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Interpersonal Emotion Regulation
(CPHS PROTOCOL# 2015-12-8188)
Introduction and Purpose
My name is Benjamin Swerdlow. I am a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley working with Professor Sheri Johnson in the Department of Psychology. I would like to invite you to take part in my research study. The purpose of this research is to study how people seek out and receive emotional support from other people in order to regulate their emotions. This study plans to enroll 1100 participants.

If you agree to participate in this study, I will ask you to complete an online questionnaire. The questionnaire will ask you to recall a recent time when you received emotional support and then answer some questions about that experience. You will also be asked questions about your general background (e.g., age, gender, mental health).
Study time: Participation in this study will take about twenty minutes of your time.
Study location: All study procedures are to be completed online (over the computer).

There are no direct, personal benefits to you from this study. We hope that findings from this study will help us understand how people can most effectively use support from others in their emotion regulation, which may be used to improve therapies in the future.

We anticipate minimal risk from these procedures. The questionnaire that you complete will ask you to write about a recent experience in which another person helped you to regulate your emotions. This may involve recalling and sharing details related to an unpleasant experience, and some people may find these questions uncomfortable or upsetting.
You are free to not answer any of the questions you don’t wish to complete by skipping ahead to the next question. Your choice to skip questions will not affect your participation in the study in any way.

Breach of Confidentiality: As with all research, there is a chance that confidentiality could be compromised; however, we are taking precautions to minimize this risk (see confidentiality section below). As this study is conducted only online, confidentiality may only be kept to the degree permitted by the technology used. No guarantees can be made regarding the interception of data sent via the Internet by any third parties.

Your study data will be handled as confidentially as possible.
To minimize the risks to confidentiality, we will take a number of extra precautions:
  • We will not ask you for your name or email address, and we will not record your computer IP address. In other words, your responses to this survey are provided anonymously.
  • All data will be stored on password-protected servers in encrypted, password-protected files. Only research staff will have access to this information.
  • Qualtrics, the website on which you will be completing the questionnaire, is specifically designed to gather sensitive questionnaire data online. Qualtrics employs a number of procedures for minimizing risk of a breach of confidentiality. In addition, Qualtrics servers are protected by high-end firewall systems, and Qualtrics uses Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption (also known as HTTPS) for all transmitted data.
Retaining research records: We will use the records only for the current research project. If you wish to have your data destroyed, you can ask us to do so and we will comply immediately. Otherwise, we will retain research records for 7 years after the study is ended. The same measures described above will be taken to protect confidentiality of this study data.

Participation in research is completely voluntary.

You are free to decline to take part in the project. You can decline to answer any questions and are free to stop taking part in the project at any time. Whether or not you choose to participate, to answer any particular question, or continue participating in the project, there will be no penalty to you or loss of benefits to which you are otherwise entitled.

Compensation/Payment: You will not be paid for taking part in this study.

Costs: There are no costs to you for taking part in this study other than your time.

If you have any questions or concerns about this study, you may contact Benjamin Swerdlow, the graduate student investigator, at Or you may contact Devon Sandel, the project coordinator, at

If you have any questions or concerns about your rights and treatment as a research subject, you may contact the office of UC Berkeley's Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects, at 510-642-7461 or

If you agree to take part in the research, please click the box below.

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