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To: Members of the ANES Research Community
From: Nancy Burns and Donald Kinder
Re: Release of the 2000 ANES Pilot Study Dataset
Date: May 19, 2000

The American National Election Studies has just released the first version the 2000 ANES Special Topic Pilot Study dataset. This dataset is available for free downloading from the ANES website, by following the 'download any dataset' link.

The 2000 ANES Special Topic Pilot Study is different from earlier ANES pilot studies in several respects. First, the 2000 Special Topic Pilot Study was supported with funds from the Russell Sage Foundation under grant number 82-00-01. These funds are part of a broader effort to raise money to enhance the 2000 National Election Study. Unlike previous ANES pilot studies, this study was not supported with funds from the National Science Foundation, although the respondents to this study were previously interviewed in the 1998 ANES. Data from those 1998 respondents are included in this release of the 2000 ANES Special Topic Pilot Study Dataset. Second, this brief Special Topic Pilot Study focuses on a single topic, instead of many topics proposed by the research community. In an era of increasingly limited funding from NSF, the Russell Sage Foundation generously agreed to support the development of specialized instrumentation on trust for potential use in the Fall, 2000 ANES. Unlike previous funds from NSF to support more general pilot studies involving the entire research community, the funding from the Russell Sage Foundation meant a very short period of time between the receipt of funds and the fall, 2000 ANES study. While this is a new practice for ANES, ANES is fortunate to have received support from the Russell Sage Foundation for this specialized development work.

Study Overview

The 2000 ANES Special Topic Pilot Study was a 14-minute telephone interview, yielding 424 completed interviews. The full study commenced on April 3, 2000 and was completed on May 14, 2000. Specific topic areas in the study include: (1) social trust, general and domain specific, (2) trust in elections, (3) civic engagement, and (4) a new method for measuring social desirability norms. The use of the CATI enabled a number of experimental treatments within the survey instrumentation, including random assignment of questions in specific batteries and random form generation.

Downloading the Dataset

The 2000 ANES Special Topic Pilot Study includes a raw ASCII data file along with SAS and SPSS data definition files for construction of SAS and/or SPSS 'system' files. We have also included SAS and SPSS 'transport' files so the user can avoid dataset construction steps, if so desired. Unfortunately, ANES is not able to offer technical support concerning the downloading or construction of datasets. Please contact a consultant at your home institution for assistance with downloading or using SAS or SPSS. As always, please contact ANES ( or by phone at 734-764-5494) concerning any problems or errors found in the dataset.