BRONY STUDY (Research Project)

BronyCon 2014 - Results of the "What does your choice of favorite pony choice say about you?" panel.

Ent What Does Your Choice of Favorite Pony Say About You? 
                                        Presented by 
                           The researchers at the Bronystudy

                            BronyCon, Baltimore, 2014  

Understanding the results of our research requires an understanding of: 
The two approaches a researcher/scientist can take to studying a subject. 
1) The Ideographic Approach – (tendency to specify) studies single individuals in great detail, yields information on unique features of that person (what motivates them).
2)  The Nomothetic Approach – (tendency to generalize) studies large groups of individuals on a number of specific characteristics (like personality traits), yields general information about the population (all males or all fans).

How to explain a person’s choice of favorite pony? Three possibilities: 
1)    It has to do with the pony’s characteristics.
2)    It has to do with the fan’s characteristics (personality and needs).
3)    It is an interaction of the two (pony-fan interaction). 
Our hypothesis was: fans choose Favorite Pony because they either see themselves in the pony’s personality or they desire to be more like that pony (an Identity process hypothesis) 

Fan Identification with Favorite Pony (expressed as %)
                                           Sees Self     Wants to Be    See Self in and       None of
                                          In the Pony   like the Pony    would like to Be        Above 
Twilight Sparkle -   1         (34.0)              (10.2)               (29.1)                  (15.1) 
Fluttershy -               2         (26.1)               (6.6)                (14.8)                  (19.6) 
Rainbow Dash -      3         (12.3)              (32.8)               (14.6)                  (21.5) 
Pinkie Pie -              4         (13.8)              (24.1)               (15.8)                  (14.6) 
Apple Jack -            5          (8.9)               (26.1)               (13.8)                  (11.3) 
Rarity -                      6          (5.0)               (11.7)               (12.0)                  (17.8) 
            Number                     618                  137                   501                     219

Table of FAV PONY by Big Five Personality Scores 
                                  Extraversion*   Agreeable*    Consc*    Neurotic*   Openness 
Twilight Sparkle                 2                    2                 5                 3               3   
Fluttershy                        Low               High              2                 4             Low 
Rainbow Dash                  5                    4                 4               Low             4 
Pinky Pie                         High                 3               Low            High          High 
Apple Jack                         4                    5               High              2                5 
Rarity                                  3                  Low               3                 5                2 

Does level of search and commitment to an identity affect pony choice? 
Table of FAV PONY by Rankings on the Identity Dimensions Scale 
                                  Commitment*   ID with Commit*    Breath of Search    Depth of Search 
Twilight Sparkle                 4                         5                               3                              5             
Fluttershy                        Low                    Low                              2                          Low        
Rainbow Dash              High                   High                          High                      High        
Pinky Pie                            5                         3                             Low                           2             
Apple Jack                         3                         4                                5                             4              
Rarity                                  2                         2                                4                             3             

1)     The vast majority of Bronies in our study choose their Favorite Pony based on issues of identification with the pony. They ‘see themselves’ in that pony. 
2)    Those Bronies who choose a pony because they would like to be more like them, choose the ponies who are more outgoing and self assured (RD, PP, AJ). 
3)    (For the group as a whole) the personality of a Brony appears to match up with the general personality portrayed by the pony character. This lends further support to the ‘identifies with the pony’ hypothesis. 
4)    Fans of Rainbow Dash and Twilight Sparkle appear to have established more stable identities, while fans of Fluttershy and Rarity appear to be in an ‘identity search’ where they maybe still seeking to establish an identity. 

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