Final proposal

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Conservative Cognitive Style, not Right-wing Evangelical Belief, Predicts Negative Attitudes

Towards Science

Christopher R Deraney

Saint Leo University

Author Note



The present studies investigate the relationship between conservative political orientation and

anti-science attitudes. The first study attempted to decrease the backfire effect (Nyhan & Reifler,

2010). Participants were selected randomly to take an online study (n=118). Some of the

participants read the prime, a story about a growing vine, or to read nothing before reading

randomly assigned framing of evolution. Counter to hypotheses, we found no significant effect

for priming or framing, F (1, 116) = 1, 38, p > .05; however, we found a significant interaction

between political views and views on evolution. Study two recruited 250 participants (135

female), to take an online survey to measure attitudes on science, political ideology,

temperament, and religiosity. The Science Attitude Survey (Holler, 1997) and the Fisher

Temperament Inventory (Fisher, et, al., 2015) was applied. A multiple regression was conducted,

and religiosity did not significantly explain the variance observed in anti-science attitudes.

Temperament significantly aligned with conservative thought patterns.

Keywords: Anti-Science attitudes, political ideology, and temperament

we didnt’ use random selection – they self-selected into the study. You can say conveniently
Participants responded to attitude items regarding evolution in a 2 (prime/no prime) X 2( Framing: threat/no threat) between subjects experimental design.

Then keep what you have after.

while others were randomly assigned to
this doesn’t need to be in teh abstract. Only a summary and references. This goes in the resutls of study 1.
we need to explain this interaction, but not now. LEt’s look at the data/poster and revisit as it is weird to mention but not explain an interaction.
a bit more transition – but not now
and significantly predicted anti-science attitudes.


Conservative Cognitive Style, not Right-wing Evangelical Belief, Predicts Negative

Attitudes Towards Science

Theoretical Background

In February 2014, Bill Nye engaged in a debate with Ken Ham from Answers in Genesis.

The topic of the debate was whether creation was a viable model of biological origins. Nye

presented observations found using the scientific method to support his argument. However, Ken

ham used the book of Genesis for his base of his argument. The facts presented by Nye did not

influence Ken Ham, it only made him double down on his beliefs. This phenomenon has been

dubbed the backfire effect (Nyhan & Reifler, 2010).

The backfire effect happens because people continue to hold an incorrect belief, even

with evidence to the contrary; therefore, instead of accepting the facts, they continue to dismiss

them. Thus, they become entrenched in their faulty thinking, and people with like-minded

thinking tend to group together. A creationist, like Ken Ham, is more likely to support the ideas

and beliefs within his own group over people from other groups, for example, modern

evolutionary biology. Ingroup bias is the predisposition for people to favor people or ideas in

their own group above others (Taifel, 1985).

Ingroup bias causes us to only accept information from within our own group. In order

for us to protect our belief system, we seek out information that endorses our held belief, which

is referred to as confirmation bias (Rajsic, Wilson, & Pratt, 2015). Confirmation bias contributes

to the backfire effect because the new information supports the current perception, so the idea is

excepted. Confirmation bias hinders people from making educated decisions because when

people are established in their beliefs, they do not want to listen to the contrary, thus this

behavior is purely emotional (Rajsic, Wilson, & Pratt, 2015).

at the same time they selectively attend to infomation that fits their pre-existing beleifs.


A recent study found that knowledge of evolution predicts level of acceptance of

evolution, even after the researchers controlled for the effects of politics and religion (Weisberg,

Landrum, Metz, & Weisberg, 2018). This study demonstrated that knowledge considerably

influences people’s beliefs on evolution. Of the respondents, 26% reported that they held

creationist views, while 32% of the respondents reported that they accepted naturalistic evolution

(Weisberg,, 2018). Additionally, the researchers found that participants who had high levels

of religious belief, were more likely to not accept evolution, and the same effect was found for

participants, who held politically conservative ideology (Weisberg,, 2018).

Climate change is another scientific finding that is not widely accepted by the general

populace. Of United States adults, only 32% report that they deny that there is a scientific

consensus on climate change (McCright & Dunlap, 2011). Furthermore, only 15% of

conservatives reported that they believe that human activity was the main contributor to climate

change, compared to 79% of liberal Democrats (Funk & Kennedy, 2016). There are many

theoretical perspectives for why conservatives are typically more likely than liberals to deny

climate change and evolution. It is possible that heuristics encourage scientific skepticism

(Eidelman, Crandall, Goodman, & Blanchar, 2012). Low effort thought involves patterns of

thinking that include diminutive time, mindfulness, or understanding (Eidelman,, 2012).

