Research Updated - Participate in a study to understand daily emotions and PTSD symptoms

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I don’t like the idea, in the current covid19 climate, of downloading and app that’s going to have the ability to track me and collect data. I’d be happy to log onto a website and participate.

UPDATE: Still enrolling...

Have you experienced a traumatic event? If so, we want to hear about your experiences.

I am a graduate student in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University working on a study that seeks to better understand the experiences of trauma survivors. This study has been approved by the Committee on the Use of Human Subjects at Harvard University.

The study includes answering some questions and downloading the LifeData app on your phone This is a free app. Then, the app on will prompt you 5 times a day to answer a brief (10 item) survey that takes about 1 minute to complete. At the end of two weeks, the study will be over. You can receive up to $25 as an Amazon gift card for participating in this study, and if you do 90% or more of the at-home surveys, you’ll be entered in a raffle to win one of three $200 amazon gift cards.

A few important things to know about the study are:
  1. All information collected will be kept completely confidential.
  2. Participation is voluntary. The link we provide will send you to a website that asks some questions to determine whether you are eligible to participate. If you are eligible, we will provide you with a description of the study and you can decide whether or not you want to participate. Also, if you start to participate and decide you no longer feel comfortable or are no longer interested, you can end your participation without any penalty or punishment.
  3. This study will include only trauma survivors fluent in English who are 18+ years old and own a smartphone.
  4. We will also provide links to treatment and informational resources throughout the study.

To participate, copy and paste the following URL into your browser search bar:

If you are not interested in participating but you know someone who might be, please feel free to forward this information and the link to the study.
Thank you!
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I've merged your initial request thread and your new post.
To participate, copy and paste the following URL into your browser search bar:

Link Removed
FYI, the link goes to a message that the survey is full.
Thank you for your interest in this survey. We are currently not accepting new participants as we have reached our quota. This may change if we get approval to recruit more participants or if some participants don't complete the study. Please check back in 5-7 days if you're still interested in participating to see if there are open slots.

Thank you,
Harvard EMA Study
I've merged your initial request thread and your new post.

FYI, the link goes to a message that the survey is full.
Thank you ! It seems quite a few people signed up at once, I'm nearing to the end of data collection so trying to make sure I don't overenroll but I've opened it up again to another 15 participants.

Do you have to answer right when prompted? I'm still working so curious about how this will work while still working.

Also, sort of worried about downloading just any app. Any assurance this app won't want all my info on my phone? What permissions does it want on an android?

Hi sorry for the late response - the app does not collect any data beyond the questions we ask (which is owned by us, the researchers, not the company that makes the app) and usage statistics (ie how often you open/close the app). We don't collect location data and the instructions for downloading tell participants to turn off this feature. Thanks for asking!
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From the site:

After you download the app, you will be asked to answer questions 5 times a day until the two weeks are over

You will have 45 minutes to respond to each survey. You will get notified at 10, 20 and 30 minutes after the initial notification until you respond or the time window closes.

People have to work where they cannot have their phones out. That's very common with work places. I don't think this is a good setup. I understand that you want feedback through out the day but why not give people the questions all up front and they can right them down and then answer then all at once? I understand some will just willy nilly the answers or guess but people will do that anyway. People have jobs where they need to concentrate on their job. I mean, if people aren't working but many still are. And it lasts two entire weeks. It's not like I can do this on a day off or something.


If identifiers are removed from your identifiable private information that are collected during this research, that information could be used for future research studies or distributed to another investigator for future research studies without your additional informed consent.

Ummmm, no. If you are wondering why you are not getting enough participates, it maybe stuff like this.
Ummmm, no. If you are wondering why you are not getting enough participates, it maybe stuff like this.
That’s simply how all good studies operate.

Personally identifying information is removed, and then once past the peer review process, both the studies themselves & their findings are used by others. From researchers for academic purposes, to media outlets (simply click on any of the study links in this very forum to be taken to sites like ScienceDaily writing articles about linked studies), to someone on MyPTSD posting a link to an interesting study/article they came across. Alternatively, data/metrics can also be used independently by other researchers in their own research.

Harvard is one of the better institutions out there, one of the uncontested top schools in the world... with arguably one of the best in-house / pre-peer-review processes. The vast majority of studies undertaken -even by undergrads, much less grad students & faculty- at Harvard aren’t just publishable, but will pass PeerReview. Which is a big deal.

If you’re not reading those disclaimers as to how your information will be used on studies you’re posting to? They’re most likely junk. Some freshman in a Psych101 or Intro to Stats class, or in a school with no standards and lousy advising, half assing a paper that will get a C at best.

((That’s not to say that no-name community colleges & universities can’t be academically rigorous with high standards... quite a few staff up to their entire school with poached professors from the IvyLeagues ...with double the paycheck, half the classes, and other not to be sneezed at perks & benefits. One in my city is so notorious for doing so that the student pop is 30,000. When the big name -but not Ivy- State school only has 25k, and most community colleges / local colleges struggle to keep their student body above 5k. Unlike even most state school transfers, that school is competitive both nationally and internationally, for premed/ prelaw/ etc. Michigan -one of the nations best medschools, will even direct-transfer, as if it was a Michigan school, instead of an out of state school! I know of about 8 or 9 community colleges off-hand with that kind of rep. They’re rare, but they’re out there.))

Back on target :)

Vetting studies at a glance...
- Look for real names being used by the researchers.
- Look for a disclaimer, as to how your info will be used.
- Look for contact Info including both the school & a faculty advisor number (If I’m feeling skeptical, I’ll often ring up the school cold, as opposed to using the contact information in the paper; and see if the info lines up. Most do. They’re just mid to low caliber student studies that aren’t even aiming for an A, much less publishing/peer review.)
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