Austrian Corona Panel Project

Panel survey on the corona crisis

Project description

The Corona crisis has fundamentally changed everyday life in many countries, including Austria. Though the crisis concerns everybody, people are affected in different ways. Some are seriously ill or confronted with death in their families. Others  are juggling paid work, housework and childcare duties. For yet others, the crisis means furlough or even job loss, and coping with financial stress. Parents and children face various challenges related to home schooling. At the same time, there are indications that new forms of cohesion and mutual support are emerging. All in all, Austrians find themselves in a situation unlike anything since the end of World War II.

A new study by the University of Vienna investigates how information, attitudes, and behaviours are distributed across the population, and how these develop in the course of the crisis. Under the leadership of Bernhard Kittel (Department of Economic Sociology), Sylvia Kritzinger (Department of Government), Hajo Boomgaarden (Department of Communication) and Barbara Prainsack (Department of Political Science), an interdisciplinary team of researchers at the University of Vienna, together with collaborators from other institutions, is addressing questions such as: How do people perceive the new health and economic threats? How do Austrians feel about the political measures taken during the crisis? How do they view the democratic  challenges and the role of the media?

The study is based on a panel survey with a sample of 1500 respondents, which represents the sociodemographic structure of the Austrian population. Panel survey means that the same people are interviewed repeatedly in order to be able to monitor changes in a time of rapid upheaval. Between the end of March 2020 and the beginning of July 2020 the survey was conducted in a weekly rhythm, from then on the interval was successively increased and since August 2020 the data are collected monthly. The questionnaire contains a set of core questions that is asked in each survey wave as well as changing modules that go deeper into certain dimensions and are surveyed at larger intervals. This makes it possible to monitor important trends and to focus on key issues and aspects such as family, work, politics or media.

The study was initially financed by the Vienna Science and Technology Fund and the Rectorate of the University of Vienna. A survey wave was conducted in cooperation with the Social Survey Austria. Further surveys were realized with generous support from the Vienna Chamber of Labor and the Federation of Austrian Industry. From October 2020, the survey will be financed by the Austrian Science Fund FWF as part of the Urgent Funding SARS-CoV-2.

 

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