This theory could explain the findings of Weisberg,, 2018.

Another perspective postulates that many conservatives view climate change as a part of

the “liberal agenda” (Hoffarth & Hodson, 2015). This view is consistent with holding an ingroup

bias (Taifel, 1985); consequently, conservatives will favor information regarding evolution and

climate change from other conservative intellectuals. Furthermore, conservatives who deny that

human activity is causing climate change to believe that liberal environmentalists have an agenda

I’m losing your point – only 32% suggests taht it could be a lot worse, but teh word deny scientific consenssu sounds bad. Maybe get rid of “only”.


to appropriate climate change to further their political agenda (Hoffarth & Hodson, 2015).

Climate science has been politicized in the United states because both Democrats and

Republicans have benefited monetarily from the fossil fuel industry (McCright & Dunlap, 2011).

It is important that we operationally define what science denial is. Scientists have been on

the forefront of defending science against misinformation, that has been projected by science

skeptics. The denial about science likely does not have to do with science itself, but it has to do

with strong fears and core personal identity (Rosenau, 2012). Furthermore, Rosenau (2012)

points out that creationists view evolution as an attack on morality, while climate change is

viewed as an attack on free market capitalism and citizen’s rights to make decisions about their

homes. Therefore, science denial is the systematic objection to a scientific theory that is based on

strong fears and personal identity. Science denial is employed to protect a person’s ideological

world view; it is not about science at the core. To illustrate, a creationist objects to evolution

because he wants to protect their view, that humans are moral and not related to animals.

However, a “climate change skeptic” will reject human induced climate change, in order to

protect their right to economic freedom.

There is recent neurological evidence that indicates that there are significant differences

in the cognitive styles of liberals and conservatives on psychometrics (Kanai, Feilden, Firth, &

Rees, 2011). Kanai, et. al, (2011) found that the more likely they were to be liberal, the greater

the chance to have increased gray matter volume in the anterior cingulate cortex. However, the

more conservative a person was, there was a greater chance they were to have increased volume

of the right amygdala. Furthermore, Kanai, et. al (2011) found that increased gray matter volume

of the right amygdala was significantly correlated with conservatism. The amygdala is the region

of the brain that processes fear, and people who have larger amygdala, are more sensitive to fear



(Kanai, et. al, 2011). This research suggests that a person with a larger right amygdala is most

likely to be conservative, and this research can explain why science denial is prevalent among

conservative ideology.

Recent research has indicated that brain physiology also affects political attitudes. A

novel personality measure based on brain physiology, called the Fisher Temperament Inventory,

has been associated with a specific neural system (Fisher, Island, Rich, Marchalik, & Brown,

2015). The neural systems that are associated with the Fisher Temperament Inventory are, the

dopamine, serotonin, testosterone, and estrogen/oxytocin system, and the personality dimensions

measured are, curious/energetic, cautious/social norm compliant, analytical/tough-minded, and

prosocial/empathetic (Fisher, et. al, 2015). The authors found that individuals who scored higher

on the cautious/social norm compliant were more likely to be politically conservative, and the

cautious/social norm compliant subtype is related to the serotonin neural system (Fisher, et. al,

2015). The serotonin system is essential for multiple brain functions; for example, sleep,

appetite, sensory processing, motor activity, cognition, and emotion (Bocchio, McHugh,

Bannerman, Sharp, & Capogna, 2016).

The Fisher Temperament Inventory could serve as a proxy for amygdala activity because

the amygdala is modulated by serotonin (Bocchio, et. al, 2016). Hence, if a person scores higher

on the subtest, cautious/social norm compliant, it could indicate that the individual had grater

activity in the amygdala. Serotonin has been implicated in the regulation of fear and anxiety

(Bocchio, et, al, 2016); therefore, this neuropathway might explain why a conservative is more

likely to reject evolution, climate change, and perhaps other science as well. As iterated prior,

science denial is rooted in strong fears and core personal identity (Rosenau, 2012), so its highly

compared to a non-conservative.


likely that person who is sensitive to fear, would be more prone to hold negative opinions of


Study 1

Study one was conducted to see if we could decrease the backfire effect (Nyhan &

Reifler, 2010) by attempting to change people’s perceptions of evolution by providing new

information, without forcing the message recipient to give up his or her existing beliefs (Chick et

al., 2015). The hypotheses for study 1 was; if (primed) with an idea, people are more likely to

receive it positively, and if the message is framed in a non-threating way-for example, no loss of

existing knowledge or beliefs, people will be more likely to accept it.



