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Can listening to 'The Archers' change how you see the world? - Survey for 'The Archers' listeners

(24 Posts)
rebeccasims Sat 29-Dec-18 15:27:20

Hi! I am a member of the University of Oxford's Psychology department and I am recruiting participants for a study investigating how listening to The Archers can influence how you see the world. The study consists of a 15 minute survey with a chance to win a £20 Amazon voucher!
We are looking for volunteers, aged 18 and over who listen to the radio show The Archers. You would be asked to answer questions about your listening habits, feelings towards characters and storylines, and some more general questions.
If you are interested and would like more information, please follow this link to our online questionnaire:
We would very much appreciate your participation!
(Researcher email:, Ethics Approval Reference: R60083/RE001).

QuaterMiss Sat 29-Dec-18 15:32:16

How clever of you to appear just at the end of The Canterbury Tales!

cheesybiter Sat 29-Dec-18 15:44:58

Interesting smile

Bittermints Sat 29-Dec-18 17:13:44

I've completed it.

I was a bit surprised at the inclusion of a section on transgender people as there has never to my knowledge been a transgender person in The Archers. However, perhaps that's accounted for by Mumsnet's well-known status as a hotbed of gender critical people. I felt the questions on that section were not phrased in such a way that I could get my own views across. I don't hate transgender people, far from it, but I don't accept that anyone can change sex (not gender, as that's a concept I don't accept) and to the extent that anyone believes moving from one set of gender stereotypes to another means they've changed sex I disagree very strongly. I also didn't like the wording of the question that asked if I believed that genitalia determine a person's sex. I don't, chromosomes do that in almost all cases, and the form of the genitalia are usually determined genetically. I said yes though, as the nearest option to what I do believe.

I also felt that some of the other questions lacked nuance, as I often find on questionnaires. You ask whether we find certain characters likeable. I have favourite characters, e.g. Brian Aldridge or Lynda Snell, but I don't like them as people, I just enjoy listening to them and their interactions with other people because they're strong characters, behave outrageously, are given good memorable lines etc etc. So I wasn't sure what to answer to that.

Also, time marches on and unfortunately your question about where Brian lives is about to be out of date. The perils of devising a questionnaire months ago so you could get ethical approval through last term, presumably!

Hope you get a good response.

QuaterMiss Sat 29-Dec-18 17:28:31

Yes ... the use of 'gender' instead of 'sex' was puzzling. And made the questions difficult to answer accurately.

I wasn't entirely convinced that TA wasn't a bit of a red herring - I wondered what you're really after. The emphasis was a bit off. As a pp has said, my enjoyment isn't based on whether I like individual characters in themselves. And I can't imagine why I might want to see myself in the story. Not do I care about characters 'representing' any social group. fhmm

It seemed a bit shallow. And not based on much understanding of radio listening. So I was relieved to see it's 'only' undergraduate research.

Hope I haven't sold my soul ...

OrchidInTheSun Sat 29-Dec-18 17:40:50

I've stopped doing the survey. Trans issues have nothing to do with the Archers - they're not featured in the storylines at all. It's very weird that this 'survey' focuses far more on attitudes to trans and non-binary than anything else. Very poorly designed questionnaire - I'm rather dubious about the level of academic supervision

R4 Sun 30-Dec-18 18:50:22

investigating how listening to The Archers can influence how you see the world.
A strange conceit. I don't rely on TA to form my world-view.confused

I concur with everyone else about trans in the questionnaire.

Is there some concerted action regarding trans and TA? The Academic Archers Conference has gone worryingly gender-trendy. I e-mailed for confirmation that AA is Gender Critical but have had no response.

Bittermints Sun 30-Dec-18 20:29:38

I would be extremely surprised if there were ever to be a trans story in TA, because of the circumstances of the death of the new Editor's first wife. Google will supply the details.

Littlebighorn Sun 30-Dec-18 20:45:48

@bittermints truly shocking, poor family.

Bittermints Sun 30-Dec-18 20:57:21

Yes, horrific. I found out by chance when I googled him on hearing of his appointment.

echt Sun 30-Dec-18 21:17:47

I stopped doing the survey. Can't see how liking/not liking characters is sexuality -based.

