Persistent Popularity and the Lord of the Rings Films

Document Type


Publication Date



Educational Psychology | Student Counseling and Personnel Services


Promoting student engagement at university events is an important goal of student affairs professionals. A popular way to get students to attend campus events is to show a movie that students will enjoy. One movie that we, the authors, have noticed is enjoyable for a broad audience is the Lord of the Rings (LotR) trilogy. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to explore the persistent popularity of the LotR films as they have aged by identifying the factors which may influence its enjoyability. The researchers will distribute a survey to undergraduate students at the University of South Dakota (USD) between the ages of 17 and 27. We chose to focus on this population because these individuals would likely have been too young to view the films, or not be born yet, at the time LotR began to release; yet, the films seem to be popular with their age group. In the survey, an account of participants' sex, geographic location, which genre they think LotR falls under, and their general film genre preferences will be taken, as these were identified as possible factors which affect movie popularity. The enjoyability of LotR, our measure of its popularity, will be measured using a Likert-style preference scale. This study can be used by college and university administrators who organize student programming, as it can better inform movie selections that will increase student attendance and participation in campus events.

First Advisor

Gabrielle Strouse

Research Area

Counseling & Psychology in Education

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