World Values Survey, 1981-1984 and 1990-1993

Principal Investigator



The study''s purpose is to examine the values of a number of countries to create specific and comparative knowledge.


This study documents data from the 43-nation World Values Survey carried out in 1990-1993, and the 22-nation World Values Survey carried out in 1981-1984. Since the 1990s survey replicates many key items from the 1980s survey, the two sets of surveys are integrated into a single dataset: a given variable number can be used to analyse data from both waves of the study, facilitating comparisons over time.
This study provides a much broader range of variation than has ever before been available for analysing the values and attitudes of mass publics. The 1990-1993 surveys were carried out in 43 societies representing almost 70% of the world''s population. The 1981-1984 surveys provide time series data for 22 of these societies, enabling people to analyse the changes in values and attitudes which took place during the years between the two sets of surveys.
Broad topics covered are work, the meaning and purpose of life, family life, and comtemporary social issues.
The respondents were asked to rate the importance of work, family, friends, leisure time, politics and religion in their lives. They were also asked how satisfied they were with their present lives, whether they tended to persuade others close to them, whether they dicussed political matters, and how they viewed society.
Questions related to work included what aspects were important to them in a job, the pride they took in their work, their satisfaction with the present job, and their views on owner/state/employee management of business.
The respondents were asked about the groups and associations they belonged to and which ones they worked for voluntarily, the level of trust they had in most people, the groups they would not want as neighbours, their general state of health, and whether they felt they had a free choice and control over their lives.
A wide range of items was included on the meaning and purpose of life, such as the respondents'' views on the value of scientific advances, the demarcation of good and evil, and religious behaviour and beliefs. The respondents were asked whether they shared the same attitudes towards religion, morality, politics and sexual mores with their partner and parents, their views on marriage and divorce, qualities important for a child to learn, whether a child needs both parents to grow up happy, views on mothers working outside the home, views on abortion, and whether marriage is an outdated institution.
Questions regarding political issues probed for the respondents'' opinions of various forms of political action and the likelihood of their taking an action, the most important aims for their countries, confidence in various civil and governmental institutions, and whether they felt that divorce, abortion, suicide, cheating on taxes, lying, and other such actions were ever justified.
Additional information was gathered on family income, number of people residing in the home, size of locality, home ownership, region of residence, occupation of the head of the household, and the respondent'' age, sex, occupation, education, religion, religiosity, political party and trade union membership, and left-right political self-placement


Abortion, Anti-apartheid, Working conditions, Nuclear power station, Occupation (settlement), Boycott, The bringing up of children, Daily press, Demonstration, The European Union, Family life, Family size, The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark, Member of an association, Defence, Pollution, Parental role, Peace movement, God, International firm, Job satisfaction, Church attendance, Equality, Equality, Substance of life, View of life, Quality of life, Member of the national church, Trust in your fellow citizens, Human Rights movement, Environmental movement, Moral value, Moral value, Upbringing, Party membership, Party preferences, Police, Politics, Politician, Political interest, Post material value, Religion, System of justice, Societal goals, Suicide, Divorce, Educational system, Social security, Social work, State, Strike action, Trust in the medias, Thust in the government, Trust in companies, Petition, Well-being, Marriage


Society and culture: Social behaviour and attitudes



Geographic Coverage

Tvær-national, ARG; A; AUS; B; BG; BR; BY; CDN; CH; CS; D; DK; E; EE; F; FIN; GB; H; I; IND; IRL; IS; J; L; LT; LV; MEX; N; NL; P; PL; RC; RCH; RO; ROK; RUS; S; SI; TR; USA; WAN; ZA

Data set

Order data

Variables: Unknown
Analysis unit: Individuals, Adults aged 18 or more.


In data set:
Original sample: NA


Kind of data: Survey data

Time dimension: Cross-sectional (one time) study - partial replication, The survey consists of two waves of which the first was carried out in 1981-1984 and the second in 1990-1993.

Sampling procedure: Other, Both national random and quota sampling were used. The populations of India, China and Nigeria, as well as rural areas and the illeterate population, were undersampled.

Action to minimize loos: NA

Data collection

Mode of collection: Other, Not known yet.

Test type: Structured questionnaire

Number of questions: 0

Data Collector: NA

Temporal coverage

Start: 1981-01-01
End: 1993-12-30


Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, World Values Survey, 1981-1984 and 1990-1993, Dansk Data Arkiv Danish Data Archive, 1999. 1 data file: DDA-3265, version: 1.0.0, http://dx.doi.org/10.5279/DK-SA-DDA-3265

Persistent identifier:

DOI: 10.5279/DK-SA-DDA-3265

Archive information

Received: 1998-04-01


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

  • Gundelach, Peter og Riis, Ole, Værdiforandringer i Danmark 1981-1990, Aarhus, Institut for Statskundskab og Institut for Religionsstudier, Aarhus Universitet, 32 pp., 1990

Secondary publications

  • Drejø, Kristine; Mathiasen, Kenneth Skovdall; Mogensen, Jens Hougaard; Møberg, Rasmus Juul, Økologi, en ny værdi?, Aalborg Universitet, 1999, 110 pp. + appendix, 1999