Introduction to the German General Social Survey (ALLBUS)

Institution: see Organisers & Acknowledgements

Program of study: International Research Workshop

Lecturer: Michael Terwey (GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences)


30.09.2013, 09:00 – 12:30

Room: n.s.

Max. number of participants: 20

Semester periods per week: n.s.

Credit Points: 5 CP for participating in the whole IRWS

Language of instruction: English


ALLBUS (Allgemeine Bevölkerungsumfrage der Sozialwissenschaften – German General Social Survey (GGSS)) is one of the foremost survey programs in Germany. It has been institutionalized as a part of GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences. The prototype for similar national data generation programs is the American General Social Survey (GSS).

Since 1980, ALLBUS/GGSS has provided a series of representative cross-sectional samples drawn from the adult population in Germany. These biennial surveys include partly replicative and partly innovative question modules and added value data for analyses of social structure, attitudes, values, and behavior in Germany. Moreover, users may find various possibilities for international comparisons. There are 19 currently available ALLBUS/GGSS surveys (1980-2012) with a total of 57,723 respondents. A large part of the documentation has been translated into English.
In its first part the course gives an overview of the project as such, basic sampling procedures, various question modules, and recent activities of the ALLBUS Research Data Center. The second part comprises hands-on exercises of chosen data. The calculations will be done primarily using SPSS-syntax. Participants should have fundamental knowledge in data handling, in statistical data analysis and in using programs like SPSS via syntax.


Alba, Richard, Peter Schmidt and Martina Wasmer (eds.) 2003: Germans or Foreigners? Attitudes Towards Ethnic Minorities in Post-Reunification Germany, New York und Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.

Blohm, Michael, Franziska Lerch, Ute Hoffstätter, Katharina Schmidt and Daniel Nowack 2013: ALLBUS-Bibliographie (27. Fassung), GESIS – Technical Reports 2013|06.

Davis, James Allen, Peter Ph. Mohler and Tom W. Smith 1994: Nationwide General Social Surveys, in: Borg, Ingwer and Peter Ph. Mohler (eds.), Trends and Perspectives in Empirical Social Research, Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter: 17-25.

Smith, Tom W., Jibum Kim, Achim Koch and Alison Park 2005: Social-Science Research and the General Social Surveys, in: ZUMA-Nachrichten 56: 68-77.

Terwey, Michael 2000: ALLBUS: A German General Social Survey, in: Schmollers Jahrbuch 120: 151-158.

Terwey, Michael and Horst Baumann 2013: Variable Report German General Social Survey. ALLBUS / GGSS Cumulation 1980 – 2010, ZA-Study-No 4576, Cologne: GESIS, GESIS – Variable Reports No. 2013|2.

You have to register for the 7th International Research Workshop to participate in this course.