The information below is provided to all prospective participants in our study.


Title of Project: Photos and Mood

Contact: v.darvariu@ucl.ac.uk

This project has been approved by the University College London Research Ethics Committee, project ID number 11807/001.

The purpose of this project is to explore the relationship between the mood of individuals and the characteristics of their environment. We are looking for adults who own mobile phones and use them on a daily basis. If you agree to participate, you will install an application on your Android device that helps us understand your context and how your mood evolves over time. The minimum participation duration is two weeks, although you are able to participate for longer if you so wish.

You will be notified 4 times a day throughout the duration of your participation to answer a 3-item simple questionnaire about your stress, activity, and happiness levels. Each questionnaire takes less than a minute to complete. The questionnaire includes a “capture photo” item, where you will be asked to take a camera snapshot of your surroundings. The application lets you view the photos you have taken, visualise your mood over time, and the places visit while participating in the study.

Aside from the daily mood questionnaires, you will also have to complete a few initial steps when installing the application:

The Android application will also be gathering information in the background (your location, physical activity, battery levels, Wi-Fi connectivity, phone interactions). Periodically, the background information collected and questionnaire responses will be securely transmitted to UCL servers. Your identity will remain anonymous throughout the project - no personal information (such as your name) is collected or stored by the application. The information we collect will only be used for research projects at UCL. We are able to provide to you a copy of all data collected about you upon request. We can also offer those of you who are interested access to the full results of our work.

You are optionally able to enter a prize draw for a Motorola Moto360 smartwatch from within the app. If you enter the optional prize draw, we will use the email address you provide to contact you in case you are successful. This email address is not used in the analysis itself – instead, we distinguish participants through an identifier based on the Android device’s unique code. Email addresses are stored separately and will be permanently deleted after the prize draw takes place.

The photos and responses you submit will solely be automatically processed, and not manually examined. To protect your privacy and anonymity further, we ask that you do not include any personally identifiable information in the responses that you submit (for example, photos of your face in focus or photos containing your name or other identifiable information in clear).

Your identity is not the object of our study, however, we understand that the information we collect from your phone might reflect back on you. To this end we are putting all the necessary security measures in place to protect your privacy and assure that your data is only used for academic research purposes.

It is up to you to decide whether to take part or not; if after starting your participation you wish to withdraw from the study, you may do so by simply finding the option to withdraw from within the Settings menu of the application. You may withdraw at any time before the submission of this work for review. A decision to withdraw will have no negative consequence on you.

Please discuss the information above with others if you wish or ask us if there is anything that is not clear or if you would like more information.

All data will be collected and stored in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and the General Data Protection Regulation.

Thank you for reading this information sheet and for considering taking part in this research.