The Loneliness Project
After obtaining institutional review board approval for this study, participants will be recruited via social media and email listservs. Participants will access the survey through an online platform, Survey Monkey. The survey will be voluntary to complete, and participants may change their minds and not complete the survey without any punishment. Before beginning the study, participants will be presented with an informed consent letter giving them the details of the study and the purpose behind the study.
There will be no deception in the survey instruction or purpose. Participants will also be anonymous. Before beginning the survey, participants will encounter an informed consent informing outlining the of the purpose of the study and acknowledging the right to end the survey at any point without fear of repercussion. A copy of the informed consent notice may be found in Appendix A. The survey will take approximately fifteen to twenty minutes to complete. Once the survey has been completed, participants won’t be able to access it again to avoid multiple responses that may impact survey results. Those that complete the survey will be entered to win one of three prizes of $25 to be determined at random.
How it works
Participants that agreed to take part in the research study will be provided information on how to access the survey. The survey will consist of 30 total questions. There will be a few demographic questions to uncover basic information such as race, ethnicity, age, family standing, social support network, and technology use. There will be three vignettes demonstrating situations of loneliness to elicit personal interpretations of loneliness. Participants will answer a free response question where they are able to describe loneliness in their own terms. Lastly, participants will answer the revised version of the UCLA Loneliness Scale (Russel, Peplau, & Cutrona, 1980).
Demographics. All demographic questions will include the option “prefer not to answer” to avoid any unintentional harm to participants. Participants will be asked to identify their race, ethnicity, relationship status, and age. They will also be asked to self-identify as a first born child, middle child, youngest child, or only child.
Survey responses will be coded and analyzed in regard to family standing to identify common threads among familial groups. Participants will be asked to evaluate the number of close relationships they have. Participants will also be asked to estimate their technology use and if they believe their technology use contributes to their feelings of loneliness or social isolation. The chosen demographic questions are located in Appendix B.