Active older Americans Hyde Park Office Chat The NORC Library Informal Chat in Hyde Park Rooftop view from NORC's Washington DC office
NORC's work supplies insight for informed decisions. Hallway Conferernce

Center for the Study of Politics and Society

The Center for the Study of Politics and Society (CSPS) focuses on the investigation of societal change. The National Data Program for the Social Sciences is the CSPS’s largest component and its major activity is the regular collection and distribution of the General Social Survey (GSS) and its allied surveys in the International Social Survey Program. The well-respected GSS, which has been conducted 29 times since 1972, tracks and develops models to explain societal change.

The National Data Program for the Social Sciences (NDPSS) is a highly productive social indicators, infrastructure, and data-diffusion program. It has three basic purposes:

  • Gathering data on American society in order to monitor and explain trends and constants in attitudes, behaviors, and attributes.
  • Gaining fresh perspectives on American society by comparing the United States to other societies, and developing cross-national models of understanding human society.
  • Making high-quality data easily accessible to scholars, students, and others with minimal cost and waiting.

The NDPSS accomplishes all of these purposes through its work with the GSS and the International Social Survey Program (ISSP).

In 1984 the NDPSS and NORC co-founded the ISSP, which has conducted annual surveys from 1985 to the present and has had 57 participating countries. Other cross-national research includes the International Mental Health Stigma Study and studies of terrorist attacks in the U.S. and Spain. 

The CSPS also carries out considerable research on religion in general and religious change in particular. The work of the late Andrew Greeley on the sociology of religion includes research on evangelicals, images of God, trends in belief in life after death, and many other aspects. Tom W. Smith has done studies on the incidence and nature of spiritual transformations, the decline of Protestantism in the U.S., and religious change around the world.

Special Expertise

  • International
  • Democracy and Governance
  • Special Populations
    • Ethnic Minorities
  • Religion
  • Marriage
  • Data Collection and Management
  • Dissemination 

Representative Projects

General Social Survey (GSS). Since 1972, the General Social Survey (GSS) has been monitoring societal change and studying the growing complexity of American society. The GSS is NORC’s longest running project, and one of its most influential. More

National Data Program for the Social Sciences (NDPSS). The National Data Program for the Social Sciences (NDPSS) is a highly productive social indicators, infrastructure, and data-diffusion program. More

Headlines

All News

Published Research "The Globalization of Surveys.", Smith, T.W. and Fu, Y-C., 2014 Download the PDF
Posted: 9.30.2014 9:22AM
Published Research "Hard-to-Survey Populations in Comparative Perspective.", Smith, T.W., 2014 More
Posted: 9.17.2014 9:27AM
Published Research "The Vanishing Protestant Majority.", Smith, T.W. and Kim, S., 2005 More
Posted: 9.16.2014 9:26AM
Published Research "American Sexual Behavior: Trends, Socio-Demographic Differences, and Risk Behavior.", Smith, T.W., 2006 Download the PDF
Posted: 7.3.2014 10:50AM
Published Research "Religious Affiliation, Religious Service Attendance, and Mortality.", Kim, J., Smith, T.W. and Kang, J-H. , 2014 (forthcoming) More
Posted: 6.19.2014 9:44AM
Published Research "Special Issue on Surveying the Hard-to-Reach.", Willis, G.B., Smith, T.W., Shariff-Marco, S. and English, E.M. (eds)., 2014 More
Posted: 6.11.2014 11:47AM
Published Research "Overview of the Special Issue on Surveying the Hard-to-Reach." , Willis, G.B., Smith, T.W., Shariff-Marco, S. and English, E.M., 2014 More
Posted: 6.9.2014 10:18AM
Published Research "Cross-National Public Opinion Research.", Smith, T.W., 2014 More
Posted: 5.27.2014 9:14AM
Job Posting Programmer Analyst (SAS, Blaise) - Survey Research More
Posted: 4.16.2014 5:13PM
Job Posting Communications Specialist – Website Design and Promotion More
Posted: 4.16.2014 5:12PM
Published Research "National Pride in Comparative Perspective: 1995/96 and 2003/04.", Smith, T.W. and Kim, S., 2005 Download the PDF
Posted: 12.20.2013 4:10PM
Published Research "Religious Affiliation, Religiosity, and Mortality.", Kim, J., Smith, T.W. and Kang, J-H., 2012 Download the PDF
Posted: 12.20.2013 3:34PM
Published Research "A Rough and Ready Approach to Aging and Cohort Replacement.", Davis, J.A., 2010 Download the PDF
Posted: 12.20.2013 3:14PM
Published Research "On the Shapes of Social Change.", Davis, J.A., 2009 Download the PDF
Posted: 12.20.2013 3:13PM
Published Research "Issues Facing the Field: Alternative Practical Measures of Representativeness of Survey Respondent Pools.", Groves, R.M., Brick, J.M., Couper, M., Kalsbeek, W., Harris-Kojetin, B., Kreuter, F., Pennell, B-E., Raghunathan, T., Schouten, B., Smith, T.W., Tourangeau, R., Bowers, A., Jans, M., Kennedy, C., Levenstein, R., Olson, K. and Peytcheva, E., 2008 More
Posted: 12.11.2013 11:00AM

