British Social Attitudes Survey Series

Investigator(s): Social and Community Planning Research, Sharon Witherspoon, C.R. Airey, and R. Jowell

The British Social Attitudes (BSA) survey series began in 1983, and has been conducted every year since, except in 1988 and 1992. Core funding for BSA is currently provided by Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts and is supplemented by financial support from a number of sources (including government departments, the Economic and Social Research Council [ESRC], and other research foundations). Final responsibility for the coverage and wording of the annual questionnaires rests with the National Centre for Social Research (prior to 1999 called Social and Community Planning Research). The series, designed to produce annual measures of attitudinal shifts, complements large-scale British government surveys such as the General Household Survey and the Labour Force Survey, which deal largely with facts and behavior patterns, as well as the data on party political attitudes produced by the polls. One of the main purposes of the BSA survey is to allow the monitoring of patterns of continuity and change, and the examination of the relative rates at which attitudes, with respect to a range of social issues, change over time. Many questions from this series were also included in the Northern Ireland Social Attitudes Survey, thus allowing direct comparison of the attitudes, values, and beliefs held by citizens of the United Kingdom on both sides of the Irish Sea.

For more information, visit the British Social Attitudes Information System Web site.