Faith Matters Survey, 2006

Data Archive > U.S. Surveys > General Population > National > Other > Summary


The Faith Matters Survey was conducted on behalf of Harvard University by International Communications Research in the summer of 2006. The survey was generously funded by the John Templeton Foundation. The national survey interviewed roughly 3,100 Americans in an hour-long phone survey both about their religion (beliefs, belonging and behavior) and their social and political engagement. The data provided precise measurements of religious belief and behavior to help scholars determine their relative stability among different sub-populations and as compared to nonreligious beliefs and behaviors. Some variable names have been modified by the ARDA. Original variable names are in parentheses.

Data File
Cases: 3,108
Variables: 701
Weight Variable: WEIGHT
Data Collection
Date Collected: June 29-August 29, 2006
Original Survey (Instrument)
Original Website
Funded By
John Templeton Foundation
Collection Procedures
The Faith Matters survey was administered from June 29, 2006 through August 29, 2006 by ICR/International Communications Research. It has a total of 3,108 respondents, all age 18 or older. Interviews were conducted in both English and Spanish. Respondents were offered $25 for completing the survey which, on average, took between 45 minutes and an hour to complete. When asked if they would like to participate in the survey, respondents were not told that it was a study about religion. Instead, interviewers introduced themselves and said that the survey was being conducted on behalf of researchers at Harvard and Notre Dame, and that it was “on some current events.”

The response rate for the survey, calculated according to the criteria established by the American Association for Public Opinion Research, was 53 percent.

The field period for this study was June 29, 2006 through August 29, 2006. The interviewing was conducted by ICR/International Communications Research in Media, PA. All interviews were conducted using the Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) system. The CATI system ensured that questions followed logical skip patterns and that the listed attributes automatically rotated, eliminating “question position” bias.
Sampling Procedures
A random-digit dial (RDD) sample was used in this study to achieve a national cross-section of respondents. This sample was first dialed to remove as many non-residence numbers as possible.
Principal Investigators
Robert D. Putnam
David E. Campbell
Related Publications
Putnam, Robert D. and David E. Campbell. 2010. American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Lim, Chaeyoon and Robert D. Putnam. 2010. "Religion, Social Networks, and Life Satisfaction." American Sociological Review. 75(6):914-933.
Weighting and Estimation
The data were weighted by gender, age, race, region, and education. Qbal, an industry-standard weighting program that employs a ranking procedure to simultaneously equate weights by each variable, was used to create the final weights. Counts for the weights were obtained through the 2005 U.S. Census Current Population Survey, March Supplement.