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April 29 2016

Fill in this survey about fan responses to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. A PhD student is looking for participation in her survey as part of her research. This may take around 20-30 minutes to fill in and you have to be 18 or over to participate. There's a chance to win Amazon vouchers as well.

Cool, I love these. Speaking of, I forgot the poster's name, but a while back she posted a survey for an article on reuse of actors in the Whedonverse - if you're reading this, please let us know where we can read the article. :)
Oh, I'm so glad they got in touch with you, Simon. This is a great idea.
Done and done. I'm the one who said to screw you for putting the fun of exploding heads in Hush right next to The Body in the video! Ha!

It was a really good survey though. My Hotmail is there if you want.
it turns out it's really hard to sing along when you are already crying. That video killed me!
Wow, Hotmail. I thought I was the only one.
They can call it outlook all they want, it still accepts the proper name.
I wish there was a Ph.D. in Buffy when I was in grad. school. I think it might be because there was no Buffy back then.

[ edited by Nebula1400 on 2016-05-02 17:06 ]
Some of the questions aren't specific enough, but I tried to answer as best I could. The weird thing is, I liked Buffy, but it isn't something that had much impact on my life. I was just too busy when it was initially on and had already delved headfirst into other fandoms that had impact on me when I finally was able to watch the show during reruns. I sometimes think I missed out. Aeryn Sun was more my Buffy.
(*References to the survey content follows*) I was taken aback by the choice, considering he was a regular character in five of the seasons, to basically omit Spike having any meaningful inclusion in the montage. :s I'd be interested to see the final study as it could be purposeful, I don't know. The heavy time given to the acclaimed eps also stood out, it just seemed a really odd mix to present the series as a whole by to me, I'd love to see what is drawn from it to understand why.

[ edited by Stoney on 2016-04-30 20:08 ]
My answers to this survey would have been very different a few years ago. I was totally consumed by my fandom back then. The end of season 8 was a huge cold shower, and then gradually I got over it. I still look back fondly, and have great memories but it's very different.
But Stoney I agree, I had similar thoughts.
I'm a bit too old to have had my development shaped by the show, which a large number of the earlier questions seem to be geared towards. This is not to say it hasn't had some effect on the way I function. I may be a bit more relaxed and see more humor in everyday occurrences than pre-Buffy.

The biggest things for me (and one thing I left out of the survey) are that the show became a bonding experience for me and my kids (and still is, in that my oldest child - age 35 - only recently watched the series - and loves it). The other, which I neglected to mention, is that I suffer from debilitating chronic pain. Watching Buffy, even sad, heart-wrenching Buffy, helps to alleviate some of the pain I'm in. I think it may help my body to produce serotonin, which reduces the pain I'm in for short periods of time. It's probably one of the reasons I still frequent this board, and seek out Joss's work - so as not to feel like I've been beaten to death with a mace.
I wish surveys like this would put the demographic questions at the beginning. I had to go through the whole thing before realizing that I'd have to cancel out due to the specific nature of the demographic questions...
What is the demographic issue? That should certainly be at the beginning of the questionnaire!
Nebula1400, I think your story is exactly the type of thing this survey wanted to know. I opened up about how I was in a really dark place in my life emotionally when I discovered Buffy, and how it helped me find myself and helped get me out of a deep depression. I don't think you needed to hold all of that back.
I don't remember there being any demographic criteria to participating in the survey.

[ edited by electricspacegirl on 2016-05-01 16:38 ]
I recall it asking my age. I don't think it wanted to restrict people based on their age, but it can take that into account when looking at the results.
I too noted the rather specific choice of storylines and the absence of most of the Spike-centric material. This may have been deliberate. I also noticed how several of the clips were adjacent to 'big' moments - "I'd like to test that theory," and the yellow crayon speech, for example. Very uneven coverage of the seasons. But only an enormous geek like me would notice all that. Probably.
The questions seemed very leading like the author already has her mind made up about the results. Oddly unscientific.
I don't think the montage was meant to be a summary of the series. What stood out to me was that it showed peak emotional moments. I think that that section of the survey was intended to get at your emotional reactions to the show.

And I didn't see that there were any demographic restrictions. The person who wrote this wants to know individuals' ages so as to be able to analyze whether and how age affects one's reaction to Buffy, not to exclude people.
Removing Spike's story removes some very large peak emotional moments from the series, most especially from S6/7. It took me out of the emotional connection to the montage and added in irritation (favourite character and all that) which was a reaction caused by the montage and not the show. But that was then part of my reaction to the montage and affected my responses about it. :s. It was definitely not a good summary of the series and so was why I wondered if it was intentional for the study. It would be interesting to see what is drawn from it all and then understand why it was presented as it was.
My hunch is that it wasn't intended to be a thorough summary of the series, but also not carefully curated for any other particular purpose either. I suspect it was just "here are some big moments tossed into a montage, now how does it make you feel." Which is fine- I don't see any particular reason you would need a super representative set of clips to get at the big picture sense of how the show affected people.
Because if you exclude a major component of the whole then you can miss the very thing that affected people the most and/or consequently cause a disruption in their responses from an adverse reaction to your montage.
Totally happened to me. By the end I was irritated and it colored my survey responses.
http://www.astrellainc.com This is the web address from unsolicited email I received minutes after having filled out this survey & including my email address. Any relation, Simon? If not, j'accuse the one responsible for the survey! Not mega glee-filled about this.
If anyone else has received these emails, this link should be removed to protect our member email addresses!
I feel so cheated & betrayed after baring my deep seeded Buffy emotions to the survey giver, only to be spammed (It has it's own key).
If I got any spam as a result, I don't know about it. My email account is already littered with spam. Thank Verizon's non-spam filter, that only blocks sharing links to the page of a local, non-establishment Congressional candidate (even with my husband), and lets in all sorts of racist spam.

