1. Introduction

PROJECT TITLE:                             Characteristics of Antisocial Online Behaviour

RESEARCHERS:                              Dr Evita March, Lecturer of Psychology, Federation University

                                                          Dr Jessica Marrington, Lecturer of Psychology, University of Southern QLD

Dear Participant,

My name is Dr Evita March. My colleague, Dr Jessica Marrington, and I invite you to participate in an anonymous questionnaire designed to examine antisocial behaviours online. This questionnaire will take approximately 20 minutes of your time to complete. You are advised that participation is entirely voluntary, and you may withdraw your participation at any time without penalty.

The survey will firstly ask you to provide some demographic information. You will then be asked questions about online behaviours. Please note we are specifically looking for participants who have heard of ‘online trolling’. Finally, you will be shown some images and asked to indicate if you believe each image is representative of a particular behaviour.

Your participation in this project is voluntary and your answers are anonymous. Participants are free to refuse consent without having to justify the decision. Additionally, participants may withdraw their participation at any time without explanation. Please note however each time you click the ‘next’ button throughout the questionnaire, your answers are immediately submitted and become amalgamated with the data. Therefore, should you decide to withdraw your participation as you complete the questionnaire, there will be no way to retrieve your already submitted individual answers from the non-identifiable data.

There are no expected physical risks when participating in this study; however, some questions may be of a highly personal nature and may cause some emotional discomfort. In addition, you will be presented with some images that may also cause some personal and emotional discomfort. Please also note that some of these images contain strong and/or offensive language. Should you experience any emotional discomfort when completing this questionnaire, you may discontinue your participation at any time. Additionally, if you do experience significant emotional discomfort during the questionnaire, you are encouraged to contact Lifeline on PH: 13 11 14.
All researchers in this project have experience studying psychology and conducting research studies. Data will be collected via online and will be stored on a password encrypted USB. Only project researchers will have access to data. Data will be stored on the encrypted USB for a minimum of 5 years, after which the USB will be wiped and reformatted.

Participants are reminded that their answers are anonymous and there will be no way to identify individuals from their responses. The current research will extend previous research on antisocial online behaviours, therefore the information and results gathered for this research has the potential to be publicised in either journal or conference form. Results published will be published in an aggregated form that would not identify the participant in any way.

If you have any questions, or would like further information regarding the project titled Characteristics of Antisocial Online Behaviour, please contact the Principal Researcher, Dr Evita March, of the School of Health Science and Psychology.

PH: +61351228044

EMAIL: e.march@federation.edu.au

Should you (i.e., the participant) have any concerns about the ethical conduct of this research project, please contact the Federation University Ethics Officers, Research Services, Federation University Australia, P O Box 663 Mt Helen VIC 3353 or Northways Rd, Churchill Vic 3842.

Telephone: (03) 5327 9765, (03) 5122 6446

Email: research.ethics@federation.edu.au

Please click next to proceed to the consent page.