The Preference Project - Informed Consent
A. Introduction and Purpose of the study
You are being asked to participate in the Preference Project. Participation in this study is voluntary. The purpose of this consent form is to help you decide whether or not you want to be in this research study.
What is the purpose of this study?
The Preference Projects investigates how the genes in your body - both your own an the genes present in your microbes - affect your decision making. The study collects data on decision making patterns and social behavior and links it to data on participants' microbiome and the genome.
Who is running this study?
This project is being run by Christian Zuend at the University of Zurich, Switzerland.
Am I required to participate in this study?
No. Your participation in this study is voluntary.
Are there any alternatives?
Your alternative is not to join this study.
How long does this study last?
This is a survey-based study and takes about 15 minutes to complete.
Who can participate in this study?
Any adult (18 years or older) may enroll in this study. You are especially welcome if you have data from the American Gut or uBiome on OpenHumans.
B. Study Procedures
What will this study do?
You will be asked to authorize this study to (a) have access to your microbial and genetic data sources on Open Humans (b) be able to send you messages through Open Humans.
After that, we will invite you to complete an online survey that takes about 15 minutes.
Will this study collect samples or perform physical procedures?
No, participation in this study is performed through the internet.
Will you have access to my identity?
No. Our access to your genetic data and ability to send messages will be through a random identifier. This facilitates our protection of your privacy.
Will you share my private data?
Genetic data analysis will be done privately, and your individual genetic data will be kept private. We will share access to this data with other researchers only when they have agreed to keeping this data private and secure.
Aggregate survey data will be shared. We will only share individual survey responses for questions when the answers are extremely unlikely to reveal your identity.
Can I withdraw?
Yes, you may withdraw from this study at any time. If you withdraw, we will not send you messages through Open Humans.
Does it cost anything to participate? Will I receive compensation?
There are no costs to participate in this study. Participants are not paid and are not otherwise compensated for participation in this study.
What types of risks should I be aware of?
There is a small risk of privacy loss through this study. Your genetic data will be kept private and managed securely. In addition, to protect your privacy, we will not have your identity associated with your genetic data.
However, it is possible an unauthorized individual will gain access to your data. In addition it may theoretically be possible for someone to determine your identity from the genetic and survey data, even though we will not have your identity recorded. We believe the risk of this occurring to be quite low.
Other than that, the risks to your participation in this online study are those associated with basic computer tasks, including boredom, fatigue, or mild stress.
How will participating in this study benefit me?
Participation in this study does not entitle you to financial compensation or other direct benefits.
The main benefit to you is that you contribute to the advance of scientific knowledge. Also, after completion of the study you will be directed to a page that shows you the measures we collected on your decision patterns, how you compare to a representative sample of Americans, and some information why we selected these measures and what other studies have found out about them.
Plus, you get a shiny new badge!
E. Contact Information
How can I contact you to ask more questions?
Please contact the Principal Investigator (Christian Zuend) if you have any questions about this study and your part in it, if you believe you have had a research-related harmful event, or if you have any general questions, concerns, or complaints about this research.
- Christian L. Zuend (email): firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have questions about your rights as a research subject or if you have questions, concerns, or complaints about the research, you may contact:
- Human Subjects Committee
- Department of Economics, University of Zurich
- Telephone: +41 (0)44 634 37 01
F. Consent Statement
Consent Statement for the Preference Project
By selecting "Accept" on this form, I agree to the following statements:
- I have read this consent form. I have had a chance to ask questions, and my questions have been answered to my satisfaction. I understand that I can refuse to participate in this study. I have taken time to think carefully about my decision to participate. I freely consent to be in this research study.
- I am at least 18 years of age, and that any genetic and microbial data I share with this study through Open Humans is my own data.
- I voluntarily give my consent to participate in this study.