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Furry Study 2011; participants requested

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To better help understand the "Furry Fandom" - the mindsets of the participants, and how we compare to and differ from other fandoms (i.e. sci-fi and fantasy based fandoms), the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada and Niagara County Community College in Sanborn, New York, are conducting an international online survey of the Furry Fandom.

Conducting the study is Courtney "Nuka" Plante, a furry social psychology graduate student at the University of Waterloo and Dr. Kathy Gerbasi, a social psychologist at the Niagara County Community College in Sanborn, New York.

Dr. Gerbasi and Courtney (Nuka) have been studying furries through the use of rigorous scientific methodology in the hopes of understanding furries and their fandom. There is a lot of bad media and misinformation about furries, and they hope that by scientifically studying the furry fandom they can do away with misconceptions regarding the furry fandom.

Continue reading at Furry News Network, and see Flayrah's prior coverage of Dr. Gerbasi's work.

Update (20 Feb): The survey has concluded, with almost 7000 responses – wildly exceeding the 250–1000 anticipated. Now the analysis begins!

Comments

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

Filling out surveys is fun *laughs* So, I gave it a try.

Sadly I didn't understand the explanation on the final "Feedback" page, so, either I'm dumb or my English is too bad.
Well, we'll see how this turns out when the results are in.

Greetings,
RealZero

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We can't openly discuss the questions or their rationale without skewing the survey, but I'll drop you a message with my understanding of it.

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"Rule #1. You cant talk about Fight Club"

"Rule #2. You cant talk about Fight Club"

Fight Club = Furry Survey :)

ARRRROOOOOOOUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

I did my civil duty and completed the survey. Well, maybe I'm overplaying the significance there.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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The front page is outdated, the Patriot Act is no longer active therefore the US government has no special rights to it.

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The patriot act is still in effect, at least until Feb 28, 2011.

From Wikipedia:

In a vote on February 8, 2011, the House of Representatives considered a further extension of the Act through the end of 2011.[176] House leadership moved the extension bill under suspension of the rules, which is intended for noncontroversial legislation and requires two-thirds majority to pass.[176] After the vote, the extension bill did not pass; 277 members voted in favor, which was less than the 290 votes needed to pass the bill under suspension of the rules.[176] Without an extension, the Act is set to expire on February 28, 2011.

Wikipedia Link: Patriot Act
Look under the section titled "Reauthorizations"

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Still, by the time the results of the survey are complete, it'd be past February 28th.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

Since "fandom" and "fanbase" are interchangeable, I find this idea pointless.

You could never study enough ppl, and thus, would never get the correct picture.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

I've been in one "fandom" or another for 27 years (actively).

IMO there is a difference between "fandom" and "fan base". Fandom has always conveyed a sense of community. If you belong to a "fandom" you are there among friends and in many cases, an extended, chosen family. This has been true of the Furry Fandom, the Star Trek Fandom as well as a wide range of other related science fiction and fantasy related fandoms. These people come together as a community.

A "fan base" on the other hand seems to be more of a group of supporters of an person (celebs, artists, etc), a product, company, idea or trend. It lacks the community aspect that makes up "fandom".

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This is true of any study... ever hear of "20% of Americans disapprove of the president"

I can tell you, I've been an american all my life, and no one came up and asked me how I felt about the president for such a poll. Therefore I find the fact they don't say "20% of Americans surveryed" down right criminal.

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Properly written papers about such studies outline how participants were selected and surveyed. Some biases will be obvious enough to not be explicitly stated (e.g. phone and web surveys only get the attention of certain kinds of people) while other issues and biases are usually thoroughly discussed. This isn't a new issue and something the social sciences have known about and been dealing with for a long time.

And it is important to remember that often summaries and what gets reported about studies drops a lot of the details and qualifiers. I've seen numerous times that a news story makes a study look horrible, and readers had a shopping list of things that they thought the researchers were too stupid to think of. But if you look at the actual original paper written by the researchers, you see they addressed or acknowledged all of those points, and they made actually much narrower claims than the simplified news summary lead to believe. (And political polls can be whole another can of worms, especially when politically motivated, but only publishing results without the methods to see potential problems yourself.)

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It's a given that they mean of those surveyed. And in any case it doesn't need to be applied because if a survey is done properly it should be a fairly accurate reflection of the overall population.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 1 (1 vote)

Exactly, and nothing is more accurate then putting it up on some webpage for anyone to take. It'd be like Wikipedia, without the moderation...

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Heya folks!

Just poked in on this site and noticed the convo! I'm Courtney "Nuka" Plante, the (furry) social psychology grad student on the project!

Sonious - I believe you are correct regarding the Patriot act and it's application in this case. Nonetheless, the information we mention about it was required to be put there by our ethics review board. They will hopefully update their policy at some point to reflect the change, but in the meantime, we do what ethics tells us to do.

Additionally, I can hopefully address your concerns regarding the usage of/ reporting of this survey: data collected are presented in aggregate/ summarized form (usually as the by-product of statistical analysis), and they are qualified as such - the data we are collecting will (hopefully) be used in published psychology journals, which will require that we state the source of our sample: in this case, a sampling of furs from every available online furry social group, website and e-mail list we were able to contact in North America. It is recognized that we were not able to contact everyone, though we maintain that this study will be one of the most representative ones we could reasonably conduct (and an improvement over previous surveys which were limited to conventions such as Anthrocon).

You're right as well that in putting the survey up online, we do let "anyone" take it in theory. However, we're banking on the fact that people won't willingly go out of their way to sabotage the survey. We also have additional measures in place to pick up on bogus data/ someone trying to screw up the survey, though if your concern is that "anyone who just calls themselves a furry can take the survey", then the answer is yet. We recognize that our definition of "furry" and inclusion in the fandom is relatively broad and includes anyone who calls themselves a furry, regardless of any other "credentials" they may (or may not) have to say so. Such is the nature of attempting to operationally define a term that almost everyone in the furry fandom will agree cannot be agreed upon by the fandom (I once heard a furry say that there are as many definitions for the term "furry" as there are furries).

If you have questions/ comments/ concerns about the survey, I'd be happy to hear them (feel free to e-mail me and I'd be happy to continue this discussion!)

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The survey has concluded, with almost 7000 responses – wildly exceeding the 250–1000 anticipated. Now the analysis begins!

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Furry News Network (Markos Sinister)read storiescontact (login required)

an owner/operator and Wolf from Atlanta, GA, USA, interested in publishing, web design and blogging

Markos Sinister is a Furry Web Developer. His Fursona is a Dark Gray Were Wolf with blue eyes, dark browish/black hair with a white pentacle in his chest fur. He is most often seen wearing Victorian style clothing such as a waistcoat, cravat, and frock coat often with "Steampunk" adventuring gadgets.