Tarptautinis specializuotas duomenų analizės seminaras

2010 m. gruodžio 17 - 18 d., KTU

Autoriai: Atle Jåstad (Norvegijos Socialinių mokslų duomenų tarnybos (NSD), Norvegija)
Saamah Abdallah (Naujosios ekonomikos fondas (NEF), Didžioji Britanija)

  Įvadas  1 diena / 2010 12 17 2 diena / 2010 12 18

1 diena / 2010 12 17
Autorius Atle Jåstad, Norvegija
Report on day 1 of the Data Confrontation Seminar arranged by Kaunas University of Technology in Kaunas 17th – 18th of December 2010

Seminaro medžiaga

By Atle Jåstad, Norwegian Social Science Data Services (NSD)

This report is based on the presentation and the course which Atle Jåstad gave on the Data Confrontation Seminar, arranged in Kaunas the 17th of December 2010. 

The purpose of day 1 of this seminar could be summarized by the following: Those attending the course should get an introduction to, and practical experience with, the following data sources and tools:

  1. International Social Survey Programme
  2. The European Social Survey
  3. Nesstar WebView – a tool for online browsing and analysis of data
  4. ESS EduNet – an online analysis training resource

The text in this report is heavily influenced by the oral character of the presentation. To make it easier to relate the text to the most relevant slides of the presentation, the paragraphs are numbered.

There are two attachments to this report:

  1. Small pictures of the slides used while introducing the topics
  2. Exercises used during the hands on sessions
  SLIDE 5: Outline of today’s activities

The students and teachers of today are living in an era of possibilities. Never before have the amount of data been richer, never before have the barriers for access to empirical data been lower and never before have the tools for processing data been more powerful.

But it is still difficult to be a student or a teacher. The student will always face the problem of how to utilise a dataset in a way that makes sense, and the teacher is obliged to lead the students on the path from ignorance to competence. These tasks can’t be solved by any external development: The students have to internalise facts and knowledge, and the teachers need to reflect upon how and where they would like to lead their students.

However, the recent technological development has made life easier for students and teachers interested in survey research. The availability of data and tools for data handling facilitates survey data analysis. Compared to the old days, it ought to be possible to save a lot of time and effort in the process of data handling and analysis.

Several services on the Internet are established to make it easier for teachers to use survey data in their teaching. Some services offer just data, others have added texts and exercises and some have also included tools for data analysis. 

This seminar has the wonderful ESS-data as its point of departure. However, I’m working in a data archive, and I would like to emphasise that there are a lot of data available for comparative research. Before I start focusing upon the ESS, I would like to give a short presentation of the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP. After that, I will move over to the world of the ESS. 

After that, I will talk about Nesstar, a tool used by both the ISSP and the ESS to distribute data and documentation. I hope that at least some of you are un-familiar with these topics. If you are all experts, I guess the hands-on session will face you with limited challenges.

After the first hands-on session, I will talk about an online resource for analysis training, ESS EduNet.

This last part of my presentation paves the way for a hands-on session where you are going to make yourself familiar with the resource.

SLIDE 6: ISSP – Characteristics and aims

I will try to answer three questions about the ISSP:

Which countries?
Which years?
Main subjects?’

The ISSP is a continuing annual programme of cross-national collaboration on surveys covering topics important for social science research.
It brings together pre-existing social science projects and coordinates research goals, thereby adding a cross-national, cross-cultural perspective to the individual national studies.
The ISSP researchers especially concentrate on developing questions that are meaningful and relevant to all countries, and can be expressed in an equivalent manner in all relevant languages.
A lot of effort has been invested in the development of survey instruments and methodology which are functionally equivalent across cultures.

SLIDE 7: ISSP – History

The ISSP was established back in 1984 with founding fathers from four countries, the USA, Germany, Great Britain and Australia. The purpose was to increase the comparability of data that, more or less, already were collected in these countries. Seven additional countries joined the party during the first five years.

