Play your part in research
A little bit about us and our research:

You are being invited to take part in our research project: Earworms in everyday life. Before you decide, 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 discuss it with others if you wish. Please send an email if there is anything that is not clear or if you would like more information. Take time to decide whether or not you wish to take part (you can come back to this screen and read this information sheet again if you wish). Thank you for reading this.

What is the purpose of this study
This study investigates involuntary musical imagery (‘INMI’) in everyday life situations. INMI is the technical term used to describe the music that comes into your head without you having recalled it consciously (it means the same as the word ‘earworm’). INMI may take many forms: it may be playing in the back of your mind, it may be intrusive, it may be pleasant, it may be looping, etc. Whatever the shape or form of your INMI, we would like to know about it, with as much detail as you would like to share. For the purposes of this research, we are inviting you to record your experience of INMI when it happens, and report in on our after-concert questionnaire. 

Why have I been chosen
You have been chosen as you are a member of the Bridgewater Hall audience, and the Hall are our partner in this research. You do not need to be an expert in anything, nor do you need to have a musical background. All opinions and experiences are welcome and very valuable to our research, as we are looking to record all possible experiences of INMI.

Do I have to take part
No-- it is up to you to decide if you want to take part in my project or not. If you don’t want to take part, or you change your mind about taking part, having agreed to do so, you won’t be penalized in any way. If you do decide to take part you will be asked to give your consent before you provide any responses. You are free to withdraw at any time, without giving any reason.


What will I be asked to do?
You will be asked to complete three questionnaires: one before the concert you are about to watch, one right after the concert, and one a day after the concert. If you would like to, you may choose to fill in an additional questionnaire, two days after the concert. You will also need to (anonymously) fill in a questionnaire with general demographic details, and information regarding your music listening habits.

Between the questionnaires, you are asked to simply pay attention to whether you have any music in your head, and report it in the questionnaire when you are alerted to fill this in. You do not have to have any music in your head, it does not mean anything for you or the project if you do not, so please do not feel obliged to have and/or report it. We are merely observing if and when involuntary musical imagery occurs, so you only have to report it when it does.

How will data be collected?
Data will be collected through a mobile phone application, specifically designed for this study. The app will send you alerts on when to complete the next questionnaire (maximum alerts 2 times a day, if questionnaire is not completed, otherwise none).

Potential risks to participants
There are no foreseeable risks of participating, and no lifestyle restrictions. If at any point you feel unsure or would like to ask a question regarding this project, please contact Dr Ioanna Filippidi, at ioanna.filippidi@rncm.ac.uk, and she will reply as soon as possible.

Potential benefits to participants
While people taking part in my project are unlikely to experience any personal benefits as a result, the research findings will be published on the project website, and you will be able to see that your participation has contributed to new knowledge in this area.

If the project has to be terminated for any reason and you and/or the contribution you have made are no longer required for the research, you will be told, and told why.


What will happen to the data that I provide? And how will be it be kept confidential?
Data may be reported in academic journals or disseminated at conferences. Upon demand, the researcher will be happy to provide a summary of the results of the research when they become available.

Any information that you provide, and all of the data collected, will be confidential. Any data from this study will be fully anonymised, with no means of being able to be identified. The app will not and cannot collect any personal information that can identify you (email or name). Only the main researchers will know your identity, and will be able to link it to your codename, which you will provide in a separate online form.

Your personal data and any other identifiable information that you provide for the purposes of the research will be stored securely as follows will be stored digitally in anonymous files, on a password-protected laptop computer accessible only by the researcher for 10 years. If we wish to re-use it within this time period we will seek your permission to do so. At the end of the period it will be destroyed.


Who is conducting this research?
This study is being conducted by Dr Ioanna Filippidi, Creative Economy Engagement Post-doctoral Fellow at the Royal Northern College of Music, and Dr Michelle Phillips, Assistant Head of Undergraduate Programmes.

The RNCM Research Ethics Committee (REC) has reviewed this project and granted ethical approval for it to be carried out.

Please note that, even though this study is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and we are collaborating with the Bridgewater Hall, we are in no other way affiliated with the concert organisers, our data will remain fully anonymised and confidential, and the analysis of the data will be independent.

Thank you!

Informed consent
I confirm that I have read and understood the information provided concerning the research project and I have had the opportunity to ask questions about the project. I understand that my participation is voluntary and that I am free to withdraw at any time without giving any reason and without there being any negative consequences. I understand that my responses will be kept strictly confidential and that my name will not be linked with the research materials, nor I will be identified or identifiable in the report or reports that result from the research. I agree for the data collected from me to be used in future research and I give permission for members of the research team to have access to my anonymised responses. I agree to take part in the above research project, agreeing to all the terms described above. *
Your participation in this experiment is voluntary. By responding to the questions in this app, you are giving consent for your data to be included in this study. You may withdraw from the research at any time and for any reason. Your responses will be treated with full confidentiality and if results are published responses will not be identifiable as yours. All data is recorded anonymously (no names/emails are collected by the app), only your codename.
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