Research studies 

A list of the surveys and research projects you can currently volunteer to take part in across the University of Sheffield.


Light BulbReceive £5 for taking part in a study on the effects of playing with a robotic seal

If you are aged between 18 and 35, I would like to invite you to take part in my study. You will receive a £5 as a reward for your participation. This experiment will take 30 - 45 minutes to complete. This study attempts to understand how interactions with Paro, a robotic seal will affect you.

During the experiment, you will be asked to complete a short questionnaire that is related to your current feelings, and your responses will be recorded using physiological sensors. The physiological sensors will be attached on your fingertips, wrist and legs. There will also be video recorded during the robot session, but only if you give your permission.

You also will be asked to answer some simple mathematical questions (involving multiplication, division, addition, subtraction) while listening to an aversive sound delivered through headphones.

However, in order to ensure consistent results, if you have hearing difficulties, heart and skin health conditions, are taking prescribed medication, or have mental health problems then you should not participate in this study.

If you'd like to take part in this study, please take a few short minutes to fill out the survey with general information about yourself

Project contact: This study is being conducted by Raihah Aminuddin. If you have any questions about this study, please email raminuddin1@sheffield.ac.uk

This study has been approved by the Department of Computer Science Research Ethics Committee


Survey IconWin a £20 Amazon voucher in a short study on personality and emotions

Do you ever look back on decisions you've made and wonder what on earth you were thinking? Would you like to know more about how your personality and emotions affect the way you behave? You are invited to take part in a short survey on the effect of personality and emotions on behaviours. This study won't take any longer than 10 minutes and you have the chance to win one of five Amazon vouchers worth £20.

If you'd like to take part in this study, visit the Sheffield management page.

Project contact: This study is conducted by Tobias Stadler as part of my PhD in Work Psychology. If you have any questions about this study, please don't hesitate to email t.stadler@sheffield.ac.uk

This study is approved by the Ethics Board of the Sheffield University Management School


Listening ExperimentTake part in an online experiment on music & emotion

Volunteers are invited to participate in an online experiment about music and emotion that I am carrying out for my Master thesis.

The simple experiment takes about 30 minutes and involves listening to several pieces of music and rating their emotional communication. The experiment has to be done individually, using headphones, and without any interruptions or distractions.

This experiment can be taken in English, Spanish, or Chinese. If you'd like to participate, visit the Sheffield psychology page.

Project contact: For more information email Thomas Lennie tmlennie1@sheffield.ac.uk

This study has been approved by the Department of Music Ethics Committee in accordance with the University of Sheffield's Research Ethics Approval Procedure.


Survey IconOnline study exploring prosocial behaviour (with four £50 prize draws)

We are currently seeking participants for a study on prosocial behaviour. The study involves an online survey which will take up to 10 minutes to complete. Two months after completion of the survey, you will be emailed with a link to a simple follow-up questionnaire, which will ask further questions about prosocial behaviours, and will take around two minutes to complete. Upon completing the study, you will be entered into a prize draw to win one of four £50 high street shopping vouchers.

If you would like to take part in the study, visit the Sheffield psychology page.

Project contact: If you have any questions about the study or would like further information, please contact the experimenter, Dr Stephanie Dunn s.a.dunn@sheffield.ac.uk

This research has been approved by the Department of Psychology's Ethics Committee


Survey IconShould we be concerned about robot teachers in our schools?

We invite you to take part in this online survey about robots used in education. We are at the point where there is a real possibility of robots integrating into our social lives in the near future. Robots are already being trialed and used across the UK to help young children in primary and secondary schools in the attempt to aid their learning and develop their social skills.

This survey aims to understand the public's general opinions and concerns about social robots and telepresence robots used in an educational environment before fully welcoming them into our classrooms.

For more information and to participate fill in the survey.

Project contact: This research is being conducted by Luke Taylor ltaylor9@sheffield.ac.uk

This project has received ethical approval from the Department of Computer Science Ethics Committee at the University of Sheffield.



Survey IconOnline study exploring how people choose between different products

We would like to invite you to take part in a research study exploring how people choose between different products. If you are interested in taking part, then you will be asked to complete a number of questionnaires about your thoughts and attitudes, and a product-choice task in which you will be asked to choose between different products commonly found in the supermarket. This study will take no longer than 30 minutes to complete If you would like to take part, please find more information about the study here.  

