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Number 1/2001

ISSP 2000: The First Finnish ISSP Dataset

Mari Kleemola 9.3.2001


New Dataset On Environmental Attitudes of the Finns

In the Spring 2000 Finland joined the global ISSP programme. The ISSP (International Social Survey Programme) is based on an annual integrated data collection in over 30 countries. The materials enable extensive comparisons between the countries.

Following the national membership in the ISSP, the first Finnish ISSP dataset was collected last year when the ISSP theme was the environment. The Finnish Social Science Data Archive, the Department of Sociology and Social Psychology at the University of Tampere and Statistics Finland were responsible for translating the questionnaire. The collecting of the material was financed mainly by the Finnish Social Science Data Archive and Ministry of the Environment.

High-class dataset for those interested in the level of environmental knowlegde and relationship to nature in Finland

The environmental dataset was collected by the Interviews and Research Services Unit at Statistics Finland. The unit conducts approximately 250.000 telephone interviews, 30.000 face-to-face interviews and 30-40.000 mail surveys per year. According to the unit's director Eero Tanskanen, the quality of the collected material is ensured by carefully thought-out and tested methods.

- We usually draw the samples straight from our population information system covering the entire population. This provides us with the possibility of an exact analysis of, among other things, the amount of information loss and structure. We have also a survey laborarory at our unit where different stages of the interview and survey processes can be tested.

Eero Tanskanen The Finnish participation in the ISSP programme gives researchers a lot of new things to analyse. The recently collected dataset on environment makes several different research positions possible.

- This dataset would be extremely well-suited for example for estimating the level of the Finns' knowledge about environment and studying their relationship to nature. Other rersearch subjects might be the Finn's own willingness to sacrifice and their reactions to norm directing, Tanskanen suggests.

Mail survey in the Autumn

Marko Ylitalo The sample in the year 2000 ISSP survey is a population sample representing the Finns aged 15-74 years. The material was collected in a mail survey sent to 2500 Finns. Researcher Marko Ylitalo has been in charge for the data collection.

- We mailed the first questionnaires on November 7-8, 2000. There were two reminder rounds and the reply percentage was 60 which is a good result in a mail survey.

Ylitalo has checked the material and added weights to it.

- The data is weighed by age, sex, province and type of municipality. The dataset and the metadata should be completed by May. We will submit a frequency report for the Ministry of Environment and after that deliver the dataset to the Finnish Social Science Data Archive, Ylitalo says.

After archiving researchers can obtain both the Finnish data set and later also the international comparison datasets from the FSD according to the normal permission and contract procedures.

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