Plain language statement

PROJECT TITLE: The Semantic Extension and Intension of Abstract and Concrete Concepts.

Responsible researcher: Dr Simon De Deyne ([email protected], Tel: ++61 431019869
Co-investigator: Mr John Chen Tze Jet (4th year student); Email: [email protected], Tel: +61 433903072


Thank you for your interest in participating in this research project. The following few pages will provide you with further information about the project, so that you can decide if you would like to take part in this research. Please take the time to read this information carefully. You may ask questions about anything you don’t understand or want to know more about. Your participation is voluntary. If you don’t wish to take part, you don’t have to. If you begin participating, you can also stop at any time without any adverse consequences.

What is this research about?

The goal of this study is to investigate what semantic factors contribute to the meaning of words that describe members of common categories such as fruits, colours, or professions.

What will I be asked to do?

Should you agree to participate, you will be asked to answer some demographic questions and undertake a task where you will be asked to rate the extent to which various descriptions apply to a list of items given to you (e.g., to what extent do you feel that the descriptor “cute” applies to dogs compared to other animals). Your responses will comprise the data for this experiment. The estimated time commitment for the task is 1.5 hour.

What are the possible benefits?

This experiment can help us better understand how individual differences in preferences determine the meaning of words and the structure of our semantic categories. As part of the REP program, you will receive 1.5 course credits in the subject Mind, Brain and Behaviour 2 (PSYC10004, PSYCH10007).

What are the possible risks?

Besides the time investment to participate in the study, there are minimal risks. The words presented will all be common and non-offensive English words.

What will happen to information about me?

We will protect your confidentiality to the fullest extent, subject to limits of the law. Your consent form will be kept separate from your data. The data will be identified by participant ID only and will not contain your name. Only the researchers involved in this study will be able to link your data to your name. Data from this study will be stored under password protection and made available only to the researchers listed at the top of the Plain Language Statement. The data will be stored in de-identified form at the University of Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences archive indefinitely. Later on, the data may also be made available online to other researchers working in this area, again in de-identified form.

Do I have to take part?

No. Participation is completely voluntary. You can withdraw at any time without penalty. Your data will not be used in the experiment if you do not complete the task.

Will I hear about the results of this project?

The results of this research may be published in conference presentations and/or research papers which will be made available through the personal webpages of some of the researchers listed at the top of this Plain Language Statement.

Where can I get further information?

If you would like more information about the project, please contact the researchers; Dr Simon De Deyne ([email protected]) or Mr John Chen Tze Jet ([email protected]).

Who can I contact if I have any concerns about the project?

This research project (ethics ID: 24328) 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, Research Ethics and Integrity, University of Melbourne, VIC 3010. Tel: +61 3 8344 2073 or Email: [email protected] All complaints will be treated confidentially. In any correspondence please provide the name of the research team or the name or ethics ID number of the research project.

Consent to participate in study

I confirm and that I have are read and acknowledge that

  • I understand that my participation in this project is for research purposes only. In this project I will be required to answer some demographic questions and undertake a test where I evaluate features of various concrete and abstract concepts. This will take approximately 1.5 hour to complete.
  • I understand that my participation in this project is for research purposes only.
  • I acknowledge that the possible effects of participating in this research project have been explained to my satisfaction, and I understand the risks are minimal.
  • I understand that my participation is voluntary and that I am free to withdraw from this project anytime without explanation or prejudice and to withdraw any unprocessed data that I have provided.
  • My participation is voluntary: I am free to withdraw from this study anytime without explanation or prejudice and to withdraw any unprocessed data that I have provided.
  • I understand that the data from this research will be stored at the University of Melbourne indefinitely in a de-identified form, and may eventually be uploaded to online repositories such as the Open Science Framework (OSF) or GitHub. I understand that I may request access to my data by contacting the researchers.
  • I have been informed that the confidentiality of the information I provide will be safeguarded subject to any legal requirements; my data will be password protected and accessible only by the named researchers.

Click "Proceed" to voluntarily consent to the above and participate in this study.