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To What Degree Does Memes Influence One's Purchasing Decisions?

A meme is basically a concept that spreads from person to person within a culture, usually as a joke or funny idea. It's not something you "buy" per se, unless you consider the time and effort spent creating said meme as an investment. Memes can be about literally anything: politics, sports teams, music, celebrities... the list goes on. But memes are usually known for being funny. One could argue that one's appreciation of humor is subjective; however it seems everyone has at least some degree of appreciation for humor considering how widespread memes have become. While there are certainly plenty of people who don't share hilarious memes with their family and friends online (we all know at least one), many would agree that memes do influence people's purchasing decisions. This is not necessarily good or bad, but it affects everyone in some way or another, whether they realize it or not.

Memes influence


The purpose of this study is to measure the degree to which memes influence one's purchasing decisions. As many would agree with the statement displayed above, "memes are popular," very few people really know how much of an impact they have on our daily decisions. For example, when you're trying to decide where to eat dinner for that night, are you more inclined to go to a place that has meals that are entertaining, sometimes using sarcasm? Or will you rather eat at a family restaurant because all their food looks "honest" and "real?" These questions may seem silly, but keep reading if you want to find out the answers.


The data used in this study will be obtained through an anonymous survey which any person is able to participate in. The questions are intended to measure one's purchasing decisions based on memes. For example, "One year, I got my boyfriend a gift card for GameStop because of how funny they were being about Black Friday sales," or "I would rather get tattoos that look like the meme 'Success Kid' instead of something more traditional." These are real responses from previous surveys conducted by researchers at Atlantic University. All the data will be broken down and examined using descriptive statistics, such as frequency tables.


The results from this survey will be portrayed in a table containing frequencies for each question asked. The data from these questions will then be analyzed using a chi-square goodness of fit test to determine whether or not there is a significant relationship between the degree to which memes influence one's purchasing decisions and selected demographic variables. If there is a significant relationship, it will be discussed along with possible future research ideas.

Here are some FAQs recently asked by my friends looking at the survey!

A.) Is this survey for school?


B.) How much money is being paid per hour?  

$5 per hour--It really just depends on when you can do it, but I'll be sure to let you answer each question before moving on. Definitely need someone who's available after 6PM most days of the week.

C.) Is there a minimum age requirement? 

18+ please!

D.) What's the 'goodness of fit test'? 

Good question! The goodness-of-fit is an important statistical test that helps researchers determines whether or not a particular distribution fits their data. In this case, the distribution being tested would be association between how people respond to each meme-based question and selected demographic variables.

E.) Will you let me know when you have results? 

 I'll definitely try my best!

F.) Why are you using code words like that?!  

I feel like you're either trying to hide something or are simply not very good at disguising your description of memes. Either way, I'm not very comfortable with the implications of this study. If you'd like to add more information into your survey that might alleviate my concerns, please add it in the upcoming mock-up. I'm excited to see what your survey looks like!

Final Notes:  I hope everyone will take a few minutes out of their day to help this study become a reality! This is going into a Social Psychology research journal that many college students read and even end up citing in papers they write for classes at their universities. Because it's designed by a computer science major, you don't need to worry about me fudging the numbers in my research. This is looking at memes from an objective standpoint, so I won't be asking any questions that are biased or trying to prove a point. 


The results from this study will show the degree to which memes influence one's purchasing decisions. No matter what your level of participation with online communities is, it is important to be aware of how certain things have an effect on your choices. Whether or not you think that memes are "good" or "bad" is very subjective, but what makes them powerful is that they are shared and consumed by millions of people, and therefore affect millions of other purchasing decisions worldwide every day. Perhaps we don't need a whole lot more empirical evidence--after all memes can be silly! However, if we continue to consume these products without knowing what we're consuming then perhaps the joke really is on us. To get such memes visit Meme Scout.

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