Participants were recruited online through social media (e.g. Facebook and Google plus),

targeting a religious sample; 38% strongly religious, 32% very religious, because evolutionary

theory is often rejected by evangelicals. N=118, (64% female), mean age= 30.60, race: 62%

white, 11% black, 11% Hispanic, 5% other, Asian 4%, Native American 1%, mixed race 6%.

Participants were sent a link that took them to an online Qualtrics experiment. Participants

answered demographic questions and were presented with additional materials and asked to


Design and materials

A 2 (prime/no prime) by 2 (frame: naturalistic (“inconsistent”) versus consistent

presentation) experiment was conducted through an online survey testing whether priming

people with an idea in a familiar and positive way (description of a branching vine reaching for

Study 1 attempted to reduce teh backfire effect, and promote positive attitudes towards evolutionary theory, using two methods that have been successful in other areas (e. g., priming, cite; framing, cite). Priming uses a stimulus to activate certain expectations or emotions… Framing is important because it guides the audience’s experience by stating the argument in a planned manner that may be more acceptable…
why is primed in parentheses?
we have to clarify that they will view it more positively if the prime is effective and made to induce positive feelings. Let’s get a good definition of priming and framing.
this is good – use this above to be consistent, or use what I have above here, whichever works better.
add footnote here with prime fully included


sunlight), and whether framing the idea in a non-threating/theistic way, would increase

receptivity to evolution. Participants were randomly assigned either to read the vine prime or to

read nothing before reading their randomly assigned framing of evolution.

Prime (VINE): Imagine a vine growing in a maze in a box with a clear glass lid, so the sunlight

can come in. The vine survives by growing and following the light from the sun. The sun gives

the plant energy to grow and survive. The vine attaches itself to a point in the maze, and then it

will use its tendrils to climb towards the light; once contact is made, the vine tendril will curl to

hold itself-up. As it grows, another tendril will grow from the original point of origin, until it as

has found the light. This new tendril now shares a common ancestral point, with the one it grew

from. This vine is an example of how life will always find a way—even in the harshest of

environments, some lifeforms will find a way to survive.


Participants were randomly assigned to read either the typical information about

evolution (part A) or the non-backfire effect information (part B). There was more information in

part A that is directly relevant to the biology of evolution than in part B. Part B included a

section that discussed how evolution can be consistent with religion. After participants were

randomly assigned to prime and framing groups, they answered questions about their attitudes

towards evolution and theistic evolution, the idea that evolution can be consistent with God.

Questions used a 1-5 Likert-type scale, with higher numbers indicating more agreement or trust.


A 2 (prime/no prime) X 2 (consistent/ inconsistent evolution definition) ANOVA was ran

to test the hypothesis that if primed with an idea, people are more likely to receive it positively,

and if the message is framed in a consistent way for example, no loss of existing knowledge or

same here, or if either is too long, we can send readers to the appendix.
let’s provide tehse as footnotes or appendices.


beliefs, people will be more likely to accept it. counter to hypotheses, we found no significant

effect for priming or framing, F (1, 116) =1.38, p>.05. To explain our inability to reduce the

backfire effect, performed a multiple regression using one’s own education level, religiosity, and

social political views, which revealed an overall significant equation, F (3,55) =13.67, p<.001.

The strongest predictor of views on evolution was not religiosity (b=.14, p>.05), but social

liberalism, (b=.40, p<.001), followed by one’s own education (b=.40, p<.001). This finding was

unexpected but has interesting implications that shifted focus to political view.

Participants assigned to the no-threat condition expressed greater understanding of

evolution more than those in the traditional condition (p<.05). We also found a significant

interaction, F (1,109) =8.68, p<.01; conservatives reported thinking of theistic evolution more in

the non-threat than threat condition, while liberals showed the opposite effect. Overall, socially

liberal participants reported that they had more positive attitudes (M=4.00) than did social

conservatives (M=3.28) towards evolutionary theory. We found the same liberal/conservative

difference in positivity towards evolution when we only included very or extremely religious

participants (n=76). Further, social liberals (M=4.28) were more likely than conservatives

(M=3.33) to trust scientists as a source of information about evolution, F (1,117) =22.62,

p<.001. Also, social liberals were more likely to trust public schools about evolutionary theory

(M=2.94) compared to social conservatives (M=2.26), F (1,117) =14.73, p<.001, although both

had notably low trust.


Given the lack of support for our hypotheses about the backfire effect, and our discovery

that conservatism rather than religiosity resulted in the greatest differences in attitudes, future

work should focus on a socially conservative, rather than religious, sample. Terror Management

see Table 1 for means and SDs.
no significant main effect, but there was a significant interaction.
report the whole thing
we need to include the questions in the appendix so they know what we mean when we can “thinking about theistic evolution”
good -add SDs.


