COVID-19 Impact Dataset: Great British Intelligence Test, 2020


There is an urgent need to understand the factors that mediate and mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on behaviour and wellbeing. However, the onset of the outbreak was unexpected and the rate of acceleration so rapid as to preclude the planning of studies that can address these critical issues. Coincidentally, in January 2020, just prior to the outbreak in the UK, my team launched a study that collected detailed (~50 minute) cognitive and questionnaire assessments from >200,000 members of the UK public as part of a collaboration with the BBC. This placed us in a unique position to examine how aspects of mental health subsequently changed as the pandemic arrived in the UK. Therefore, we collected data from a further ~120,000 people in May, including additional detailed measures of self-perceived pandemic impact and free text descriptions of the main positives, negatives and pragmatic measures that people found helped them maintain their wellbeing. In this data archive, we include the survey data from January and May 2020 examining impact of Covid-19 on mood, wellbeing and behaviour in the UK population. This data is reported in a preprint article, where we apply a novel fusion of psychometric, multivariate and machine learning analyses to this unique dataset, in order to address some of the most pressing questions regarding wellbeing during the pandemic in a data-driven manner. The preprint is available on this URL.

Recruitment Starting from December 26th 2019, participants were recruited to the study website, where they completed cognitive tests and a detailed questionnaire. Articles describing the study were placed on the BBC2 Horizon, BBC Home page, BBC News Home page and circulated on mobile news meta-apps from January 1st 2020. To maximise representativeness of the sample there were no inclusion/exclusion criteria. Analyses here exclude data from participants under 16 years old, as they completed a briefer questionnaire, and those who responded to the questionnaire unfeasibly fast (<4 minutes). Cognitive test data will be reported separately. The study was approved by the Imperial College Research Ethics Committee (17IC4009). Data collection Data were collected via our custom server system, which produces study-specific websites ( on the Amazon EC2. Questionnaires and tests were programmed in Javascript and HTML5. They were deliverable via personal computers, tablets and smartphones. The questionnaire included scales quantifying sociodemographic, lifestyle, online technology use, personality, and mental health (Supplement 1). Participants could enrol for longitudinal follow up, scheduled for 3, 6 and 12 months. People returning to the site outside of these timepoints were navigated to a different URL. On May 2nd 2020, the questionnaire was augmented - in light of the Covid-19 pandemic - with an extended mood scale, and an instrument comprising 47 items quantifying self-perceived effects on mood, behaviour and outlook (Pandemic General Impact Scale PD-GIS-11). Questions regarding pre-existing psychiatric and neurological conditions, lockdown context, having the virus, and free text fields were added. This coincided with further promotion via BBC2 Horizon and BBC Homepage.

Metadata Access
Creator Hampshire, A, Imperial College London
Publisher UK Data Service
Publication Year 2021
Rights Adam Hampshire, Imperial College London; The Data Collection is available to any user without the requirement for registration for download/access.
OpenAccess true
Language English
Resource Type Numeric; Text
Discipline Economics; Psychology; Social and Behavioural Sciences
Spatial Coverage United Kingdom; United Kingdom