Participant Information Sheet

My name is Mark Danton. I am a psychology MSc student at University of Glasgow. I wish to invite you to participate in a research study. This information sheet outlines the nature of the study and your involvement should you wish to contribute. Please ask me by email anything you want clarified (my contact details are at the bottom). Thank-you very much for taking the time to read and consider this.

Study title and Researchers Details

Does our level of empathy influence how we evaluate emotions of others through their facial expressions?

Mark Danton MSc Student, Department of Psychology, University of Glasgow

Prof Lisa DeBruine, Institute of neuroscience and psychology, University of Glasgow

Participant Invitation

You are being invited to participate in a research study. Before getting involved it is important that you understand why the research is being conducted and what is involved. Therefore please take time to read and understand the following information carefully. If there is anything you’re are unsure of, or would like further information on, please contact myself ( If you decide to participate you shall be given a copy of the information sheet and consent form to keep.

What is the purpose of the study?

People vary on how empathetic they are, i.e. how much they consider the other person when making decisions. Empathetic people may be better than less empathetic people in judging faces and assessing emotional expression in other people. The purpose of the study is to test this point-of-view. Does empathy have any influence when it comes to evaluating other people’s faces for emotional expression

Why have you been chosen?

You have been chosen to participate as you are citizen of the Glasgow community. We are keen to recruit a wide variety of participants from the local area. Participants should be older that 16 years and have adequate English comprehension; there are no other inclusion or exclusion criteria.

What you will do during the study

In this study you will be asked to complete a short 33 statement questionnaire on your capacity for emotional empathy. The questionnaire is standard and has been used in many similar empathy related research projects. Following that you will be asked to view 60 face photographs and for each face you will be asked to identify the emotion expressed, grade how intense the emotion and grade how threatening the facial expression is.

The study will last approximately 20-30 minutes. The study will be performed online.

Is there any risk to taking part in the study

Participants can feel uncomfortable about disclosing personal information and completing a questionnaire about aspects of their personality including empathy. Participants might consider it desirable to have a high empathy quotient, and thus be apprehensive about having their personal empathy assessed. However, participants should recognise that there is no ideal empathy level, and people who have low empathy may have certain advantages over high-empathy individuals for example superior logical/ethical decision-making.

Is there any advantage to taking part in the study

You will receive no direct benefit from participating in the study. You may find the process interesting particularly if you are interested in psychology. The results from the study will give us a better understanding of our individual capacity to ‘read’ and evaluate faces and how our level of empathy may influence that

Do I have to take part?

You do not have to participate. Your involvement in the study is entirely your decision. And you are free to withdraw at any time, without providing reason or explanation.

Will my taking part in this study be kept confidential?

Yes. All your information and test results will be kept strictly confidential. You will be identified by a unique ID number. Any data in paper form will be stored in locked cabinets in rooms with restricted access at the University of Glasgow. All data in electronic format will be stored on secure password–protected computers. No one outside of the research team or appropriate governance staff will be able to find out your name, or any other information which could identify you. All study data will be held in accordance with The General Data Protection Regulation (2018), and the study ethics will fully comply with British Psychological Society guidance

What will happen to the results of the research study?

Your results are being used for a MSc Student dissertation project. The results will be analysed and written up into a scientific article and submitted as a MSc dissertation project. It is possible that the results may be published in a scientific/psychological journal. The results of the study will be made available to the participants from the principle investigator Mark Danton

Who can I contact if I want more information?

If you wish any information about the study and/or summary of the anonymised group results please feel free to contact Mark Danton at

Thank-you for reading the information sheet and considering taking part in the study

Version 1, 31st/Oct/2019

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