SLIDE 8: ISSP – Current coverage

Since 1984, ISSP has grown to 46 nations.  The programme has participants from all parts of the world, but Europe and North-America is still in the core.
I would also like to draw your attention to the web-address of the ISSP: 

SLIDE 9: ISSP – Current coverage, New and lost members

The ISSP is still growing. Three countries joined the programme in 2009; Argentina, Estonia and Ukraine (Iceland the year before). On the other end of the scale, some countries have also left; the last ones are Bangladesh, Bulgaria and Brazil.
Membership to the ISSP is institutional and by country. One or more than one institute in a country can co-operate on ISSP research (cf. France and Spain).
According to current ISSP regulations, a maximum of three new members can be accepted per year.
ISSP members agree to conduct ISSP surveys in accordance with fixed ISSP requirements.
Each research organization funds all of its own costs. There are no central funds.
In short, to become a member of the ISSP, you need a survey organization able to conduct a representative survey in a country, following defined guidelines, and you need resources. The large white spot on the map is caused by the fact that it is difficult to meet these demands. 

SLIDE 10: Organisational Structure and Working principles

The ISSP is a self-funding association. The Programme consists of:

Countries which are ISSP members
The ISSP secretariat (2009-2012): The B.I. and Lucille Cohen Institute for Public Opinion Research, University of Tel Aviv, Israel.
The ISSP archive
The ISSP sub-groups drawn up within the ISSP
Drafting groups for modules
Methodology research groups

General meetings are held once a year in April or May. A major function of these meetings is to work on modules. At each meeting the next module is finalised, progress on the next but one is reviewed and planning for a third module is begun (drafting groups elected). Programme meetings and surveys are conducted according to the ISSP Working Principles. These set out business procedures for meetings, for conducting surveys and for archiving data.

SLIDE 11: ISSP – Modules

Each survey contains about 60 questions and nearly 40 background variables. A country may include additional variables in their survey, but they need to include all ISSP questions in order to get into the integrated file. New substantial topics are still being introduced, and old ones are replicated.
Twelve topic modules have been arranged and/or planned. The most popular ones are Role of Government, Social Inequality and Family and Changing Gender Roles.  This year a module on Environment is repeated for the third time, next year ISSP will present a new module on Health, and in two years the Family module will be repeated for the fourth time.

SLIDE 12: ISSP – Access to data and documentation

GESIS Data Archive and Data Analysis (GESIS Data Archive), the ISSP data archive, is responsible for archiving, integrating data and documentation and for the distribution of the merged international datasets for the Programme. Since 1997 the GESIS Data Archive is supported in the processing of data by the Spanish ISSP partner ASEP, Madrid. The ISSP data web pages provide search facilities and information about modules, data access and archiving rules. Any questions about data, documentation and archiving should be sent to the GESIS Data Archive. Documentation of the ISSP modules is available from the GESIS Data Archive's web pages

SLIDE 13: ZACAT - Access

ZACAT provides complete ISSP data & documentation holdings. The usage of ZACAT is free of charge. Data analyses and data downloads are available after registration. T
ZACAT is a Nesstar service, and I will talk more about this technology later.
I’m soon to switch over to a different survey, the ESS, but first I would like to underline that ISSP is a source that gives value for money when it comes to coverage, both regarding time and countries, and it also covers a broad range of topics.

SLIDE 14: ESS - Basics

The European Social Survey (the ESS) is a biennial multi-country survey covering over 30 nations. The first round was fielded in 2002/2003, the fourth in 2008/2009.
The project is funded jointly by the European Commission, the European Science Foundation and academic funding bodies in each participating country, and it is designed and carried out to exceptionally high standards.
The project is directed by a Central coordinating Team led by Roger Jowell at the Centre for Comparative Social Surveys, City University, London.
The survey is designed to chart and explain the interaction between Europe's changing institutions and the attitudes, beliefs and behavior patterns of its diverse populations
The data are available free of charge and without restrictions, for not-for-profit purposes. To access data files, you have to register as an ESS data user. If already registered, log in with your registered e-mail address as username. You don’t have to log in to get access to the documentation files.

SLIDE 15: ESS – objects

One of the central aims with the ESS, is to build down the barriers between users and data resources.
So the target tasks for the work of the ESS is thus to make data and documentation freely and quickly available to users, using modern technology and no privileged access for any of the parties involved in the project.
We are also concerned that the documentation should be best possible, and user friendly. Documentation needs to be comprehensive and standardized. This is even more important in cross-national surveys than in national surveys, because the users of data are further from the data collection, and the contextual background.
The ESS seeks full openness though the process: Data and documentation is available to all, at the same time. If the archive finds errors or makes adjustments, this information is made available to all users.


Norwegian Social Science Data Services (NSD) is one of the largest archives for research data of its kind (approximately 70 employees)
NSD is responsible for the checking, merging, archiving and dissemination of the data and metadata from the European Social Survey.
NSD is one of seven partners responsible for the design and coordination of the ESS.

