1. The Scottish Social Attitudes series
1.1 The Scottish Social Attitudes (SSA) survey was launched by ScotCen Social Research in 1999, following the advent of devolution. Based on annual rounds of interviews of between 1,200 to 1,500 people drawn using probability sampling (based on a stratified, clustered sample), it aims to facilitate the study of public opinion and inform the development of public policy in Scotland. In this it has similar objectives to the British Social Attitudes (BSA) survey, which was launched by ScotCen's parent organisation, NatCen Social Research, in 1983. While BSA interviews people in Scotland, these are usually too few in any one year to permit separate analysis of public opinion in Scotland (see http://www.bsa.natcen.ac.uk/ for more details of the BSA survey).
1.2 SSA has been conducted annually each year since 1999, with the exception of 2008. The survey has a modular structure. In any one year it typically contains four or five modules, each containing 40 questions. Funding for its first two years came from the Economic and Social Research Council, while from 2001 onwards different bodies have funded individual modules each year. These bodies have included the Economic and Social Research Council, the Scottish Government, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and various charitable and grant awarding bodies, such as the Nuffield Foundation and Leverhulme Trust.
Email: Donna Easterlow