Centre for Sociological Research

Team of the Center for Sociological Reserach



The goal of the program is to have each of the members conduct an annual study on a particular subject using the exact same methodology and the same instruments. ISSP questionnaires are appended as a 20-30 minute supplement to the general national social surveys done on representative national samples of adult populations (it is assumed that the realized sample will exceed 1000 respondents). ISSP members also have to provide standardized socio-demographic and occupational information on respondents. It is assumed that in each country respondents should complete the ISSP questionnaire by themselves after completing the main interview in the presence of the interviewer.

Annual ISSP topical modules are developed by international teams (usually over a few years) and tested in different countries. Final versions of the research instrument are discussed and accepted in the plenary session of ISSP. ISSP questions have to be accepted by all countries because of the assumption that questions can be translated into the languages of all members. The final version of the questionnaire is prepared in British English and it is the base for translation.

ISSP member organizations cover all development and completion costs in their respective countries. ISSP does not have a central budget. Zentralarchiv fur Empirische Sozialforschung (ZA), Universitat zu Koln and - since 1998 - Centro de Investigationes Sociologicas/ Analisis Sociologicos, Economicos y Politicos (Madrid) are merging the files from all member countries into one dataset. These two centers also distribute data-files and methodological documentation. In Poland, the Institute for Social Studies, University of Warsaw distributes ISSP materials.

Since 1984, ISSP has included 53 nations. The founding four--Germany, the United States, Great Britain, and Australia-- plus Austria, Ireland, Hungary, the Netherlands, Italy, Israel, Norway, the Philippines, New Zealand, Russia, Japan, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Poland, Sweden, Spain, Cyprus, France, Portugal, Slovakia, Latvia, Chile, Denmark, Brazil, South Africa, Switzerland, Venezuela, Belgium, Finland, Mexico, Taiwan, South Korea, Uruguay, Croatia, the Dominican Republic, Turkey, Argentina, China, Palestine, Estonia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Iceland, India, Georgia, and Suriname. Also, East Germany was added to the German sample upon reunification. In addition, countries that have fielded all or parts of ISSP studies without joining include Albania, Bosnia, East Timor, Indonesia, Kenya, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania.

By 2010, the study was a supplement program of PGSS. The following modules were realized. PGSS edition in brackets.

  • 1991 Religion I
  • 1992 Social Inequality II [PGSS 1992]
  • 1993 Environment I [PGSS 1993]
  • 1994 Family and Changing Gender Roles II [PGSS 1994]
  • 1995 National Identity [PGSS 1995]
  • 1996 Role of Government III [PGSS 1997]
  • 1997 Work Orientations II [PGSS 1997]
  • 1998 Religion II [PGSS 1999]
  • 1999 Social Inequality III [PGSS 1999]
  • 2001 Social Relations and Support Systems II [PGSS 2002]
  • 2002 Family and Changing Gender Roles III [PGSS 2002]
  • 2003 National Identity II [PGSS 2005]
  • 2004 Citizenship [PGSS 2005]
  • 2006 Role of Government IV [PGSS 2008]
  • 2007 Leisure Time and Sports [PGSS 2008]
  • 2008 Religion III [PGSS 2010]
  • 2009 Social Inequality IV [PGSS 2010]
  • The 2011 Health
  • and 2012 Family and Changing Gender Roles IV modules were realized in Poland as independent research in 2013.
  • The 2014 Citizenship II
  • and 2015 Work Orientations IV modules were realized in Poland as a supplement of Social Diagnosis 2015 project.



Since 1992 the POLISH GENERAL SOCIAL SURVEY has been an ongoing program of statutory research of the Institute for Social Studies, Warsaw University. The general goal of the PGSS is the systematic measurement of the trends and consequences of social change in Poland. The PGSS studies individual attitudes, values, orientations and social behavior, as well as measurements of socio-demographic, occupational, educational and economic differentiation of representative groups and strata in Poland. The initially annual (until 1997) and subsequently biennial cycle of repeated surveys with uniform methodological standards and identical indicators allows for systematic analysis of social trends. In this respect PGSS is a unique program for studying systemic change in Poland. PGSS data come from individual interviews with a nation-wide representative sample of adults.

One of the essential goals of the program is noncommercial distribution of PGSS data-files and methodological documentation to scientists as well as to all interested individuals and institutions. Cumulated data are released in a format that enables every researcher to process and analyze them on their own with the help of standard statistical computer programs. Integrated data, methodological documentation, and additional tools are available on the Institute for Social Studies (ISS) and Polish Social Data Archive (ADS) web pages.

The PGSS covers the main domains of interest of Polish and international researchers from various fields of the empirical social sciences: sociology, social psychology, political science and economics. Subjects covered by the PGSS are also of interest to more practically oriented researchers who follow systemic changes in Poland and analyze their consequences. The core PGSS covers the following subject areas.

