BRONY STUDY (Research Project)

FAQ's


Frequently Asked Questions:

Dr. Edwards and I (Dr. Redden) have given quite a few interviews, both in person and over the phone, over the past year and the same questions seem to come up each time.  So we decided to answer the most frequently asked ones for all Bronies.  Thanks to Michael Perrone for putting this list together for us.
1.      Why did we start studying Bronies?Both Dr. E and I quickly realized that this was a chance to study a fandom from the beginning, rather than several years after it began and the origins and history were forgotten.  We had different agendas:  Dr. E wanted to study the show qualities and social aspects as well as continue his research with absorption.  I wanted to know what it was about the individual that drew him/ (now her) to the show.  We embarked on this task with a few snickers from colleagues and, frankly, they thought we were a little crazy for studying Bronies.  But with the response we have received from the community we’ve gotten a little more respect.  Thanks, ya’ll.
2.      What will we do with the data when the studies are complete?The American Psychological Association requires that we maintain all original data for 10 years.  Will we analyze it?  YOU BET! And we have a lot of it.  We post it to the website as analyses become complete and are in the process of submitting articles to peer-reviewed (professional) journals.
3.      Is there anything we’re “looking for”?  Is this a study of the fandom or internet culture/something else?We’re only studying the fandom and individual fans (e.g., who is the typical fan). There has already been a lot of research on internet culture and we see no real use in re-doing that work.
4.      Have the studies of Bronies shown us something about ourselves? Have we taken more interest in art/music/culture of the fandom.Dr. E has a son who has a Brony and he is more involved in the other aspects of the fandom.  But then, he was more involved in internet games, etc. before we began this study.  I, on the other hand, am more interested in Bronies as individuals and, although I am involved in art and music, it is from a different perspective.  I am retired and am learning to play piano and paint.
5.      Are we studying what the fandom produces or just the fandom?We’re just studying the fandom.  At this point we’ll leave the product for the media folks.
6.      Will we be gathering data with very well-known Bronies into how they fuel the community?No, we have no plans to do this.  We regard every Brony as an important member of the community.   
7.      Will we be studying the conventions or just the online community?Because we cannot attend most of the conventions we’ll limit it to the online community.  But there is plenty of data to be had with this and it also allows us to study the secret and hidden Bronies who may not attend the conventions.
8.      How many stages are planned for the Brony research project?This is hard to answer.  Stage 1 is complete with the 3 surveys and Stage 2 is going to be the longitudinal study.  But we are doing some side studies with reactions to Bronies and will hopefully look at it from a clinical perspective.  So the answer is, as many stages as it takes.
9.      What has the data proven most certainly?  What is the lowest alpha value?I don’t believe we can answer that.  The statistics we use are really complex and there are many factors analyzed.  One thing I can tell you, is that Bronies are NOT the strange group they were initially made out to be.
10.   Can Mike keep you informed about the study progress?Sure he can, but all you have to do is log on to the website.  We give no one advance/more/different information than we post there or submit to journals and when those articles are published we’ll put the information on the website.
11.   What do Bronies think of “celebrities” within the community?We haven’t studied that.  However in the longitudinal study we hope to start before the end of the year we will investigate emerging leadership as the community evolves.
12.   How do you make sure to maintain objectivity within the study?Dr. E says he’s a “Brony booster”, but is not a Brony.  I must confess that, even as a child, I have never liked cartoons (but I do like the Muppets).  I watch MLP enough to do the research, but do not get drawn into the show.  I believe it has value and is a good, unique way to put forth a valuable message.  But you must remember that both Dr. E and I were initially trained as researchers/scientists.  When we began this research we both approached it from the perspective that we would report the data, no matter how it came out.
13.   Is the purpose of the study to try to better define Bronies and how they change over time?  Does the study also cover the cause of this phenomenon or its effect on society as well?We are studying Bronies to get some definition of the community and why individuals are drawn to it. Personally, I believe that part of the attraction is that it is a break from the chaos and conflict caused by the events of 9-11-2001. We investigated that in the last survey, but haven’t gotten to analyze the data yet. We will also begin to study its evolution over time.  We will not study the effect on society – we had enough trouble getting the non-Bronies to answer a few questions for the General Population (comparison) surveys.
14.   What is the most surprising or note-worthy of our findings?I believe  that it is the guidance factor in motivating the Brony community.  I would have never guessed that people would gain insights into their actions from a cartoon.  We call it the WWPD effect – What Would a Pony Do?. 
15.   When is the next survey?  We are working on putting together the longitudinal survey, but have some logistical problems to resolve first.  This will be a 3-5 year study on how individual Bronies and the community change over time.  Will it grow?  Will some Bronies lose interest as they get older?  If you want to be part of this, shoot me an email and I’ll send you a form to complete.  We would like to get about 5,000 Bronies from the international community and it will involve one initial long survey and then about 4 short surveys each year. 
Now to answer some of the questions I’m asked:
1.      No, we don’t give out raw data or statistical analyses except in manuscripts for professional journals.  There are some copyright issues involved.
2.      I will be happy to give some assistance in writing your papers for school.
3.       You may reference our data IF you give us credit for the information you use.  Failing to give us credit is plagiarism, but you already know that.
4.      We are delighted to hear from you and welcome suggestions.  Some we are able to use, some are beyond the scope of this study.  But we welcome all of them. I hope this has been helpful.   
Brohoof to you all,
Dr. Redden 

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