Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. R. Wayne Fuqua

Second Advisor

Dr. Amy Naugle

Third Advisor

Dr. C. Richard Spates


Informed consent, participant protections, ethics

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Several studies have shown that research participants who have consented to participate in a study often have limited comprehension of the information presented in the informed consent process. This study compared performance on an end-of-study consent document information retention measure between a read-and-sign consent procedure control group and an enhanced consent procedure experimental group. The enhanced consent procedure consisted of a pre-consent educational module and a question-and-answer style consent document. The control group scored an average of 78.7% correct on the multiple-choice question measure of participant retention of information contained within the consent documents. The experimental group scored an average of 92.3% on that measure, a statistically significant difference. These findings suggest that participants who experienced the enhanced consent procedure retain more information from the consent documents than those who experienced the typical consent procedure. A more highly informed participant pool may fulfill some of aspirational and ethical goals of our field but the side effects of reaching that goal are unknown.

Included in

Psychology Commons