SLIDE 17: ESS – The Archive

The ESS archive, NSD, is responsible for building the integrated file and publishing everything on the Internet. This work involves a lot of contact with the data collectors as well as the data users                  

SLIDE 18: ESS – The survey

Data collection is done by face to face interview of approximately 1hour (120 items)
There are two main sections:  
            - A core module - constant from round to round
            - And rotating modules - repeated at intervals.
In addition, there are
A supplementary questionnaire with
           - Human values scale
           - and test questions
The ESS also collects and makes use of methodological data

SLIDE 19: ESS – Topics, core

The questionnaire has some fixed questions that are included in all the surveys, and some questions that are included in rotating modules, that is modules not used in every round.
Questions on trust, politics, well-being, human values and socio-demographics are always included, as is Human Values in the supplementary questionnaire.

SLIDE 20: ESS – Topics, rotating modules

Including round 5, there have been ten different rotating modules. Round 5 has also got the first repeat: Work, family and well-being.
It is open for researchers outside the ESS-project to suggest the design of the rotating modules.

SLIDE 21: ESS - participation

34 countries have participated altogether

ESS1: 22 countries
ESS2: 26 countries
ESS3: 25 countries
ESS4: 31
ESS5 :??

Not all of these countries are added to the integrated files. For example Lithuania that has not managed to create a design weight for their round 4 data. Data from these countries are/will be made available from the ESS data site.

SLIDE 26 ESS – Summary

To summarize: You can get almost everything, except cigarettes and beer, from the ESS data web site:
Data and documentation is free of charge and available to all. It is only necessary to register your e-mail to get unlimited access.
More than 20 000 are registered, about 12 000 have downloaded at least one data file. In Lithuania there are 87 registered users, and they have downloaded 48 datafiles. Number in first column, is registered, download in the second.


A. Faculty and research




B. Ph.d. thesis




C. Student




E. Organisation (ngo)




F. Private enterprise




G. Private individual



Currently about 1200 files and documents are available from the ESS data web site. This includes fieldwork documents – both source and national and data files – both integrated and for each country.
Naturally this requires content management system, but perhaps more importantly it highlights some important challenges for the future. How to improve user friendliness, bring the relevant documentation together with the data, what kind of documentation system could manage to take inn even a wider aspect of the survey process.
The site also contains a dynamic bibliography, a resource for online analysis training, to be dealt with in more detail later, and a tool for online analysis.
This tool, Nesstar, and in particular the Web View component of the Nesstar Suite, will be my next theme.

Slide 27: Nesstar

Nesstar is a software system for publishing data on the Web.
Nesstar can be used to find, browse, visualize and analyse data online
Via Nesstar, it is possible to publish different kinds of data, both survey data and multidimensional tables
Nesstar is developed by Norwegian Social Science Data Services (NSD) 

Slide 28: Nesstar

I will cite two motivational sayings that have followed Nesstar since the start in the 1990-ties.
 ‘Social Science Dream Machine’
The machine that can give the scientist what he wants: Everything of data from everywhere.
 ‘From data graveyards to knowledge greenhouses’
From archives that have resources that are difficult to get, to data collections with a lot of users giving feedback to the data.
 Nesstar started out as a tool for simple analysis of survey data on the Internet, focusing heavily upon documentation (data need a context). It was also important to make the data available through download of data in different statistical formats.
… More recently, Nesstar has been developed into a suitable tool for publication of aggregated tables.

Slide 29: The Nesstar Suite

We are later going to work with survey data in Nesstar Web View. But the Nesstar suite also includes server technology as well as a publisher that makes it possible to add data to the server.
The Publisher is now freeware. In the publisher, you import your data, you add documentation to the data, and you publish the data to a Nesstar server. Data on the server can be accessed via the Internet using Nesstar Web View.

Slide 31: Nesstar – cubes

We are not going to work with cubes today, but I would like to show you two slides. A Nesstar cube is a multidimensional dataset containing variables depicting dimensions, for example class, subjects and age groups in school research. Data is placed in cells. The content of a cell is a measure defined by the dimensions (number of students (measure) in a particular county (dimension 1), a particular year (dimension 2). Thus we could say that the cells are placed in some kind of a coordinate system.