News

News The GSS provides insight into demographic trends in guns and the NRA More
Posted: 4.22.2013 7:59PM
News The GSS helps ask the question: "How did the world's rich get that way?" More
Posted: 4.22.2013 7:49PM
News Looking at Western atheism with General Social Survey data More
Posted: 4.22.2013 7:45PM
News The GSS helps ask if overpopulation is a concern for atheists and the intelligent More
Posted: 10.3.2012 4:23PM
News The possible decline of the middle class American, with GSS data More
Posted: 10.1.2012 2:42PM
News Wondering why Americans are less neighborly than ever according to the General Social Survey More
Posted: 10.1.2012 2:35PM
News NORC Expert Tom W. Smith speaks to the growing population in Chicago More
Posted: 9.28.2012 4:03PM
News Re-evaluating media metrics, with consideration from the General Social Survey More
Posted: 9.26.2012 4:00PM
News Calling on the General Social Survey to help ask, "are Americans anxious?" More
Posted: 9.24.2012 2:58PM
News What role religion might play in the White House this fall, with GSS data More
Posted: 9.13.2012 4:51PM
News Finding meaning in your life and work, discussed with data and findings from the GSS More
Posted: 9.12.2012 4:55PM
News Investigating infidelity in America, with General Social Survey data and findings More
Posted: 9.10.2012 4:25PM
News Judicial sentencing in political years, with observations made possible by the GSS More
Posted: 8.17.2012 4:24PM
News Social capital in weapons ownership, with insight from the GSS More
Posted: 8.1.2012 4:35PM
News Less people have more guns according to the General Social Survey More
Posted: 8.1.2012 4:33PM

Events

Publications

"The Globalization of Surveys." Smith, T.W. and Fu, Y-C., 2014 Download the PDF
Posted: 9.30.2014 9:22AM
"Hard-to-Survey Populations in Comparative Perspective." Smith, T.W., 2014 More
Posted: 9.17.2014 9:27AM
"The Vanishing Protestant Majority." Smith, T.W. and Kim, S., 2005 More
Posted: 9.16.2014 9:26AM
"American Sexual Behavior: Trends, Socio-Demographic Differences, and Risk Behavior." Smith, T.W., 2006 Download the PDF
Posted: 7.3.2014 10:50AM
"Religious Affiliation, Religious Service Attendance, and Mortality." Kim, J., Smith, T.W. and Kang, J-H. , 2014 (forthcoming) More
Posted: 6.19.2014 9:44AM
"Special Issue on Surveying the Hard-to-Reach." Willis, G.B., Smith, T.W., Shariff-Marco, S. and English, E.M. (eds)., 2014 More
Posted: 6.11.2014 11:47AM
"Overview of the Special Issue on Surveying the Hard-to-Reach." Willis, G.B., Smith, T.W., Shariff-Marco, S. and English, E.M., 2014 More
Posted: 6.9.2014 10:18AM
"Cross-National Public Opinion Research." Smith, T.W., 2014 More
Posted: 5.27.2014 9:14AM
"National Pride in Comparative Perspective: 1995/96 and 2003/04." Smith, T.W. and Kim, S., 2005 Download the PDF
Posted: 12.20.2013 4:10PM
"Religious Affiliation, Religiosity, and Mortality." Kim, J., Smith, T.W. and Kang, J-H., 2012 Download the PDF
Posted: 12.20.2013 3:34PM
"A Rough and Ready Approach to Aging and Cohort Replacement." Davis, J.A., 2010 Download the PDF
Posted: 12.20.2013 3:14PM
"On the Shapes of Social Change." Davis, J.A., 2009 Download the PDF
Posted: 12.20.2013 3:13PM
"Issues Facing the Field: Alternative Practical Measures of Representativeness of Survey Respondent Pools." Groves, R.M., Brick, J.M., Couper, M., Kalsbeek, W., Harris-Kojetin, B., Kreuter, F., Pennell, B-E., Raghunathan, T., Schouten, B., Smith, T.W., Tourangeau, R., Bowers, A., Jans, M., Kennedy, C., Levenstein, R., Olson, K. and Peytcheva, E., 2008 More
Posted: 12.11.2013 11:00AM
"Context Effects in the General Social Survey." Smith, T.W., 1991 More
Posted: 11.21.2013 10:33AM
"The Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change." Smith, T.W., 2013 More
Posted: 11.20.2013 11:04AM

Job Postings

Programmer Analyst (SAS, Blaise) - Survey Research More
Posted: 4.16.2014 5:13PM
Communications Specialist – Website Design and Promotion More
Posted: 4.16.2014 5:12PM

Resources

​Learn more at the General Social Survey (GSS) website

Report on the International Workshop on Using Multi-level Data from Sample Frames, Auxiliary Databases, Paradata and Related Sources to Detect and Adjust for Nonresponse Bias in Surveys. Click here to read.

The online journal, Public Opinion Pros, is no longer published. Acces archived issues.

Contacts

Tom W. Smith

(773) 256-6288

Senior Staff

Tom W. Smith

Tom W. Smith
Senior Fellow and Director

Research Associates

Michael Hout, New York University

Jibum Kim, Sungkyunkwan University

Peter V. Marsden, Harvard University