  • Socio-demographic characteristics: which include social ecology, geographical mobility, marriage and family structure, as well as related individual attitudes towards family life, the situation of women, and socialization values;
  • Job status and labor situation. Job status is measured according to Polish and International occupational classifications and social prestige and socio-economic position scales are assigned to them. The respondent's place of work is characterized in terms of ownership, branch of industry and size of workplace. Separate variables describe experiences and periods of unemployment. Indicators of job status are gathered for the respondent, his/her spouse and for his/her parents, which together measure occupational intergenerational mobility. In 1997 the PGSS started to gather new data on the respondent's job status in his/her first job, thus extending mobility to an intra-generation dimension. In addition to the job status indicator, the PGSS collects information on subjective evaluations of workplace and occupation, the structure of individual's values and goals, job security and satisfaction from work.
  • The level and type of respondent's, his/her parents' and spouse's education, together with the perception of the role of education as a factor in social positions and in attaining success in life. In 1997 new indicators were introduced measuring periods, profile, how respondent studies, school ownership (state/private) and place as well as degrees and occupational titles obtained.
  • Material situation of respondent and family, measured by individual and household incomes, dwelling situation, material goods owned, the level of debt and the savings of the household. The PGSS also contains a number of variables measuring subjective economic evaluations of satisfaction with individual incomes and the material situation of the family, as well as evaluations of the current state of and changes in the economic situation in Poland. A number of indicators were introduced for constructs of indicators of (economic) distributive justice, related to, among others, images of the just distribution of incomes and the acceptance of economic inequalities among different occupations and social strata.
  • Evaluation of respondents' social position and of its changes, encompassing class-strata identification, the evaluation of one's present and past social position, a self-evaluation of occupational, material, and educational status in comparison with that of ones parents.
  • Opinions and judgments about social structure, social inequalities and systemic changes in Poland, including assessment of factors determining success in life, creating social inequalities and determining levels of poverty and wealth.
  • Voting behavior and preferences. As of 1992, successive PGSS editions register respondents' declarations of their participation and choices in presidential and parliamentary elections in Poland.
  • Efficacy of the political system. This topic area covers general evaluations of the efficacy of the political system and democracy, trust toward the main social and political institutions, as well as the evaluation of different criteria governing the distribution of budgetary funds for different public goals.
  • Political and ideological orientations, including interest in politics and public life, preferred political goals, the role of government in the economy and public life, opinions on communism and socialism, self-identification on a left-right scale, tolerance toward communists, atheists and militarists and perceived international issues, such as threats to Polish independence from other countries.
  • Religion and religiosity, questions repeated in successive surveys concern religious denomination and frequency of religious practices, strength of belief, belief in life after death, trust in the Catholic Church, evaluation of the church and denominational organizations' influence on public life in Poland, and tolerance toward atheists.
  • Attitudes toward contemporary ethical dilemmas (abortion, divorce, euthanasia, capital punishment) and law-abidance.
  • Satisfaction from one's own life in society. Subjective measures of well-being replicate classic scales of satisfaction from different domains of life (family, marriage, social, material and professional) and their importance to the individual; measures of painful and joyful experiences, the will to live and joyfulness, happiness (in different time references) as well as trust toward other people.
  • State and evaluation of one's own health (in addition to separate measures of smoking and alcohol consumption).

From the very beginning the PGSS program's cooperation with two similar programs of systematic social surveys conducted in the United States and Germany was established. The American program, known as the General Social Survey (GSS), was established with a survey done in 1972. From the outset it was oriented to the systematic tracing of trends in the living conditions, attitudes and opinions of American society, hence numerous questions and indicators were taken from earlier studies that go back to the thirties. The data gathered allows for the systematic analysis of changes in society over the last 27 years. The General Social Survey Program is conducted by the National Opinion Research Center, University of Chicago (NORC). The Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, University of Connecticut Dataset is responsible for the processing and distribution of datasets. GSS/NORC represents the United States in the ISSP program.

The German program of the systematic study of basic social indicators - called Allgemeinen Bevolkerungsumfragen der Socialwissenschaften (ALLBUS) - has been conducted since 1980. The program is coordinated by the Zentrum fuer Umfragen, Methoden und Analysen (ZUMA) in Mannheim - one of the leading centers of social science methodology in Europe. The German study is carried out every two years, and since 1991 also includes the territory of the former GDR (in a separately selected representative sample). ALLBUS/ZUMA represents Germany in the ISSP program.

In 1992 the Institute for Social Studies, became a member of the comparative INTERNATIONAL SOCIAL SURVEY PROGRAMME.
Gathering information.

POLISH SOCIAL DATA ARCHIVE is a joint project by Institute for Social Studies of the University Of Warsaw and Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

Depositing and providing the access to the database allows for the openness of the research workshop, which contributes to standardization of the research procedures and enriching the knowledge on social research methodology.

Data archiving and rendering them accessible allows the spread of measurement tools construction standards, including the rates of social phenomena measurement. It allows for their inter-subjective control and provides not only ready-made patterns, but it also becomes an inspiration for new research on the basis of the already existing projects.

Collecting information on the projects that have already been completed or are being conducted, allows for gathering information and data source for the execution of one's own analyses with the usage of the already existing data and basing on the projects that have been executed by the others. What is important, in this way one can avoid the duplication of the research, and on the other hand, the researches can be enriched.