Project contact: If you would like to know more about the study, or have any questions, please feel free to contact Harriet Baird (harriet.baird@sheffield.ac.uk).

This study has received ethical approval from the Department of Psychology Ethics committee at the University of Sheffield. All data collected will be strictly confidential and accessible only to members of the research team.



Interview IconEver get songs stuck in your head? Help us investigate and you could win £50!

My name is Jenny Ward and I am a doctoral clinical psychology student at the University of Sheffield. I am looking for volunteers to participate in a study exploring the experience of songs and thoughts which intrude into our minds, and what might be linked to this. The study is open to all staff and students but a high level of English language ability is necessary. We'd like you to come into the psychology department to complete a 20-minute questionnaire exploring how you experience songs which get stuck in your head - also known as 'earworms'. You will also answer questions about your experience of random thoughts which pop into your mind. Some of these thoughts can be distressing, but they are extremely common and people experience these every day. We'd then like you to complete a 15-minute computer task so we can get an idea of your cognitive functioning. We're interested to see if this is linked to your experience of earworms and thoughts that pop into your head. On completion of the study you will be entered into a prize draw to win £50 as a thank you for your participation*.

Project contact: If you are interested in taking part or would like more information, please contact me by emailing: jsims2@sheffield.ac.uk. I will then send you some dates and times and you can decide if you are able to come in and participate.

*Unfortunately, psychology undergraduates who receive course credits for participation in studies can not be entered into the prize draw.

Your participation will offer a valuable contribution to research into involuntary thoughts and help us explore the broad spectrum of how individuals experience this common phenomenon.

Your participation is voluntary and you are free to withdraw at any time, and your information will remain confidential.

This study is being conducted under the supervision of Dr Lisa-Marie Emerson (l.emerson@sheffield.ac.uk) and Dr Victoria Williamson (v.williamson@sheffield.ac.uk) and has received ethical approval from the University of Sheffield Psychology Department Ethics Committee.



Written Experiment IconDoes your social network use affect your mood?

Over the past decade social media has evolved at an exponential rate to the point where almost everyone has access to it. Many of these people use such services multiple times a day but have we ever stopped to think about the effect these platforms have on us as individuals? Do they induce or relieve stress? What effect do they have on our mood? These are questions I intend to investigate in my third year dissertation project. In order to investigate this topic I will need volunteers to participate in a week long study, although volunteers can drop out at any time. Volunteers can participate for as many days as they like within the week. The study will involve you completing a questionnaire during one of your sessions on the internet every day that you take part. In addition you will be completing a questionnaire at the beginning and end of the study. These should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete.

Project contact: If you are interested in participating in the study please contact me at: aborrett1@sheffield.ac.uk and I will email you a consent form, the questionnaires, and further instructions.

Participants will be given the findings of the study once the dissertation is complete.

This project has received ethical approval from the Department of Computer Science and is supervised by Dr Amanda Sharkey.



Social Activity Icon 160x120Native speakers of British English are wanted for a recording process

We are looking for volunteers to participate in a study that aims to analyse visual speech cues in different listening situations. If you volunteer, audio and video recordings will be made while you read prompts in both quiet and noisy conditions. Noise will be presented to you over headphones and video will be recorded by two small cameras attached to a helmet that you will be wearing. The experiment will take place in a small recording booth situated in the Department of Computer Science and will take roughly 40 to 60 minutes (including breaks). You will receive £10 compensation for taking part.

Project contact: If you're interested in taking part, please email Najwa Alghamdi at amalghamdi1@sheffield.ac.uk. We will arrange a convenient time for you to take part in the study.

In order to participate, you must:
1. Be a native speaker of British English.
2. Have no speech or hearing disabilities (please, avoid going to a concert / loud place the night before your experiment)
3. Be able to read simple sentences fluently,
4. Be aged 18 to 30,
5. Have a good voice quality (i.e. not having an overly creaky/breathy voice, no heavy smokers, no cold/flu on the day of recording - if you are unwell on the day of the recording, let us know).
6. Not have a beard or a moustache, as these can hide visible articulatory movements.
7. Not be prone to migraines or have a sensitivity to spotlights and loud noise.

Ethical approval for this study has been granted by the Department of Computer Science Ethics Review Panel at the University of Sheffield.



