2008 Elections
Introduction and Consent



New York University

A private university in the public service

Faculty of Arts and Science
Department of Psychology
6 Washington Place, Room 568
New York, NY 10003
Telephone: (212) 998-7808
Facsimile: (212) 995-4018

Consent Form

You have been invited to take part in an academic research study to learn more about the psychological bases of political attitudes and voting behavior. This study is headed by Professor Yaacov Trope, Department of Psychology, and conducted by Daniel Prendergast, a graduate student in the Department of Psychology.

This survey is being conducted for academic purposes ONLY - we will not attempt to sell you anything, make a profit, or promote any sort of political agenda. You do not need to be an American citizen or resident to participate. The purpose of this research is to enhance general knowledge about political choices, opinions, and behavior so as to inform voters and researchers about the nature of the decision-making processes involved in the vote. The survey is not aimed at changing your opinions in any way. This research is not being funded by any interest group or any of the candidates or parties - rather, funding comes from a National Science Foundation grant.

If you agree to be in this study, you will be asked to do the following:

1) Complete a questionnaire about your background (age, gender, education, etc.)
2) Report your opinions on various political and social issues and rate how important those issues are to you
3) Evaluate the Presidential candidates (Obama and McCain) on a number of traits and positions

We are interested in learning about your opinions throughout the course of the election, so we also ask you to participate in three bimonthly follow-up surveys that will be shorter but similar in content to the one you are about to complete. You are not required to do the follow-up surveys if you complete this survey, but we encourage you to do so.

Participation in the first session of this study will involve 15-20 minutes of your time. If you agree to participate in the follow-up surveys, each will take an additional 15 minutes. The total time for participation in all four biweekly survey sessions will not exceed an hour.

If you agree to participate in the follow-up, we will ask you to provide your email address in order to contact you about the follow-up in the next two weeks.

We will not share your email address with any third parties, and it will be stored confidentially in a password-protected file. You will not be placed on any mailing list. Your email address will only be used to send you a reminder to complete up to 3 follow-ups for this research study in the weeks before the 2008 Presidential Election. The file containing the email addresses will be deleted after Election Day. Your email can be removed from our database at your request at any time.

If you choose to provide your contact information (your email address), you will entered into a random drawing for 2 prizes of $100 for participating in the survey; if you withdraw before the end of the study, you will not be entered into the drawing. You will be entered into new drawing for $100 each time you complete a follow-up survey (up to four times total).

There are no known risks associated with your participation in this research beyond those of everyday life. Although you will receive no direct benefits, this research will help researchers understand the information people use to formulate evaluations of political leaders.

Confidentiality of your research records will be strictly maintained by assigning random code numbers to your responses so that the data is never directly linked to your email address.

Participation in this study is voluntary. You may refuse to participate or withdraw at any time without penalty. Although we encourage you to answer completely and thoroughly, you have the right to skip or not answer any questions you prefer not to answer. If you are a student, non-participation or withdrawal will not affect your grades or academic standing.

If there is anything about the study or your participation that is unclear or that you do not understand, if you have questions or wish to report a research-related problem, you may contact Daniel Prendergast, at election.psychology@nyu.edu, 6 Washington Place, 5th Floor, New York, NY 1003 or Professor Yaacov Trope, Yaacov.trope@nyu.edu, 6 Washington Place, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10003.

For questions about your rights as a research participant, you may contact the University Committee on Activities Involving Human Subjects (UCAIHS), 15 Washington Place, #1-A, New York, New York, 10003, at (212) 998-4808 or human.subjects@nyu.edu.

By clicking the Continue button, I indicate that I agree to participate in the study described above.