Consent Form

Northwestern University
Department of Psychology
Project Title: An Internet Study of the Basic Dimensions of Personality
Principal Investigator: William Revelle
Co-Investigator: David M. Condon

Introduction/Purpose:
You are being asked to participate in a research study of the basic dimensions of personality. The purpose of this study is to examine the correlational structure of items similar to those used in many personality inventories. In addition, by allowing the public to participate in this web-based inventory we hope to increase public knowledge about science based models of personality. This inventory will compare your answers to those of others and give you an estimate of your level on each of several broad personality domains. These represent personality domains associated with aspects of power, love, work, affect and intellect and are frequently labeled Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Emotional Stability, Honesty/Humility and Openness. These domains represent normal differences in personality that are probably known by your friends and colleagues. This inventory will not reveal any secret information about you, nor will it assess any serious psychological problems. The report is designed to be objective, not necessarily pleasing or flattering. Because we are using a limited number of items, sampled from a broad pool of items, your scores will be sensitive to errors of measurement and will not necessarily agree with measures of the same traits using other items. If people who know you well disagree with the results of this inventory, then the inventory results are probably wrong. If you answer the items carelessly or intentionally try to distort the results, then the results will be incorrect.

For more information about personality theory and research, please consult the Personality Project. Other online tests are discussed there, as well as links to reviews of current literature in personality assessment.

Procedures:
As a participant in this study, you will be asked to indicate your level of agreement to about 100 statements. Most of these statements are taken from the International Personality Item Pool. Some exploratory items are taken from other sources. The study will take about 20 minutes to complete, although you might finish it in less time or you might take more time. The questions are not timed and you may take as long as you want on every item. You do not need to answer every item, but the results will be less accurate if you skip items. If at any time, you decide to stop, you are welcome to do so. When you submit your answers, you will be given a page that shows the best interpretation of your responses and how your results compare to others. The report generated from your participation is designed to produce estimates that are as accurate as possible, but not necessarily flattering. Again, if knowledgeable acquaintances disagree with the results of this survey, then the survey's results are probably inaccurate.

Risks:
Your participation in this study does not involve any physical risk to you.

Benefits:
You may find answering these personality items interesting and informative. The personality descriptions given to you will be based upon your answers and may prove to help you understand where you stand on each of several personality dimensions.

Your participation in this study may aid in our understanding of the measurement and structure of personality.

Alternatives:
You have the alternative to choose not to participate in this research study.

Confidentiality:
Your results are anonymous. We are not asking nor recording your name. Results of this study may be used for teaching, research, publications, or presentations at scientific meetings. If your individual results are discussed, your identity will be protected because we will not know who you are.

Financial Information:
You will not be charged for any study-related procedures. You will not be paid for your participation in this study.

Subject's Rights:
Your participation in this study is voluntary and you are free to withdraw at any time.

Contact Persons:
Any questions you may have about this study may be directed to William Revelle (revelle@northwestern.edu) or David M. Condon (david-condon@northwestern.edu). Questions about your rights as a research subject may be directed to the Office for the Protection of Research Subjects of Northwestern University, (312) 503-9338.