spsTREND Lab

About the lab

The spsTREND Lab is the Italian hub for the collection, analysis, and dissemination of survey data. The spsTREND Lab collaborates with several international survey programs: World/European Values Study (WVS/EVS), International Social Survey Program (ISSP), the European Social Survey (ESS), Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES).
The research topics include social transformation and political changes in Italy and Europe.

Featured research (15)

This article analyzes the relationship between religiosity and vaccine hesitancy by highlighting the role of a specific dimension of religiosity that makes some people more prone to explaining health conditions as a divine agency-the belief in the immanent presence of the divine in everyday life. Accordingly, these people may undervalue the role of vaccination as a solution to cope with a pandemic and may be more skeptical of vaccines. We suggest a mechanism explaining the relationship between religiosity and vaccine hesitancy by focusing on the mediating role of beliefs in conspiracy theories, given that belief in divine immanence and conspiracy theories share the common trait of attributing agency to hidden forces. Beliefs in conspiracy theories, in turn, have been shown to be among the strongest predictors of vaccine hesitancy. By using a moderated mediation analysis on Italian survey data collected during the Covid-19 pandemic, we show that such a mechanism helps explain the relationship between believing in divine immanence and vaccine hesitancy among people not adhering to institutional religiosity. In contrast, this mechanism does not apply when the immanent conception of the divine is framed within a system of beliefs belonging to institutional religion.
Despite the long-lasting interest in religious change, debates on the topic have been heated and are still far from being settled. In order to provide a reliable data source through which to study these dynamics, the CARPE project harmonizes well-known international surveys containing items concerning religiosity (the ESS, Eurobarometer, EVS, ISSP and WVS). This makes it possible to broaden the available observation window, both across countries and over time. Moreover, the opportunities this provides for comparing different survey programmes also enable researchers to analyse the consistency of the results, minimizing the impact of random fluctuations and providing useful information with respect to the degree of confidence which can be placed on the relevant estimates. The main focus of this cumulative approach is the variable regarding church attendance, which has been harmonized in various ways. All in all, the CARPE dataset contains figures of religious practice for 45 countries spanning the period of 1970–2016 and derived from 1665 national surveys. This results in a sample of approximately 1.8 million individual observations. The aim of this contribution is to present the dataset’s composition, the harmonization procedure adopted, the strategy used to combine the single datasets and the reliability tests which have been performed. Finally, some possible applications of the CARPE dataset will be introduced.
While official science has given its answer to the question on the origin of the Coronavirus (animal to human transmission), alternative theories on human creation of the virus – purposely or inadvertently – have flourished. Those alternative theories can be easily located among the family of conspiracy theories, as they always assume some secretive activity of some groups acting on their self-interest and against the good of the many. The article assesses the prevalence of these beliefs during the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy, studies its development during the pandemic, and investigates its potential determinants. In particular, it analyses the relationship between beliefs in alternative theories on the origin of the virus and political orientation, by arguing that the association cannot be attributed to (politically) motivated reasoning, as the issue has not been highly politicized in the Italian context. Alternatively, the article suggests that the main factor driving beliefs in alternative accounts on the origins of the virus is institutional trust. Political orientation moderates its effects, depending on specific conditions (e.g. cue taking, position of the supported party either in government or opposition), and eventually reinforcing scepticism towards epistemic authorities for those with low trust in institutions. Data come from the ResPOnsE COVID-19 survey, carried out with daily samples from April to July 2020 ( N > 15.000) to monitor the development of the Italian public opinion during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Un'ossessione "si aggira" per le redazioni dei telegiornali e delle testate giornalistiche: l'ossessione per l'ultimo, il più aggiornato sondaggio sulle intenzioni di voto. Un'ossessione che, viste alcune dichiarazioni e scelte, sembra avere contagiato anche le segreterie dei partiti. Ed ecco che, dopo la lettura dell'ultimo sondaggio, partono le speculazioni su quanto abbia guadagnato o perso questo o quell'altro partito. Chi sia in fase ascendente e chi invece arranchi. Con chi converrebbe allearsi e a quanto ammonti in termini di voti la somma di questa o quella coalizione. Poche sono le testate che resistono a questo richiamo. Mentre è raro sentire commenti sulla qualità delle stime derivate dall'analisi delle intenzioni di voto, sul loro margine di incertezza, sulla volubilità del dato in periodi distanti dalle elezioni, in cui le opzioni di scelta degli elettori rimangono sconosciute e, ultimo ma non meno importante, sulle distorsioni dei campioni che solo nominalmente vengono definiti "rappresentativi". È bene allora ricordare i limiti di cui soffre lo strumento delle intenzioni di voto se utilizzato per comprendere il modo in cui gli elettori e le elettrici si orientano nello spazio politico dove gli attori politici competono per ottenere la loro preferenza. E valutare possibili alternative, come ad esempio la propensione al voto.

Lab head

Cristiano Vezzoni
About Cristiano Vezzoni
  • ResPOnsE Covid-19 - Response of the Italian Public Opinion to the COvid-19 Emergency (rolling cross-section survey) // Electoral behaviour in Italy and beyond // Attitudes toward vaccines

Members (11)

Andrea Pedrazzani
  • University of Milan
Paolo Segatti
  • University of Milan
Marco Maraffi
  • University of Milan
Giulia M. Dotti Sani
  • University of Milano
Ferruccio Biolcati
  • University of Milan
Francesco Molteni
  • University of Milan
Simona Guglielmi
  • University of Milan
Riccardo Ladini
  • University of Milan