Aside 1: If you are of a certain generation, you just heard the Schoolhouse Rock song in your head. I know I do whenever I hear that phrase.
Aside 2: I also always opt in to letting medical students take part in/observe/use me as a guinea pig because, again, “It’s great to learn, ’cause knowledge is power!” My one exception to that was when I was in labor with Sam and my water didn’t break and this condition seemed to be something that the doctors thought their medical students should “feel.” I think I’m forgiven for refusing that one.
Anyway, so I was at an autism center a while back because we’re doing some testing with Jack and there is a study there that asks that you allow your child’s information to be confidentially shared to embiggen the pot of knowledge about autism. Or some such. It was a while ago and I don’t really remember. Regardless, it was innocuous and and all I had to do to participate in the study was to sign the paper.
Aside 3: I signed the form wrong THREE TIMES before I finally got it (semi) right. Evidently “knowledge” does not equal “common sense.” (What? There were lots of options for signatures. It was confusing.)
Here’s the thing about participating in studies. There is always a section along the lines of “What are the risks or discomforts of the study?” This study had—by FAR—the best risks/discomforts section I’ve ever read.
“5-10 minutes of your time will be required to fill out the additional intake form. You may get tired or bored when we are asking you questions or you are completing questionnaires…To address these potential risks, participants will be allowed to take breaks while filling out forms, do not have to answer all questions on the forms, and will be given flexible scheduling options…”
I don’t know. I might have to reconsider my participation.
Personally, I consider the risks off set by the extreme joy I got from reading that paragraph. Although I do have to say, no one offered me any flexible scheduling options. It was all, “You have 45 minutes to fill out this form,” but then the guy came back an hour and a half later.
By that time I was yet another victim of their study, bored and tired.