Variable Search with Questionnaires

If you come across a variable in the data set whose variable content is unclear, you should always check whether there is a suitable questionnaire for the data set. Under Original Core Data you can see whether the data sets correspond to a survey instrument. The related questionnaires can be found here:


Example: Working on a research project, you come across the variable bbh5508 with the German label “Auto: Gründe” (Car: Reasons) and the English label “Reason for No Car in Household


Unfortunately, it unclear what exactly this variable represents. You should refer to the questionnaires for the complete question and possible filter instructions.

Example Variable:

bbh5508: Wave „bb“ (Survey Year 2011); household questionnaire („h“), question number 55, item 8

Open Questionnaires

The variable “bbh5508” can be found in the questionnaires for 2011. Select the survey year 2011 and download the household questionnaire.


Search the variable “bbh5508” in the questionnaire

Since you are already in the correct questionnaire, you must now search for question 55.


To understand which information the variable “bbh5508” contains, you have to deal with the question. For each answer category, respondents should indicate whether or not the shown items apply to the household. If the item does not apply, respondents must answer an additional question about the reasons. Both questions should be understood as separate variables. The variable “bbh5501” indicates whether a TV is present in the household. The reasons why there is no TV in the house can be found in the variable “bbh5502”. The variable “bbh5507” shows whether a car is present in the household and the variable “bbh5508” shows reasons why no car is present in the household. By looking into the questionnaire, the variable is now easier to understand. The variable “bbh5508” only contains people who do not have a car in their household and shows the reasons given.