Well-Being Affected by Secrecy Processes

What is this study about?

Everybody keeps secrets – research shows that 97% of people are keeping at least one secret at any given time. This study is designed to understand the impact of keeping a secret on our psychology. We investigate people’s experiences of secrecy across the course of one week (but we will never ask you to describe your secrets in detail).

What will I need to do to take part in this study?

The study involves two parts:

  • Part 1: If you are eligible to take part in the study, on day 1 you will complete a baseline survey which will take about 30 minutes. Based on your responses to Part 1, we may invite you to Part 2 of the study.
  • Part 2: You will need to download an app on your phone and for the following 7 days, you will receive 8 short surveys to complete during each day, between 9.30am and 9.30pm. These surveys will take around 2 minutes each to complete.

Who is eligible to participate?

  1. You must be 18 years or older;
  2. You must be in an EAST time-zone (which covers the Australian East Coast) for the duration of the study;
  3. You must own an iPhone (iOS 8 or above) or an Android (Android 6.0 or above), but NOT an Oppo, RealMe or Huawei phone;
  4. You must be willing to install the SEMA3 application onto your smartphone. SEMA3 is a free to download from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, and it does not collect any personally identifying information;
  5. The study takes 8 days in total to complete. You must be available for this entire period, as payment will be contingent on completing the daily smartphone surveys.

What will I receive for my participation?

You will be paid in GiftPay vouchers, which are distributed online and can be used at a wide variety of stores (e.g. Coles, Myer, David Jones, Woolworths, see giftpay.com.au for more details). You will receive $10 for completing the baseline survey (Part 1), provided you complete the survey in full and paying attention to the questions. If invited to Part 2, you will receive up to $40 for completing the surveys across the following 7 days. That means you could earn up to $50 for participating in the study.

What do I do if I'm interested in participating?

If you are interested in participating in the study, please fill out the following screening survey: https://melbourneuni.au1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_a2HlfUlZ2fx8NmK

You will be asked to provide your email address, answer 5 short screening questions, and then select a date you would like to begin the study. We'll get you set up from there.


If you have any questions about this study, please feel free to email us at secrecystudy2023@gmail.com

The research team for this study is Dr. Katie Greenaway and Valentina Bianchi (PhD Candidate).