Informed Consent

The purpose of this consent form is to give you the information you will need to help you decide whether to be in the study or not. Please read this information carefully. You may ask questions about the purpose of the research, what you will be asked to do, the possible risks and benefits, your rights as a volunteer, and anything else about the research that is not clear. When all your questions have been answered, you can decide if you want to be in the study or not. This process is called “informed consent.” You will get a copy of this form for your records.


The purpose of this research is to understand how adults use social media tools, such as computer-based dating platforms and mobile phone apps to find love and/or connection. This study is not limited to heterosexual, monogamous daters. This study takes an inclusive approach to consider how people in a variety of communities (including monogamous, non-monogamous, heterosexual, LGBTQ, and kinky) use mainstream and specialized technologies to find connection.


To look at online dating from a variety of angles, this research includes a number of studies. You may participate in as many or as few of the studies as you like, including: 1) online survey, 2) share your dating profile, 3) interview about your online dating experiences, and 4) digital dating UX. Below are descriptions of the study procedures. At the bottom, you will find options to contact the researcher and give consent to participate in any or all of the study phases.

Online survey: You may take the anonymous online survey that has 12 questions about online dating experiences (questions are multiple choice and open-ended). The survey should take between 15-30 minutes to complete. At the end of the survey, there is an option to volunteer to participate in other studies related to this research. Survey link coming soon.

Share Your Dating Profiles: You may share your online dating profile(s) for analysis. With your permission, I would like to copy your profile(s) from any dating sites you are willing to share—including niche sites (e.g. Poly Matchmaker, Swing Life Style, Fet Life, Grinder, HER, etc.). I would like to collect the information you use to describe yourself on your profile, including the biography components, preset labels you selected to describe yourself and the type of people you are looking for, and photos. I will not collect any elements of your profile you do not want to share. I will assign a fake name to your profile, create a record of the types of photos and destroy them within one year of the collection date.

Online Dating Interview: You may participate in a 30-minute interview, which will be conducted in person, phone, or messaging platform (like Skype, FaceTime, etc). I may ask you some questions about your profile(s) and your experiences using online dating spaces and I will transcribe the interview, assign fake names to the transcript, and destroy the recording within one year from the recording date. With your permission, I would like to digitally this interview. You may use your actual name or online username if you prefer to protect your anonymity.

Digital Dating UX: You may participate in a 30-minute user-experience (UX) of your typical online dating activities. If using a computer-based platform, I may use a screen capture program to record the moves you make on your computer as you navigate through the site in your typical way. If you are using a mobile device, I may video record your screen activity rather than a computer-based program. For this research, I may audio record you talking through your process while you are navigating, swiping, liking, passing, clicking, and/or messaging.  Recordings will only collect visual data of the computer/mobile phone screen and your voice. With your permission, I would like to record your activity and thought process as you navigate online dating apps. You may use your actual name or online username if you prefer to protect your anonymity.


Some people feel uncomfortable being interviewed or audio-recorded. In addition, some people feel nervous talking about their experiences with dating. Because of the nature of interviews, the conversation might go in a direction you are not comfortable with. All of your information will be kept confidential, but there is a small chance that someone might recognize you from your statements. I will assign fake names to all participants in the studies, as well as any other people that become visible through the research process.


Your participation in this study will help us learn about the challenges and opportunities of dating in the digital world. You may learn more about yourself and your experiences of dating in this particular environment, but you may not directly benefit from taking part in this study.


All information about you will be kept confidential. I will create a separate file that links your name (if provided), username(s) name and fake names and keep it in a separate location than study data. I will code the study data and keep it indefinitely. Neither your name, profile username(s), or photos will not be used in any publications or presentations of the study results.

Your participation in the study is voluntary and you may decline to participate without penalty. If you decide to participate you may withdraw from the study at any time without any penalty and without loss of benefits to which you are entitled. If you are a student at the University of Washington, your participation (or lack therefore) in this study will not affect any of your grades or your standing at the university.

Government or university staffs sometimes review studies such as this one to make sure they are being done safely and legally. If a review of this study takes place, your records may be examined. The reviewers will protect your privacy. The study records will not be used to put you at legal risk of harm.

If you have questions later about the research, you can ask one of the researcher. If you have questions about your rights as a research subject, you can call the Human Subjects Division at (206) 543-0098.

Use the contact page to let the researcher know you want to participate in this research.

Dr. Riki Thompson, Associate Professor, School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, University of Washington Tacoma | | 253-692-4613



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