Computer Icon 160x120Robots and loneliness

I would like to invite you to take part in a short study for my Undergraduate dissertation. The project has the title "Robots and Loneliness", and it is being supervised by Dr Amanda Sharkey. The project looks into the possible effects that robots can have on loneliness and those experiencing loneliness. The Study will consist of watching a short film clip followed by a short survey. The study will be running on the following days: Monday 20th: 9:00-12:00 and 14:00-17:00; Tuesday 21st: 9:00-10:00, 12:00-15:00 and 16:00-17:00; Monday 27th: 9:00-17:30; Tuesday 28th: 9:00-10:00, 11:00-15:00 and 16:00-17:00. The study will only take approximately 10 minutes. If you wish to take part in this study please book in a slot in which you are able to attend.

Project contact: To book a slot please email Dominic Reeve on dreeve1@shef.ac.uk with the day you wish to attend, please give an hour slot which suits you best and I'll get back to you with your individual time. The study will be taking place in Regents Court room G25.

The results of the survey will be stored anonymously, and no personal data will be asked for or stored. Your help would be much appreciated. This experiment complies with the Department of Computer Science's ethical procedures.



Interview IconNon-binary/genderqueer language study: participants wanted

I'm a third year undergraduate student of English Language and Linguistics looking for volunteers to take part in a 30-40 minute study on language and gender. The study will take place in week 6 or 7 - Specific date/time to be arranged at your convenience. I am part of the LGBT+ community and am aware of the lack of research that takes into consideration the gender spectrum. I would like my study to help change this.I am looking for people who identify as non-binary, genderqueer, or any gender that is not male or female. I am also looking for male and female participants. My study will consist of several groups: A male group, a female group, a group of people who do not identify their gender as either male or female, as well as a mixed group of all of the above. Each group will consist of 7 participants. you will be asked to attend a collaborative (informal!) group task which will be held on the university campus. Each group will be asked to establish a mutually agreed route from one station to another on a map of the London underground. You will be given certain extra conditions you will be asked to meet, but you won't be judged at all on your ability to complete the task. Please ensure that group activities and discussions are something that are within your comfort zone, though you are reminded that this task will be completely informal and casual! After this task, there will be the opportunity for a short, informal discussion on gender and language. You will not be put on the spot or asked to talk about your gender identity. If you are interested, please see the relevant information sheet: One is for people who identify with a binary gender (male/female), and the other for participants who identify with a gender other than male or female. These only differ very slightly and contain information relevant to each group.

Project contact: Please email Nat Dziura (ndziura1@sheffield.ac.uk) to register your interest in taking part, and let me know how you identify your gender and which group you would like to be in (male, female, non-binary/genderqueer, or the mixed group). I will then arrange a date/time that suits all group members via an online poll.

Refreshments will be provided as a reward for your participation in my study. (Please let me know if you have any allergies or other dietary requirements)

The task will be video recorded, however, these recordings will not be redistributed and will only be used to aid transcription. The recordings will be destroyed once my research is published.

All participation will be anonymised. You may withdraw from the study at any point and, if you decide to do so, I will not analyse any of the data you have provided.

This project has been ethically approved via The Department of Arts and Humanities' ethics review procedure through The University's Research Ethics Committee and is being conducted under the supervision of Dr Emma Moore (e.moore@sheffield.ac.uk)


Listening ExperimentDo you listen to recordings of classical music? A chance to win up to £45 in Amazon vouchers

Take our survey for a chance to win one of eight Amazon vouchers up to £45! There is a new, exciting research project looking at how opinion influences the choices and evaluations made by consumers of classical music recordings. The project is run by the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (Switzerland) and The University of Sheffield (UK). We are launching an online survey for people who listen to recordings of classical music. Our aim is to learn from these listeners' experiences and to understand their view of the classical market. This secure online survey takes approximately 25 minutes and we offer a generous prize draw! Up for grabs are five Amazon vouchers of £45 and three of £20 (or the closest fully upward rounded denomination in the chosen Amazon currency). Take the survey: in English or in German. This is the first study to explore musical opinion in this way and your feedback will help us generate positive impacts on training and music education, as well as enhance our wider understanding of music aesthetics and expression.

Project contact: Dr. Victoria Williamson (University of Sheffield, v.williamson@sheffield.ac.uk)

This study has been approved by ethics committee in the Department of Music, University of Sheffield