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Round 10 COVID-19 questions finalised

The latest edition of the European Social Survey (ESS) will include a set of questions that can be fielded in participating countries to measure attitudes towards the Coronavirus pandemic.

The COVID-19 module has now been finalised and includes 20 questions on the topic, due to be fielded in Round 10 (2020/21) of our survey.

10 questions were developed by national teams and the core scientific team (CST), with a further 10 questions chosen for inclusion following an open competition.

Questions will cover whether respondents or people they live with had Coronavirus, whether the pandemic had an impact on employment and whether they would get vaccinated.

The module will ask for views on how much respondents trust the government and its responses to the pandemic and whether they trust scientists.

There will be questions on whether it is more important to prioritise public health or the economy; and whether it is more important to monitor and track the public or maintain public privacy.

Questions will also focus on personal responsibility - whether people prefer to follow government rules or make their own decisions as well as support for lockdown measures and closing international borders.

We announced in July that two question proposals - of five questions each - were selected to be included in the survey.

Questions initially proposed by a team led by Marc Helbling (University of Bamberg, WZB Berlin Social Science Center) will focus on Government authority and legitimacy in the age of a pandemic

The second module selected - COVID-19 conspiracy beliefs and government rule compliance - was submitted by Kostas Gemenis (Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies) and Levente Littvay (Central European University, European University Institute).

In each round of the ESS, national teams have the option to include a set of country-specific questions, that do not need to be harmonised with other participating countries.

In Round 10 of our survey, participating countries have been given the option to include these 20 items in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic instead of their country specific items.

Countries to confirm they will field the questions are Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

In April, we announced an extended period of fieldwork for Round 10 (2020/21) of our survey. Countries were able to begin, as planned, in September 2020, and have until 31 December 2021 to complete their fieldwork.

The CST of the ESS has adapted the questionnaire into a postal and app-based format, and is considering the possibility of video interviewing, should face-to-face interviewing not be possible.

The Round 10 (2020/21) COVID module is available to view:

These questions were designed for inclusion in the European Social Survey Round 10 COVID-19 module. Data from the ESS module will be published in 2022. Whilst the questions are those designed for the ESS, other surveys replicating them may use different data collection methods and therefore those findings should not be referred to as ESS findings. ESS ERIC shall not be held responsible for any use of these questions.

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