Processing Health-related Information: An Eye Tracking Study

For helping us with our research you will be provided with a $50 Visa debit card.

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To see what's involved, please read the details about the Project here:

Thank you for your interest. Recruitment for this study is on hold for the time being.

We are looking for volunteers to participate in our study investigating different ways of presenting physical activity information online in order to help people change their physical activity levels.

Why are we doing this study?

Using the internet to support people to make healthier lifestyle choices has great public health potential. However,  the internet it is a competitive market space, with sites and apps like Facebook, twitter and  instragram competing for people’s attention all the time. To promote health online, we need to develop better strategies to attract people and keep them engaged. An important first step is investigating how people process the types of information already available and how this information makes them feel. This study investigated this. It’s the first study of its kind, and it is really exciting for us.

Who is undertaking the project?

This study is being led by Dr Camille Short (PhD, Behavioural science), Dr Matt Dry (PhD Psychology) and Dr Andrew Vincent (PhD, Applied Mathematics) from the University of Adelaide.


Who can participate?

All adults between the ages of 18-60, who can read and write in English, who have normal  or corrected-to-normal vision (i.e., corrected by wearing contacts), who are able to attend the University of Adelaide testing site and are not already meeting the Australian physical activity guidelines are eligible to participate. 

Individuals who have had laser eye surgery will not be eligible to participate.

How much time will the project take?

Participation should take no longer than 1-1.5hrs.


What will I be asked to do?

Participants will be asked to attend the testing laboratory in the psychology department at the University of Adelaide. Participation will involve completing a brief questionnaire assessing your demographic information and views on a health topic, viewing health information on a computer while wearing an eye tracking device and answering a few short-questions assessing thoughts and feelings about the materials viewed. Your thoughts and feelings about the materials will be assessed via a brief questionnaire and an interview with the researcher.  The researcher will record  the interview for data analysis purposes.


Will I receive anything for participating?

All participants will be provided with a $50 Visa debit card at the end of the study.  Refreshments will also be provided during the brief interview.  


Are there any risks associated with participating in this project?

Due to the nature of this study, minimal risk is expected for participants. You may feel burdened by the time taken to participate in the study (estimated to be a 1-1.5hrs). To compensate you for your time and effort you will be provided with a $50 Visa debit card. Refreshments will also be provided to make sure you are comfortable while attending the testing site. You may also experience some discomfort (e.g., sore muscles) if you choose to increase your participation in physical activity after participating in the study. Some muscle discomfort is normal after participating in physical activity, especially if you have been sedentary previously. To reduce this risk it is important to warm up and cool down properly and increase activity levels gradually.  To participate in this study, it is not a necessity to become more active, if you do so or not is entirely up to you.


What are the benefits of the research project?

You will read messages that provide encouragement to improve your physical activity routine and improve your health. Although we cannot guarantee it, you may find that you are more motivated to participate in physical activity. This research is intended to improve the way information is delivered in online health promotion interventions. By conducting this research we may generate new knowledge that will help researchers and health practitioners to develop more effective health-related support services online. This research therefore has potential to contribute to improvements in public health. To compensate you for your time and effort you will receive a $50 visa debit card for participating.


Can I withdraw from the project?

Participation is entirely voluntary: you are not obliged to participate and if you choose to participate you can withdraw at any time. You do not have to give a reason for withdrawing from the study and changing your mind will not affect your relationship with the researchers, other relevant research personnel, or with the universities and partner organisations conducting the research. If you would like to withdrawn from the study please email Camille Short  [email protected]


What will happen to my information?

Information will be stored anonymously. Your data will be associated with an identification number and you will not be personally identifiable. To make sure you are not identifiable from your email address your email address will never be included in the data file containing your responses to our surveys or interview questions.  Data will be confidentially stored on password protected computers. Only the project’s researchers will have access to this data. Data will be stored for a minimum of 5 years, as per the University’s policy. This data will not be used for any other purpose. We plan to publish the results in scientific journals and provide reports to interested parties. Participants will not be personally identifiable in these results, only aggregated data will be published. Information from this research will also be available at the completion of this research in the form of a plain English statement of the summarised finding, which will be emailed to the email address you have provided.


Who do I contact if I have questions about the project?
Dr Camille Short 8313 0532, [email protected]

What if I have a complaint or any concerns?.

The study has been approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee at the University of Adelaide (approval number H-2015-15/94). If you have questions or problems associated with the practical aspects of your participation in the project, or wish to raise a concern or complaint about the project, then you should consult the Principal Investigator. Contact the Human Research Ethics Committee’s Secretariat on phone +61 8 8313 6028 or by email to [email protected]. if you wish to speak with an independent person regarding concerns or a complaint, the University’s policy on research involving human participants, or your rights as a participant. Any complaint or concern will be treated in confidence and fully investigated. You will be informed of the outcome.


If I want to participate, what do I do?

Please click on the link above to complete the eligibility questionnaire. If you are eligible you will be able to register your details and get started.