American survey institutions have done a fine job of asking the public how they feel about a myriad of issues. Policy Mood is a time series measure of public support for government programs on the liberal-conservative continuum developed by James A. Stimson in 1991 (Public Opinion in America: Moods, Cycles, and Swings).  

The Mood measure is moving in a new direction. With the assistance of an NSF grant, Stimson’s Policy Mood measure will be integrated with the Policy Agendas project. Now, instead of just one global measure of Mood, we will have more than sixty policy-specific measures. In other words, we will know more than the global Mood of the country--we will know the Healthcare Mood, Gay Rights Mood, Macroeconomics Mood. The NSF project also allows us the luxury of lengthening and thickening the series so we utilize the full breadth of survey items available.

The "pre-cooked" series are available on the Policy Agendas website. Additionally, users are now able to design their own mood series

Please contact me ( with any questions about the data or the project. I look forward to hearing from you!

See Mood featured in The New York Times. 


mood files

Mood (through 2016). Note that 2018 updates will be available once data are released from GSS.