Ferruccio Biolcati Cristiano Vezzoni Riccardo Ladini Antonio M. Chiesi Giulia M. Dotti Sani Simona Guglielmi Nicola Maggini Marco Maraffi Francesco Molteni Andrea Pedrazzani Paolo Segatti

How to monitor the public opinion response to unforeseen events? The ResPOnsE COVID-19 project

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Faced with an unforeseen event such as the SARS-COV-2 pandemic, social research is called to monitor its consequences on public opinion. The article briefly describes the ResPOnsE COVID-19 project (Risposta dell’Opinione Pubblica all’Emergenza COVID-19) that the SPS TREND laboratory at the State University of Milan developed with this aim. To reconstruct the overall context of the ResPOnsE COVID-19 project, we first review various European experiences of survey research on the pandemic. Then, the article introduces the Rolling Cross-Section (RCS) research design which characterizes the project and its application to the case of the COVID-19 crisis in Italy. Finally, in the light of such a challenge, we discuss the opportunities and limitations of the project, broadening the look to survey research in general.


  • Survey
  • Rolling Cross-Section (RCS)
  • Public Opinion
  • Italy
  • COVID-19


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