Theory (Greenberg, et al., 1990) might help explain why social conservatives have negative

views of evolution. Evolution challenges many all-or-nothing perspectives (low-effort thought;

Eidelman et al., 2012) and precludes one’s separating humans from other animals or denying

death (Jackson et al., 2016). We may have construct validity issues. Our prime may have not

been effective. We may need to improve it in order to see its’ influence, or priming may simply

not work. Given that our manipulation was based on decreasing religious threat, it is reasonable

that our “non-threat” presentation was ineffective. Also, self-report is also a notorious limitation.

Study 2.

The follow up study was conducted to observe whether we could replicate the effect

between political attitudes and acceptance of evolution. This analysis examined if social

conservatism and temperament are predictors for negative views on science. The Fisher

Temperament Inventory (Fisher, et, al., 2015) was used to measure whether certain temperament

subtypes would predict negative attitudes on science. The subtype cautious/social norm

complaint is correlated with being politically conservative (Fisher, et, al., 2015).


Participants were recruited online through social media (e.g.: Facebook and Twitter)

targeting a social conservative sample, 38% very conservative, 30% moderate conservative.

N=250 (54% female), mean age 45.50, race/ethnic background, 60% white, 15% black, 16%

Hispanic, 10% mixed race, 5%, Asian, 1%.

Design and Materials

The lack of support for hypotheses might also be a result of construct validity issues.
either in it’s inability to allay threat or conservativism, rateh rthan religiosity, explaining the true relationship.
let’s find a place for this. Important, along with online alck of oversight, but it kills the flow you have going here and that I have added to.
and the lack of influence from religiosity.
and thus correlated with conservative thought and predictive of anti-science attitudes.


An online survey was generated to measure participants attitudes on science, political

ideology, temperament, and religiosity. The Science Attitude Survey (Holler, 1997) was used to

measure attitudes on science. The scale used 1= Strongly Agree, 4= Strongly disagree. The

questions asked were, “scientific explanations can be made only by scientists.” The Fisher

Temperament Inventory (Fisher, et, al., 2015) was scaled as 1= strongly disagree, 4= strongly

agree. The questions asked, “I find unpredictable situations exhilarating”. The Social and

Economic Conservatism scale (Everett, 2013), was scored on a 0-100 Likert scale in 10-point

increments. The questions asked, how positive or negative do you feel about these issues, for

example, abortion. The Centrality of Religiosity scale (Huber & Huber, 2012). The questions

asked, “To what extent do you believe that God or Something divine exists”.


A multiple regression was conducted to test our hypothesis, and education, political

attitudes, religious belief, and temperament were used as predictors for anti-science attitudes.

Conservatism was employed as a covariate outcome variable for anti-science attitudes.

Temperament was as expected to be the best predictor for anti-science, followed after by

conservatism. Similar to the results found in study one, religiosity did not significantly explain

the variance that was observed in anti-science attitudes. A Person- r correlation was conducted to

ensure that two variables were not used twice.


Now that we have established a significant correlation between conservatism and

temperament with anti-science attitudes, it would be interesting to test in a future experiment,

whether, the Terror Management Theory, the denial of one’s own death, (Greenberg, et al., 1990),

causes a person to reject scientific facts that challenge their beliefs. It is possible that the thought

as the primary dependent variable
included items such as
which tests four neural systems…
response scale
how measured? We should think about this carefully. Not just years or degree, but science exposure and knowledge. Must include in method.
as measured by the scale…
did not show homogeneity of variance


of one’s own death might produce negative attitudes on science. Therefore, the rejection of

science is caused by a fear of death, and this would make sense in conservatives, since they are

more sensitive to fear (Kanai, et. al, 2011). It is possible that conservatives use religiousness as a

buffer against their anxiety about death (Soenke, Landau, & Greenberg, 2013). According to

Soenke, et., al (2013), people manage their anxiety about mortality by subscribing to cultural

worldviews, this offers people to see life as important and continuing on after death. Therefore,

possibly, conservatives hold negative attitudes on science because it is perceived as a threat to

their belief in an afterlife.

we didnt’ directy test, so we can only speculate. Without a death fear indicution I thik terror management is merely a good start/foundation and that we can use it for future resaerch ideas.
wonderful job, in spite of my absence this term. I am sorry! but this will continue and if we figure out a few important details, we can move forward with this and beign it soon. I am excited!



