Informed Consent

You are being invited to participate in a research study titled “Facilitating Large-Scale Online Data Analysis and Decision-Making using Interactive Technology”. This study is being done by Narges Mahyar and Mahmood Jasim from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. You were selected to participate in this study because you are a Mechanical Turk worker with a reputation of at least 95% and 100 completed tasks.

Why are we doing this research study?

purpose of this research study is to understand how members of the general public analyze, interpret, and make decisions based on online text information.

Who can participate in this research study?

Any person who is at least 18 years of age may participate in this research study.

What will I be asked to do and how much time will it take?

If you agree to take part in this study, you will begin by answering a few question about your online activities. Then, you will be asked to thoroughly read user reviews posted online and make a decision about which product you will refer someone to purchase out of ten products. You have to read the user reviews well enough to refer the best product. To do so, you must spend at least 1 minute on each product. After you make a decision, you will be provided with a questionnaire that asks you about how or why you made the decision. We expect it will take you approximately 60 minutes to finish the complete study.

Will being in this research study help me in any way?

You may not directly benefit from this research; however, we hope that your participation in the study may help researchers build better interactive tools to facilitate decision-making based on online text information in the future.

What are my risks of being in this research study?

We believe there are minimal risks associated with this research study; however, a risk of breach of confidentiality always exists and we have taken the steps to minimize this risk as outlined in a section below.

How will my personal information be protected?

To the best of our ability, your answers in this study will remain confidential. We will minimize any risks by assigning you a random 8 digit ID that will not be connected to your Mechanical Turk account. The data will be stored electronically on a secure, password-protected machine. Only the research team will have access to the data.

Will I be given any money or other compensation for being in this research study?

You will be paid $15.00 for participating in this study. Answering all post-decision-making questions is required and sufficient for payment. We ask that you answer each question to the best of your ability, but the content of your answers will not affect your payment. However, you will need to spend at least 1 minute on each product and answer all the question asked.

What happens if I say yes, but I change my mind later?

You do not have to be in this study if you do not want to. If you agree to be in the study, but later change your mind, you may drop out at any time. Understand that by dropping out, you are forfeiting compensation. There are no penalties of any other kind.

Who can I talk to if I have questions?

If you have questions about this project or if you have a research-related problem, you may contact the researcher, Mahmood Jasim at If you have any questions concerning your rights as a research subject, you may contact the University of Massachusetts Amherst Human Research Protection Office (HRPO) at (413) 545-3428 or

By clicking “I agree” below you are indicating that you are at least 18 years old, have read this consent form, and agree to participate in this research study. Please print a copy of this page for your records.