Page 1: Participation Information

Study Title: Are Personality and Self-esteem predictors of Internet Addiction?

Who is conducting the research?

The research is being conducted by Georgia Riley (Georgia.riley@go.edgehill.ac.uk), from the Department of Psychology at Edge Hill University as part of a third-year dissertation project under the supervision of Dr Helen Wall (Wallh@edgehill.ac.uk). Please do not hesitate to contact the researcher via email should you have any questions or require further information, please allow 3 working days to receive an answer.

What does the study involve?

The research project aims to investigate the relationship between self-esteem, personality and internet addiction. The topic of internet addiction is relatively new and is a growing concern; therefore, it is important to identify the factors associated with excessive internet use. In doing so, this project aims to fill a gap in current research. If you chose to participate you will be asked to complete three online questionnaires, the Internet Addiction Test, Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Scale and the International Personality Item Pool that will ask you about your personality, self-esteem and Internet use. Personality is measured in terms of extroversion, neuroticism, openness, conscientiousness and agreeableness, in line with the five-factor model of personality. This should take no longer than 30 minutes to complete. You will be asked to answer all the questions you feel comfortable to do so on a scale (1= rarely to 5= always), some questions may be of a sensitive nature such as: “How often do you prefer the excitement of the internet to intimacy with your partner?” and “I certainly feel useless at times”.  The debrief will provide support service contact details, should you feel the need to seek help. Participation in the research is not anticipated to cause you any disadvantages or discomfort. The potential physical and/or psychological harm or distress will be the same as any experienced in everyday life. Whilst there are no immediate benefits for those people participating in the project, it is hoped that this work will have a beneficial impact on the understanding of how self-esteem and personality are related to internet addiction.

What personal information will I be required to provide?

If you agree to take part, you will first be asked to sign a consent form saying you understand the information provided here. You will also be asked to give your name, age, gender, education level and marital status, for the purpose of identifying any relationships between demographic variables and internet addition. The experimental data will be stored for 10 years without any information that allows identifying individuals.  All information provided will be kept confidential and anonymous.  The data collected during the experiment will be stored on a password-protected computer.

What are my rights as a participant?

This research is being conducted in accordance with the British Psychological Society’s ethical guidelines, meaning you have a series of rights as a participant. All information you provide will be anonymous and treated with the strictest confidence. If you do decide to take part in this research you have the right to withdraw your data at any time up to a period of 2 weeks after you have completed this study. This can be done without reason and will not be questioned. If you wish to withdraw your data after participation, you can contact the researcher of whom contact information will be provided at the end of the study. You can stop the study at any time and can do this without penalty and without providing a reason. You will not be identifiable by name at any point, as you will be referred to by an anonymous identifier (e.g., Participant memorable word) in data files.

Thank you for your participation and time.

Much research in psychology depends on participation by individuals like yourself.  We are grateful for your help.  Also, please do not discuss this experiment with other potential participants.  If you are happy to participate, please read and tick the relevant box on the consent form to indicate that you are happy to proceed with the study.