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  • Abstract
  • Conservative Cognitive Style, not Right-wing Evangelical Belief, Predicts Negative Attitudes Towards Science
  • Theoretical Background
    • Study 1
  • References

The proposal: Aggression in Children

1. Abstract

2. Introduction

3. Literature review with a testable hypothesis (The hypothesis should

flow from the literature review and add to the current research on the chosen topic.)

Hypothesis: Boys are considered to be more physically aggressive than girls.

4. Method section (participants, materials, and procedure) 50 children from 5 different local elementary school. Parent and caregivers will assist

Note : “Research Methodology” should be divvied up amongst those three subsections.

· Within your Participants section should go the details about who you’ll study and how you’ll recruit them. If you’re recruiting families, indicate what their inclusion and exclusion criteria might be. If you’re recruiting from schools, indicate how you’d be doing so. Also include an estimate of how many participants you hope to recruit, and any demographic variables you’d plan to record.

· Under the Measures section you should include the details of the materials you need to measure your variables. You mentioned a Behavior Frequency Scale – is that a published instrument? If so, make sure to cite it and clearly identify the ways it will measure your variable of interest (and remember, violence is just one kind of aggression). If it’s an original scale, keep in mind that you’d need to spell it out in it’s entirety as an appendix.

· How will the scale be administered? Is this all done online? Face-to-face? You also mention an interview – is that how you’d gather data? Be specific here, and include it in your Procedure section.

5. Projected results

· Note With regard to your results, try to connect the specific proposed analyses with the hypotheses you’re testing. And if you’re doing a gender comparison, a Pearson’s r will not be what you want. Any straight group comparison will require either a t-test (two groups, one DV) or an ANOVA (2 or more groups, one or more DVs).

· Also make sure to discuss some other anticipatable limitations to this kind of study – for example, the preconceptions the raters might have about boys’ and girls’ behavior. And what else might be helpful to measure here? Any confounds that you haven’t considered?

6. Discussion of what these results mean

Note – The final literature review should include a thorough review of 8-10 articles related to the chosen topic. Please use the below articles:

Luo, M., Pappa, I., Cecil, C. A. M., Jansen, P., van IJzendoorn, M. H., & Kok, R. (2022). Maternal psychological problems during pregnancy and child externalizing problems: Moderated mediation model with child self-regulated compliance and polygenic risk scores for aggression. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 53(4), 654–666.

McRae, E. M., Stoppelbein, L., O’Kelley, S. E., Fite, P. K., & Smith, S. B. (2022). Pathways from child maltreatment to proactive and reactive aggression: The role of posttraumatic stress symptom clusters. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 14(3), 357–366.

Brandes, C. M., Reardon, K. W., Shields, A. N., & Tackett, J. L. (2021). Towards construct validity of relational aggression: An examination of the Children’s Social Behavior Scale. Psychological Assessment, 33(9), 855–870. (Supplemental)

McRae, E. M., Stoppelbein, L., O’Kelley, S. E., Fite, P., & Smith, S. B. (2021). An examination of post-traumatic stress symptoms and aggression among children with a history of adverse childhood experiences. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 43(3), 657–670.

Meter, D. J., Ehrenreich, S. E., Beron, K., & Underwood, M. K. (2021). Listening in: How parent-child communication relates to social and physical aggression. Journal of Child and Family Studies.

Pascual, S. E., Azurmendi, A., Braza, F., Vergara, A. I., Cardas, J., & Sánchez, M. J. R. (2014). Parenting styles and hormone levels as predictors of physical and indirect aggression in boys and girls. Aggressive Behavior, 40(5), 465–473.

Platje, E., Popma, A., Vermeiren, R. R. J. M., Doreleijers, T. A. H., Meeus, W. H. J., van Lier, P. A. C., Koot, H. M., Branje, S. J. T., & Jansen, L. M. C. (2015). Testosterone and cortisol in relation to aggression in a non‐clinical sample of boys and girls. Aggressive Behavior, 41(5), 478–487.

Thornton, L. C., Frick, P. J., Crapanzano, A. M., & Terranova, A. M. (2013). The incremental utility of callous-unemotional traits and conduct problems in predicting aggression and bullying in a community sample of boys and girls. Psychological Assessment, 25(2), 366–378.

Azam, S., & Aftab, R. (2012). Social problem solving styles, acting-out tendencies, and aggression in boys and girls. Pakistan Journal of Psychological Research, 27(1), 121–134.

Method Section (10% of Grade) – The method section will include three sections:

Participants, Measures, and Procedure. If proposing survey research, you must select reliable/valid measures and these measures must be attached to your submission.