Slide 32: Nesstar – cubes

The highlighted cell in this table shows the number of boys in the whole country in 2004. The dimensions are Gender, Year and Geography – and the cell value is defined by the combination of these dimensions. 

Slide 33: Web View – some basics 1

Later, you are going to work with web view. I will show you a few slides in order to prepare you for the hands-on session.
The browser window is divided in two sections: On the left hand side you can navigate in documentation and data, and select variables and variable groups.
The results of the navigation and selections done to the left, are displayed in the frame on the right hand side.

Slide 34: Nesstar – some basics 2

Above the frame on the right hand side, there are three tabs.
The content in the output window, the one on the right hand side, is dependent upon which of these tabs that are selected. If ‘Description’ is selected, the output will show documentation. If ‘Tabulation’ is selected, the output frame will show an empty table. You can add variables to this table by selecting them in the frame on the left hand side. If ‘Analysis’ is selected you can add variables to correlation or regression analyses.

Slide 35: Nesstar – some basics 3

Above, and to the right hand side of the output frame, there is an icon menu. Through this menu it is possible to create graphs or maps, to weight the data, to subset the data or to download the data.
The icons will only be enabled when it is possible to do the operation. For example,  you can see that the icon for drawing graphs is disabled when only documentation is displayed in the output frame.

Slide 36: Nesstar – Flexible table set up

Above the table, inside the output frame, it is possible to select how the contents of the table should be displayed. You can filter the variables according to what you are interested in, for example to compare how women in some countries have answered a question.
You can filter out some of the categories, or you can put a variable as a layer.
Please also note that you can decide the content of the cells. You can for example change from ‘column percentage’ to ‘row percentage’.
Below the table, you can see that some unites have been filtered, and since the table only contains a few countries, I would assume that country is a filter variable. You can also see that the data is weighted. 

Slide 37: Nesstar – Download

Download of data and documentation is available from the icon menu.
Data can be downloaded in many different formats, and it is possible to do subsets from the total amount of data, either on case, for example those from Germany, or on variables.

SLIDE 38: Nesstar – Bookmark

When you have done a lot of work and have been blessed with the perfect table, you can bookmark the result. This is an important feature. You can save yourself a lot of work the next time you would like to improve your mood by looking at a beautiful table, and even better, you can share the results of your work with others. When you follow a bookmark, the analysis will be recalculated on the dataset.

SLIDE 40: ESS EduNet - The problem of choosing

The next topic is ESS EduNet, or European Social Survey Education Net.
This is an online training resource developed within round two of the European Social Survey.
ESS EduNet could be illustrated by the tomato down to the left, and as you can see, there are plenty of tomatoes, or online social science teaching resources, available. In a few moments, you will hopefully, as a consequence of my presentation, have reached the conclusion that the EduNet-tomato is the most tempting one.

SLIDE 41: ESS EduNet

ESS EduNet is an Internet-based analysis-training programme aiming to facilitate and enrich access to empirical data in the social sciences.
It is developed mainly for use in higher education, and it is designed as hands on introductions to social science data analysis.

SLIDE 42: Pedagogic idea

The pedagogic idea is to create an interactive learning environment that combines the elements of social science to an integrated whole; theory, data and methodology. In this way we whish to stimulate to source oriented learning.
The hands-on examples and exercises are designed to guide the users through the research process, from a theoretical problem to the interpretation of results.
In other words: Learning by doing 

SLIDE 43: Visualizing the pedagogic idea

The main components are texts written by distinguished researchers and high quality survey data. The web site is designed to bring these two components together and thus to create a learning situation more like ordinary research.
[-- Mouse click --]
There are numerous options for how to design a service aiming to facilitate the use of survey data for educational purposes. It is probably impossible to create a service suitable for all wants and needs: Lecturers will always have their own ideas and preferences on how to teach.
EduNet may not be a perfect bridge. Some critics would probably prefer this illustration:
[-- Mouse click --]
But in spite of this bridge’s obvious shortcomings, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that even the most inexperienced user is able to cross the river. The key is proper guidance. With reference to EduNet, this means a teacher who knows how to utilise the resource.

SLIDE 44: Main contents

The main components are theoretical presentations of methodological or substantive social science research problems and especially prepared extracts from the ESS survey. These datasets are available for online analysis via Nesstar or they could be downloaded in many different formats. The last main component is hands on instructions how to proceed to use data to shed light upon questions raised.

