GESIS - DBK - ZA6739

ZA6739: Political Information Behaviour

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  • ZA6739_v1-0-0.csv (Dataset) 5 MBytes
  • ZA6739_v1-0-0.dta (Dataset Stata) 503 KBytes
  • ZA6739_v1-0-0.sav (Dataset SPSS) 553 KBytes


  • ZA6739_fb.pdf (Questionnaire) 321 KBytes

Other Documents

  • ZA6739_b.pdf (Report) 594 KBytes
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Bibliographic Citation

Citation Citation Presse- und Informationsamt der Bundesregierung, Berlin (2020): Political Information Behaviour. GESIS Data Archive, Cologne. ZA6739 Data file Version 1.0.0,
Study No.ZA6739
TitlePolitical Information Behaviour
Current Version1.0.0, 2020-4-14,
Date of Collection23.07.2019 - 16.08.2019
Principal Investigator/ Authoring Entity, Institution
  • Presse- und Informationsamt der Bundesregierung, Berlin


AbstractThe focus of this survey was the detailed analysis of the population´s media use in the context of political information. In addition to the relevance of political information, statements on media preferences and the importance of local content as well as the individualizability of information were collected. The connection between information availability and information behaviour was also examined more closely. The main focus was on the topics ´credibility of the different media´ and ´dealing with fake news´. Finally, the awareness of different communication media of the Federal Government, their use and their evaluation were surveyed. In the run-up to the population survey, a comprehensive qualitative survey (in-depth interviews) was conducted, which served as a basis for the development of the survey instrument. Topics: Importance of being informed about current issues; interest in politics; frequency of contact with politics (at work, school or university, personal conversations with friends or family, use of social networks on the Internet, leisure time, public events, everyday media consumption); forms of political activity in the last twelve months (supported petition or collection of signatures, participated in a demonstration, boycotted certain products, engaged in a citizens´ initiative, attended lectures and events on political topics); interests in local, regional and national political information; self-assessment of the level of information on various topics (international politics outside Europe, politics in Europe, work of the federal government, work of the state government, local political topics from the community/region); media preferences: frequency of use of different media for information on local, national or international topics (public television, major private television programmes, local TV programmes, radio, printed national newspapers and magazines, local and regional daily newspapers, free advertising, weekly and community newspapers, Internet news websites and apps, Internet news blogs, news on social networks, podcasts, articles and information distributed by the federal government itself); reasons for not using digital information offerings; statements on media use of political topics print/online (search specifically for information on a political topic, come across interesting political topics at random, skim the headlines, read an article/background report on a political event in its entirety, tell other people about articles/videos read, share articles or videos on social networks, comment on articles or videos on news portals or social networks); credibility of various media; importance of various information offerings of the federal government (federal government websites, brochures and leaflets, advertisements in newspapers and magazines, posters, cinema spots, newsletters of the federal government, inserts in newspapers and magazines, personal information at trade fairs or infobus tours, citizen telephone, Twitter messages of the government spokesperson, Facebook presence of the federal government, online advertisements, YouTube channel of the federal government with current videos, Instagram contributions of the Federal Chancellor); frequency of use of the above-mentioned information offerings of the federal government; evaluation of the information offerings of the federal government as a whole; reasons for not liking these information offerings (open); reasons for not using the information offerings of the federal government. Dealing with fake news: behaviour in case of uncertainty about the reliability of interesting information (e.g. ignoring the information, reading the information more carefully to get an idea, etc.); awareness of the term ´fake news´; definition of fake news (if a news is based on false facts, facts are presented one-sidedly, opinions are expressed which are not based on facts); more frequent unintentional distribution of fake news vs. targeted distribution in order to influence people; self-assessment of fake news detection; assessment of other people regarding fake news detection; measures should be taken vs. no measures should be taken to curb fake news; responsibility for necessary measures to curb fake news (operators of platforms on which fake news is distributed, federal government, EU, others) Demography: age; sex; German nationality; highest school-leaving qualification; vocational education and training qualification; employment status; current or previous occupational status; marital status; household size; number of persons in the household under 16 years of age; children; party sympathy; economic situation of the household; net household income. Additionally coded: respondent ID; state; residence Berlin: Former Berlin city district; residence west/east; Nielsen areas; city size; degree of urbanization of the residential area (rural, urban); county/city constituting a district; BIK region type, BIK structure type, city size (political, region size BIK); weight; use/ non-use of classical media (TV, radio, print), print (newspapers, magazines, community magazines), digital information offers (Internet, apps, social networks), television (public, private, local), local/ regional media (TV, daily newspaper, community magazines); media types (cluster analysis).
Categories Categories
  • Communication, Public Opinion, Media
  • Political Attitudes and Behavior
Topics Topics
  • 9.1 Information society
  • 9.2 Mass media
  • 11.5 Mass political behaviour, attitudes/opinion


Geographic Coverage
  • Germany (DE)
UniverseGerman-speaking resident population aged 16 and over in private households
Analysis Unit Analysis Unit
  • Individual
Sampling Procedure Sampling Procedure
  • Probability: Multistage
  • Non-probability: Quota
Telephone Interview (CATI): Combined fixed and mobile phone sample (dual-frame approach) (1,000 cases) Online survey (CAWI): quota sample (1,000 cases) The telephone sample was drawn for both fixed-link and mobile numbers from the ADM master sample (mobile share 50%). The subjects for the parallel online survey were recruited from an actively recruited online access panel. The sample was created disproportionately for the characteristics residence size and age. In each case 50% of the respondents live in rural (communities with up to 50,000 inhabitants) or urban areas (communities with more than 50,000 inhabitants). In addition, the age group 16 to 25 years was increased to n = 400 respondents.
Mode of Collection Mode of Collection
  • Telephone interview: Computer-assisted (CATI)
  • Self-administered questionnaire: Web-based (CAWI)
Mixed-Mode-Design with CATI (Dual Frame) and CAWI
Time Method Time Method
  • Cross-section
Kind of Data Kind of Data
  • Numeric
Data CollectorINFO GmbH, Berlin
Date of Collection
  • 23.07.2019 - 16.08.2019

Errata & Versions

VersionDate, Name, DOI
1.0.0 (current version)2020-4-14 first archive edition
Errata in current version
Version changes

Further Remarks

NotesThe study was commissioned by the Federal Press Office.
Number of Units: 2000
Number of Variables: 171
Data Type: SPSS
Analysis System(s): SPSS, Stata, CSV


Relevant full texts
from SSOAR (automatically assigned)


Research Data Centre
  • Surveys commissioned by the Press and Information Office of the Federal Government
    The ´Press and Information Office of the Federal Government´ (Presse- und Informationsamt der Bundesregierung) infoms citizens and media about the work of the federal government. Above all the office informs the federal government of the news in Germany and worldwide and explores the public opinion.