Public opinion encompasses not only the views of opinion leaders and opinion makers and what is said in editorial commentaries and talk shows. Public opinion is also the sum of the opinions of ordinary citizens.
How do you collect people's opinions? The answer is through surveys, interviews or group discussions. Readers' letters, statements posted on websites or even people's behaviour are also usable sources. Related to public opinion are norms and values and individual preferences; these are by no means always 'public' in the sense of being 'of general interest', but they are nonetheless often greatly influenced by public opinion.
SCP carries out research on public opinion in many policy domains and based on many sources, for example in relation to the social and physical environment, society, the economy and politics. Most of the information collected by SCP, particularly through surveys, is also made available to other researchers via DANS (Data Archiving and Networked Services). In addition to SCP, journalists, private research agencies (opinion researchers) and academics also carry out research on public opinion. SCP attempts to combine questions that are relevant for policy with a scientific approach.
Research at SCP
Public opinion in a broad sense is a topic of study for the Participation, Culture and Living Environment research sector. You will find information on recent studies and publications here. Public opinion, including individual preferences, also crops up in other areas of research, for example opinions on government policy, migration, social interaction, crime and social security benefits.
DANS, Data Archiving and Networked Services