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Theiss, J. D., Hobbs, W. B., Giordano, P. J., & Brunson, O. M. (2014). Undergraduate Consent Form Reading in Relation to Conscientiousness, Procrastination, and the Point-of-Time Effect. Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics, 9(3), 11–17. https://doi.org/10.1177/1556264614540593


Informed consent is central to conducting ethical research with human participants. The present study investigated differences in consent form reading in relation to conscientiousness, procrastination, and the point-of-time (PT) effect among undergraduate participants at a U.S. university. As hypothesized, conscientious participants and those who signed up to participate in a research study more days in advance and for earlier sessions (PT effect) read the consent form more thoroughly. However, procrastination was not related to consent form reading. Most importantly, consent form reading in general was poor, with 80% of participants demonstrating that they had not read the consent form. Conscientious participants were more likely to self-report reading the consent form, irrespective of their measured consent form reading. The article closes with suggestions to improve the process of obtaining informed consent with undergraduate participants.