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NORC at the University of Chicago

Founded in 1941, NORC at the University of Chicago has helped establish and continues to strengthen the rapidly evolving field of social science research. Numerous data collection and analytical tools that now set the industry standard were pioneered at NORC. Since its early years – when wartime opinion polling first brought the organization to prominence – NORC has enriched public policy debate and decision making by gathering and distilling critical information and contributing to the creation of entirely new bodies of knowledge. Committed to serving the public good, NORC’s work continues to inform decision makers and provides the foundation for effective solutions.

NORC’s mission is to conduct high-quality social science research in the public interest. Their work is grounded in a commitment to research excellence, innovation, dissemination of data and findings, and collegiality. Two projects archived at the Roper Center include:

AP-NORC Center

The AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research was created to join the expertise of NORC, one of the world’s premier independent research organizations, with the AP, which provides news seen every day over all media platforms and formats by more than half of the world’s population. This combination of rigorous, objective research and reliable, unbiased journalism has unmatched potential to reach both broad audiences and policy makers at every governmental level, creating a seamless transition from the gathering of survey-based information to a more fully-informed society.

General Social Survey

Since 1972, the General Social Survey (GSS) has been monitoring societal change and studying the growing complexity of American society. The GSS aims to gather data on contemporary American society in order to monitor and explain trends and constants in attitudes, behaviors, and attributes; to examine the structure and functioning of society in general as well as the role played by relevant subgroups; to compare the United States to other societies in order to place American society in comparative perspective and develop cross-national models of human society; and to make high-quality data easily accessible to scholars, students, policy makers, and others, with minimal cost and waiting.

Charter Member of the American Association of Public Opinion Research’s Transparency Initiative.

Dataset Collection

Date Ranges:

November 1941-Present


Associated Press