World Values Survey, 1981-1983

Principal Investigator

Jacques-René Rabier, Commission of the European Communities



See abstract


This project was carried out by the World Values Study Group, an international association of social scientists that grew out of a study sponsored by the European Values Systems Study Foundation of Amsterdam. This group's first survey, carried out in ten Western European societies in early 1981 (DDA-0829: International Value Project, 1981-1983 (Denmark)), evoked such widespread interest among survey researchers that it was replicated in fifteen additional countries, with funding from various sources. The World Values Study Group coordinates the efforts of the European Values Systems Study Group with social scientists from a number of other institutions, including the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research and the national academies of science of Hungary, Poland and the Soviet Union. # This data collection is designed to enable cross-national comparison of basic values and norms in a wide variety of areas. Broad topics covered are leisure, work, the meaning and purpose of life, family life, and contemporary social issues. # In the section on leisure, the respondents were asked whether they preferred to spend their leisure time relaxing or being active, about groups and associations to which they belonged, how often they read a daily newspaper, the number of hours spent watching television, whether they experience feelings such as loneliness, boredom, restlessness, depression, and happiness, if they feel other people can be trusted, if they feel that they have free choice and control over their lives, and if they are satisfied with life in general. # Topics covered relating to work include aspects important in a job, pride in work, satisfaction with present job and financial situation, and owner/state/employee management of business. # A wide range of items was included on the meaning and purpose of life, such as the respondent's views on the value of scientific advances, things in life which are worth sacrificing everything for, opinions on good and evil, and religious behaviour and beliefs. The respondents were queried regarding closeness among family members, their level of satisfaction with their home life, whether they share the same attitudes towards such things as religion, morality, politics, and sexual norms with their partner and parents, their views on marriage and divorce, and qualities important for a child to learn. # In the final section on social issues, areas covered include the respondent's interest in politics, opinion of various forms of political action, self-placement on a political left-right scale and party identification, the most important aims for the respondent's country, alcohol and alcoholism, confidence in various civil and governmental institutions, and whether divorce, abortion, suicide, cheating on taxes, lying, and other such actions are ever justified


Abortion, Alcohol, alcoholism, Sense of responsibility, Working conditions, Working hours walk-out, Childhood, Fraud, Bribe, Occupation (settlement), Car theft, Boycott, Prayer, The bringing up of children, Children's qualities, Daily press, Participation in political activities, Demonstration, Killing in self defence, Death, Extremist, SINGLE MOTHER, Lonely, Business community, Labour union, Family life, Family size, The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark, The national parliament of Denmark, Consumer organization, Member of an association, Defence, Parental role, Leisure activity, Sentence, God, Guest worker, Heaven and hell, Attitude towards large families, Attitude towards students, Homosexuality, Handling of stolen goods, Vandalism, Politeness, Immigrant, Industry, Boredom, Church attendance, Corruption, Criminal, Art group, Love, Manager ability, Equality, Life after death, Substance of life, Quality of life, Local affiliation, Obedience, Lie, Member of the national church, Membership, Compassionate murder, Trust in your fellow citizens, Meaning of life, Human Rights movement, Moral, Moral value, Moral value, Drug abuse, Upbringing, Party loyalty, Party membership, Personal happiness, Personal sacrifices, Police, Politician, Political activity, Political discussion, Political interest, Political murder, Political position, Reincarnation, Religion, Religious affiliation, Respect for parents, Societal goals, Viewer habits, Sexual freedom, Sexual norms, Suicide, Independence, Tax evasion, Divorce, Educational system, Assassination, Social equality, Social norm, Social work, State, Punishment for terrorism, Strike action, Trust in public institutions, Trust in companies, Existence, Belief in the devil, Belief in the soul, Belief in sin, Faithfulness, TV habits, Patience, Petition, Youth, Freedom of choice, Well-being, Value, Value of scientific progress, Marriage, Honesty, Economic conditions



Geographic Coverage

Tvær-national, AUS; B; CDN; D; DK; E; F; GB; H; I; IRL; IS; J; L; MEX; N; NL; S; SF; SU; USA; ZA

Data set

Order data

Variables: Unknown
Analysis unit: Individuals, The populations, aged 18 or more, in 22 societies: France, Great Britain, Northern Ireland, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, Spain, Ireland, the United States, Canada, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, Hungary, Australia, Norway, Sweden, Soviet Union, Iceland, and Finland.


In data set:
Original sample: NA


Kind of data: Survey data

Time dimension: Trend study, #DDA-0829: International Value Project, 1981-1983 (Denmark). #DDA-1523: International Value Project, 1990 (Denmark).

Sampling procedure: Quota sample

Action to minimize loos: NA

Data collection

Mode of collection: Face-to-face interview

Test type: Structured questionnaire

Number of questions: 0

Data Collector: NA

Temporal coverage

Start: 1981-01-01
End: 1983-12-30


Karel Dobbelaere, Stephen Harding, Felix Heunks, Jan Kerkhofs, Renata Koecher, Ruud de Moor, Noel Timms, Jacques-René Rabier, Ronald Inglehart, World Values Survey, 1981-1983, Dansk Data Arkiv Danish Data Archive, 1997. 1 data file: DDA-1591, version: 1.0.0, http://dx.doi.org/10.5279/DK-SA-DDA-1591

Persistent identifier:

DOI: 10.5279/DK-SA-DDA-1591

Archive information

Received: 1997-01-01


Study state: The Danish Data Archive has checked and preserved the data in a long-term preservation format.
Access conditions: Free access


DDI-L-3.1 XML Study metadata

Latest version: 1.0.0

Other metadata formats

DDA XML Study description


Primary publications

  • World Values Study Group, World Values Survey, 1981-1983, Ann Arbor, Michigan: Institute for Social Research, 3rd edition, ICPSR (9309), 39 pp., 1991