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PRRI 2016 American Values Survey




Cooper, B., Cox, D., Lienesch, R., & Jones, R. P. (2021, March 10). PRRI 2016 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 2016 American Values Survey consisted of interviews with 2,010 adults who were spread across all 50 states and Washington, D.C. A set of questions were included to assess the results of the 2016 election. Questions related to views on American culture and the direction of the country were also asked on the survey. More specifically, Americans were asked to assess the political climate, American values and the prospects of the next generation. An additional section on society -- including immigration, minimum wage, taxation and the criminal justice system wrapped up the survey.

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

Data File

Cases: 2010
Variables: 156
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. Telephone usage parameters was pulled from National Health Interview Survey. Other parameters are derived from an analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau's Current Population Survey.

Data Collection

September 1, 2016 - September 27, 2016

Original Survey (Instrument)

PRRI 2016 American Values Survey

Funded By

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 2,010 American adults (ages 18 and up) were included in this sample. All interviews were conducted among participants in AmeriSpeak, a probability-based panel run by NORC at the University of Chicago, designed to be representative of the U.S. adult population. The 290 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, Daniel Cox, Rachel Lienesch and Robert P. Jones, Ph.D.

Related Publications

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

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