Projected Results and Discussion (10% of Grade) – The project results section should include a description of which statistics you will use to test your hypothesis. The discussion section should include possible outcomes as well as possible limitations that you might encounter

Final Proposal including IRB application (10% of Grade) – The final paper will include all sections of the paper including the title page, abstract, literature review with hypothesis, method section, project results, discussion, references, IRB application, and any measures that you plan to include. The final proposal should include application of the core value- Respect.

Saint Leo University Institutional Review Board

Application for IRB Review of Proposed Research*

You may not begin your study until your IRB application is approved. Upon approval, your application will be open for one year.

Applicants checking one or more items marked with an asterisk (*) in part 1, MUST complete parts 1 and 2.

Applicants NOT checking any of those items, only fill out Part 1.


1. Principal Investigator’s full name (
ONE full name only
): Click or tap here to enter text.

2. Organization: Choose an item.

If other, Click or tap here to enter text.

3. Department: Click or tap here to enter text.

4. Program name: Click or tap here to enter text.

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9. Faculty advisor (if student research;
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):Click or tap here to enter text.

10. Faculty advisor’s email address: Click or tap here to enter text.

11. Project title: Click or tap here to enter text.

12. Number of research projects that the listed PI has completed as Principal Investigator before the one proposed here: Choose an item.

13. Number of other research projects in which the listed PI has collected information on human subjects prior to the one proposed here: Choose an item.

14. Please describe the purpose(s) or goal(s) of your study. Include your research question(s) or hypothesis(es) if applicable. (limit response to 250 words)

Click or tap here to enter text.

15. Research methods (Check all that apply and attach all corresponding documentation for each method)

☐Survey(s) (attach questionnaire)

☐Interviews (attach questionnaire or interview guide)

☐Focus Group(s) (attach questions)

☐Experiment (attach description detailed in a protocol and any instruments used)

☐Participant observation (attach procedures)

☐Unobtrusive observation (skip to item # 19)

☐Analysis of publicly available data. Identify all data being used: Click or tap here to enter text. (skip to item # 25)

☐Analysis of private data that have already been collected (i.e., “archival” data)+ Click or tap here to enter text. (skip to item # 20)

☐Other, specify: Click or tap here to enter text.

+: For any non-public data, please include permission from the data holder.


1) For any research recruited or conducted within an organization or group a letter of authorization on letterhead with a wet signature is required from an authorized representative of this organization indicating that you have permission to conduct your research there. If this organization has its own IRB, provide proof of IRB approval.

2) Be aware that the use of copyrighted material has to be authorized by the copyright holder.

16. Type of instrument(s) used (check all that apply):

☐Paper questionnaire, Survey, interview guide

☐Online questionnaire, Survey, interview guide

☐Experimental design (protocol must be attached)

☐None (note-taking)

☐Other, specify: Click or tap here to enter text.

17. How long do you anticipate that it will take the participants to complete the research procedure(s)?

Click or tap here to enter text.

18. Number of participants: Click or tap here to enter text.

19. Types of participants (Check all that apply):

☐Adults (18 and older)

☐Elected officials

☐ Saint Leo students+

☐ Saint Leo University personnel++

☐Minors (under 18, includes Saint Leo students+ under 18)*

☐Individuals diagnosed with a mental disorder or illness*

☐Terminally ill patients*

☐Undocumented immigrants*

☐Convicted felons*

☐Other sensitive populations, specify*: Click or tap here to enter text.

+ Requires recruitment materials to be included in item # 22.

++ Requires additional permission from the VPAA prior to IRB review. Please see the instructions on our website.

20. Are you choosing participants from any specifically targeted categories?


☐ N/A, Unobtrusive observation as noted in item # 15

If yes, choose all those that apply




☐Age group

☐Military status

☐Other: Click or tap here to enter text.

21. Sampling strategy, choose all that apply:

☐ Convenience/availability

☐ Random/probability

☐ Snowball


☐Other, specify: Click or tap here to enter text.

☐ Not Applicable. No sampling will be done.

22. Recruitment strategy (Mark all that apply with an X):

☐ Individual contacts (in person, by phone, or by mail)

☐ Email announcements

☐ Public announcements (including through social media)

☐ Flyers

☐ Use of external agencies/groups

☐ Other, specify: Click or tap here to enter text.

☐ Not Applicable. Use of archived or private database.

+From #19 above, if using Saint Leo students, the recruitment statement will be as follows: Click or tap here to enter text.

23. Are any external agencies or groups providing approval for the recruitment or data collection of their employees or members (indicate any funders or organizations from which you obtain participants or their data)?

