BCS70 data note: the art of asking questions about religion
Over the years, the 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS70) respondents have been asked a number of different questions about religion. In this data note, we investigate the way in which different question wordings have produced large differences in the substantive responses. As well as comparing the 1970 cohort’s responses across different waves of the study, we compare BCS70 responses to responses to the British Social Attitudes (BSA) survey and the Census. We have included new questions in the 2012 survey of the BCS70, asking explicitly about belief in God and an afterlife. We provide a first look at preliminary findings from these new questions, which reveal the complexity of many respondents’ beliefs.