Written consent. Participants give their consent by filling out a consent form. Written consent guarantees active and explicit consent, thus offering the highest guarantees to the participant. It is most appropriate in studies that contain some level of risk, but also in many studies with no risk above those of daily life, when participants disclose personal or sensitive information, when they are exposed to deception, or any experimental treatment. Experiments and in-depth interviews in particular should consider written consent.
The consent form template below will be suitable for many studies but may need alterations to be commensurate with your study and must be used in conjunction with the guidance given in Information Sheets & Consent Forms.
Active consent. Participants indicate their willingness to participate by agreeing to a specific statement, and then are included in the study. This is the most common, and recommended, form of consent for research.
To guarantee that participants understand what they are consenting to, researchers should pay attention to the language they use. They should use the language that their target population will be most comfortable with. As a rule, they should refrain from using technical language and use an 8thgrade level of English. Depending on the methodology you are using, the population and topic you are studying, and the level of risk, informed consent may be implied or explicit, active or passive, and written or oral.
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