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INFORMATION FOR PARTICIPANTS

Before you decide it is important for you to understand why the survey is being done and what it will involve.  Please take time to read the following information carefully and discuss it with others if you wish. If anything is unclear or you would like more information, please contact the researcher ([email protected]).Take time to decide whether or not you wish to take part.

What is the purpose of this survey?

You will only need to fill in one survey, which will take about 30 minutes. The aim of this survey is to discover how individuals in different countries experience meaning in life. We are particularly interested in understanding how the different cultures and life situations of individuals
influence how they live a meaningful life. This survey will be used to help individuals in different countries and with different cultural backgrounds better to live a meaningful life.

What are the advantages of participating? 

When you start filling in the survey, you will be asked whether you want to receive a personalised report via email. If you want, we can send you a report which shows the questions and your answers, but also a calculation and interpretation of your answers in tables and graphs. This calculation and interpretation is based on scientific research that developed the questions that you have filled in. This report can show you what you experience as meaningful in life, and
some suggestions how you could possibly live a more meaningful life. This type of report can usually only be commercially provided for payment, but we send you this report as a ‘thank you’ for filling in the survey. Of course, these scores and interpretations are only generic interpretations based on previous studies. Thus, these scores and interpretations may not apply to you and you would need to check for yourself how they apply to you. However, individuals
who have received a similar report before have said that this gives them ‘much self-insight’, ‘new directions in life’ and ‘confirms how I live my life but that I was not aware of’ (See: Vos, 2018, Meaning in life, Palgrave McMillan; Wong 2012, The Human Quest for Meaning, Routledge ). You will need to answer all questions to be able to receive a personal report via email. After filling in this questionnaire, we will send you the personalised report, and we will NOT ask you to do anything else, and we will NOT send you any other emails.  

What happens if you decide to participate?

It is up to you to decide whether or not to take part. If you do decide to take part, you need to go to https://meaningsurvey.com and click on the button that says ‘start survey’. You need to fill in the survey in one go and you cannot log-out in the meantime; therefore you need to make sure that you have 30 minutes available to fill this in. You will first be asked to agree with the explanation that we give in this information sheet. After this you will be asked 3 open questions where you type in your answers; then you will be asked 350 questions with different scales. Most questions have a 5 point scale, for example ranging from 1, ‘I totally agree with this statement’ to 5, ‘I totally disagree’. Each question has the option of not answering, but we would like to ask you to answer as many questions as possible. The first part of the survey has questions about what you experience as meaningful in life, and the second part has questions about your life situation and your country because we would like to understand how individuals in different countries and life situations experience meaning in life.

How can I withdraw?

The last question of the questionnaire asks whether you agree with sending your answers to us, and that we can use your answers. When you disagree with this, or when you stop filling in the survey before answering ‘yes’ to this question, we will not use your questions. After you have submitted your survey, you cannot withdraw your answers because your answers are totally
anonymous and we cannot retrace who has sent which questionnaire.

What are possible disadvantages of taking part?

Filling in the questionnaire will take about 30 minutes. Some individuals are quicker, some are slower. Most people find filling in this questionnaire helpful and pleasurable as it makes them reflect on their lives. However, it could be that some questions and the report could feel confrontational because you may see parts of yourself that you may not like. From our experience we know that such distress is unlikely. However if you feel that the questionnaire evoke negative emotions, or your emotions stay for a long time, we recommend you to contact professional support. You could go to your family doctor or a psychotherapist, and if there is an urgent situation you could go to the Accident and Emergency department of your nearest hospital. But again, we do not expect this to happen. 

What about my confidentiality?

All information that is collected about you in this survey will be kept strictly confidential. We will not ask your name or address. If you agree that we send you a personalised report, we ask you to give us your email address. We will use this email address only to this report to you and will not contact you again, and we will not share you email with others. All your information will be stored, analysed and reported in compliance with the Data Protection legislation of the United Kingdom.

What will happen to the results of the survey?

After you have filled in the questionnaire, an automated email will be send to you with the personalised report. We will not use your personalised report in any of our research, because we will only combine your answers with the answers from other people. The answers will be analysed with academic methods, and we will publish the results in articles in scientific journals,
and in books about this topic. You will not be identified in any publication.

Who has reviewed the study?

Ethics are of utmost importance to us. Therefore, we have asked the Research Ethics Committee
of the Metanoia Institute to review this study, and they have approved this.

Contact for further information

This survey is conducted by the Metanoia Institute in London. If you have any questions about
this study, please contact the Principal Investigator of this study, Dr Joel
Vos: [email protected]

In the unlikely event that you would experience negative emotions you could contact the following services:

Befrienders International – https://www.befrienders.org/contact-us-1; find their phone number via their website; [email protected]

Samaritans UK – https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help-you/contact-us;
phone 116 123 (UK only); [email protected]

If you have any other questions or need advise where to find more help
you may contact the researcher: Dr Joel Vos, [email protected]

If you have would like to discuss this study with someone who is not directly
involved in the study, then you may contact the chair of the Ethics Committee
of the Metanoia Institute: Dr Biljana van Rijn, [email protected]

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