Freshmen Adjustment Study
This research study is being conducted by the Social Media Lab at Northwestern University. We are currently looking for Northwestern University freshmen to participate in this study during the 2014-2015 academic year.
Can I participate?
Absolutely! Well, as long as you say yes to ALL of the following questions:
- Are you currently a freshman at Northwestern University?
- Do you currently live on campus?
- Are you at least 18 years old?
- Do you have and use an Android Smartphone? (No, an iPhone will not work.)
- Did you grow up in the United States?
- And, is English your native language?
If you said yes to all of those requirements, we’d
love to have you participate in the study.
You can get started right now by
filling out the Pre-Study
The Pre-Study Survey is now closed. If you meet all of the above requirements and are interested in participating, email AndroidStudy@u.northwestern.edu.
What does participating involve?
If you agree to participate, you will be asked to complete eight parts of this study:
- Pre-Study Survey: First, you will be asked to fill out an online survey, which will take approximately 30 minutes to complete.
- Android App: Next, you will be asked to install the study Android App on your phone. Installing and logging into the app will take you approximately 15 minutes. And once you have logged into the app, it will run in the background and you can continue to use your phone as normal.
- Fall Study Period + Survey: The app will record some* of your communication during one week of the Fall Quarter. Then you will be asked to fill out an online survey, which will take approximately 30 minutes to complete.
- Fall Follow-Up Interview: You will be asked to come to our lab to participate in a one-hour interview to follow-up on the Fall Survey.
- Winter Study Period + Survey: The app will again record some* of your communication during one week of the Winter Quarter and you will be asked to fill out another 30 minute online survey.
- Winter Follow-Up Interview: You will be asked to come to our lab to participate in a one-hour interview to follow-up on the Winter Survey.
- Spring Study Period + Survey: The app will once more record some* of your communication during one week of the Spring Quarter. Then you will be asked to fill out an online survey and uninstall the app, which will take approximately 45 minutes to complete.
- Spring Follow-Up Interview: You will be asked to come to our lab to participate in a one-hour interview to follow-up on the Spring Survey.
Completing all eight parts of the study will take you approximately 5.5 hours, between now and the end of the Spring 2015 quarter. All data collected will be kept private and secure, see the privacy section for more information.
*For more details on which communication data will be collected, see the data collection section below.
Did you mention gift certificates?
Yes, you will receive Amazon.com gift certificates for each part of the study you complete:
- $5.00 after you complete this pre-study survey.
- $5.00 after you install the app on your phone.
- $10.00 after you complete the fall quarter survey.
- $15.00 after you complete the fall quarter interview.
- $15.00 after you complete the winter quarter survey.
- $20.00 after you complete the winter quarter interview.
- $20.00 after you complete the spring quarter survey.
- $25.00 after you complete the spring quarter interview.
If you complete the entire study, you will receive gift certificates worth a total of $115! Each gift certificate will be emailed to the email address you provide at the end of the pre-study survey and will be sent within one week of when you finish that part of the study. If you would prefer to receive cash, please email us your request and you can pick up your cash payments in our lab.
If you complete all four surveys, you will also be entered into a raffle for the chance to win an extra $75 gift certificate. You will earn additional raffle entries for each interview you complete. At least three gift certificates worth $75 each will be raffled on May 30, 2015. Your chances of winning will be approximately one in five, depending on the exact number of participants who complete the study and how many interviews you complete.
If you participate in this study, we will anonymously store all of your survey responses as well as information collected by the study app. The app will only collect data during the three one-week data collection periods. When active, it will collect information about all of your phone calls, text messages, and Facebook messages, including when you communicated, whom you communicated with, and what you communicated (text only, no audio will be recorded). Phone numbers, names, and email addresses will be automatically removed or encrypted to keep your data anonymous.
Your name and contact information will never be stored with your data or published. We will temporarily record that information so that we can send you gift certificates and reminders throughout the study. However, all identifying information will be stored separately from the rest of your data and will be permanently deleted from our databases at the end of the study. All of the data we collect will be stored securely in our private databases and will only be accessed by the researchers.
During interviews we will record audio, video, and the computer screen so that we can remember what was discussed. These recordings will be used to create anonymous interview transcripts which will be used for our data analysis. You may ask to have the recording stopped if there is anything you would not like to be recorded.
At the end of the Fall, Winter, and Spring surveys you will be able to see all of your communication data that we have collected and delete anything you want. You may also email us at AndroidStudy@u.northwestern.edu to withdraw from the study and request that your data be deleted or if you have questions about your data.
I have more questions, who should I contact?
This study is being conducted by doctoral student Madeline Smith. The person in charge of this study is Professor Jeremy Birnholtz who directs the Social Media Lab at Northwestern University. If you have any questions about the study, please email us at AndroidStudy@u.northwestern.edu.
Any questions about your rights as a research participant may be directed to the Institutional Review Board (IRB) Office of Northwestern University at (312) 503-9338.
Communication & College Adjustment Study, IRB # STU00093086