Studying the Magic of Once Upon A Time

Update! 17 March 2017

While I work through the data, this page will be a bit of a rolling updates page rather than a cohesive article. When I’m done, I’ll post a fresh and beautiful research paper style article for your reading pleasure. But for now, I am attempting to be accountable as I intended. Here a little of the raw data, a few of the hypotheses and a couple of the limitations. The following is a draft and will be revised over time:

Total Responses: 1,200 (Wow, seriously, thank you!)

Total Respondents to complete the survey (answered every question): 1,036

Hypothesis 1: OUAT live ratings are significantly impacted by online viewership.

Hypothesis 2: OUAT’s audience is not primarily children.

Limitation 1: Survey conducted over the internet. This survey may or may not have reached general audience members outside internet based fandom groups. It cannot be assumed to describe general OUAT viewers as a population.

Limitation 2: Reach limited by attempts to avoid bias. Bias possibly introduced by participant sharing, uncontrolled by the researcher. Many online OUAT communities are segregated by relationship preference. Researcher did not publicize directly to these communities, but members of general communities did share the survey within their relationship specific groups.

Descriptive article about the survey:

This is a fun, but also serious, look at Once viewer preferences. I’ve asked a few typical researchy type questions up front so I can sort out the basics, but then there’re the tasty character/preference questions which I think will be at the heart of the matter. Because Once’s characters are its heart, right? I’m hoping to get to know a little bit more about how Once viewers think and feel about Once.

This survey has closed!

I’ve taken a look at the data and I’m super excited to start working with it! I am going to be able to discuss so much! FourEyes has some very promising statistical tools in addition to what I can do on my own. Can you believe I’m going to be able to comment on whether or not I found a correlation between those who watch Once with their cats and who their favorite characters are?

I did actually ask more serious questions for science, demographics and such, but I am most looking forward to seeing if there are any surprises in the data. I’ve been kicking around the fandom listening for a while now, so I have suspicions about certain trends, but what will the data show? Will they bare out my suppositions? Or do my hunches only reflect my personal biases and where I spend most of my fandom time? What about you? Once you’ve taken the survey, do you have any predictions? I’d love to see those in the comments!

I suppose I better write down my hypotheses before I run the data… like a good scientist and all.

I did my best to balance this survey and keep my own biases out of it as much as possible. I want this work will serve all Once viewers, and you never know, ABC might be interested in this data too. Could happen!

The good news is that since this has been open for over a year, I already have a healthy sample size so some of the trends seem robust already. That said, I didn’t do things like get an expert to determine the power needed for a study like this to be representative of the population of Once viewers, among many other limitations, but still, there is enough here to have some fun and maybe tell us something we didn’t know. Of course, more is always better and I’m hoping that re-publicizing this more than a year later will catch new fans that didn’t see it the first time. Could I double my sample size??? You can help me out with this by sharing it everywhere you talk about Once, online and off.

The final plan is to write a research journal-like paper on this so you can really see what I found and what I’ve been up to with this. My skills with statistics are limited, but we’ll see what help I can scare up in that department. I have nerdy math friends. I’m aiming for lots of pretty graphs, interesting associations and whatever other fascinating tidbits I can squeeze out of the data set. I can’t wait to see how this comes out!

Here’s the accountability monster for you: Barbara, we want to see some preliminary findings by 1 April 2017. That means at least the raw data, the hypotheses and the limitations.

Uh-oh, I guess I better stick to that!

See you folks in April, but in the mean time, check out this fan-art project that is finished! I worked very hard making this pretty for everyone. I hope you enjoy it. See? I really do finish my projects, even when they take more than a year to complete.

Here’s the link to the original article about this survey for posterity and completeness.

Update! As I was ruminating on this little project I thought for sake of clarity I should mention a couple important things. This survey has never seen a human subjects review. I cannot imagine this survey being anything other than a fun way to pass the time and to perhaps provide some interesting thoughts about Once. That means that when you participate, you consent for yourself to do this survey as is, so no promises, guarantees or anything else.

I also want to address a very important question I got yesterday about privacy. This survey keeps your data very private! I do not know who you are, all results are anonymous from me. I cannot, even if you commented to me on FaceBook, connect a response to a person.

What do I see? I get your answers to the demographic questions in the survey itself and I get some very basic nationality/hit data on my blog statistics. That means I get a big colorful map of the world, a list of countries and how many hits from each country. I also know what website referred a hit to this blog. But I DO NOT have identifying features like names, email addresses or anything else like that. So, I don’t know who you are and I can’t find you. If you come in from your own blog, I can find your blog though. Even so, I cannot connect your blog to your response. The survey answers are anonymous.

But what about this blog? If you leave a comment, I’ll get whatever email you use for that and the username you choose. But I still won’t be able to connect your comment to your survey response. I will not sell anybody’s anything. I’m not like that. So, now that we’ve been thorough about privacy disclosures (I hope), proceed and have a great time with this. I can’t wait to see what comes out of the data! And thank you very much for asking about this stuff. Very helpful for everyone.


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