Religion and Public Life Survey, 2006

Data Archive > U.S. Surveys > General Population > National > Pew Research Center > Summary


This project investigated the public’s attitudes on religion and public life. This survey was commissioned by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press and produced two reports. The first is titled “Pragmatic Americans Liberal and Conservative on Social Issues,” and the second is titled “Many Americans Uneasy with Mix of Religion and Politics.” This survey asked questions on a variety of topics including: church and state, evolution, global warming, political parties and religion, Biblical prophecy and Israel, abortion, birth control, stem cell research, gay marriage and adoption, and many other topics.

Data File
Cases: 2,003
Variables: 146
Weight Variable: WEIGHT
Data Collection
Date Collected: July 6 - 19, 2006
Funded By
The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press and the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life
Collection Procedures
Telephone interviews conducted in English and Spanish under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates.
Sampling Procedures
“The sample for this survey is a random digit sample of telephone numbers selected from telephone exchanges in the continental United States. The random digit aspect of the sample is used to avoid ‘listing’ bias and provides representation of both listed and unlisted numbers (including not-yet-listed). The design of the sample ensures this representation by random generation of the last two digits of telephone numbers selected on the basis of their area code, telephone exchange, and bank number.

“The telephone exchanges were selected with probabilities proportional to their size. The first eight digits of the sampled telephone numbers (area code, telephone exchange, bank number) were selected to be proportionally stratified by county and by telephone exchange within county. That is, the number of telephone numbers randomly sampled from within a given county is proportional to that county's share of telephone numbers in the U.S. Only working banks of telephone numbers are selected. A working bank is defined as 100 contiguous telephone numbers containing one or more residential listings.

“The sample was released for interviewing in replicates. Using replicates to control the release of sample to the field ensures that the complete call procedures are followed for the entire sample. The use of replicates also insures that the regional distribution of numbers called is appropriate. Again, this works to increase the representativeness of the sample.

“As many as 10 attempts were made to complete an interview at every sampled telephone number. The calls were staggered over times of day and days of the week to maximize the chances of making contact with a potential respondent. All interview breakoffs and refusals were re-contacted at least once in order to attempt to convert them to completed interviews. In each contacted household, interviewers asked to speak with the ‘youngest male 18 or older who is at home.’ If there is no eligible man at home, interviewers asked to speak with ‘the oldest woman 18 or older who is at home.’ This systematic respondent selection technique has been shown empirically to produce samples that closely mirror the population in terms of age and gender” (Pew Forum).

All of the above quotations taken from the survey methodology available online at the webs:
http://people-press.org/methodology/
Principal Investigators
The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press and the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life
Related Publications
The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press Survey Report: Many Americans Uneasy with Mix of Religion and Politics, August 24, 2006

The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press Survey Report: Pragmatic Americans Liberal and Conservative on Social Issues, August 3, 2006

Complete summary information is available at the website:
http://pewforum.org/docs/?DocID=153#about
Notes
Related sites:
http://people-press.org/reports/
http://people-press.org/dataarchive/

Notes on weighted data:
“Non-response in telephone interview surveys produces some known biases in survey-derived estimates because participation tends to vary for different sub-groups of the population, and these sub-groups are likely to vary also on questions of substantive interest. In order to compensate for these known biases, the sample data are weighted in analysis.

“The demographic weighting parameters are derived from a special analysis of the most recently available Census Bureau's Current Population Survey (March 2005). This analysis produced population parameters for the demographic characteristics of households with adults 18 or older, which are then compared with the sample characteristics to construct sample weights. The analysis only included households in the continental United States that contain a telephone. The weights are derived using an iterative technique that simultaneously balances the distributions of all weighting parameters” (Pew Forum).