Harry Potter Research Assistance Needed

Friend of this blog, Dr, Joel Hunter of the Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University, is conducting some research and would like input from the serious readers here. In his paper for an upcoming conference, Dr. Hunter was going to mention the preferences readers have for some of the Hogwarts Adventures, and while we’ve all heard anecdotes about which books are readers’ least/most favorites, he wanted a more thoughtful study. So he created this very simple survey for readers to rank the books from most to least favorite (it’s great if you love them all; just decide which ones you are more likely to crawl back into when you re-visit Harry). If you have read all seven books at least once, please participate in the survey and feel free to pass it along to others who would like to participate. Please only take the survey once (I know some of you want to make Chamber of Secrets number 1 at all costs–restrain yourselves!). Thanks so much for your feedback and for taking part in our on-going goals of research and scholarship!


  1. Carrie-Ann Biondi says

    Good luck with this research, Joel! I filled out my survey (only once!), and look forward to seeing what you do with the data you collect.

  2. Done and done! Very excited to see what the results look like, and what can be interpreted from them. I’ll make sure to pass the link on to others, as well.

  3. It made me wonder what the researcher was looking for, myself. (If any hypotheses will be shattered or affirmed, that is.) I’m interested to see what happens!

  4. I think, Father, that the main purpose is to either confirm or debunk those flip assumptions like “Oh, everyone likes book A better than book B” with some actual numbers. It was fascinating to me that my son and I had the same most favorite, but that nearly all the others were reversed (his next favorite was my least, etc.)!

  5. Goodness that was a difficult survey. Even the books I rated as my two least favorites would get at least 8 out of 10 on my “is it a good book?” scale. It’ll be interesting for sure to see if there is any sort of trend in answering these questions.

  6. joel hunter says

    Elizabeth, thanks for linking to my survey and thanks all of you for your contributions. I will share the results with our esteemed Hogwarts Professors in due time. Here’s a quick rundown what I’m doing with the data. I’m going to do a simple descriptive statistical analysis on the poll results. Although I know the sample will cross categories of age, gender, ethnicity and so on, my independent variable is “# of times I’ve read the entire series.” Meanwhile, I have research assistants applying a proto-structuralist analysis to each book in the series (and the series treated as a single tale) to determine how well they “fit” to the fairy tale narrative structure. We’ll see if the two data sets correlate in an attempt to answer this question: “Can we explain (at least partially) the devotion of HP readers by the books’ correspondence to fairy tale narrative structure?” I will present the results at the conference in Scotland.

Speak Your Mind