Plain language statement

PROJECT TITLE: Multilingual word meaning

Responsible researcher: Dr. Simon De Deyne ([email protected], Tel: +61 (0)3 8344 400)
Co-investigator: Dr. Meredith McKague ([email protected]) Ms. Meghna Kadalbajoo (Honours student)


This project investigates how language determines cross-cultural differences in the meanings assigned to concepts. Participation in this study is completely anonymous, and anyone who is a native English or Chinese speaker is welcome to contribute.

What will I be asked to do?

You will first be asked to answer basic demographic questions (age, gender, education, language, and location), followed by a short language background survey, vocabulary test, and personality survey. The main task consists of a judging how similar the meaning of words is. You will see a cue word followed by several options and will be asked to select the three words you think are most related to this cue word. All tasks are completed online, and sessions can be saved and resumed at another time. Together, the tasks will take around 2 hours to complete.

What are the risks?

I understand that there no anticipated risks involved in participating in this research project. The survey is estimated to take one and a half hours in front of a computer screen.

What are the benefits?

You will be rewarded with one REP credit for each hour of the study, totaling 2 credits when rounded up to the nearest hour. In the process you will have the benefit of participating in psychological research and learning about how research is conducted. The outcomes of this study will be used to address questions about the way humans understand the meaning of words, and may contribute to conference presentations and journal articles. The processed data (deidentified) will be made available to other researchers interested in studying word meaning either as supplemental materials of journal articles or as a downloadable file available on our website ( studies/).

How would my confidentiality be protected?

The confidentiality of your data is protected subject to legal limitations. We will not ask you any personal identifying information. We will ask you location information, from which we will derive the city and region. You are free to choose whether you agree to share this information. This allows us to consider the effects of local language differences. We also ask some demographic (age, gender, education, native language) and basic personality information. None of this information would allow us to identify any one person.

What if I want to withdraw from the Research?

Participation in this research is completely voluntary. You are free to withdraw at any time and to withdraw any unprocessed data previously supplied. This would have no effect on your relationship with any person, since nobody will know whether you took part or not.

Where can I get further information?

If you have not understood any of this information please contact any of the researchers listed above. This research project has been approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee of The University of Melbourne. If you have any concerns or complaints about the conduct of this research project which you do not wish to discuss with the research team, you should contact the Manager, Human Research Ethics, Office for Research Ethics and Integrity, University of Melbourne, VIC 3010. Tel: +61 3 8344 2073 or Fax: +61 3 9347 6739 or email [email protected] For correspondence please provide the name of the research team or the name or ethics ID number (HREC ID 1954635.1).

Consent to participate in study

I consent to participate in this project. The purpose of this research is to investigate how culturally specific aspects of meaning can be derived from different types of words. I understand that this project is for research purpose, funded by the Australian Research Council (DE140101749).
In this project you will be required to answer a few demographic questions, a few questions about your language background, vocabulary, and personality and then answer questions about how related words are in terms of their meaning. The details of this have been explained in the plain language statement shown above.
I understand that there no anticipated risks involved in participating in this research project. The survey is estimated to take one and a half hours in front of a computer screen.
My participation is voluntary, and I am free to withdraw from the project at any time without explanation or prejudice and to withdraw any unprocessed data I have provided. Withdrawing from the project will not affect my relationship with the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences. Specifically, it will not affect any ongoing assessment/grades or treatment that I would otherwise be eligible for.

I will only be compensated for my time upon completing the study. Checks will be performed to verify whether the responses are given are reasonable. I accept that approval for compensation is subject on these checks.

I have been informed that the data from this research will be stored at the University of Melbourne and will only be accessible by the named researchers on this page. Raw data will only be stored on a secure American server. Upon completion of the study, a summary of these data will be made available at the Computational Cognitive Science webpage. I have been informed that the confidentiality of the information I provide will be safeguarded subject to any legal requirements. My data will be protected, anonymous and not linked to any personal information at any time. My email will be used to assign credit upon completion.

By clicking “Proceed”, I confirm that I have read and understood the explanations and I voluntarily consent to participate in this study.