Home > Publications . Search All . Browse All . Country . Browse PSC Pubs . PSC Report Series

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Bloomberg cites MTF data in story on CDC's anti-smoking ads for e-cigarettes

Bound says notion that foreign students are displacing U.S. students "isn't right"

Prescott says online option for access to court system can help equalize justice

Highlights

U-M ranked #1 in Sociology of Population by USN&WR's "Best Graduate Schools"

PAA 2015 Annual Meeting: Preliminary program and list of UM participants

ISR addition wins LEED Gold Certification

PSC Fall 2014 Newsletter now available

Next Brown Bag

Mon, March 23
Lundberg, State Care of the Elderly & Labor Supply of Adult Children

Eleanor Singer photo

Communicating disclosure risk in informed consent statements

Publication Abstract

Singer, Eleanor, and Mick P. Couper. 2010. "Communicating disclosure risk in informed consent statements." Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics, 5(3): 1-8.

For several years, we have experimented with various ways of communicating disclosure risk and harm to respondents in order to determine how these affect their willingness to participate in surveys. These experiments, which used vignettes administered to an online panel as well as a mail survey sent to a national probability sample, have demonstrated that (a) the probability of disclosure alone has no apparent effect on people's willingness to participate in the survey described, (b) the sensitivity of the survey topic has such an effect, and (c) making explicit the possible harms that might result from disclosure also reduces willingness to participate, in both the vignette and the mail experiments. As a last study in this series, we experimented with different ways of describing disclosure risk in informed consent statements that might more plausibly be used in real surveys, again using vignettes administered to an online panel. As suggested by our earlier work, we found that the precise wording of the confidentiality assurance had little effect on respondents' stated willingness to participate in the hypothetical survey described. However, the experimental manipulations did have some effect on perceptions of the risks and benefits of participation, suggesting that they are processed by respondents. And, as we have found in our previous studies, the topic of the survey has a consistent and statistically significant effect on stated willingness to participate. We explore some implications of these findings for researchers seeking to provide adequate information to potential survey respondents without alarming them unnecessarily.

DOI:10.1525/jer.2010.5.3.1 (Full Text)

PMCID: PMC3159151. (Pub Med Central)

Country of focus: United States of America.

Browse | Search : All Pubs | Next