Improving knowledge through survey experiments

The Understanding Society Innovation Panel informs survey design and scientific knowledge


Findings from Innovation Panel experiments influenced the design, approach and questions included in the main Understanding Society survey.

Findings have also have informed the scientific community interested in survey methods. Other longitudinal household surveys have learnt from the experiments associated with the Understanding Society move to a web-first design.

A number of International longitudinal household surveys are considering starting a panel for methodological experimentation of their own.

What is the Innovation Panel?

The Understanding Society Innovation Panel is a platform for longitudinal experimental and methodological research. Its purpose is to develop key innovations in survey methods and content that will ensure the future success of the Understanding Society survey and to generate important new knowledge that is of use to other researchers and survey practitioners. It is also a base for associated studies using new and innovative mixed method approaches.

The first waves of the Innovation Panel were used by Understanding Society to develop and test aspects of the survey design. The experiments influenced the main Understanding Society survey and informed design decisions for other surveys. Since Wave 4, the Innovation Panel has had an open call for proposals for methodological research. These experiments inform the international scientific community interested in survey methods.

Further information

Data from all the Innovation Panel experiments are made available via the UK Data Service.

For more information on findings from Innovation Panel experiments, see section 15 in the Innovation Panel User Guide; this includes a summary of publications resulting from the various experiments.

You can find more information on associated studies here.  

“The experimental evidence from the Innovation Panel has greatly influenced design decisions we have made for the Understanding Society survey. Without this evidence we would have made some very different decisions that would have affected the quality of the Understanding Society data and the experience of our participants” Annette Jäckle, Professor of Survey Methodology

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