Norman Bradburn

Norman Bradburn Senior Fellow

Academic Research Centers

Ph.D, Social Psychology, Harvard University
M.A., Clinical Psychology, Harvard University
B.A., Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, Magdalen College, Oxford University
B.A., University of Chicago

Norman Bradburn is a Senior Fellow at NORC at the University of Chicago. He also serves as the Tiffany and Margaret Blake Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in the faculties of the University of Chicago's Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies, Department of Psychology, Booth School of Business and the College. He is a former provost of the University (1984-1989), chairman of the Department of Behavioral Sciences (1973-1979), and associate dean of the Division of the Social Sciences (1971-1973). From 2000-2004 he was the assistant director for social, behavioral, and economic sciences at the National Science Foundation. Associated with NORC since 1961, he has been its Director and President of its Board of Trustees.

Bradburn has been at the forefront in developing theory and practice in the field of sample survey research in the cultural sector. He co-directs the American Academy of Arts and Sciences' Humanities Indicators project and was Principal Investigator of the Cultural Infrastructure in the United States project. For the Humanities Indicators project he oversees the collation and analysis of data, the creation of reliable benchmarks to guide future analysis of the humanities, and the development of a consistent and sustainable means of updating the data. For the Cultural Infrastructure project he oversaw the systematic measurement of recent building projects and their consequences, modeled levels of creativity and sustainability of individual arts organizations before and after building projects, and the overall cultural vibrancy and vitality of their cities or regions as a result.

Bradburn is a fellow of the American Statistical Association, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and an elected member of the International Institute of Statistics. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1994. In 1996 he was named the first Wildenmann Guest Professor at the Zentrum for Umfragen, Methoden und Analyse in Mannheim, Germany. In 2004 he was given the Statistics Canada/American Statistical Association Waksberg Award in recognition of outstanding contributions to the theory and practice of survey methodology.

Representative Projects

How Americans Navigate the Modern Information Environment. ​The nationally representative survey, funded by NORC, was conducted from January 14 through January 31, 2016. Data were collected using the AmeriSpeak Panel®, which is NORC’s probability-based panel designed to be representative of the U.S. household population. Panel members were randomly drawn from the AmeriSpeak Panel, and 1,007 completed the survey. Respondents without internet access and those who prefer to complete surveys by phone were interviewed by trained NORC interviewers.  More

Methodological Research to Support the Redesign of the National Crime Victimization Survey. desThe National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), sponsored by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) collects data on crime victimization in the United States. A nationally representative sample of households participates in this panel survey, where respondents ages 12 and over within the household report on crime incidents that they experienced in the six months prior to the interview. More

Methodological Research to Support the Redesign of the National Crime Victimization Survey: An Examination of a Twelve-Month Reference Period. For this project, NORC will address methods of improving event recall with the 6-month reference period for the telephone interview modes, and assesses respondent burden.  More

Cultural Infrastructure in the United States. The Cultural Policy Center's largest continuing project is the research funded by the Kresge, Mellon, and MacArthur foundations on "Cultural Infrastructure in the United States," a national study of the organizational decisions behind, implementation strategies for, and consequences of the building boom in museums, theaters, and performing arts centers in the U.S. between 1994 and 2008. It is the first comprehensive analysis of cultural building in the United States to be carried out at this scale and depth. More


News Policy Mic: Senior Fellow Norman Bradburn discusses NORC's 75th anniversary study and how Americans seek out information in an election year More
Posted: 10.14.2016 4:08PM
News FiveThirtyEight: Norman Bradburn discusses NORC's 75th Anniversary Study, and how Americans seek out and process information More
Posted: 10.4.2016 6:43AM
Press Release New Survey Finds Most Americans Feel Better Informed But Often Rely On Their Instincts To Navigate Frequently Overwhelming Information Environment More
Posted: 10.4.2016 5:52AM
News Science: NORC Senior Fellow Norman Bradburn discusses the need to keep certain survey questions More
Posted: 11.20.2014 9:52AM
Press Release University of Chicago's Norman Bradburn Named a Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science More
Posted: 12.13.2012 4:26PM


Norman Bradburn