SLIDE 45: Social science Lego set

ESS EduNet contains what you need to do a proper analysis of social science data, and to write a decent essay: You have theory, data, and tools. This is the Lego-pieces of social science.
[ --Mouse click-- ]
In order to build a construction that resembles something in the real world, it is often necessary, at least for the inexperienced users, to follow detailed instructions. This is also included in the topics of ESS EduNet. The topics describe in detail how data and theory comes together.  

SLIDE 46: Topics

There are currently seven topics available.
Each topic put forward a social science research problem: Either a methodological, a substantive or a practical one.
The texts contain step-by-step instructions how to prepare data for analysis, and how the analysis could be done.
And finally, the texts explain how the results could be interpreted.
The topics are designed to carry the users through the research process: From a theoretical problem to the interpretation of statistical results. EduNet offers theory and prepared survey data, in addition to technology and instructions that make it simple for the users to explore the data in a theoretical perspective.
Through this information, the users should be able to solve similar exercises independently. By copying and modifying the procedures, they could investigate other research questions, or the same question with different data. 

SLIDE 47: Advantages with this type of teaching package

[ --Mouse click-- ]
Closeness to data
Data and theory are interwoven. Inside ESS EduNet, data is never more than a few mouse clicks away. This closeness to data stimulates creativity: "How is the situation in this country compared to that country...?", "What if we choose another variable...?".
[ --Mouse click-- ]
Easy to use
Instructions, examples and software make it very easy to perform statistical analyses. This easiness is important in the process of demystifying statistical data analysis.
[ --Mouse click-- ]
Research practise
ESS EduNet could be described as a social science research simulator. In safe surroundings the users get important practise in the different steps in social research: use theory to generate hypothesises, manipulate data, analyse data and interpret results. 

Appendix 1: Slides in the presentation
Slides 1 – 6

Slides 7 – 12

Slides 13 – 18

 Slides 19 – 24

Slides 25 – 30

Slides 31 – 36

Slides 37 – 42

Slides 43 – 48

Slides 49 – 54

Slides 55 – 60

Appendix 2: Exercises for the hands on sessions

In order to get familiar with Nesstar Web View, you are going to work with the ESS service for Online Analysis.
You need to register to access data, so you better register now.
Go to ‘ESS Online Analysis’.

Browse documentation
When the tab ‘Description’ is selected, you can display documentation in the frame on the right hand side by clicking elements in the tree on the left hand side.
How is the sampling procedure for Belgium round 4?
Tip: ESS4 – Metadata – Study Description - Methodology and Processing – Follow the link under Sampling Procedure.
How many variables are there in the variable group ‘Media and social trust’?
Tip: Variable description

Create cross table
Click the tab ‘Tabulation’, and add the variable ‘Country’ to the rows of this empty table. Enter the e-mail address you used when you registered.
Find the variable ‘How happy are you’ in the variable group ‘Subjective well-being’ and add it as a column variable. In order to compare the countries, you must use row percentage in the box ‘Type’ above the table.
This table is rather large.

Create table with descriptive statistics
It would be easier to interpret a smaller table. A descriptive analysis would be a good alternative. Remove the variable ‘How happy’ by choosing ‘Remove from table’ in the box above the table. Go back to the navigation tree to the left, click ‘How happy are you’ and select ‘Add as measure’.

Sort to ease interpretation
Interpretation is even easier if you sort this table. Click the header ‘Average’ and select ‘sort ascending’. Do you find any country differences regarding the ‘average happiness’? 
You may wonder if a large value is a good or a bad thing. Click the tab ‘Description’ and see how the variable is coded.

The ESS recommends to weight data. Please switch on the design weight.
Click the icon for weighting

Select ‘Design weight’ as a weighting variable and press ‘OK’.

The effect of the design weight is in most cases limited, but it improves the quality of the sample. From the table, you can see that the mean happiness is largest in the Nordic countries and Switzerland.
If you would like to compare the mean happiness of for example Bulgaria to the overall mean of the ESS-region (if this is regarded as a meaningful comparison), you also need to use the population weight. (There are more Germans than Cypriots, but this is not reflected by the sample sizes). 

Add the population weight to the analysis.
In the columns ‘sum’ and ‘count’ the numbers reflect the fact that the countries are of different sizes. The average happiness of the ‘ESS-world’ is about 6.8, and for Bulgaria it is 5.4.

Results could also be illustrated by different graphs and charts. The fourth type (from top) is a well suited alternative for the table you have just made. Create a vertical bar chart with bars starting at the overall mean.

