Pilot Survey: Media Influence on Romance in Everyday Life

My group assignment for BCM210 is about the influence of romance films on our expectations of romance and relationships. We’re focusing on three films, An Affair to Remember, Dirty Dancing and Friends With Benefits from the 50’s, 80’s and 00’s respectively. I recently drew up a brief survey to pilot on a friend to evaluate what worked, what didn’t and what we can perhaps change.

http://www.keepitahundred.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/1334518676880_9162394.png
http://www.keepitahundred.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/1334518676880_9162394.png

I surveyed my friend Chantelle who I assumed would be our prime target audience for our research topic.

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1. What is your age?

18-24   25-30   31-40   41-50   51+

  1. Gender

Male   Female   Other

  1. Relationship Status

Single   In a relationship   In an open relationship   married   divorced   widowed   It’s complicated

  1. Circle the films below that you’ve seen

An Affair To Remember     Dirty Dancing     Friends With Benefits

  1. Have any of the previously mentioned films influenced your ideas on relationships/romance?

Yes/No/ Other- Not really, though Friends With Benefits is one of my favourite movies. Not personally but I can see how ‘friendly’ behaviour is deemed acceptable through this movie

  1. Have any other romance films influenced your ideas on relationships/romance?

Yes/No – they set a lot of high expectations and standards which I think can be realistic but especially being a girl, I think it’s easy to expect too much

  1. Name 3 romance films that you feel has the greatest impact on your personal perceptions of relationships/romance
    1. Couldn’t think of any notable films
  1. On a scale of 0-5 (0 being never and 5 being frequently), how often do you watch romance films?
    1. 4
  1. Do you think the media has an important role in shaping opinions on romance?
    1. 100%, romance films perpetuate the same idea of love and romance. Boy meets girl, boy chases girl, boy performs huge romantic gesture for girl, that’s a lot of pressure to live up to. 
  1. What film would you base your idea of an ideal relationship off of?

An Affair To Remember     Dirty Dancing     Friends With Benefits- the ending when they end up in a relationship

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http://schedule.wttw.com/ulphoto/wttw_1355259677.jpg
http://schedule.wttw.com/ulphoto/wttw_1355259677.jpg

In this case, I think it’s easier to begin with what didn’t work. An issue was Chantelle hadn’t seen all of the movies we had been using in our research, which immediately limited the amount of information we could get and restricted any comparisons we could have potentially made. When asked to state the 3 most influential romantic films she has watched, she couldn’t really think of anything too prominent. Perhaps asking for 3 films is quite a lot, especially with no assistance or guidance from us in the form of suggestions. However suggestions would be quite leading so that’s something we’re going to have to look into further.

http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/dvd/lionsgate/DirtyDancing4-lg.jpg
http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/dvd/lionsgate/DirtyDancing4-lg.jpg

Perhaps some research methodologies we could do in the future would be to conduct a focus group where we show parts of the movies we selected and have a discussion about what we’re watching and how the audience feels. I feel this would be a more effective way of getting more detailed and insightful opinions. Whilst we were selecting the three movies we wished to use as case studies, we chose them based off of our our personal views of what was a romance film reflective of it’s time and maybe we need to revisit these and choose films which are more widely known and have been seen by a larger audience, for example, the Notebook, Titanic, Gone With the Wind.

Other than these revisions we should make, the majority of the questions worked well and were interpreted and answered well and without hassle.

This pilot survey has been very insightful in regards to the direction of our research and what steps should be taken next.

*Special thanks to Chantelle for participating and gossiping with me about our favourite films and our ideal man

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3 thoughts on “Pilot Survey: Media Influence on Romance in Everyday Life

  1. Hi there!
    I think your survey focus is a great choice, especially for a media class because romance films are definitely pretty pervasive in our society today!
    Your questions definitely relate to what it is exactly you’re trying to find out, but I can relate to the issues with questioning asking people to name movies as my survey has similar questions and we ran in to the same troubles. My only suggestion would be to perhaps use a movie a little more recent than the one from the 50s, because I think most of the people in BCMS who will be filling out the survey may not have seen this but will have definitely seen more recent ones. Maybe something like the Note Book or Dear John?
    Good luck with it!

    1. Thank you very much for you feedback! Any feedback at this stage of the process is very valuable so I appreciate it.
      I think we might definitely have to revisit our choice of movie or see if we can expand our target audience.
      Thanks 🙂

  2. Personally I think perhaps that more modern examples would be good, especially as Males tend to not watch so many romantic films. Though in saying that, for older audiences they would have a much different selection of Movies that they would’ve watched. Its a difficult position to be in, it really depends what your target age bracket is going to be, as you have stated yourself, perhaps 3 films is too much, but that’s only if a certain focus age bracket wants to be created. But it seems like you are most certainly on the right track.

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