☐ No

☐ Yes

If yes, please provide the name of the agency/agencies: Click or tap here to enter text.

Note: A letter of authorization on letterhead with a wet signature by an authorized individual from the stated agency or group must also accompany the application.

24. What type of consent process will you use? (Choose all that apply)

☐Implied consent (attach template implied consent statement)

☐Informed consent form (attach template informed consent form)

☐Assent (attach template assent form or statement)

☐Other, specify: Click or tap here to enter text.

☐ Consent process not applicable. Research on publicly available data, archival or private database.

25. Data recording method (Mark all that apply with an X):

☐Electronic (online survey, email, blog, etc.)

☐Written (includes notes, participants filling out a paper questionnaire or survey)


☐ Video*


☐Other, specify: Click or tap here to enter text.

☐Use of existing data

26. Will the data be linked to the individual participants’ identifying information (such as name, email address, social security number, video, picture, etc.)? This may include identifying information on the data collection instrument or keeping a list of names matched to codes used in the data.

☐ Yes*

☐ No, my data will not involve the manual collection of participants’ identifying information.

☐ No, my online survey will not collect participants’ identifying information. My online survey tool (i.e., Qualtrics, Survey Monkey, other) will employ the anonymous setting to avoid collecting any identifying information on study participants.

27. How will you store your data? (Check all that apply):

☐Locked file cabinet

☐Password-protected computer

☐Locked office

☐Locked safe

☐External database, provide name of database: Click or tap here to enter text.

☐Other, specify: Click or tap here to enter text.

28. How will you report your research? (Mark all that apply with an X)

☐Undergraduate Senior Thesis project

☐Master’s Thesis

☐Doctoral Dissertation

☐Class paper

☐In-class presentation

☐Public presentation


☐Report for an outside organization

☐Other, specify: Click or tap here to enter text.

29. Does the research involve any deception of the participants?



30. Does the research involve any cost to participants?


☐ No

31. Risk involved in participating in this research (Mark all that apply with an X):

See IRB website for a definition of minimal risk.

None above those incurred in daily life

☐Physical injury, illness, or exposure to toxic or noxious substances*

☐Emotional or psychological harm*

☐Social (such as: embarrassment, damage to one’s reputation)*



☐Other, specify*: Click or tap here to enter text.

PART 2 – TO BE FILLED BY APPLICANTS WHO CHECKED ONE OR MORE BOX(ES) FOR ITEMS FOLLOWED BY AN ASTERISK (*). If you didn’t check any boxes followed by an asterisk, proceed to the PI Statement of Responsibility.

Please provide


answers to the questions below.

1. Describe the objective(s) of your study. What do you hope to accomplish?

Click or tap here to enter text.

2. What are the expected benefit(s) of your research to the participants themselves, to society, and/or to the academic community?

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3. What type(s) of participants will you be using? Include any demographic information, such as age, gender, ethnicity, and any other social categories or groups that your research involves.

Click or tap here to enter text.

4. How will you contact and recruit participants for your study?

Click or tap here to enter text.

5. How will you secure informed consent from your participants?

Click or tap here to enter text.

6. Describe fully how you will collect, store, manage, analyze, and report your data. Include information regarding paper or electronic copies. If your data is linked or identifiable in any way, you must also describe how you will securely store your data and procedures for de-identification and study close out. If your data is collected electronically then you must also describe the program and security features that you will use.

Click or tap here to enter text.

7. How will you ensure participant anonymity or the confidentiality of the data during data collection, storage, analysis, and reporting? Please note that anonymity means that no information that can identify participants is collected in the data, while confidentiality means that such information is collected, but access to it is restricted.

Click or tap here to enter text.

8. Who will have access to the data? For what purposes?

Click or tap here to enter text.

9. How long will you keep the data, and why?

Click or tap here to enter text.

10. Describe fully any and all risks beyond those of daily life to which participants may be exposed as a result of participation in your study (legal, social, emotional, etc.).

Click or tap here to enter text.

11. How will you minimize the existing risk(s)?

Click or tap here to enter text.

12. If you answered “yes” to item #29 in Part 1 of the application, describe the nature of the participant deception and how you will debrief them.

Click or tap here to enter text.

PI Statement of Responsibility

I, the Principal Investigator, certify that I have followed the guidelines as outlined in this application and in the instructions available on the IRB webpage, including (check all that apply):

I checked one or more item(s) followed with an asterisk (***) and I have answered every single question in Part 2 of the application, leaving none blank

☐ I have provided an answer to every single question in Part 1 of the application, leaving none blank. I understand that incomplete applications will be returned without review.