You may wish to subset the data to certain units, for example the Nordic countries.
Click the icon for subset and select the Nordic countries.

Click the variable ‘Country’ in the navigation tree to the left and select ‘Add to subset’.
Click ‘DK Denmark’ in the list of categories and then click ‘Add’.
Click ‘More’
Click ‘FI Finland’ in the list of categories and then click ‘Add’.
Click ‘More’
Click ‘NO Norway’ in the list of categories and then click ‘Add’.
Click ‘More’
Click ‘SE Sweden’ in the list of categories and then click ‘Add’.
Please make sure that the condition is ‘or’ (Danish or Norwegian etc.)
Then click ‘OK’ (bottom right)

The average happiness in the Nordic countries is 8, with Denmark as the happiest population.

You can clear the table by clicking this icon:

Please note that the subset and the weighting are still on.

It is also possible to do correlation and regression. Please note that only Pearson’s r is available. This may not be perfect from a methodological point of view.
See how the variables ‘How happy are you’ and ‘anyone to discuss intimate and personal matters with’ is related.

 Complex tables
Remove the filter, so that all countries take part.
Add ‘country’ as a column variable.
In the box called ‘country’ above the table, select ‘choose categories’.
Deselect all, and check for ‘Germany’ ‘Spain’ and ‘France’. Click ‘Update’.
Find the variable ‘Gender’ in the variable group ‘Gender, Year of birth…’ and select ‘Add to column’.
Find the variable ‘How happy’ and ‘add as measure’. Are females more happy than men in all of these countries?

If you are very satisfied with a table, you should know that it is possible to bookmark the results as a regular browser bookmark. Then you can redo the analysis by following the bookmark, or you can send the bookmark to a friend.
This is done by clicking the following icon on the menu:

The options for online analysis in Web View are limited. More advanced user will prefer to download a copy of the data and analyse them with their favourite statistical software.
By clicking the following icon on the menu, you will access the download page.

You must select data format.
You can also subset the data, both on cases (for example only the respondents from Norway and Sweden – with value ‘NO’ and ‘SE’ on the variable ‘country’) and on variables (for example if you are only interested in the variables on ‘politics’). Please download a spss.sav file with the conditions suggested above.

If there is a map file connected to the values of a geographical variable, it is possible to display data by maps. I have made a test-file with maps files for several levels attached to it. You will have to register once more, but it is just as fast as the earlier ESS data registration. You will also need to be registered later.
Open ‘Variable description’ – ‘individual level variables’ – ‘id variables’.
Create a table (‘Table’ tab) and add ‘ess4 region code’ as a row variable.
Then you can add ‘How happy are you’ (in the group ‘Subjective well-being…’ as a measure.
When there is a map attached to the data, the following icon on the icon menu will be active

Click this icon and draw the happiness map over the ESS regions in Europe.
You can pan and zoom in the map, you can change the intervals and the groups. You can also change the measure.
Clear the map

And add ‘Nuts code level 1’ as ‘row variable’
Click the icon for map (this time without data, only the regions).

 International Social Survey Programme (ISSP)
Go to and recapitulate the information given in the presentation.
How is the ISSP 2008 ‘Religion III’ documented?
Find the ISSP 2008 data in the GESIS ZACAT-resource.

Add the variable ‘How happy or unhappy’ as a ‘column variable’.
Tip: ‘Open the variable list of the 2008 survey’ - ‘Substantial variables’ - click the tab ‘Table’ – add the ‘happy’ variable.

The Access Control kicks in: Documentation is freely available, but it is necessary to be a registered user to look at data, to analyse data or to download data.
Please register as a user. Registration is free, and data is available for education or research. You need to write your e-mail address. Please use an account you can reach from this room.

To let GESIS know who is visiting them, you could all write:
Project name: Data confrontation seminar, Kaunas
Project description: One of the purposes with the seminar is to investigate different sources with comparative survey data.

It may take some minutes until you receive the password. Please study the documentation further, or start working with the ESS exercises and go back to download data later.
When you have received your password, please log in to see the ‘Happy’ variable. Create a cross-table with ‘Happy’ as a column variable and ‘v4: Country’ as a row variable. Where do you find the happiest respondents? Tip: Should you use ‘row percent’ or ‘column percent’?
Remove all variables from the table. Tip: ‘Clear’.
Download a copy of the dataset.

