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Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University

Sample Consent Form for a Web-Based Study

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The Psychology of Golfing

Welcome to "The Psychology of Golfing," a web-based experiment that examines some of the finer points of golfing. Before taking part in this study, please read the consent form below and click on the "I Agree" button at the bottom of the page if you understand the statements and freely consent to participate in the study.

Consent Form

This study involves a web-based experiment designed to understand why people enjoy watching small round objects drop into holes in the ground. The study is being conducted by Professor Wallace Burkee of Mattson University, and it has been approved by the Mattson University Institutional Review Board. No deception is involved, and the study involves no more than minimal risk to participants (i.e., the level of risk encountered in daily life).

Participation in the study typically takes 50 minutes and is strictly anonymous. Participants begin by answering a series of questions about golf, after which they watch several randomly assigned computer animation sequences that show balls dropping into holes. These animated sequences involve either golf contexts or neutral contexts, and they vary in the size of the ball and the hole depicted. After watching 9 computer-animated "holes," participants rate how enjoyable the experience was.

All responses are treated as confidential, and in no case will responses from individual participants be identified. Rather, all data will be pooled and published in aggregate form only. Participants should be aware, however, that the experiment is not being run from a "secure" https server of the kind typically used to handle credit card transactions, so there is a small possibility that responses could be viewed by unauthorized third parties (e.g., computer hackers).

Many individuals find participation in this study enjoyable, and no adverse reactions have been reported thus far. Introductory Psychology students at Mattson University will receive one hour of research participation credit for taking part in the study and may write a three-page research paper if they prefer not to participate in this study (see the course syllabus for details). Other visitors to this web site are welcome to complete the study, although they will receive no credit or monetary compensation. Participation is voluntary, refusal to take part in the study involves no penalty or loss of benefits to which participants are otherwise entitled, and participants may withdraw from the study at any time without penalty or loss of benefits to which they are otherwise entitled.

If participants have further questions about this study or their rights, or if they wish to lodge a complaint or concern, they may contact the principal investigator, Professor Wallace Burkee, at (555) 123-4567; Professor Marie Laveau, Chair of the Mattson University Psychology Department, at (555) 555-5555; or the Mattson University Institutional Review Board, at (555) 987-6543.

If you are 18 years of age or older, understand the statements above, and freely consent to participate in the study, click on the "I Agree" button to begin the experiment.  


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