Project Talent Data Available to Researchers
Project Talent data from 1960 are now available to researchers through the National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA). NACDA is part of the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), an international consortium of academic institutions and research organizations that maintains data archives for research in the social sciences and provides leadership and training in data access, curation, and methods of analysis for the social science research community.
Modern data files for the one-, five-, and eleven-year follow-up studies will also be posted at NACDA with the 1960 data. Researchers interested in using them can contact AIR directly through www.projecttalent.org.
AIR survey methodologists, led by Dr. Deanna Lyter Achorn, worked with University of Michigan colleagues to prepare the Project Talent data and documentation following ICPSR’s requirements for data preservation, enhancement, and dissemination. The team transformed the data from a large number of files on 9-track tapes that hadn’t been read in years to a data file for each high school grade, documenting the data and creating tools to facilitate its use with SAS, SPSS, Stata, R, and other statistical analysis packages.
The work included:
- Re-creating weights for greater precision and creating replicate weights that meet modern standards for estimating survey error with complex samples
- Validation of the 1960 personality battery and development of a crosswalk with the Big Five
- Validation of cognitive measures and development of a crosswalk of the 1960 measures with today’s measures
- Identifying twin pairs and family groups
- Cleaning the data to meet current confidentiality standards
- Developing algorithms for linkages to the SSA Death Master file, NCHS National Death Index, NDI, LexisNexis, etc.
- Adding variables for race (using school racial composition and responses on follow-up surveys), mortality (using linkages conducted on some samples), and veteran status (using the veteran follow-up study), based on availability
- Identifying ‘minority’ schools
- Creating a variable to link high schools with their feeder junior high schools so we can examine full cohorts of 9th to 12th graders from each school
- Creating a record layout and codebook for complete item response data which are available for a special 4% sample of participants. (The availability of these item data allow for the development of measures that are directly relevant to particular research questions. Composite scores based on aptitude, knowledge and achievement are available for the full sample.)
- Creation of flags for sample membership (e.g., one-, five-, and eleven-year follow-up, 2012 pilot study, 4% sample, etc.)
Preserving and enhancing the data was funded by AIR and the National Institute on Aging (AG038587).