Wednesday, May 16, 2012

How Whedonesque is The Avengers?

I thought it would be a neat idea to see what people think the values of Joss Whedon's film, The Avengers are, especially since several film reviewers have argued back and forth about how "Whedonesque" it is. So I made up a survey to see what the audience has to say, especially since we had over 800 respondents to the Buffy the Vampire Survey once it was promoted by Whedonesque.

Take the Survey!

This survey is one way of quantifying your perceptions of the meanings of Joss Whedon's film, The Avengers. If you would like to learn more about this type of survey, it's called a Rokeach Value Survey. It is designed to measure what you perceive to be the important values and forms of social support in Joss Whedon's film, The Avengers.

The survey will ask you to indicate the extent to which you see each value to be important in The Avengers. For each question, rank the value’s importance from 1 to 5 as represented by the series. There are no right and wrong answers. Fill out the survey to the best of your ability as an indication of what your perception of the series is. There are 44 multiple choice questions.

In addition, we'll be posting surveys for each major work that Joss Whedon's been a part of over the next two months. Here's the schedule:

The Avengers: May 15
The Cabin in the Woods: May 22
Angel: May 29
Firefly: June 5
Serenity: June 12
Dollhouse: June 19
Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog: June 26
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 8: July 3

TBA: Angel (comic series), Buffy: Season 9, Much Ado About Nothing, Dr. Horrible 2

As we did with the Buffy the Vampire Slayer survey, we'll post an overview of the results within two weeks, with more detailed information on responses to each question later. I plan on reporting the results to the Whedon Studies Association's bi-annual conference in July. We'll let you know what the scholars and fans at the conference think too!

A final note on privacy: KwikSurveys doesn’t itself use or sell to a 3rd party any data collected. And since the survey asks no identifying questions about you besides noting your IP address to prevent ballot box stuffing, I have no idea who you are or what your contact info is, so fear me not.


  1. The probably sounds like criticism and it really isn't, but these are 1 dimensional questions to describe a multi-dimensional writer. Going off the first 15 questions the only question that I could conceivably give a 4 would be "it's important to be dynamic/think outside expectations". Apart from that it's impossible to pigeon hole this guy.

  2. Hey, Luke! I very much understand: these surveys aren't my typical approach either. (My piece on Slayage reading the opening title sequences of Buffy is my typical approach.) This type of concern is why I included the comment boxes, which allow people to explain their choices, make comments, etc. The comments provide the qualitative perspective you prefer.

    Rokeach Values Surveys are designed to gather quantitative data. The simplicity of survey data allows more people to participate easier and to aggregate opinions of large groups of people in ways that are difficult to do with comments, which are more nuanced. The other advantage is that the introductory language and the questions as phrased have been shown for decades to be able to be applied to a wide variety of work and to not bias survey-takers. That's why I don't change them to be more directly connected to the particular work, as that would introduce my own biases.

    If you'd like to see how some of this works, check out some of the blog posts in January 2011, which summarize the individual question responses when applied to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or the survey results post in December 2010, which provides an overview.

    Thanks for posting! Hope this helps!

  3. Also, it's a lot easier to work with survey data when you've got the 201 completed surveys we already have! We've got a much more manageable number of comments per question, which allows me to report on both quantitative and qualitative evaluations without me tearing what's left of my hair out!

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