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Decatur Study (Personal Influence)

Resource Type
Dataset : Survey and aggregate data
  • Katz, Elihu (Bureau of Applied Social Research, Columbia University, New York)
  • Lazarsfeld, Paul F. (Bureau of Applied Social Research, Columbia University, New York)
Publication Date
  • Katz, Elihu (Data Collector)
  • Lazarsfeld, Paul, F.Bureau of Applied Social Research, Columbia University, New York (Data Collector)
  • E. Katz, P. F. Lazarsfeld, Bureau of Applied Social Research, Columbia University, New York (Data Collector)
  • ZA:
    • Group
  • CESSDA Topic Classification:
    • Information and communication
    • Social stratification and groupings
  • Abstract

    The influence of opinion leaders on behavior in areas such as shopping (marketing), fashion, political attitudes and going to the movies. Topics: Reasons for the decision to purchase certain brands; attitude to going to the movies; media usage; political interest and conversation partners; social integration; fashion consciousness; attitude to trade unions and entrepreneurs; explicitly naming the persons influencing one´s own opinion making; self-assessment of personal opinion leadership; psychological self-characterization. Supplementary survey of the opinion leaders named by the respondent. Demography: age (classified); marital status; number of children; ages of children (classified); religious denomination; school education; vocational training; occupation; employment; party preference; social origins; membership.
Temporal Coverage
  • 1945-06 / 1945-08
Geographic Coverage
  • Decatur (US-IL-DEC)
Sampled Universe
Age: 16 and older.
Sampling Procedure Comment: Simple random selection of housewives
Collection Mode
  • Oral survey with standardized questionnaire
Data and File Information
  • Unit Type: Individual
    Number of Units: 882
The investigation is a panel survey with 2 waves. The questionnaires of the 2nd wave were prepared such that a change of opinion in comparison to the 1st survey could directly be determined by the interviewer. In these cases an extensive supplementary survey was conducted (hierarchic data set).
A - Data and documents are released for academic research and teaching.
All metadata from GESIS DBK are available free of restriction under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. However, GESIS requests that you actively acknowledge and give attribution to all metadata sources, such as the data providers and any data aggregators, including GESIS. For further information see
Alternative Identifiers
  • ZA0241 (Type: ZA-No.)
  • Katz, Elihu; Lazarsfeld, Paul F.: Personal Influence. New York: The Free Press 1955
  • Katz, Elihu; Lazarsfeld, Paul F.: Persönlicher Einfluß und Meinungsbildung. München: Oldenbourg 1962

Update Metadata: 2020-10-20 | Issue Number: 90 | Registration Date: 2010-07-21

Katz, Elihu; Lazarsfeld, Paul F. (1945): Decatur Study (Personal Influence). Version: 1.0.0. GESIS Data Archive. Dataset.