Social Research studies people, their attitudes and beliefs, how they interact and behave. It is used by social scientists to learn about people and societies. It is used by organisations so that they can design products and services that meet the needs of people, by all levels of governments to inform the development of policies and to deliver services, by the media and by politicians.

A key tool used in social research is social surveys. Social surveys use questionnaires to obtain different types of information including values, attitudes, opinions, knowledge, behaviours and characteristics and circumstances (Encyclopedia of Social Measurement, 2005).

The data on WhatAustraliaThinks is from large-scale nationally representative surveys. This means that surveys include a large number of Australians who were selected at random from the Australian population. This means that the surveys are able to provide an accurate picture of Australians’ views and experiences, including for different groups of people including different age groups, and men and women.