☐ I am submitting this application, including all supplemental documents, as ONE Word document. I understand that any other type of submission will be returned without review.

☐ I have answered all questions truthfully. I understand that failure to do so will result in immediate revocation of any IRB approval, with the potential for further disciplinary action through my home institution.

☐ I am including Saint Leo employees as research subjects and have obtained the required approval from the Vice President of Academic Affairs to do so.

If a student…

☐ I have received guidance from my faculty advisor and obtained his/her signature

☐ As a first-time undergraduate Principal Investigator, my research involves no risk greater than those encountered in daily life.

☐ As a Doctoral student, I give permission for an IRB representative to discuss this application with my faculty advisor and/or program Chair/Director

I also certify that I have included all necessary supplemental documentation, as applicable to my research (check all that apply):

Ethical Training:

☐ I have obtained the required ethics training certification, as described on the IRB webpage

☐ Proof of completion of ethical training with at least 6 months’ validity, to be renewed if the study extends beyond that date. For more information, see the IRB webpage.

☐ If I am submitting this application as a student, proof of completion of ethical training for my faculty advisor

Experimental Design Information and Materials:

☐ Data collection instrument(s), such as survey, interview questionnaire(s), or protocols for experiments

☐ If using Saint Leo students and/or a vulnerable population marked with an asterisk in item 19, recruitment materials (email announcements, flyers, etc. to match the recruitment methods listed in item 22)

Consent Form(s):

☐ Implied consent statement template(s)

☐ Informed Consent form template(s)

☐ Assent form template(s)

Supplemental Information:

☐ Letter of Authorization from outside agency or group on their letterhead with wet signature from an authorized individual to conduct the specific research from outside agency

☐ Proof of approval from outside agency IRB

☐ If not a member of the Saint Leo community, proof of approval from my organization’s IRB

☐ I am including Saint Leo employees as research subjects and have attached the approval form from the Vice President of Academic Affairs.

I accept the following responsibilities (please check each after reviewing):

☐ I will not start collecting any data for this project before obtaining IRB approval of the proposal.

☐ I will obtain approval from the Saint Leo IRB prior to instituting any change in the project protocol.

☐ I will bring to the attention of the Saint Leo IRB the development of any unexpected risks or ethical concerns.

☐ I understand that the approval period is for exactly one year, and that all study activities will either cease prior to expiration, or I will submit a request for an extension prior to the expiration date.

☐ I have read, understand, and acknowledge the IRB bylaws.

☐ I will keep signed informed consent forms (if required by the project) from each participant for five years after the completion of the project and will ensure proper storage.

PI’s signature: Click or tap here to enter text. Date: Click or tap to enter a date.

37. (
Student research only
) Faculty advisor statement of responsibility

I, the faculty advisor for this research project, certify the following:

☐ I have reviewed this entire application and assisted the PI in designing his/her research project.

☐ I have ensured that the PI has followed all instructions to fill out this application according to the guidelines provided by the Saint Leo IRB.

☐ I approve the research project as outlined in this application.

☐ I will assist the PI in making any revisions requested by the Saint Leo IRB.

☐ I will assist the PI in the completion of the research and will continuously monitor all study related activities throughout the research period.

☐ I will ensure that the PI submits a modified application for review, should any modifications to the research plan occur.

☐ I will ensure that the PI submits a request for continuation in a timely fashion, should the research be extended beyond the one-year IRB approval.

☐ My ethics certification is valid for at least another 6 months and is attached to this application.

☐ I will renew my ethics certification at expiration, if it expires before the PI’s research project is completed.

I understand that I will be held legally responsible in case of any violation of the IRB regulations by the research team.

Faculty Advisor’s Signature: Click or tap here to enter text. Date: Click or tap to enter a date.


FOR IRB USE ONLY <do not delete; do not complete>:

Verification of ethics training certification

PI: ☐Valid certification (Expiration date: Click or tap to enter a date. )

☐Certification expired

☐No certification

Faculty Advisor: ☐N/A

☐Valid certification (Expiration date: Click or tap to enter a date.)

☐Certification expired

☐No certification

Type of review:
☐Exempt ☐Expedited ☐Full


☐Minor Revisions Required

Minor revisions required: Click or tap here to enter text.

☐Revise and resubmit

Revisions required: Click or tap here to enter text.

☐Not approved

Justification for non-approval: Click or tap here to enter text.

IRB representative’s signature: Click or tap here to enter text. Date: Click or tap to enter a date.

Revised November 2021

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