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Department of Psychology, Social Work and Public Health,
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Oxford Brookes University, OX3 0BP

Researcher: Rachel Dunn [Email:]
Supervisor: Dr Clare Rathbone [Email: / Telephone: 01865 4837772]

Investigation into the effect of news articles on emotions, attitudes and beliefs for different identities

You are invited to take part in a research study. Please read the following information to help you decide whether or not to participate.

What is the purpose of this study?
The purpose of this study is to find out about people’s responses to specific news articles, in particular how it affects their emotions, attitudes and beliefs and whether this changes according to different identities that people have.

Who can take part in this study?
You can take part in this study if you are aged 18 years or above. You may have been invited to take part because you are known to the researcher or to one of the researcher’s contacts. In particular, we are interested in hearing from people who have a mental health condition, or who identify as having a minority sexual orientation (e.g. gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, questioning). However, even if you do not identify as being in either of those groups, we would still like you to take part.

Do I have to participate?
No. It is up to you to choose whether or not to take part. You are free to withdraw from the study before you submit your responses, simply close your browser before submitting and your responses will not be recorded.

What does participation involve?
You will be asked to complete an online questionnaire about how you feel about different parts of your identity and your current emotions. Some questions will be answered before reading a news article, then you will read the news article, then answer some more questions. Overall, the whole study should take approximately 10-15 minutes.

What are the possible benefits and risks of taking part?
This study aims to discover the effects of reading specific news articles on people’s emotions and attitudes. The potential articles you might read have been selected for this reason. Although it is not expected that people will feel upset or emotional when answering some questions, it is still possible. If you do feel upset, you can leave the study at any point. At the end of the study, contact details of support services are listed if you would like to talk to someone.

Will what I say in this study be kept confidential?
You will not be asked to provide your name or any identifiable details during this study, so all the information you give will be anonymous. Additionally, the online questionnaire software will not store your computer's IP address to ensure anonymity. Your responses will be securely stored on password-protected devices, identified with only a number rather than a name. It will not be possible to link any set of responses with any individual. Only the researcher and supervisor will have access to the data.

The data will be used for an MSc dissertation and may form part of a published article or conference/seminar paper. The data will be destroyed one year following award of the MSc degree, or (if the data is likely to be used for a publication or conference paper) it may be kept for a period of ten years after the completion of the research project. All email contact details and messages to/from you will be deleted upon project completion in September 2015.

If you would like a summary of the project’s findings, please email the researcher (using the above email address) after 9th October 2015.

Who is organising and funding the research?
The research is being conducted in part fulfilment of an MSc in Psychology at Oxford Brookes University.

Who has reviewed the study?
This study has been approved by the Department of Psychology Research Ethics Committee at Oxford Brookes University. If you have any concerns about the conduct of the research please contact the Psychology Research Ethics Officer, Morag MacLean, on

If you have any questions about taking part then please contact do not hesitate to contact me using the details at the top of the page. Thank you for taking the time to read this information.

Rachel Dunn

For the purposes of carrying out this Survey, the University uses the survey tools provided by Qualtrics with whom the University's Faculty of Health and Life Sciences holds an agreement.  There is always a certain element of risk of data loss when data is collected and processed in an internet environment.  This risk cannot be eliminated entirely and participants consenting to take part in the survey need to be aware of this risk. However, personal data will be minimised to the extent possible for the survey and the University believes that Qualtrics offers sufficient guarantees to keep the data secure while it is being processed. These security obligations are set out in the agreement between Qualtrics and the University.  

Further information about Qualtrics can be found on the following web site:

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