Information for Participant

1. Study title and researcher details

Shame, Guilt, and Identity: A test of Higgins’ self-discrepancy theory

Researcher Details:

Name: Clemens Hedley
Course: PGT Psychological Science (Conv.) (MSc)

2. Research Invitation

My name is Clemens Hedley and I am a MSc Psychological Science student at the University of Glasgow. I would like to invite you to take part in a research study. Before you decide to take part, it is important for you to understand why the research is being done and what it will involve. Please take time to read the following information carefully and feel free to contact me if there is anything that is not clear or if you would like more information. Take your time to make a decision on whether or not you wish to participate. Thank you for your interest in my study.

3. What is the purpose of the study?

The aim of this research is to gain insight into the relationship between aspects of human identity and the experiences of shame and guilt. Results will help to evaluate self-discrepancy theory (Higgins, 1987), which proposes that specific negative emotional states are related to certain imbalances within the self. The findings can potentially help inform and develop clinical interventions and strategies.

4. Why have I been chosen?

You have been chosen to participate in this study as you are 18 years of age or older and have a sufficient understanding of the English language.

5. What is involved if I agree to take part?

This study requires you to fill out an online survey which will approximately take 10-15 minutes. After providing basic demographic information, you will be asked to complete a number of questions about different aspects of your identity as well as addressing past experiences of shame and of guilt. After completing the survey, you will be directed to a final page which contains debriefing information.

6. What will happen with the results of the study?

The generated data will be statistically analysed and interpreted within their scientific context by the researcher. In the final report (dissertation), there will be no reference to any individual responses but only to the overall data.

7. Do I have to participate? Are there any risks in participating in this study?

Your participation in the following study is entirely optional and you may withdraw from the study at any point without requiring a reason. The topics addressed in this study are sensitive in nature and may potentially lead to emotional disturbance. You can choose not to answer any part of this study. If you require further help or assistance, a list of resources and professional contacts are listed at the end of the study.

8. Is my information confidential and protected?

Any information that you provide will be completely anonymous and only group data trends will be included in the final report. All data will be stored securely and processed using password-protected systems. This data will be stored securely for ten years in line with University of Glasgow regulations.

9. Who is organising this research?

This research is conducted as part of my MSc dissertation. My dissertation supervisor is Dr Margaret Martin (contact details below). The study has been granted ethical approval by the University of Glasgow College of Science and Engineering Ethics Committee.

10. Who can I contact for further information?

If you have any concerns regarding participation in this study, or if you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact myself or my dissertation supervisor.

Researcher: Clemens Hedley – e-mail:

Supervisor: Dr Margaret Martin – e-mail:

Institution: School of Psychology, Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology, College of Science and Engineering, University of Glasgow

Many thanks for taking the time to read this information section and for your interest in this study.

By clicking on the below tab “Online Survey”, you confirm you have read and understood all the above information, had the opportunity to ask questions using the contact details provided and therefore, consent to participating in the present study.

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