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Girls Play Patterns with LEGO Friends

Principal Investigator: Heather Morton Department of Communication Studies & Multimedia McMaster University Hamilton, Ontario, Canada (416) 779-7104 Email: mortonh@mcmaster.ca

For a Masters level course in Communication Research Methods at McMaster University, I am studying the way girls interact with LEGO; specifically its new line of Friends playsets. Combining research into gendered toy preferences, the recent industry trends towards narrative driven toys, and this survey, I hope to determine to what extent LEGO was successful in its desire to create a toy that would engage girls.

As a reminder, this survey is intended to gain information on girls’ experience with LEGO Friends sets and is only relevant if you are the parent or legal guardian of a girl who has this product at home.

The survey should only take about 10 minutes to complete and is completely anonymous and voluntary. Your personal information will not be collected in any way and you are free to leave the survey at any time. If you do that, your results will not be kept. If you do not want to answer some of the questions, you do not have to, but you can still be in the study. If you finish the survey and submit your answers, your act of submission will constitute an agreement to participate (anonymously).

If you have questions or require more information about the study itself, please contact myself: Heather Morton: mortonh@mcmaster.ca

The supervisor of this study is Dr. Christine Quail, Department of Communication and Multimedia, McMaster University, quailc@mcmaster.ca

This survey has been reviewed and approved by the McMaster Research Ethics Board. If you have concerns or questions about your rights as a participant or about the way the study is conducted, you may contact:

McMaster Research Ethics Board Secretariat Telephone: (905) 525-9140 ext. 23142 c/o Office of Research Services E-mail: ethicsoffice@mcmaster.ca

For the purposes of this survey, I am defining ‘traditional’ LEGO as any LEGO product that does not fall within the Friends line. Also, I am using the term ‘daughter’ to refer to a girl of whom you are the legal guardian.

Thank you in advance for your time, it is very much appreciated.

2. Did your daughter have any exposure to ‘traditional’ LEGO prior to her experience with the Friends line? If your answer is "NO", please go to Question #8

3. Did your daughter play with ‘traditional’ LEGO prior to her experience with the Friends line? If your answer is "NO", please go to Question #7

4. How much does/did your daughter enjoy playing with ‘traditional’ LEGO. Please choose the most appropriate answer.

6. Narrative-based play is defined for the purposes of this study as including: “specific narrative roles (the protagonist, the antagonist, the good, the evil, the assistant etc.)… a series of conflicts that are to be solved, and… a set of personal or social character traits (strength, wisdom, boldness, specific skills etc.). Is this an accurate description of how your daughter would interact with her ‘traditional’ LEGO creations? Please select the most appropriate answer:

7. If she had exposure to 'traditional' LEGO but didn’t play with it, why not?

8. How did you originally acquire a LEGO Friends set for your daughter? (check all that apply)

9. Please indicate the Friends sets that your daughter owns: (check all that apply):

10. How much does your daughter enjoy playing with her Friends LEGO. Please choose the most appropriate answer.

11. Approximately how much time per week does she play with it?

13. Please describe the way she plays with her Friends LEGO: (check all that apply)

14. Narrative-based play is defined for the purposes of this study as including: “specific narrative roles (the protagonist, the antagonist, the good, the evil, the assistant etc.)… a series of conflicts that are to be solved, and… a set of personal or social character traits (strength, wisdom, boldness, specific skills etc.). Is this an accurate description of how your daughter interacts with her LEGO Friends sets? Please circle the most appropriate answer:

15. There was some criticism when LEGO launched the Friends line which centered mainly on these four issues. Please indicate your level of agreement with these concerns PRIOR to acquiring LEGO Friends (please select the most appropriate answer for each statement):

 
AgreeSomewhat agreeDisagreeWasn't aware of this controversy

16. Now that you and your daughter have experience with Friends, what level of concern do you now have with these issues (please select the most appropriate answer for each statement).

 
AgreeSomewhat agreeDisagreeWasn't aware of this controversy

17. If your daughter has experience with ‘traditional’ LEGO but prefers to play with Friends, please speculate as to why you think that might be. Check all that apply or indicate NA if this doesn’t apply to your situation. Also, please add any other thoughts you have on way she prefers Friends.

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