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Northwestern University

Department of Psychology


Study Title: Information Processing Study


Principal Investigator: Jennifer Richeson, Ph.D.


Supported by: Northwestern University

This study has been approved by the Northwestern University Institutional Review Board (STU00032312).


We would like to tell you about a research study we are doing and ask for your participation. In this study, we want to find out more about how people process information that they are exposed to in various forms.  You are being asked to participate in this study because we are interested in these processes in a wide variety of people, including college students.  The purpose of this research study is to better understand how various types of information are learned or processed from various sources.  We anticipate that approximately 1000 people will participate in this research.


If you agree to take part in this study, you will be asked to answer a series of questions regarding your thoughts and feelings as well as some basic demographic information. The whole process should take no more than 20 minutes of your time.


There are no physical risks to you associated with participating in this research study. Our research team is very committed to upholding your privacy.  This study is completely anonymous—we will not ask for your name or any identifying information.  All study data will be collected through an online survey-collection program called Qualtrics. Qualtrics is a secure site with SAS 70 certification for rigorous privacy standards.  Any data that you provide through this program will be encrypted for security purposes using Secure Socket Layers (SSL). Only the study investigators will have access to the data on Qualtrics.  To protect your privacy, all participants’ IP addresses will be masked by Qualtrics and will be unavailable to, and unidentifiable by, investigators.  If you choose to provide your email address to participate in a lottery for a $25 gift certificate, this information will be stored completely separately from, and therefore not associated with, your other responses.


If you do not understand or are uncomfortable with any questions you may contact us for explanation. You may skip any survey questions that make you feel uncomfortable. You are also free to stop participation at any time.


There may be no direct benefits to you from participating in this study; however, we hope to learn how people perceive themselves. Participation in the study also will enter you into a lottery for a $25 gift certificate, the winner of which will be selected at the study’s completion in early September 2010.  You may opt out of the lottery if you so choose.  For every 100 participants in the study we will choose 1 winner, therefore your chances of winning the lottery are 1/100.


Any questions you may have about this study may be directed to the principal investigator, Dr. Richeson, at (847) 467-1331. Questions about your rights as a research subject may be directed to the Office for the Protection of Research Subjects at the Northwestern Institutional Review Board at (312) 503-9338.


Please remember that your participation in this study is voluntary and you are free to withdraw at any time.  Choosing not to withdraw from this study or choosing not to answer certain questions will not affect your likelihood of winning the lottery. 


Only individuals who are 18 or older are allowed to participate in this study.


If you agree to participate in this research study, please select the first button below then press the arrows.  You will then be taken to the first page of the survey.  If you do not wish to participate in this study, please select the second  button below, and when you press the arrows your session will end.


                    Please “PRINT” a screen shot using the “print screen” key on your keyboard to obtain a

                    copy of this consent form.