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Bureau of Applied Social Research

From 1940 to 1977, the Bureau of Applied Social Research conducted surveys on a wide range of social, professional, and academic issues. BASR was founded by Paul Lazarsfeld in 1937 as the Office of Radio Research.  In 1940, it became part of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Lazarsfeld was a pioneering sociologist whose work on social research methodology revolutionized the field. He has been referred to as the founder of modern empirical […]

KAPS: Family Planning Studies

In the 1960s and 70s, the Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices studies surveyed women and men across the world about family planning, birth control, pregnancy, and sex. The majority of the samples are of women under the age of fifty, married women, and women living in cities and metropolitan areas.  The featured countries are Mexico, the United States, Israel, the Philippines, France, Brazil, Ecuador, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Argentina, Colombia, Panama, Venezuela, and Peru.

What is the ideal […]

NORC: The Early Years

The National Opinion Research Center is a non-profit organization associated with the University of Chicago. NORC has been conducting polls since 1941.  There are over 150 NORC polls from the 1940s and 1950s that document the public’s opinion about World War II, the Cold War, foreign policies, and a range of other topics.

Many of the World War II questions focus on the citizens in Axis countries.  Is it necessary to “hate” the enemies in order […]

Rutger’s Work Trends Series

The John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development is based at Rutgers University. The university-based research and policy center, founded in 1997, is dedicated to raising the effectiveness of the American workplace by strengthening workforce education, placement and training programs and policies. […]

Pew Hispanic Trends: National Surveys of Latinos

Pew Hispanic Trends Project by Pew Research Center chronicles the diverse and changing lives of the U.S. Latino population and its impact on the nation.  Their yearly National Survey of Latinos covers key topics in social and political trends.

Recent datasets available for download include:

Pew Hispanic Center 2012 National Survey of Latinos, conducted September 7-October 4, 2012, focused on the 2012 presidential election, attitudes toward immigration law, and media and technology use.
Pew Hispanic Center 2011 National Survey […]

Latin American Databank

The Latin American Databank features a collection of roughly 1500 studies from South American, Central American, and Caribbean countries, as well as Mexico and Puerto Rico. Data from these diverse regions has been archived by the LAD since the late 1980s in a joint project with the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Cornell University.

Surveys from the 1950s to the present day are included in the archive. Each country has its own featured […]

Office of Public Opinion Research Collection

The Office of Public Opinion Research Collection, established by Hadley Cantril, spans the turbulent years of World War II.  The first survey took place less than a year after Germany invaded Poland, the United States having yet to enter the fray.  The final survey was completed after German  surrender, but before Japanese surrender.

There are a multitude of questions about America’s opinions on the war as it unfolded, offering insight into a population who only twenty years prior endured “the […]

Roper Fortune Collection

Under the direction of survey pioneer Elmo Roper, the Roper Organization conducted the landmark Fortune studies:  over seventy survey projects undertaken between 1938 and 1949.  These were formative years for both public opinion research and for America at large.  The success and scope of these polls secured Roper as one of the forefathers of the field.

The most prominent feature of this collection is the wide range of questions about World War II.  Read about questions posed less than a year […]

American Soldiers Studies of WWII

On the day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the Research Branch of the Information and Education Division of the War Department conducted the first in a series of large-scale surveys of personnel in the United States armed forces. In the words of project staff director Samuel A. Stouffer, the purpose of the project was “to provide the army command quickly and accurately with facts about the attitudes of soldiers which…might be helpful in policy formation.” […]

Virginia Slims American Women’s Opinion Polls 1970-2000

In 1970 with the Women’s Movement well underway, Virginia Slims began commissioning surveys about the role of American women in society. As those roles continued to change through the late 20th century, Philip Morris USA, makers of Virginia Slims, continued to collect data on the topic. The poll was conducted in 1970, 1972, 1974, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, and 2000. Many of the questions remained the same, while others explored the specific topics of the period. Thus, this collection has become not only “a barometer for social changes but a time capsule evoking another era” (2000 Virginia Slims Opinion Poll report, Voices of Women). […]