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Department of Psychology Individual Differences and Assessment


With the beginning of the third wave of the PERCIVAL survey in September 2023, the survey has reached its halfway point. On this page, you can get an insight into the course of the survey and inform yourself about already available results.

Response Rate

The quality of psychological studies strongly depends on the response rate: only when a sufficiently high number of participants can be guaranteed throughout the entire survey period can well-founded conclusions be drawn.

In the PERCIVAL survey, at the end of the fifth wave of the survey, at least 1,000 participants should still be included in the sample. The following chart shows the course of the response rate over the first and second survey waves. The dashed line indicates the minimum number of participants needed. Fortunately, the response rate has so far been above this minimum. However, we continue to rely on the regular cooperation of all participants to maintain the high quality of the data.

Response Rate

In addition to the response rate, the representativeness of the sample is also a decisive quality characteristic for psychological studies. Only when the sample drawn has characteristics such as age structure, gender ratio, and cultural background in a similar proportional distribution as the general population can the study's results be generalized to the entire Swiss population.

The following chart shows the response rate in the second survey wave, broken down by the 26 Swiss cantons. Fortunately, the distribution roughly corresponds to the Swiss census. However, we continue to rely on the participation of people from smaller cantons, such as Appenzell, as well as older people and people with a migration background, to participate in the survey. Every participation is important.


Civic Engagement

Another main goal of the PERCIVAL survey is to investigate civic engagement in Switzerland, such as voluntary work, charitable donations, and participation in elections and referenda. The following chart shows how many Swiss citizens volunteered and made charitable donations in the six months between the first two waves. The chart also shows in which areas voluntary work was carried out and what was donated. In general, more Swiss citizens make charitable donations than engage in voluntary work. The most common forms of donation are money donations, followed by food donations. Voluntary activities are most often carried out in the sports/leisure/hobby sector, followed by the welfare/community sector.

It is essential to emphasize that these results only reflect short-term behavior in the six months between the first two waves. Only after the data collection has been completed can more extended statements be made about the civic engagement of the Swiss population. These results also do not yet provide any information about which personality traits people have who engage in this way. The linking of personality data with data on civic engagement can only be done after the entire data collection has been completed.

Civic Engagement


The PERCIVAL survey is on a good track, with the continuous participation of the participants being crucial for the success of the study. Initial results provide insights into the composition of the sample and the civic engagement of the Swiss population. However, these findings should be interpreted with caution, as reliable statements can only be made after the data collection has been completed. We look forward to the upcoming survey waves and thank all participants for their ongoing and valuable support!


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