contains information on the social and psychological aspects of political behavior among voters in Elmira, New York, in 1948. In order to probe voting behavior among the electorate, information was gathered about labor unions and community organizations, social and ethnic differences, perceptions of group voting trends, the influence of family and friends, polarization between social groups, and effects of political campaigns on social groups. Respondents were asked about their party choice, voting intentions, perceived best Republican and Democratic presidential candidates, the two major electoral issues facing the country, effects of the elected president on the relations between the United States and Russia, and their voting behaviors. Other items probed respondents' feelings about price controls, big corporations, labor unions, the economy, cost of living, relations between labor and management, their community, their job, war prospects, and the Middle East crisis. Additional items queried respondents on exposure to and use of the news media, recreational and reading habits, the role of mass media in transmitting political information, and the effects of specific campaign events on voters. Demographic items specify age, education, sex, marital status, religion, occupation, social class, club memberships, family's choice of presidential candidate, veteran status, length of residence in neighborhood, and nationality.

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.


DS0:  Study-Level Files
DS1:  1: Wave 1 - Download All Files (15.455 MB)
DS2:  2: Wave 2 - Download All Files (15.455 MB)
DS3:  3: Wave 3 - Download All Files (15.455 MB)
DS4:  4: Wave 4 - Download All Files (15.455 MB)

Study Description


Lazarsfeld, Paul F., Bernard R. Berelson, and William N. McPhee. Elmira Community Study, 1948. ICPSR07203-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2002. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07203.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07203.v1

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Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    campaign issues, communities, community organizations, decision making, economic conditions, news media, organizations, political attitudes, political campaigns, political organizations, political participation, public opinion, social influences, voting behavior

Geographic Coverage:    New York (state), United States

Time Period:   

  • 1948

Date of Collection:   

  • 1948-06--1948-11

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

The Elmira Community Study, 1948 (ICPSR 7203) data are written in IBM column-binary format. The data are multiply-punched on four decks and are stored in EBCDIC. The file should be designated a binary file when used on a non-EBCDIC system.


Sample:    A total of 1,030 voting age population of Elmira, New York in 1948. The data were collected in four waves from a probability sample based upon the random selection of dwelling units within Elmira, New York. 1,029 respondents were interviewed in June 1948, 881 in August-September 1948, 814 in October, 1948, and 944 in November 1948. Up to four callbacks were made to try to keep as many respondents as possible in the sample.

Data Source:

mailback questionnaires, telephone interviews, and personal interviews


Original ICPSR Release:   1984-06-19

Version History:

  • 2006-01-18 File CB7203.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.

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