Information Statement

10% of survey complete.

Thanks for responding to our advertisement.

You are invited to participate in a research study on forgiveness that is being conducted by Glenn Cameron (a fourth year Bachelor of Psychology-Honours student at Charles Sturt University) under the supervision of Dr James Scheermans-Stekhoven.

Before you decide whether or not you wish to participate in this study, it is important for you to understand why the research is being done and what it will involve. Please take the time to read the following information carefully. If you have any questions it is best to contact Glenn.

Investigator (Student):
Glenn Cameron
Charles Sturt University
Phone: 0419 421 538
Dr James Schuurmans-Stekhoven
Lecturer/School of Psychology  
Charles Sturt University

What is this research about?

It is pretty normal for couples to have grievances and sometimes these grievances can cause strain on the relationship. Past research has shown that forgiveness can sometimes be beneficial in these situations and that certain types of emotions help people to forgive. This study will be looking at a particular type of empathy to discover whether it is related to forgiving. It is hoped that the information collected will help researchers and others better understand forgiveness and how it operated in intimate relationships.

Who can participate in this research?

We are looking for any people in Australia 18 years or older who have experienced a grievance in an intimate relationship. It may be a current or past relationship but it is important that the grievance is not so serious that thinking about it would cause participants any distress. If the grievance you select would be likely to cause you distress or you are under 18 years, then unfortunately you are not eligible to participate.

What is required of me if I agree to participate?

It’s pretty simple really. You would be completing an online questionnaire that should take about 15-20 minutes. The first question requests a brief description of the grievance (e.g., My partner bought a new car without consulting me. We really can’t afford it!). Most of the questions are multiple choice style and ask about your thoughts and feelings regarding the relationship grievance and about your behaviours and attitudes on related topics. There are also a few questions about your spiritual beliefs and a request for your age and gender.

That’s it! Of course if you want you will be able to exit the questionnaire at any time and no one will contact you as a result of your participation.
How will participating in this research help me or place me at risk?

There is no direct benefit to you in participating but as mentioned your participation may help to improve knowledge about forgiveness. We do not expect that participation in this study poses a risk to you but it is fair to say that some people may find thinking about some relationship grievances upsetting. This is why we do not want you to choose a grievance that is too serious. You are free to withdraw from the questionnaire at any time if you become upset or for any other reason. If you feel any discomfort or distress, you may wish to speak to your local doctor, visit counsellor at an organisation such as Relationships Australia (1300 364 277) or contact a phone service such as Lifeline (13 1114) for debriefing.

Will anyone know that I have participated?

No. This is an anonymous questionnaire. If you accidentally put your name or other details in one of the answers, these details will be removed before the data is analysed so only the main investigator (Glenn) will see it just before it is deleted.

What will happen to the information you collect?

The information that you provide in this research project will be aggregated with the other people’s responses and appear as numbers (statistics) in a research report and maybe in an academic journal and/or presented at a conference. Individual participants will not be identified in any reports arising from the project. The information collected in this research will be retained by the university in accordance with Charles Sturt University’s Code of Conduct of Research for a period of five years, then destroyed.

What if I don’t want to take part in this study?

You don’t have to. You can simply click on the exit button at the top of this page or close your browser window at any time during the questionnaire. If you do exit the questionnaire after answering some of the questions, those answers will have been automatically stored on the web-server and it will not be possible to remove them.

NOTE: Charles Sturt University’s Arts Faculty Human Ethics Committee has approved this project. If you have any complaints or reservations about the ethical conduct of this project, you may contact the Committee through the Executive Officer:

Executive Officer
Arts Faculty Human Ethics Committee
Boorooma Street
Charles Sturt University Wagga Wagga, NSW, 2678
Tel: 6933 4388

Any issues you raise will be treated in confidence and will be investigated fully and you will be informed of the outcome.

Approval No.:H16114, Exp.: 20 July 2017

If you would like to participate in this project and you are 18 years or older please click on the “Next” button below. If you do not want to participate just close this window or click on the “Exit” button at the top of this page.