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Project Talent, Base Year Data, 1960

Resource Type
Dataset : administrative records data
  • American Institutes for Research
Other Title
  • Version 2 (Subtitle)
Publication Date
Free Keywords
ability; academic achievement; aspirations; educational objectives; family background; high school students
  • Abstract

    Project Talent is a nationally representative longitudinal study of men and women who were in high school in 1960 and who are currently in their 60s. Project Talent began as a major national effort to assess the aspirations and abilities of America's young men and women. Initiated in 1957, with support from the United States Office of Education and several other government agencies, Project Talent collected extensive information on characteristics and cognitive abilities of approximately 377,000 individuals in 1960 when they were in high school and in subsequent follow-up studies through age 30. Project Talent's large sample size, extensive background questionnaire, and cognitive measures, make it a premier study for social science research, combining aspects of multiple disciplines in a largely seamless research framework. Project Talent is uniquely suited to help inform lifecourse outcomes with a nationally representative sample and the power to unpack disparities in health and other characteristics and abilities.
  • Abstract

    The purpose of the study was to find out why some students learn and others do not; why some students go on to college and others do not. This study tried to find out about students interests, career plans and whether the courses they took matched the goals they had set for themselves. It was an attempt to find out how much human potential was lost and what educators and parents can do to stop that loss.
  • Abstract

    In 1960, roughly 5 percent of American high school students participated in the Project Talent study. Approximately 440,000 students were selected to represent all 9th through 12th grade students throughout the country.
  • Methods

    ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection: Performed consistency checks.; Created variable labels and/or value labels.; Standardized missing values.; Created online analysis version with question text.; Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes..
  • Table of Contents


    • DS0: Study-Level Files
    • DS1: Freshman class
    • DS2: Sophomore class
    • DS3: Junior class
    • DS4: Senior class
    • DS5: Combined classes
Temporal Coverage
  • Time period: 1960
  • Collection date: 1960
Geographic Coverage
  • United States
Sampled Universe
Smallest Geographic Unit: schools
Comprehensive sampling of United States high school students, using a 5 percent survey (a survey of 5 percent of the total population of high school students in 1960). Sophisticated sampling was used to identify 1,353 public, private, and parochial schools of all sizes and geographic locations in the United States.
Collection Mode
  • face-to-face interview, mail questionnaire, self-enumerated questionnaire, on-site questionnaire

2013-05-23 Changes were made to the documentation set. PDF codebooks were added for each part which were produced by ICPSR.
This study is freely available to the general public via web download.
Alternative Identifiers
  • 33341 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Is new version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR33341.v1
  • Dunkel, Curtis S., Cabeza De Baca, Tomás, Woodley, Michael A., Fernandes, Heitor B.F.. The General Factor of Personality and general intelligence: Testing hypotheses from Differential-K, Life History Theory, and strategic differentiation–integration effort. Personality and Individual Differences.61-62, 13-17.2014.
    • ID: 10.1016/j.paid.2013.12.017 (DOI)

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 6 | Registration Date: 2015-06-16

American Institutes for Research (2012): Project Talent, Base Year Data, 1960. Version 2. Version: v2. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.