The Department of the Taoiseach and the ESRI launch behavioural study SAM, The Social Activity Measure

Today Wednesday 17th February 2021, the Department of the Taoiseach and the ESRI launch SAM, The Social Activity Measure, a behavioural study that records the public response to the risk of COVID-19 infection over time.

Designed by the ESRI’s Behavioural Research Unit (BRU), SAM is an anonymous, interactive, online study that surveys people about their recent activity. The study offers insight into where and how risks of transmission arise. SAM aims to inform policy regarding the opening of parts of the economy and society, while keeping COVID-19 under control. The research was designed by the BRU in consultation with the Department of the Taoiseach, and is funded by them/Government of Ireland

The insights generated in the survey will complement other data sources such as the Amárach Public Opinion survey, and will ensure that Government has a more complete picture of how people are behaving as well as peoples’ attitudes with respect to restrictions, what is working well and what may need to be adjusted at a given point in time.

The study will collect data from 1,000 respondents every two weeks. As well as informing policy and communications decisions relating to the Government’s response to Covid-19, the results from the research will be published on

Results of the first wave will be published on Friday 19th February 2021.