European Social Survey (ESS)
The ESS data are available without restrictions, for not-for-profit purposes.

Go to ESS Round 4 – 2008 (use the menu to the left).
Which geographic regions are used in the Belgian survey?
Tip: Look under ‘Survey Documentation’. Open the Documentation Report.

Find the fieldwork documents used in Switzerland. How many languages?
Tip: Fieldwork Documents – Country specific documents - Switzerland

Are there any deviations for Finland?
Tip: Summary/deviations

Download the documentation of the ESS 1-3 cumulative file.
What does it mean when the circle is filled?
Scroll down to page 7 where the variables are listed.
Look at the documentation of the variable NETUSE.

How many publications are written on ‘Job satisfaction’?
Tip: Bibliography

Not all countries will be added to the integrated file. For example Lithuania, that has not delivered a design weight. These data will be made available under the header ‘Data download’. Is the Lithuanian round 4 data published? 

Hands on introduction to ESS EduNet
A brief presentation of the available topics is found on:

The purpose of today’s exercise is to give you the possibility to acquaint yourself with ESS EduNet. I will recommend you to work through the smallest, and maybe also the easiest, of the topics:  Social and Political Trust
It is not necessary to dwell upon the theory or the formulations. You should work yourself through the text very fast, and spend the major amount of the time on the exercises. But of course, you will need to spend some time on the text as well.
If you prefer to work upon another topic, please feel free to do so. But you should save the topic ‘Well-being’ until tomorrow, which is exclusively reserved for this topic.
Chapter 1 – summary and comments to the exercises:

Definition and operationalisation

In the ESS survey, the concept of social trust is measured on an eleven-point rating scale with the standard survey question: "Generally speaking, would you say that most people can be trusted, or that you can't be too careful in dealing with people?" Those who say that most people can be trusted are given a score of 10, and those who say you can't be too careful are scored 0.

Individual theories

The individual-oriented theory we have chosen to examine is termed the "Success and well-being" theory. This theory argues that it is the winners in society, or those who have experienced success in adult life, who are trusting.

Societal theories

Our societal theory is termed "Voluntary Organisation" theory. In this school, the classic view is that a society that is well founded upon a large and varied range of voluntary associations and organisations is likely to generate high levels of trust.


The exercises in chapter 1 could be solved online using Nesstar. To be able to access the data (analyse and download), you must register. This is fast and free. If you would like to solve the exercises online, you should use the dataset ‘TRUST’. If you would like to download data, you should download ‘DOWNLOAD: TRUST’

Chapter 2 – summary and comments to the exercises:

Chapter 2: Explaining Social Trust
The study of trust is bedevilled by the problem of cause and effect. Do people become more trusting as a result of close and sustained interaction with others in voluntary organisations? Or is it, rather, that trusting people join voluntary associations and get involved with their community, leaving distrusting ones at home to watch television? Do people develop higher levels of trust because life has been kind to them, or is life kind to them because they are trusting?
In this chapter we are primarily interested in investigating which of the two theories under discussion can best explain social trust.
Tests of these two theories can be designed in many different ways. In this hands-on example we will include all respondents in all the countries covered by the ESS in the calculations. It is possible that the results would have been a bit different if the analysis had been conducted in relation to one nation at a time. When one uses all respondents, one misses the possibility of discovering intra-country differences.
Note that you are expected to follow the procedures described below:

  • Reduce the number of independent variables to two, one for each theory.
  • Conduct a regression analysis with trust as the dependent variable, and the two theoretical variables as independent variables.

Download the dataset ‘DOWNLOAD: TRUST’ in spss format (.sav).
Please note that the syntax you need is available below the exercises. Click the red “SPSS”, copy the syntax, paste it into a syntax window and run the command.
Chapter 2 – summary and comments to the exercises:

Chapter 3: Political Trust
Political trust has the same theoretical relationship to political capital as social trust has to social capital. In many ways the idea of political trust and political capital is a modern social science version of the classical concept of fraternity – together with liberty and equality it is a necessary condition for democracy. We will use "confidence in parliament" as a measure of political trust, and as an indicator of political capital.

Please follow the instructions.


Nr.1  2009 07-11
Nr.2  2009 12-2010 02
Nr.3  2010 03-05
Nr.4  2010 06-08
Nr.5  2010 09-11
Nr.6  2010 12-2011 02
Nr.7 2011 03-05
Nr.8 2011 06-08
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Atnaujinta 2018-11-19