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ABC News September 11th Adult Poll, September 2002

Resource Type
Dataset : survey data
  • ABC News
Other Title
  • Archival Version (Subtitle)
Collective Title
  • ABC News/Washington Post Poll Series
Publication Date
Free Keywords
airport security; al Qaeda; anxiety; attitudes; discrimination; fear; opinion polls; Osama bin Laden; patriotism; personal security; presidential performance; public opinion; September 11 attack; social issues; terrorism; terrorist attacks
  • Abstract

    This special topic poll, conducted September 5-8, 2002, was undertaken to assess respondents' feelings a few days before the first anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack, as well as to gauge their opinions on the way the United States was dealing with the war on terrorism. Those polled described their feelings both right after the September 11th attack and one year later. They were asked what they were doing when they first heard about the attacks, whether they had problems sleeping or felt depressed because of terrorist attacks and the war against terrorism, whether they planned to change their normal routines on the first anniversary of the September 11th attack, whether the terrorist attacks changed their country and their personal lives, whether they became suspicious of people of Arab descent, and whether they felt that they personally could be victims of a terrorist attack. Another subject of this survey was the war on terrorism. Respondents commented on the way the United States was handling the campaign against terror, rated the president's performance and that of other officials/institutions/organizations that were dealing with the events of September 11th and the war on terrorism, and indicated whether they thought the campaign against terror was going well in general. They also identified countries that did "enough or not enough" to support the United States campaign against terrorism, and evaluated the job done by the United States in terms of preventing further terrorist attacks, breaking up the al Qaeda network, improving United States intelligence, and reorganizing government agencies. Respondents provided their views on whether the United States was doing enough in its anti-terrorism campaign to win the support of other countries and Muslims around the world, whether the anti-terrorism activities of the federal government were posing a threat to their constitutional rights, and whether the Bush administration was accurately describing the level of threat the country was facing from terrorism. With regard to Osama bin Laden, respondents were asked how confident they were that the United States would capture or kill Osama bin Laden and if the war on terrorism could be a success without capturing or killing him. Those polled expressed their concerns about the possibility of further terrorist attacks, and their confidence in the ability of the United States government to prevent them. Some questions focused on flying, including whether respondents had flown on a commercial airplane after September 11, 2001, whether they worried about flying because of the risk of terrorism, and whether airport security was better than before September 11, 2001. Additionally, respondents were asked whether terrorism or the economy was a bigger problem, whether they were optimistic or pessimistic about the future of their country, whether spending time with their families was important to them, how proud they were to be Americans, whether they were displaying an American flag, and if so, when they started doing that. Background information on respondents includes gender, age, education, religion and religiosity, political party affiliation, political orientation, race, Hispanic origin, children under age 18 living at home, and subjective size of community.
  • Table of Contents


    • DS1: Dataset
Temporal Coverage
  • Time period: 2002-09
  • 2002-09-05 / 2002-09-08
    Collection date: 2002-09-05--2002-09-08
Geographic Coverage
  • United States
Sampled Universe
Persons aged 18 and over living in households with telephones in the contiguous 48 United States.
Households were selected by random-digit dialing. Within households, the respondent selected was the adult living in the household who last had a birthday and who was at home at the time of interview.
Collection Mode
  • Additional information about sampling, interviewing, weighting, and sampling error may be found in the codebook.

    Produced by Taylor Nelson Sofres Intersearch, Horsham, PA, 2002.

2005-12-15 On 2005-08-15 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-12-15 to reflect these additions.
This version of the study is no longer available on the web. If you need to acquire this version of the data, you have to contact ICPSR User Support (
Alternative Identifiers
  • 3553 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Is previous version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR03553.v1
  • McArdle, S.C., Rosoff, H., John, R.S.. The dynamics of evolving beliefs, concerns emotions, and behavioral avoidance following 9/11: A longitudinal analysis of representative archival samples. Risk Analysis.32, 744-761.2012.
    • ID: 10.1111/j.1539-6924.2012.01814.x (DOI)

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 6 | Registration Date: 2015-06-15

ABC News (2002): ABC News September 11th Adult Poll, September 2002. Archival Version. ABC News/Washington Post Poll Series. Version: v0. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.