MOSAiCH “Measurement and Observation of Social Attitudes in Switzerland”
MOSAiCH is a cross-sectional survey that focuses on the Swiss population’s values and attitudes toward a wide range of social issues.
The respondents are drawn from a probabilistic sample representing the country’s population from the age of 18. While MOSAiCH was conducted every two years as a face-to-face interview until 2017, it will be carried out once a year from 2018 in the form of a self-administered survey (online/paper).
In terms of content, the survey is designed in order to enable comparisons both over time and across countries. The thematic focus lies on the current module of the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP). This international part is supplemented by selected socio-demographic questions, as well as a module composed of Switzerland specific questions. The questions of this Swiss part are determined by means of a public call and either expand the ISSP module thematically or measure other dimensions that are of special interest to Switzerland.
The MOSAiCH survey was founded in 2005; selected parts of the survey, however, have been administered in Switzerland for more than 20 years (see also: Survey modules of MOSAiCH and its predecessors since 1987).
- The aim of the MOSAiCH survey is to generate internationally comparable data of very high quality that documents the Swiss population’s attitudes and opinions relating to a wide spectrum of social issues.
- The purpose of the annual call for question contributions is to provide interested researchers with a valuable tool for the collection of representative data for their research projects. This data is also freely accessible to the wider scientific public.
MOSAiCH is financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and directed by the FORS International Surveys team. Under the lead of Michèle Ernst Staehli, the International Surveys team has the following responsibilities:
- Overall planning and organisation of the survey;
- Development of the Swiss part of the questionnaire;
- Translation of the latest ISSP-Module from English into three national languages (French, German and Italian);
- Sample drawing for Switzerland;
- Development of specific survey methods;
- Cleaning, documentation and processing of the MOSAiCH data.
Coordination of the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP)
The ISSP is a cross-national collaboration programme that coordinates and conducts annual surveys on relevant social science topics. Established in 1984 by its founding members Australia, Germany, Great Britain and the US, the ISSP (www.issp.org) now counts more than 47 member countries. Since its foundation, over one million respondents from all around the globe have participated in ISSP surveys.
The ISSP is organised mainly by a rotating Secretariat, a Drafting group for modules that decides on the annual topics and a Methodology Committee that is responsible for quality specifications and assurance. The General Meeting – consisting of all the member states – develops the source questionnaire, appoints the members of the working groups and makes strategic decisions.
In the past years, Switzerland has been strongly involved in various ISSP working groups. At present in the role of convenor on the Methodology Committee and in several ISSP research groups (non-response, mixed-mode, translation, weighting, demographics). Additionally, Switzerland is a member of the Drafting Group that prepared the “Social Networks and Social Resources” module for the 2017 edition of the ISSP.
The respondents are drawn from a probabilistic sample representing the countries’ population from the age of 18. A net sample size of at least 1,000 respondents is required. Since 2010, MOSAiCH is considered a survey of national importance to Switzerland, which means that a sample of individuals can be drawn randomly from the sampling register of the Swiss Federal Statistical Office, in accordance with Art. 13c, para. 2, lett. d, of the Ordinance on the Execution of Federal Statistical Surveys dated 30 June 1993.
Until 2009: Random sampling in three stages:
- Sample of postal codes representing all regions of Switzerland
- Selection of a specified number of households from each of the sampled postal codes
- Random drawing of one person from each household
Since 2010: Random sampling in one stage:
- In 2010, MOSAiCH was declared a survey of national importance and received funding by the Swiss National Science Foundation. As a result, a sample of individuals can be drawn randomly from the sampling register of the Swiss Federal Statistical Office, in accordance with Art. 13c, para. 2, lett. d of the Ordinance on the Execution of Federal Statistical Surveys dated 30 June 1993.
- Annual cross-sectional survey with at least one follow-up interview for the respondents
- Self-administered questionnaires (web/paper)
- Target net sample size for the follow-up interviews: 1000 respondents
In order to enhance the quality of the data, the methodical procedure is constantly adapted and improved. Among other things, these measures include a rigorous translation procedure for the questionnaire (TRAPD), optimised random sampling and extensive measures to increase the response rate.
From 1999 to 2003, Switzerland conducted selected modules of the European Commission’s Eurobarometer Survey (in the first year as an independent survey, from 2000 to 2003 in combination with the ISSP). The modules of this Europe-wide survey were complemented by additional questions that focus primarily on the Swiss population’s attitudes and opinions towards national institutions and the European Union. These additional questions are gathered primarily in the modules EBCH – Swiss politics and EBCH – Relationship EU-CH.
While the Eurobarometer (EB) was discontinued in Switzerland in 2003, a considerable number of the EBCH questions has been incorporated into the MOSAiCH project (2005-2017). The document Vue d’ensemble des questions de l’Eurobaromètre en Suisse provides an overview of the repeated questions coming from EBCH as well as other sociodemographic and attitudinal questions of general interest and their implementation in different survey projects from 1999 until now.
From 2018, the EBCH questions will only be included in the MOSAiCH survey on a selective basis, depending on the specific subject of the ISSP module.