Information & Consent

Participant Information

Title of Study: A Grounded Theory Study of Laughter

Hi, my name is Glen Duggan and I’m undertaking research in the School of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin as a partial fulfilment for a PhD in Psychology.

Thank you for taking the time to familiarise yourself with my research study. What I am particularly interested in researching is what are the functions of laughter and how our everyday lives are influenced by our experiences of laughter, whether this is in a face to face context, via electronic devices, or perhaps even when consuming media, or participating in an online forum. During the research I will also carry out audio recorded interviews and/or focus group discussions. As I gather the data, I intend to analyse it for the purposes of developing theory regarding laughter’s functions and ultimately, writing a PhD thesis and consequent academic articles.

I believe that the information gathered will not only provide a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of laughter itself, but it will also lead to a better understanding of many typical social interactions, in which laughter is implicated but is not fully understood in terms of what functions it serves. Quotations from the comments/interviews/focus group discussions may be used in the research report, but your anonymity will be maintained throughout. Likewise, should the research, or aspect of it be used in subsequent journal articles, further research, or other academic presentations, your identity will remain confidential and anonymous.

All data collected will be stored securely, in accordance with the Irish Data Protection Act, 1988 (Amendment 2003). Under the freedom of information act 2003, you will be entitled to obtain the results of the study, should you so wish. The research will be carried out in accordance with the Psychological Society of Ireland best research practice principles.

If you agree to participate in the study, you will be free to withdraw from it at any stage, with no consequences. If you decide that you would like to withdraw your participation, you can contact me and I will simply remove the data collected in your case from the research. Furthermore, if you find that you have any concerns or issues regarding your participation in the research, please feel free to contact me. Alternatively, you can contact my research supervisor, Dr. Kevin Tierney. Our direct contact details are available by contacting me via the CONTACT FORM.

This page contains crucial information about consenting to participate in the research. Please read it in full before consenting to participate.

Participant Consent Information

Please read this information and check/tick the relevant boxes on the consent form below if you consent to participate in the study.

Title of Study: A Grounded Theory study of Laughter

Declaration of Participant:

I confirm that I have familiarised myself with the Participant Information Page for this study and as such, the nature and purpose of this study have been satisfactorily explained to me. I understand that I can seek further clarifications at any time from the researcher, Glen Duggan and/or his research supervisor, Dr. Kevin Tierney, whose direct contact details are available by request via the CONTACT FORM.

I give consent to the recording and analysis of my comments/interviews and/or group discussions with the researcher and/or fellow forum participants, for the purposes of inclusion in the researcher’s PhD thesis. I also give consent for the transcribed comments/interview/discussion, or parts thereof, to be included in future journal papers, publications or presentations. I am aware that I will not be identifiable and that all information will be treated with the strictest confidence. All printed data will be stored safely in a locked cabinet and any electronic data collected, once removed from the website forum after its conclusion as a research tool, will be stored in an encrypted file. In accordance with Trinity College’s data storage policy, all data will be kept for 10 years.

Under the Freedom of information act, I understand that I am entitled to a copy of the study’s findings upon request. I understand that I am free to withdraw my participation at any time prior to the publication of the thesis and that there will be no consequences to doing so. Should I choose to withdraw, all of my data will be removed from the forum, the analysis and the study overall.

By checking/ticking the boxes on the Consent Form, I confirm that I freely agree to take part in this research study.

Please print and retain a copy of this Information & Consent page for your record