General Social Survey, 1993, 1998, 2000, 2002 with Cultural, Information Security, and Freedom Modules [United States] (ICPSR 35536)
Published: May 19, 2016
James A. Davis, National Opinion Research Center. National Data Program for the Social Sciences Tom W. Smith, National Opinion Research Center. National Data Program for the Social Sciences Peter V. Marsden, National Opinion Research Center. National Data Program for the Social Sciences
The General Social Survey (GSS), conducted annually between 1972 and 1994 (except for 1979, 1981, and 1992) and biennially thereafter by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, collects information from the general public on a wide variety of subjects, including attitudes toward social issues, religion, education, jobs and the economy, government and other institutions, politics, and policy issues. Many questions are asked either in every survey or at various intervals across time, allowing trends to be analyzed. The 1993, 1998, and 2002 GSS are of particular interest to cultural policy researchers because they include a "Cultural Module," a battery of questions focused on culture and the arts. The 1993 Culture Module included questions on musical preferences, leisure and recreational activities, and attitudes toward art and literature. The 1998 Cultural Module included questions on attendance in arts events, personal engagement in artistic activities, attitudes toward art and literature, and attitudes toward arts funding. The 2002 Cultural Module included questions on musical preferences, attendance at arts events, and personal engagement in artistic activities. In 2002, another module on the "Information Society" included questions on the use of the Internet to obtain information about the arts. The 2000 GSS is of particular interest to cultural policy researchers because it included an "Information Society Module," a battery of questions on how people use the World Wide Web to access information about culture and the arts. More specifically, this module asked how people use the Web to learn about music, the visual arts, and literature. The 2000, another module on "Freedom" asked about freedom of expression, among other topics.
National Science Foundation (SBR-9617727)
Smallest Geographic Unit
1993-01-01 -- 1993-12-31
1998-01-01 -- 1998-12-31
2000-01-01 -- 2000-12-31
2002-01-01 -- 2002-12-31
Date of Collection
1993-02-01 -- 1993-04-30
1998-02-01 -- 1998-04-30
2000-02-01 -- 2000-04-30
2002-02-01 -- 2002-04-30
Data Collection Notes
Users are encouraged to read more about the General Social Survey on the NORC Web site.
National Opinion Research Center, University of Chicago conducted the survey on behalf of the National Data Program for the Social Sciences. The National Data Program for the Social Sciences (General Social Survey) is both a data diffusion project and a program of social indicator research.
The GSS 2000 data distributed by CPANDA had 4,222 variables. Of these, 3,117 variables were in a variable group named "Not asked in 2000." NADAC removed these variables from the GSS 2000 dataset being distributed by NADAC since all cases in the variables in this group were coded using some form of missing data code.
Due to the limit in the number of allowable columns in Excel 97-2003 (file ending, xls), the Excel files being distributed with this collection are in the later version of Excel (file ending of xlsx).
The data from the interviews were processed according to NORC procedures. Cleaning procedures -- utilizing a combination of the coding specifications and the interviewer instructions -- were used to check for inconsistent or illegitimate codes.
This data collection was previously distributed by the Cultural Policy and the Arts National Data Archive (CPANDA). The CPANDA Identification Number (study number) for the entire data collection is c00006. The CPANDA Identification number for the GSS 1993 is a00006, for the GSS 1998 is a00031, for the GSS 2000 is a00032, and for the GSS 2002 is a00079. CPANDA conducted the following processing steps for release of this collection: produced a codebook, checked for undocumented codes, performed consistency checks, provided frequencies, performed recodes, and reformatted the data.
The General Social Survey (GSS) collects information from the general public on a wide variety of subjects, including attitudes toward social issues, religion, education, jobs and the economy, government and other institutions, politics, and policy issues. The GSS 1993, 1998, and 2000 included a "Cultural Module," a battery of questions focused on culture and the arts. The GSS 2000 included an Information Security Module," a battery of questions on how people use the World Wide Web to access information about culture and the arts and a "Freedom Module" that asked about freedom of expression, among other topics.
In-person interviews were conducted with a national, full probability sample of English-speaking persons 18 years of age or over, living in non-institutional arrangements within the United States. Interviews were conducted during February, March, and April of each of the four years in this collection. The number of people interviewed was 1,606 people in 1993, 2,832 people in 1998, 2,817 in 2000, and 2,765 in 2002. The average length of the interview was about 90 minutes. In 1993, there was a split-frame experiment in which half the cases were drawn from NORC's 1980 sampling frame and half from the new 1990 sampling frame. Beginning with the 1994 General Social Survey, two major innovations were introduced. First, the number of traditional core questions was substantially reduced to allow for the creation of mini-modules (i.e., supplemental question blocks devoted to a combination of topics). Second, a new biennial, split-sample design was implemented. The sample consists of two parallel sub-samples of approximately 1,500 cases each. The two sub-samples both contain the identical core questions. They differ in terms of the topical modules included. Thus, sample sizes for questions in specific topic modules will be about half the size of the total sample.
Full probability samples were used, which are designed to give each household an equal probability of inclusion in the sample.
All noninstitutionalized English-speaking persons 18 years of age or older living in the United States.
Unit(s) of Observation
Surveys were administered in paper-and-pencil format in 1993, 1998, and 2000. Starting in 2002, the GSS survey was conducted by computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI).
Mode of Data Collection
computer-assisted personal interview (CAPI)
paper and pencil interview (PAPI)
Description of Variables
Data collected from the standard GSS questionnaire included information on social issues, religion, education, jobs and the economy, government and other institutions, politics, and policy issues. The 1993 Culture Module also included questions on musical preferences, leisure and recreational activities, and attitudes toward art and literature. The 1998 Cultural Module also included questions on attendance in arts events, personal engagement in artistic activities, attitudes toward art and literature, and attitudes toward arts funding. The 2002 Cultural Module also included questions on musical preferences, attendance at arts events, and personal engagement in artistic activities. The 2000 "Information Society" included questions about how people use the Web to learn about music, the visual arts, and literature and the 2000 "Freedom" module asked about freedom of expression, among other topics.
In 1993, the response rate was 82 percent, in 1998, 76 percent, in 2000, 70 percent, and in 2002, 70 percent.
Original Release Date2014-12-11
2015-01-12 The Excel files are being distributed as xlsx files.
2014-12-11 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 online analysis version with question text.
2016-05-19 The study title was updated to include the names of the modules. Details about weighting were added. Data Lead-in documentation was added to highlight subjects and variables related to arts and culture.
Since 1975 the GSS has used full-probability sampling of households designed to give each household an equal probability of being included in the GSS. Hence, for household-level variables the GSS is self-weighting.
The data for each of the four years include three weight variables: ADULTS (Household Members 18 Yrs and Older), FORMWT (Post-Stratification Weight) and OVERSAMP (Weights for Black Oversamples). Since only one adult per household was interviewed, persons living in large households had a lower probability to be selected for the survey. For person-level variables, weighting statistical results in proportion to the number of persons over 18 in the household (variable ADULTS) can compensate for this. For all four years FORMWT and OVERSAMP have all cases equal to 1 in the dataset.
In addition, the variable SAMPCODE is provided for the convenience of persons who wish to study within-cluster and between-cluster variations in the GSS. More information about these variables is included in the Notes in the variable description of each variable.
The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.