Welcome to our study

Investigating attentional biases and depression

Before you decide whether you would like to take part, please read the following information carefully.

Who am I?

My name is Omay Afsaroglu and I am a postgraduate student in the Department of Psychology at the University of Bath. I am conducting this study as part of a postgraduate dissertation project on attentional biases we tend to make when refering to emotions from facial expressions. 

What is this study about?

The aim of this research is to investigate attentional biases people have been suggested to elicit while looking at facial expressions and whether particular types of these biases correlate with the level of their depressive traits. Hence, anyone over the age of 16 who is willing to participate will be asked to complete two computer tasks based on facial emotion recognition.

What will I be asked to do?

Initially, I would like you to complete three questionnaires about your empathetic abilities and depressive traits. After this, you will be asked to complete two tasks relating to facial expression recognition. In the first task, you will be presented with various images of facial expressions of six basic emotions (anger, surprise, disgust, happiness, fear, sadness) one at a time, and you will be asked to refer to the emotion as quickly as possible. In the second task, you will initially be asked to fixate to a cross in the middle of the screen. Then you will be presented with two emotional faces simultaneously for a short amount of time, followed by an arrow flashing on either right or left of the fixation point. Your task will be to indicate the location of the arrow as quickly as possible by pressing z (if the arrow is on the left) and m (if the arrow is on the right). This is an online study, therefore, the experiment will take place on an online survey platform. You can complete the tasks anywhere you feel relaxed, as long as there are no distractions around you. The whole study will take around 30 minutes.

Do I have to take part?

Taking part in this research is entirely voluntary, and you are free to make your own choice about whether you want to participate. If you agree to take part you are free to withdraw at any time before completion by simply closing the tab.  

Will my taking part in this research be kept confidential?

Any information that is collected about you during this research will be anonymised. We will not be collecting demographics such as your name or email address so that your anonymous responses cannot be traced back to you. 

What will happen to the information I provide?

This study will produce anonymous data. Only the researcher and the project supervisor will have access to any data collected. Data will be stored securely on the University of Bath. Personally identifiable data collected such as (age, sex, place of residence, nationality and ethnicity) cannot be linked back to any participant due to the anonymous nature of the study.

What will happen to the results of this research?

The data produced will be statistically anaylsed to understand potential biases we tend to make during facial emotion recognition. The results will then be presented and discussed in a final report, where all the participant data will be kept anonymous.

What do I do if I would like to take part or have any more questions?

Should you agree to take part, you can simply continue to the next page to begin with the study.

If you would like to ask more questions regarding this project, you can contact me, the researcher, Omay Afsaroglu via my institution email: oa576@bath.ac.uk, or my project supervisor, Dr. Anthony Little via: al926@bath.ac.uk.

Moreover, if you wish to contact the university of bath ethics committee for any additional concerns or enquiries, please contact: psychology-ethics@bath.ac.uk


Please select all the boxes below to show that you have read and understood the following statements. By checking the boxes and pressing "Continue" below to proceed, you are providing informed consent to take part in the experiment. If you do not consent to participate, please exit the study by closing the browser window.

I confirm that I have read and understand the subject information provided for this study.

I understand that my participation in this research is entirely voluntary and I understand that I have the right to withdraw from the study at any point, without having to give a reason.

I understand and acknowledge that the investigation is designed to promote scientific knowledge and that the University of Bath will use the data I provide for no purpose other than research.

I understand that the data I provide will be kept confidential. My name and other identifying information will not be disclosed in any presentation or publication of the research.

If you have any concerns related to your participation in this study please direct them to the Department of Psychology Research Ethics Committee, email: psychology-ethics@bath.ac.uk.

Click below to begin the experiment.