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.


Once Upon A Time Season 5A Awards

The Academy of Once Upon A Time Fans is proud to present, with our sincere gratitude for considerable hard work, the Once Upon A Time Season 5A Awards. Fans have voted for their favorites in each category to express their appreciation for the vigorous efforts of the cast, crew and writers of Once. We the fans want to honor their commitment to making exceptional television. Once Upon A Time isn’t your average program and we want that to be known.

A hearty congratulations to the winners and a big thank-you to everyone who took the time to vote. I hope you will take the time to Tweet the winners so they hear from you how much they are appreciated. Without further ado, the awards!

Best Line @jenmorrisonlive, @JaneEspenson

Most Romantic Moment @jenmorrisonlive@colinodonoghue1

Best Fight Scene @robertcarlyle_@colinodonoghue1

Best Bit of Magic @robertcarlyle_@colinodonoghue1, @jenmorrisonlive

Best Surprise @jenmorrisonlive

Best Episode @AdamHorowitzLA

Best Performance Overall @robertcarlyle_ 

(You can use the Twitter button at the bottom of the post for convenience if that works for you.)

Thank you so much again for participating and congratulations to the winners!

While we are on the subject of opinions… 

You can check out my research project! I have conducted a study of OUAT viewer preferences and you can check on my progress here. Yay for science!

Want to see the poll and results? Click here.

Help Study the Magic of Once Upon a Time

Once Upon A Time Viewer Preferences Survey Link

Why study Once? Why not? Scientists enjoy fun too! I’m interested in demographic trends and any correlations I can find on interesting (to me and I hope to you) topics. I’m also interested in how you watch Once. I want to know who your favorite characters are. How do you feel about love stories? Maybe data and statistics aren’t how you think you might want to spend a Sunday afternoon, but when it’s Once??? You already knew I am I nerd. Grin.

The more responses I get, the better the answers I give you when I write this up as a research paper. No worries, I will publish the paper right here where you don’t have to pay to get it. I’m not like that!

For me this is a fun way to gain and practice some skills for my real life job in a low pressure environment. I don’t have to worry that some journal is going to reject me on my own blog. That means I get to study what I want and you get to see the neato results. Plus, we get science about Once!! How awesome will that be?

Thanks so much for coming! This survey is still underway and the data are not yet ready for publication. But hey, while you’re here, why not spend a little time browsing? Here’s a good place to start!

Did you land here looking for the survey? Here it is!


NB: I have received some queries about the captcha. Apparently not everyone can get through. I have submitted a ticket to foureyes about this. My apologies if you took the time to try to do this survey and couldn’t because of the captcha. I cannot remove it because if I did the data would be compromised, but I will post the results of my inquiry here. Thanks for your patience.

17 December Update! Here is the response I received to the ticket I submitted:

“Captcha is provided by Google and we implement it independently of the
survey. I have tested it under several different conditions without any
issue. Please direct your respondents to this site and see if there is
an issue.

Potentially there might be an issue with privacy plugins or some other
blocker, but we have not received any other reports.

Are there any language or cultural barriers that may prevent them from
answering incorrectly?”

The link is interesting and I have asked if reCaptcha is available for my survey but this link is not a fix to the current Captcha problem. Nonetheless, you might check your privacy settings as suggested.