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Imagination Spectrum Invitation/Consent Form

 Imagination Spectrum measures the vividness of your imagination across all mental imagery senses – visual, auditory, emotional imagery, and more. The purpose of this study is to validate a new multi-sensory mental imagery assessment. Data collected will be used to inform the development of Imagination Spectrum psychometric, set to launch in early 2021.

What’s involved?

As a participant, you will be asked to imagine different scenarios in your mind. For example, can you picture an apple in your mind’s eye? Or hear the sound of a trumpet-playing in your mind’s ear? If you imagine your favourite dish, can you smell or taste it?

Then you will be asked to carefully consider the sensory experience that comes to mind and rate your ability to imagine each scenario on a 5-point scale based on how well it resembles the actual experience. Are your imaginings perfectly realistic, do they vaguely resemble the real experience, or is there no sensory experience at all?

For most questions, there is no right or wrong answer, only your inner experience. However, there are 5 questions about spatial imagery and there is a right and wrong answer to these questions. You will need to answer, A, B, C or D for these questions. 

Some questions will require audio-visual displays. Please make sure the sound is turned on your mobile device or laptop, and/or wear headphones if conducting the study in a public space. Participation should take about 20 minutes of your time.

Possible Risks and Benefits

Some scenarios may be more sensitive as they require you to imagine pleasant vs.unpleasant tastes and smells, or positive vs negative emotions (i.e. feeling angry or sad). These types of imagined scenarios could pose a psychological risk should any negative affective states arise as a result of participating in this study (i.e. feeling anxious or depressed).

While this is not yet a diagnostic tool, some people are distressed when they learn they have aphantasia or are on the less vivid end of the imagination spectrum. By asking people to imagine in a way most people do, those who cannot do so vividly might become distressed.

Both the probability and the magnitude of possible harm may vary from minimal to significant, depending on the individual. We ask that if these questions make you uncomfortable, to refrain from participating in the study. Only entries that are fully complete and pass our internal attention checks will be considered.

By participating in our research you are contributing to the validation of a new standard in mental imagery assessment, and helping inform the development of the world’s first publicly-available psychometric for identifying imagery extremes: aphantasia and hyperphantasia.

Confidentiality

All information you provide is considered confidential; your name will not be included or, in any other way, be associated with the data collected in the study.  Furthermore, because our interest is in the average responses of the entire group of participants, you will not be identified individually in any way in written reports of this research.

Your anonymized data will be stored securely on password-protected devices, made accessible only to our internal research team. These data will only contain your participant ID number, not your personal information. Electronic data may be stored indefinitely in a secure location without any identifying information.

Access to these data will be restricted to our internal team of researchers, and our partners in the analysis and validation of the Imagination Spectrum psychometric. The data will be used to publish our research findings.

Voluntary Participation

Participation in this study is voluntary. By consenting to participate in this study, you accept the possible risks and benefits listed above. Only entries that are fully complete and pass our internal attention checks will be considered. 

Publication of Results

The results of this study may be published in peer-reviewed journals or presented at academic conferences. In any publication, data will be presented in aggregate forms.  

Contact information

If you have any questions about this study or require further information, please feel free to contact the principal investigator Jennifer McDougall at [email protected].

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