Online Research Study on Understanding Others

You are being asked to participate in a research study that is being run by Dr. Matthew Shane, who is affiliated with the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

This form will explain the research study to you and explain any potential risks or benefits of participating. This is so you can make an informed choice about whether or not to participate in the study. Please read this consent form carefully and do not hesitate to ask the investigators or study staff to explain any words or information that you do not clearly understand.


If you agree to participate, you will be asked to complete three tasks.

Questionnaires. You will be asked to complete a series of computerized questionnaires. These questionnaires cover topics including life experiences, mood, and your personality. These tasks take approximately 30 minutes to complete.

Videos. You will watch videos of other participants, who will be describing emotional events from their past. While watching the video, you will be asked to indicate how you think the person feels. These videos should take approximately 10 minutes.

Interactions. Depending on the condition you are in, you may then be asked to compete with the participant from the video in one of several games.

Are there any risks associated with participation?

The potential risks of the study include emotional stress, and a loss of privacy/confidentiality. Each are described in more detail below.

Emotional Stress: The questionnaires that you will be answering require that you provide some personal answers about yourself. This may produce emotional stress (e.g., discomfort in answering sensitive questions). However, you should know that you can skip any questions that make you uncomfortable without any penalty or loss of compensation. In addition the emotional videos you will be watching also include emotional information that some people may find upsetting/anxiety-provoking/embarrassing. If you find it too emotional, you have the right to stop participation at any time, without penalty.

Privacy/Confidentiality: Your information will be handled as confidentially as possible. However, there is always a small risk of loss of confidentiality, which may result in people knowing or thinking certain things about you, or causing hardship for you. Below we describe our procedures re handling and storing your data, which we employ to mitigate risk of a confidentiality breach:

How will we collect/store your data?

This consent form will be stored within a locked file-cabinet within the laboratory only until a digitized version is created, at which point it will be destroyed. The digitized version will be stored indefinitely within a password-protected folder within university/laboratory-owned server space, separate from all study data.

All experimental data will be collected on laptop/desktop computers owned by the laboratory, and stored indefinitely on those computers or in the cloud within university-/laboratory-owned server space. Experimental data will always be stored within password-protected folders separate from consent documents. Moreover, this data will be identified by a unique research subject identifier (URSI), and this URSI, rather than your personal information, will be used to keep track of your data. Thus, at no time will your identifying information be connected to your research data.

There is one exception to this anonymity: At the end of this consent form, we will ask you if you are willing to be contacted for future studies in the laboratory. If you are, then we will ask you to provide some contact information, and will retain linkage between this contact information and your study data indefinitely within a single Master Spreadsheet, so that we may contact you should appropriate research opportunities arise in the future.

How will we use/share your data?

During data analysis, anonymized data may be transferred to laboratory laptops/desktops/servers with specialized software for analysis of questionnaire/MR data. The data may only be reviewed by research staff directly affiliated with this study. In addition, anonymized data may be made available to collaborators upon request, for purposes of collaboration, teaching, or audit. Your personal information will never be given in these instances.

The study data may be reviewed only by research staff affiliated with the study. Moreover, in anonymized form, the data may be shared with other scientific researchers, presented at meetings, published in journals/books or used in classrooms for training purposes. However, only anonymized data will be shared in these instances, and your name will never be included when sharing the data. Your data will never be used for any purpose other than that described within.

Are there any benefits associated with participation?

You will be awarded $20.00 for participation in the study, to compensate you for your time. You may withdraw your participation at any time, without penalty, and with the same $20.00 awarded.

Can you decide not to participate?

Your participation in this study is completely voluntary. You have the right to choose not to participate or to withdraw your participation at any point in this study without penalty or reduction in course credit. Please let the study staff know if you wish to withdraw. Or, if you wish to withdraw at a later date, you may notify Dr. Shane at

If you request withdrawal, we will destroy your data immediately, unless your data has already been included in group-level data, in which case it will be anonymized, but must be retained for transparency of reporting and scientific integrity. Also, please note that if you do not provide us with contact information at the bottom of this consent form, your data will have automatically been anonymized, and we will thus not be able to destroy it.

What if you have any concerns?

If you have any questions concerning the research, please contact the researcher Dr. Matthew Shane at Any questions regarding your rights as a participant, complaints or adverse events may be addressed to Research Ethics Board through the Ethics and Compliance Officer at or 905-721-8668 x3693.

“This study has been approved by the UOIT Research Ethics Board REB 14273 on 03/04/2017.”



Do you agree to participate in the study?

You are making a decision whether to participate in this study. Your signature below indicates that you read the information given (or the information was read to you). By signing this consent form, you are not waiving any of your legal rights as a research subject. I have had an opportunity to ask questions and all questions have been answered to my satisfaction. By signing this consent form, I agree to participate in this study.

I Consent To the Prescreen questions