Class of 2027 Cal Bear Values Survey
The Class of 2027 Cal Bear Values Survey is a four-year longitudinal survey of UC Berkeley
undergraduates, beginning in Fall 2023. This project will track the long-term development of
Berkeley students’ belief systems as they acquire a college education and experience the
upcoming 2024 and 2026 election seasons.
Background and Contributions
By surveying young people, this project enables researchers to see how young voters’ perspectives
develop. The key contribution is to chronicle this development before people fully commit to a political party. Partisan identity heavily shapes future attitudes and often stays the same for life after crystallizing in adulthood. Therefore, focusing on this early period in voters’ lives lends unique insight into how citizens think about politics and develop their core political values. Few youth surveys of this kind have been conducted, and this project seeks to fill that hole by providing a resource to future researchers of American political behavior.
Another important facet of this project is its panel design: Rather than relying on different
random samples of students for each wave, we interview the same subjects repeatedly over time.
This allows researchers to show that observed shifts between waves are not the product of
changes in sample composition, but instead reflect actual changes in views. This format also
makes it easier to understand what may have caused these changes.
Finally, this study specifically focuses on measuring intensity of opinion. By accounting for each subject’s unique priorities, with respect to policy preferences and social identity, we improve our understanding of what motivates them as citizens.