Dataset: Political Attitudes, Political Participation and Voting Behavior in Reunified Germany 1994


Political attitudes and political participation in united Germany.

Cumulated data set from the data sets of two largely identical cross-section surveys at two different survey times in East and West Germany.


The questions listed below were posed in at least one survey:
judgment on current general economic situation as well as economic situation in previous year;
expected economic situation;
personal economic situation;
satisfaction with democracy;
interest in politics;
certainty of one's own intent to participate in the election and one's voting decision;
voting behavior in previous Federal Parliament elections;
manner of voting as absentee ballot or polling station;
same voting decision after knowledge about results of election;
party preference (Sunday question, second vote);
most important reasons for dissatisfaction with the parties;
coalition preference;
responsivity: judgment on party politicians and their work as well as their relation with citizens (scale);
power orientation of political parties;
differences between the parties;
too much influence of parties in society;
corruption of parties and politicians;
necessity of professional politicians;
most important problems of the country;
issue relevance and issue ability of the parties;
attitude towards Politics and Society (scale: complexity of politics, the right to strike, proximity of politicians to citizens, possibilities of citizens to influence parties and government (efficacy), understanding of democracy);
sympathy scale for CDU, CSU, SPD, FDP, Alliance 90/the Greens, Republicans and PDS;
postmaterialism (Inglehart index);
trust in institutions: trust in Federal Parliament, the Federal Constitutional Court, Federal Government, the judiciary, the police, administration, churches, parties, the Federal German Armed Forces;
Chancellor preference;
own political participation;
self-classification on a left-right continuum;
most important group or representation of interests;
feeling of being represented in trade unions, employer's federations, environmental protection groups and individual churches;
judgment on parties in their proximity to trade unions, employer's federations, environmental protection groups and individual churches;
assessment of the parties in their proximity to the above organizations;
media usage: reading local, regional and national daily newspapers;
use of political broadcasts on television;
assessment of fairness of the social system in the Federal Republic;
own belonging to a disadvantaged or preferred population group in society;
characterization of East Germans and West Germans (self-image, interpersonal perception, semantic differential);
frequency of stay in the other part of Germany after unification;

extremism scale:
national pride,
desired nationalization for private businesses,
public good before special interests,
American imperialism as danger to world peace,
dictatorship as better type of state,
good sides of National Socialism,
exploitation of workers and third-world countries,
Hitler and extermination of the Jews,
foreign infiltration of the Federal Republic,
GDR with more positive sides,
multi-national marriages,
influence of Jews too great,
socialism as good idea,
Jews as different and
understanding for attacks on homes for applicants for political asylum.


year of birth (age);
religious denomination;
frequency of church attendance;
church ties of parental home;
education and school degree;
involuntary change of job or unemployment since 1990;
retirement from professional life since 1990;
employment in the civil service;
occupational status;
marital status;
characteristics of head of household;
state of residence;
length of residence in state;
memberships in citizen initiative, party, professional organization or trade union;
party inclination;
significance of party inclination (scale);
party identification;
party inclination regarding western parties before the turning point (only posed in the East);
number of persons contributing to the household income;
net household income;
self-assessment of social class and social class of parental home (social mobility);
size of household;
number of persons 16 years old and older in household.

Additionally coded:

Date of interview of the first to third visit;
identification of interviewer;
size of municipality;
start of interview;
end of interview;
number of contact attempts;
east-west weight,
weighting factors.

Variable Groups

Document Description

Full Title

Political Attitudes, Political Participation and Voting Behavior in Reunified Germany 1994

Study Description

Full Title

Political Attitudes, Political Participation and Voting Behavior in Reunified Germany 1994

Identification Number


Authoring Entity

Name Affiliation
Falter, Jürgen W. Universität Mainz
Gabriel, Oscar W. Universität Stuttgart
Rattinger, Hans Universität Bamberg
Schmitt, Karl Universität Jena


Name Affiliation Abbreviation Role
GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences (archive release data set and DDI documentation), GESIS

Date of Production


Place of Production

Cologne, Germany

Data Distributor

Name Affiliation Abbreviation
GESIS Data Archive for the Social Sciences GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, Cologne, Germany GESIS


Version 3.0.0 (2015-03-18), doi:10.4232/1.11973

Date: 2015-03-18

Type: GESIS archive edition

Version Responsibility Statement

GESIS Data Archive for the Social Sciences

Bibliographic Citation

Falter, Jürgen W.; Gabriel, Oscar W.; Rattinger, Hans; Schmitt, Karl (2015):
Political Attitudes, Political Participation andVoting Behavior in Reunified Germany 1994. GESIS Data Archive, Cologne. ZA3065 Data file Version 3.0.0, doi:10.4232/1.11973.

Topic Classification

  • Political Attitudes and Behavior
  • Mass political behaviour, attitudes / opinion
  • Government, political systems and organisation

Geographic Coverage



All German persons who were at least 16 years old at the time of survey and whose residence is in the Federal Republic Germany as well as living in private households.

Time Method

1994-09 - 1994-11
The individual survey times:
pre-election West: 12. September 1994 to 14. October 1994;
pre-election East: 12. September 1994 to 06. October 1994;
by-election West: 24. October 1994 to 01. December 1994;
by-election East: 24. October 1994 to 15. November 1994.

Data Collector

BASIS Research, Frankfurt

Sampling Procedure

The ADM Master Sample is a stratified, three-step random selection and is based on election precinct in Federal Parliament elections. Two nets of the ADM sample system were used such that in Eastern Germany a double net was used which means that for an over-sample this was doubled.
The target households were selected according to the random route procedure, the target person in the household was determined by Sweden key.

Mode of Data Collection

Oral survey with standardized questionnaire

Availability Status


Access Authority

Name Affiliation E-mail address Universal Resource Identifier

Related Materials



SPSS English

SPSS portable English

STATA English

SPSS German

SPSS portable German

STATA German

English (Variable Report)

German (Variable Report)

Related Publications

Related Publications

Heindl, Markus:
Auswirkungen individueller Parteipräferenzen auf die Bewertung der wirtschaftlichen Lage 1994-2002.
Norderstedt: GRIN Verlag 2003

Other References Note

Further Remarks

The data set presented here consists of 4 partial surveys. They are comprised of pre-election and post-election investigations in both the eastern and western part of the Federal Republic.
The survey consists of an oral and a written part. 4114 persons took part in the oral survey, in the written survey, altogether 1351. The dataset includes only the data of the respondents of the oral investigation.
The questionnaire of the study was developed in cooperation with the preparation group German National Election Study (DNW) founded on an informal basis.
The study is part of a cumulated data set for 1994 and 1998 (ZA Study No. 3064).

Data Files Description

File Name


Overall Case Count


Overall Variable Count


Type of File

Nesstar 200801


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