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Freedom and Tolerance in the United States, 1987 (ICPSR 9454)

Principal Investigator(s): Gibson, James L.


The purpose of this data collection was to examine political tolerance and perceptions of personal freedom in the United States. Respondents were questioned regarding their feelings about social groups currently active in politics (e.g., the group most disliked, whether its members should be banned from running for public office, teaching in public schools, and making public speeches, and whether this group was threatening to the American way of life). Respondents also were asked for their opinions of government agencies, Congress, and the Supreme Court, including whether the government should allow public meetings to oppose the government and whether the power of the Supreme Court to declare acts of Congress unconstitutional should be eliminated. Additionally, respondents were queried about their political behavior (e.g., frequency of political discussions with co-workers, friends, casual acquaintances, and neighbors), about a variety of psychological and philosophical issues, and about their alcoholic drinking behavior.

Access Notes

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Study Description


Gibson, James L. Freedom and Tolerance in the United States, 1987. ICPSR09454-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1991. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR09454.v2

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR09454.v2

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  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)


This study was funded by:

  • National Science Foundation (SES 86-06642)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    attitudes, freedom, political attitudes, political behavior, political interest, public opinion, tolerance

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1987

Date of Collection:   

  • 1987-06--1987-07

Universe:    English-speaking persons 18 years of age and over, living in noninstitutional arrangements within the United States.

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

The raw data for this collection contain seven 92-character records per case.


Sample:    A panel (re-interview) was selected randomly, within gender strata, from respondents of 1987 General Social Survey, which was a national probability sample with a special oversample of Black respondents.

Data Source:

personal interviews, and self-enumerated questionnaires

Extent of Processing:   ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Created variable labels and/or value labels.


Original ICPSR Release:   1991-03-05

Version History:

  • 2010-02-23 SAS, SPSS, and Stata setups have been added to this data collection.

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