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Psychological Aspects of Visualisation - Part 1

Study Title: Psychological Aspects of Visualisation

Researcher: Monica Sood

ERGO number: 52944                                     

You are being invited to take part in the above research study. To help you decide whether you would like to take part or not, it is important that you understand why the research is being done and what it will involve. Please read the information below carefully and ask questions if anything is not clear or you would like more information before you decide to take part in this research.  You may like to discuss it with others but it is up to you to decide whether or not to take part. If you are happy to participate you will be asked to give your consent by checking the tick box at the end of this form.


What is the research about?

I am a PhD researcher conducting this research as part of my degree at the University of Southampton. This study aims to explore specific psychological aspects of visualisation.


Why have I been asked to participate?

You have been chosen because you are aged 18 or above. This study uses a self-selected sample (i.e., your participation is voluntary) and aims to recruit 400 participants.


What will happen to me if I take part?

This study has two parts:

Part 1:

Having provided your consent using the tick-box below, you will first be asked to provide your email address - this information is needed to allocate credits (if you are a student at the UoS), contact you about later parts of the study, and match your data to later parts of the study (where applicable). After, you will complete a brief demographic questionnaire followed by a brief online screening questionnaire to determine if you fit the criteria to participate in the following parts of the study. You will also be asked to complete a questionnaire regarding your general mood and thoughts. Part 1 will take approximately 5-10 minutes to complete and you will receive 1 research credit upon completion. If you are not eligible for Part 2, you will be thanked for your participation and debriefed via email.

Part 2:

If you are eligible for Part 2, after 7-14 days of completing Part 1, you will be invited (via email) to complete the rest of the study. You may be contacted up to three times to complete Part 2 if need be. Part 2 will be completed on a computer. The first part of the study will first ask for your email address (this is required to match your data to your screening and demographic data) and you will be asked to complete a brief visualisation task followed by a series of questionnaires measuring different aspects of your mood, thoughts, and behaviours. You will then listen to a brief audio tape (5 minutes), after which you will complete another series of brief questionnaires about your mood, thoughts, and behaviours, whilst holding a specific image in mind.  Finally, you will complete another brief visualisation task and a brief mood repair task to reduce distress (if any) and, having completed the entire study, you will be debriefed. Part 2 will take approximately 20 minutes to complete.

The entire study should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.  


Are there any benefits in my taking part?

Student participants at the UoS will receive 1 course credit upon completion of the initial screening, and 5 further course credits for on completion of Part 2 (if eligible). This research will increase current knowledge regarding the psychological processes involved in visualisation.


Are there any risks involved?

There are no major risks in this study; however, it is possible that you may experience transient discomfort. If you feel unable to continue your participation, please be ensured that you are free to withdraw at any time. Please note that you will receive credits only upon full completion of Part 2; as such, if you withdraw before or during Part 2, you will not be entitled to research credits.


If you do feel discomfort at any point during the study, I advise you to visit any of the following websites:

Alternatively, I advise you to contact your GP for support.


What data will be collected?

This study will collect electronic data which you will provide when completing the online questionnaires. Personal data (i.e., age, gender, and ethnicity) will be collected and used only to answer specific questions related to the research and to provide a description of the sample of the study in the write-up.

All data, including personal data and email addresses, will be accessible only to the research team and stored on a password-protected computer.


Will my participation be confidential?

Your participation and the information we collect about you during the course of the research will be kept strictly confidential. The electronic data you provide will be stored on a password-protected computer which only the research team can access. Personally identifying information will be stored in a separate folder to the research data, on a password-protected computer.

Only members of the research team (i.e., myself and my supervisors) and responsible members of the University of Southampton may be given access to your data for monitoring purposes and/or to carry out an audit of the study to ensure that the research is complying with applicable regulations. Individuals from regulatory authorities (people who check that we are carrying out the study correctly) may require access to your data. All of these people have a duty to keep your information, as a research participant, strictly confidential.


Do I have to take part?

No, it is entirely up to you to decide whether or not to take part. If you decide you want to take part, you will need to check the tick-box below to show that you have agreed to participate.


What happens if I change my mind?

You have the right to change your mind and withdraw at any time without giving a reason. If you withdraw from the study, you will not be entitled to the 5 credits for Part 2, and we will keep the information about you that we have already obtained for the purposes of achieving the objectives of the study only.


What will happen to the results of the research?

Your personal details will remain strictly confidential. Research findings made available in any reports or publications will not include information that can directly identify you. If you would like a copy of the results, please contact the researcher (details below).


Where can I get more information?

If you have any further questions regarding this study, please contact me at


What happens if there is a problem?

If you have a concern about any aspect of this study, you should speak to the researchers who will do their best to answer your questions.

Research team contact details:

If you remain unhappy or have a complaint about any aspect of this study, please contact the University of Southampton Research Integrity and Governance Manager (023 8059 5058,


Data Protection Privacy Notice

The University of Southampton conducts research to the highest standards of research integrity. As a publicly-funded organisation, the University has to ensure that it is in the public interest when we use personally-identifiable information about people who have agreed to take part in research.  This means that when you agree to take part in a research study, we will use information about you in the ways needed, and for the purposes specified, to conduct and complete the research project. Under data protection law, ‘Personal data’ means any information that relates to and is capable of identifying a living individual. The University’s data protection policy governing the use of personal data by the University can be found on its website (

This Participant Information Sheet tells you what data will be collected for this project and whether this includes any personal data. Please ask the research team if you have any questions or are unclear what data is being collected about you.

Our privacy notice for research participants provides more information on how the University of Southampton collects and uses your personal data when you take part in one of our research projects and can be found at

Any personal data we collect in this study will be used only for the purposes of carrying out our research and will be handled according to the University’s policies in line with data protection law. If any personal data is used from which you can be identified directly, it will not be disclosed to anyone else without your consent unless the University of Southampton is required by law to disclose it.

Data protection law requires us to have a valid legal reason (‘lawful basis’) to process and use your Personal data. The lawful basis for processing personal information in this research study is for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest. Personal data collected for research will not be used for any other purpose.

For the purposes of data protection law, the University of Southampton is the ‘Data Controller’ for this study, which means that we are responsible for looking after your information and using it properly. The University of Southampton will keep identifiable information about you for 10 years after the study has finished after which time any link between you and your information will be removed.


Thank you for taking the time to read this information and considering taking part in this research.