Data archiving and rendering them to the public on redistribution basis is an outstanding auxiliary material, that can be used for educational reasons. The diversity of the researched issues, methodological concepts and the research results that any person using the data from Archive can take advantage of, is undoubtedly a valuable material serving to spread the social science both among the professionals as well as among those who just enter the world of social research.

It often happens that the researchers limit the hypothesis set to the objectives that they have posed while planning their research. Making use of already existent sets of data allows them to reach beyond the objectives that had been posed before the research started. The access to the data provided to people who have not been related to the project, opens the way to new discoveries and verification of the hypotheses different from the ones that were posed as the objective of the research at the beginning. Therefore, the researchers should take into account such a possibility of making use of the data. Simultaneously, it allows for the enrichment of the amount of information on the social issues and consequently, broadens the knowledge on social life, which is a primary and basic objective of every research.


  • 93 studies. Data files and documentations.
  • 11 156 registered users.
  • 60 327 downloads.
Piotr Radkiewicz, Marcin W. Zieliński. "Hierarchiczne modele liniowe. Co nam dają i kiedy warto je stosować?. "Psychologia Społeczna", Tom: 2-3/2010
Cichomski, B., Jerzyński, T., Zieliński, M. (2009). Polskie Generalne Sondaże Społeczne: struktura skumulowanych wyników badań 1992-2008. Warszawa: Instytut Studiów Społecznych, Uniwersytet Warszawski. [baza danych i dokumentacja metodologiczna dostępne także na stronach: http://www.iss.uw.edu.pl; http://pgss.iss.uw.edu.pl; oraz na stronie Archiwum Danych Społecznych (ADS): http://ads.org.pl ].
Jerzyński, T. (2009). Wybrane korelaty odpowiedzi beztreściowych w badaniach sondażowych. Niepublikowana praca doktorska, Warszawa: Wydział Filozofii i Socjologii Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego, Instytut Socjologii. [Praktyczne implikacje teorii survey satisficing. Modelowanie krzywoliniowe, modele liczebności w analizie danych sondażowych].
Jerzyński, T. (2009). Poziom realizacji próby i ważenie poststratyfikacyjne w analizie danych sondażowych, Problemy Zarządzania 3 (26)/2009, Wydział Zarządzania Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego (w druku).
Zieliński, M. (2009). Analiza hierarchiczna w szacowaniu wpływu ankietera na odpowiedzi respondenta, Problemy Zarządzania 3 (26)/2009, Wydział Zarządzania Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego, 2009 rok, w druku).
Zieliński, M. (2009). "Agregacja, dezagregacja, wielopoziomowość - podejścia analityczne w badaniach nad efektem ankieterskim na przykładzie Polskiego Generalnego Sondażu Społecznego 2005" (2009 rok; złożone do druku). [Artykuł poświęcony konsekwencjom stosowania tradycyjnych technik analitycznych opartych na schematach agregacyjnych i dezagregacyjnych na przykładzie ich zastosowania w analizie efektu ankieterskiego. Szczególna uwaga poświęcona została ukazaniu konsekwencji w postaci występowania błędu I i II rodzaju ].
Three Roads to Comparative Research: Analytical, Visual, Morphological', (2009). Eds: Niko Tos, Karl H. Müller, Zoltan Fábián, Jindžich Krejčí, Marcin Zieliński. Vienna: Wiener Institut für Sozialwissenschaftliche Dokumentation und Methodik: edition echoraum
Zieliński, M. (2009). "Children - To Have Or Not To Have. A Question in The Context of Cross-National Differences''. In: Three Roads to Comparative Research: Analytical, Visual, Morphological', (2009). Niko Tos, Karl H. Müller, Zoltan Fábián, Jindžich Krejčí, Marcin Zieliński (eds). Vienna: Wiener Institut für Sozialwissenschaftliche Dokumentation und Methodik: edition echoraum
Cichomski, B. "Aktywność ekonomiczna kobiet i męSczyzn". W: Krajowy System Monitorowania Równego Traktowania Kobiet i MęSczyzn. Raporty eksperckie. Projekt PHARE. Wydawnictwo Naukowe SCHOLAR, Warszawa 2006 (ss. 123-188).
Cichomski, B. "Pracujące kobiety i pracujący męSczyźni". W: Krajowy System Monitorowania Równego Traktowania Kobiet i MęSczyzn. Raporty eksperckie. Projekt PHARE Wydawnictwo Naukowe SCHOLAR, Warszawa 2006 (ss. 189-236).
Cichomski, B. "Bezrobocie kobiet i męSczyzn". W: Krajowy System Monitorowania Równego Traktowania Kobiet i MęSczyzn. Raporty eksperckie Projekt PHARE.Wydawnictwo Naukowe SCHOLAR, Warszawa 2006 (ss. 237-294).
Cichomski, B. "Wynagrodzenia kobiet i męSczyzn w latach 1996-2002". W: Krajowy System Monitorowania Równego Traktowania Kobiet i MęSczyzn. Raporty eksperckie. Projekt PHARE Wydawnictwo Naukowe SCHOLAR, Warszawa 2006 (ss. 295-348).