It's bloody FICTION.

R4 Sun 30-Dec-18 21:19:02

Google will supply the details.
Oh my goodness. That is horrific. I hope OP, who probably wasn't even born at the time of the incident, reads about it and ponders a little in their cosy academic-theory bubble.
That (what some XY chromosomes get up to in real life) is what colours my world view, not the artifice of a soap storyline.

MogTheSleepyCat Sun 30-Dec-18 21:27:17

I have completed the survey although share some of the other respondents' concerns about the sensitivity of the questionnaire.

I do not feel that a closed-question design will give an accurate picture of your participants true opinions on these issues (those relating to trans people in particular). This is such a grey and sensitive issue that a discourse analysis or qualitative, semi structured interview methodology would be far more appropriate.

And why The Archers? What demographic are you aiming to sample? Some context would be useful.

As a previous poster mentioned, I do not need to 'like' a character, whether from The Archers, or any other fictional piece, be it a film or novel. The 'best' characters are those that evoke a tangible feeling or response in the listener/reader. These are the ones that keep me engaged.

It is also standard practice to ask participants if they would like to read the final write up of the student's dissertation.

And in case this is of interest to other Mumsnetters, this request for participants has also been put out on some of Facebook Archers appreciation type groups. Therefore it is unlikely MN is being 'targeted' for its nest-of-trans-hating-vipers.

Aaaahfuck Sun 30-Dec-18 21:29:29

Ooh interesting! I love the archers (I'm 33 so wonder if I'm the normal demographic?!) I'll do it.

MargueritaPink Tue 01-Jan-19 21:33:28

Your wording of the question about Brian Aldridge's affair with the option of the result being having an "illegitimate" son is extremely offensive.

Shame on you for using such an outdated term.

MargueritaPink Tue 01-Jan-19 21:36:17

Very poorly designed questionnaire - I'm rather dubious about the level of academic supervision

Me too. The use of the word "illegitimate" is vile.

SexNotJenga Fri 04-Jan-19 19:31:02

I got irritated about the first 'proper' question on whether I thought Eastern European immigrants would be culturally similar to myself or not. I mean, I imagine there would be some similarities and some differences, but I would say that about pretty much everyone.
I gave up when I got to the question about whether I believed that people from Eastern Europe were of a similar status to myself. What do you expect people to say, exactly? I think the questioning style... may need refinement.

Footle Fri 04-Jan-19 19:50:58

I'm of East European descent so the questionnaire is clearly not designed for me. Half an hour of my life that I can spend on something else.

BoreOfWhabylon Fri 04-Jan-19 22:28:51

I have attempted the questionnaire but given up in irritation.

In what way is this supposed to determine how much listening to The Archers has changed the way I view the world?

SexNotJenga Fri 04-Jan-19 23:01:39

It does say that the data from the survey will be used in the work of three separate students with differing objectives.
One is inclined to wonder whether any of them are actually researching anything to do with the Archers.

williteverend99 Mon 07-Jan-19 18:27:27

I gave up on this survey because I felt that the phrasing of many of the sex/gender questions conflated the two. This meant that I was not able accurately to express my views on these questions.

I could not really answer the questions as to whether I liked certain characters or not. I like the way in which certain characters are portrayed but doubt whether I would like them in real life eg Linda Snell, Susan.

I am assuming that part of the work being done is on distortions caused by loaded questions in multiple choice questionnaires.

Back in the day I remeber that Oxford psychology undergraduates did horrid things to monkey brains.

Bekabeech Wed 09-Jan-19 22:15:51

You can complain to:

NoSuchThing Thu 10-Jan-19 14:41:03

I started this but chose not to complete it. Confused as to why there were questions about transgender characters. I can’t think of any in the Archers during my years of listening. Wondering what that was about?

Bekabeech Thu 10-Jan-19 16:17:09

NoSuch I suspect that as 3 undergraduates are using the results, one of them is trying to compare the listeners to the Archers to viewers of Coronation Street or something. But as some of the answers were incorrect - I'm not even sure they really knew what they were talking about.

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