Before you begin ...

About this survey

You are invited to take part in a study we are conducting at Durham University. This study has received ethical approval from the Department of Psychology Ethics Sub-committee of Durham University.

Before you decide to take part it is important for you to understand the purpose of the research and what is involved as a participant. Please read the following information carefully. Please get in contact if there is anything that is not clear or if you would like more information.

What is the purpose of the study?

The aim of this study is to investigate people’s social media usage. We are specifically interested in the extent they use social media, the motivations behind social media use, what emotions social media elicit and how their social media usage affects their life.

Why have I been invited to take part?

You have been invited because you meet our criteria as we are looking for participants who are/have:

For technical reasons, you should only take part if you can access visual information on the computer screen WITHOUT any special equipment, such as a speech interface or the “Accessibility Mode” of your operating system. 

Do I have to take part?

Your participation is voluntary and you do not have to agree to take part. If you do agree to take part, you can withdraw at any time by closing the browser window, without giving a reason. If you close the survey before the end all of your responses will be deleted.

What will happen to me if I take part?

If you agree to take part you will be given a link to an online questionnaire. This questionnaire will ask you a series of questions related to your social media usage. This will include questions related to your frequency of social media use but also questions related to how social media affects your everyday life and your feelings. You can omit any questions that you do not wish to answer. After answering these questions, you will then complete a short experiment that measures your reactions to social media logos and other pictures. We expect that the survey will take you around 30 minutes to complete. If you are a psychology student from Durham University you will be given 0.5 participant pool credits for your time.

Are there any potential risks involved?

We do not expect that this study has any risk or will cause you discomfort. There is the potential that some questions will involve mildly distressing topics such as reporting emotional states and frequency of social media use. However, all questions are optional, and participants can withdraw from the study at any point without giving reason.

Will my data be kept confidential?

The data you provide is fully anonymous and we will not collect or ask you to provide any identifiable data. All data will be stored in password-protected files. We have no way of linking responses back to an individual and the IP address from which the survey is completed will not be stored. This also means that when you have completed the survey it will not be possible to remove your data. Anonymised data may be archived and shared with others for legitimate research purposes.

What will happen to the results of the project?

Anonymised data will be analysed and may be used in publications, reports, presentations and other research outputs by the researcher. All research data and records needed to validate the research findings will be stored for 10 years after the end of the project.

Contact information

Information about this study:

Researcher: Michael Wadsley (

Supervisor: Dr Niklas Ihssen (

Department: Psychology Department, Durham University

If you have any further questions or concerns about this study, please contact the researchers. If you wish to make a formal complaint about this study please submit a complaint via Durham University's Complaints Process (

Thank you for reading this information and considering taking part in this study. If you would like to take part please complete the consent agreement on the following screen to confirm that you understand what the purposes of the project are, what is involved and that you are happy to take part. 

Contact email:

Important technical requirements for your computer

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For this study, you need to have a real keyboard.

Important data protection information

When you start, this survey will store your answers and browser information on the PsyToolkit server. The responsibility for this survey rests entirely with the researcher(s) listed above. Click here if you do not want to participate now.