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PRRI 2015 American Values Survey




Cooper, B., Jones, R. P., Cox, D., & Lienesch, R. (2021, September 13). PRRI 2015 American Values Survey.


The American Values Survey (AVS) is Public Religion Research Institute's (PRRI) annual multi-issue survey on religion, culture and public policy. The survey is conducted in the fall each year. The goal of PRRI is to help journalists, scholars, pundits, thought leaders, clergy and the public better understand debates on public policy and the religious and cultural atmosphere that is shaping American politics and society.

The 2015 American Values Survey consisted of interviews with 2,695 adults who were spread across all fifty states and Washington, D.C. A battery of questions were included to assess American opinions about jobs, unemployment and immigration. The survey also included a section on America's views on cultural change and discrimination against race in the criminal justice system.

The ARDA has added six additional variables to the original data set to enhance the users' experience on our site.

Data File

Cases: 2695
Variables: 169
Weight Variable: WEIGHT

The weighting is accomplished in two stages. Panel base weights are first calculated for each household based on the probability that the household will be selected by NORC National Frame, which is the sampling frame used in sampling households for AmeriSpeak. These household weights are then assigned to each adult in the sample. In the second stage, sample demographics are used to match the population parameters for gender, race, education, age, division, housing type and telephone usage. These parameters are derived from an analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau's Current Population Survey.

Data Collection

September 11, 2015 - October 4, 2015

Original Survey (Instrument)

PRRI 2015 American Values Survey

Funded By

The Ford Foundation and The Nathan Cummings Foundation

Collection Procedures

Results from this survey were based on data collected through interviews through a mix of self-administered online tools and live telephone interviews. A random sample of 2,695 American adults (ages 18 and up) were included in this sample. All interviews were conducted through AmeriSpeak, a probability-based panel run by NORC at the University of Chicago, designed to be representative of the U.S. adult population. The 398 participants who did not have Internet access were interviewed by telephone by professional interviewers. All interviews had the option of being conducted in Spanish or in English.

NORC's AmeriSpeak hosts a representative panel of civilian, non-institutional American adults. The frame was developed over a two stage probability sample design. The first stage uses National Frame Areas (NFAs), geographic areas with at least 10,000 people. The NFA has over three million households, which includes 80,000 rural households. NORC has also oversampled on adults who are hard to reach, such as Hispanics, African Americans and young adults.

Panel recruitment also happens in two stages. First, mail solicitation is sent out to randomly selected households. Telephone calls and email solicitations are used to follow up. In the second stage, any households that have not responded are provided incentives or paid a personal visit by a NORC interviewer. Members will often participate in panel surveys two to three times a month.

Sampling Procedures

The sample weighting is accomplished through iterative proportional fitting (IFP) process, which simultaneously balances the distribution of the variables. Any weight that skewed the final results were trimmed. Use of sample weights ensured that the demographic characteristics reflect the demographics of the target population.

Principal Investigators

Betsy Cooper; Robert P. Jones, Ph.D.; Daniel Cox; Rachel Lienesch

Related Publications

The following link contains a summary of the Public Religion Research Institute's findings of this survey:

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