Founded in 1989, Sacramento State’s Institute for Social Research (ISR) harnesses the power of scientific research tools to address social problems. An interdisciplinary unit within the Capital School of Public Affairs, the ISR’s 16 regular staff-members, 12 students and 35 faculty associates (from across 15 different disciplines) offer broad expertise conducting survey research
, performing program/policy evaluations, and gathering/analyzing data (both quantitative and qualitative) for government agencies, non-profits, and the academic community. The hundreds of projects we have completed for government agencies
, nonprofit organizations and the academic community have provided actionable
information that has enhanced public accountability, program fidelity, and the overall quality of policies designed to serve the region and the state.
Message from the Director: Click here to view.
California Counts SurveyThe CALSPEAKS Opinion Research Center at the Institute for Social Research, Sacramento State University, contracted with the California Counts consortium of public broadcasters in the state to conduct an extensive survey of Californians’ electoral and public policy attitudes, using the representative CALSPEAKS survey panel.
CALSPEAKS fielded the survey from August 15-24, yielding 927 completed surveys and 44 partially completed surveys. The margin of error for the distribution of responses on any individual survey item is equal to or less than +/- four percentage points.
View CALSPEAKS highlights here.
Transient Homelessness in SacramentoOn August 19th, Matt Foy MA (Research Assistant) and Arturo Baiocchi PhD (Faculty Associate) presented a paper at the Annual Meeting for the Society for the Study of Social Problems in Seattle, Washington. Their paper, titled Addressing the Magnet Myth: Transience, Homelessness and Unresolved Motives, was based on a two-month case study that explored the various reasons why some homeless travel to Sacramento, and addressed the common perception that homeless individuals move to areas by the promise of easy access to services and supports. Findings from the case study indicated that few individuals knew much about Sacramento prior to traveling to the city, and most had little to no understanding of the social services available in the region.
A community report based on the project is currently available here. Matt and Arturo are currently revising their paper for publication this coming Spring. Nice job Matt and Arturo.
Southern California Public Radio InterviewISR Executive Director David Barker was recently interviewed by Southern California Public Radio on the latest results of the California Counts/CalSPEAKS public-opinion project. The statewide poll asked several questions about how voters feel about living in California, state pride, and the attainability of the California dream. With strong opposition against Donald Trump but overwhelming support for gun control, marijuana legalization, and the minimum wage, Dr. Barker said that "Californians appear remarkably proud, progressive, and pessimistic." Listen to the full interview here.
Project for an Informed Electorate
The Project for an Informed Electorate’s mission is to empower citizens by fostering greater understanding of politics, policy, and government. We are dedicated to identifying, creating, and disseminating accurate, trustworthy, open, and non-partisan information. We do so by conducting academic research, organizing public events, and pursuing innovative means of achieving widespread civic knowledge. View the Project for an Informed Electorate website.
Youth Tobacco Purchase Survey (YTPS)
The Youth Tobacco Purchase Survey is a statewide data-collection effort capturing the illegal sales of tobacco to youth under the legal purchase age of 18 years old. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, youth were successful at purchasing cigarettes 60-90% of the time, and purchased approximately 1 billion packs of cigarettes each year despite laws banning the sale of tobacco to minors. The Synar Regulation requires all states to enforce youth access laws, develop plans to decrease sales of tobacco to youth and to provide documentation to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
View the YTPS page here: