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Windows on American Life

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Social science research provides crucial data on American attitudes, beliefs and social structure.

Longitudinal surveys and panel studies funded by the National Science Foundation, such as the General Social Survey, provide social science researchers with a glimpse into the economic, social, political and moral complexities of American life to better understand how society functions and changes over time.

Credit: Photos.com


The Panel Study on Income Dynamics tracks changes in Americans' income over time.

The Panel Study on Income Dynamics follows a representative sample of the American adult population to study how much Americans earn and how life events like marriage, divorce, childbearing and labor market changes affect families' income, savings and debt.

Credit: Photos.com


The American National Election Studies offer insights into voter behavior in presidential elections.

The American National Election Studies (ANES), a scientific study of elections, tracks voter behavior and attitudes from more than six decades of presidential election studies. The ANES' long history of rich and multifaceted data, now more robust and accessible thanks to technological advances, is a crucial source of insight into the causes and outcomes of voter behavior in our democracy.

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Time-sharing studies use technological efficiencies to improve data collection at a reduced cost.

The Time-sharing Experiments for the Social Sciences (TESS) initiative unites computer-assisted telephone interviewing with the promising potential of computer-assisted Internet interviewing, allowing scientists to achieve the methodological strength of traditional social science surveys and studies while dramatically reducing the average cost.

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