The data contained in the registration system is exclusively used for conducting scientific experiments that have received prior approval by the University of Auckland Human Participants Ethics Committee. The data is not shared with any third parties.
The data is used for the following purposes:
- To invite registered users in the system to consider taking part in specific experiments (laboratory or internet-based ones) while informing them about the nature of those experiments
- To perform a scientifically motivated selection of participants for certain experiments
- To verify participation in experimental sessions by registered participants for those sessions
Any person registered in the system can choose to stop receiving further invitations to experiments at any moment. Any person registered in the system can choose to cancel their registration completely, in which case all the information about their participation in the experiments will be fully erased from the system.
Use of the experimental data
During an experimental session, the information about the decisions participants make becomes experimental data. For instance, experimental data could consist of what those decisions were, the amount of time it took to reach them and, depending on the design of a given experiment, also any details of communication with other participants, that is, if expected to be recorded in the first place. In any event, the data so collected are fully anonymised for the purpose of their further analysis for research purposes.
The analysis of such data by the experimenters aims at the advancement of knowledge about human behaviour generalisable beyond that of those who participated in any given experiment. Findings of research using experimental data is typically disseminated through publications in academic journals, or via presentations in conferences, workshops and seminars.
Also, it is a standard practice for experimental (anonimised) data to be kept indefinitely. This allows for data collected decades ago, for example, to be still used for research in the present.
The data collected during an experiment is anonymous (somewhat similar to how voting data collected in general elections).
This means, specifically, the following:
Anonymity of participation
No identifiable personal information is recorded during any experimental sessions. This means that neither the data so collected, nor any of the findings obtained while analysing the data, can ever be traced back to any specific individual who participated in the experiment.
Strong anonymity of decisions
Third parties, even knowing that a specific individual participated in some experiments can never be able to infer what the decisions made by that participant were; nor can any specific individual who took part in an experiment be able to retrieve such information from the experimental data generated in that experiment.