As for me, I'm not sure why I left out that detail. I meant to add it in, but kept forgetting. I think it's because people kept distracting me when I filled it out.
I've not received any 'new' spam since completing this.
Because if you exclude a major component of the whole then you can miss the very thing that affected people the most and/or consequently cause a disruption in their responses from an adverse reaction to your montage.

But this assumes that we as research subjects know precisely what the researcher intends by presenting us with that montage. We do not, and arguably cannot. There's no reason to assume that the function of the montage was to present a "major component of the whole." Indeed, I would say that given that the video was only six minutes long, representing the whole series was far from the researchers aim, since this would be an impossible task. The follow up question asked us to write down everything that we thought or that crossed our minds was we watched (as well as things unrelated to BtVS), including, I suspect, annoyances generated by perceived omission. Indeed, collecting data on the frustrations and negative proclivities of a devoted fanbase irked by a montage that doesn't include their favorite scene would probably be fascinating! That, I think, would give some clear insight into how the series is meaningful, which seemed to be what some of the other questions were getting at too.

Someone collecting qualitative data such as these will likely be interested in your 'subjective' (rather than 'objective') responses, and so won't be to worried if the montage was a 'negative' experience for the viewer. Of course, this could just be poor survey design, it's really not possible for us as research subjects to tell.

Just my 2c - I myself am a qualitative researcher.
My comment was in direct response to "I don't see any particular reason you would need a super representative set of clips to get at the big picture sense of how the show affected people." to just acknowledge the potential disruption to a survey's intention. I'm not saying that 'that' IS what the researcher is looking at. My original comment was that it would be interesting to see the results and what it is about in order *to* understand the montage with hindsight. I made no assumptions but just observed that leaving out a major component was notable, and this could be intentional, or not. Having also conducted qualitative, and quantitative, research I'm well aware of design decisions and so would like to see the final work to understand the survey and see if the montage was deliberate. That's all.
insistondoubt and stoney- I, too, do qualitative research, both focus group, interview and survey studies. A quick answer I guess is that the purpose of the survey is provided in the consent form quite clearly, and is not deceptive in any way- which you understand what I mean in terms of ethics. I would assume that the clip was designed specifically for the purposes of the research. In fact, my comment was that ""it appears that you selected these clips in order to create emotional resonance in the viewer." So my response was intellectual rather than emotional. :-) (PS. I contacted the researcher herself, since at the end there was supposed to be a place to leave your email if you wished to participate in follow-up interviews, and I could not find it. She is rather friendly in her emails).
I got no spam. FYI
Looks like 3 "No Spam", so maybe it's my bad.
Stoney, that was exactly what I wrote in the survey as one of the things that crossed my mind during the video.
Was Angel featured? Darla? Drusilla? I saw the Master and the Mayor. Where was Adam? Dark Willow but no Troika. One Turok-Han, but no First.

So I don't see why leaving Spike out was that big of a deal - the montage featured the Scoobies and their relationships; it didn't seem to be that much about the Big Bads as it was about the heroes, who were rather reluctant to be such.

(I answered the first few questions and watched the montage, but then quit the survey after that. Don't really have a half-hour to spend on it.)
Angel was in there in the "take all that away and what's left" -"Me." scene which lacked the impact by leaving out the dialogue bit and just showing the sword catching part (although I guess it didn't need it for the crazy people like me who obviously know the scene dialog by heart).

Nope on the Mommy-Daughter-Mommy-again couple front.
They had the Buffy/Angel rain soaked kiss before they slept together I think, and then the sword catch and her stabbing him to close the portal, if I remember rightly. Darla and Dru were minor characters in BtVS, Spike was not. And Spike's *five* seasons in Buffy were not about him as a big bad but, overall, it was a transformation story into heroism. It contrasted against Willow's steady darker development and then mirrored the developments of inner balance in S7. To miss out even the smallest inclusion, such as a clip of Spike burning up in the Hellmouth, particularly if you are looking at heroic paths, just stands out I think. Sure, it could just be because the scoobies are the focus of the study only and not how they influenced someone, but Spike was a significant one of Buffy's relationships and a major support for her in S7. And, as I said, there is also the risk that omitting such a regular character that had such a distinct journey could negatively affect people's reactions to the montage (not everyone obviously), even if they aren't your main focus. A lack of any meaningful inclusion then, and particularly considering the contrasts/mirroring and how his story feeds in to Buffy's story over balancing duality, is still surprising to me. And all of that is why I think it will be interesting to see the completed study and get to understand what the specific goals were.

[ edited by Stoney on 2016-05-04 21:14 ]

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