Religion and Public Life Survey, 2002

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


This project investigated the public's attitudes on religion and public life. The survey was commissioned by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press and produced two reports. The first report addressed Americaís struggle with religion in the post 9-11 climate. The second report examined the publicís attitudes about genetic research.

Data File
Cases: 2,002
Variables: 115
Weight Variable: WEIGHT
Data Collection
Date Collected: February 25 - March 10, 2002
Funded By
The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press
Collection Procedures
Telephone interviews conducted under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates.
Sampling Procedures
A nationwide sample of 2,002 adults, 18 years of age or older, were surveyed. Based on the total sample, it can be said with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling and other random effects is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points. For results based on either Form 1 (N=1,058) or Form 2 (N=944), the sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.


As the methodology sections of the surveyís reports explain, 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 tithe 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.


At least 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 a contact with a potential respondent. All interview break offs 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.
Principal Investigators
The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press
Related Publications
The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press Survey Report: Americans Struggle with Religionís Role at Home and Abroad, March 20, 2002

The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press Survey Report: Public Makes Distinctions on Genetic Research, April 9, 2002
Notes
For WEIGHT
In order to compensate for known biases, such as non-response, which can vary for different subgroups of the population, the sample data are weighted. The demographic weighting parameters are derived from a special analysis of the most recently available Census Bureau's Current Population Survey (March 2000). This analysis produced population parameters for the demographic characteristics of households with adults 18 or older, which were then compared with the sample characteristics to construct sample weights. The analysis only included households in the continental United States that have a telephone.