Variable Question text Label

Informed Consent

Pre-consent Message

Thank you for your participation in the Understanding America Study. We are launching a new study in the UAS about use of social media. On the next page you will see a consent form to review before you decide whether or not you would like to participate in this project. If you have any questions about this form or this project, please contact Professor Jieun Shin (

Purpose of the study

The main goal of this study is to investigate the media consumption patterns of citizens, their political beliefs, and their perception of the media environment.


You are invited to participate in a research study conducted by Jieun Shin, PhD, at the University of Florida and Lian Jian, PhD, at the University of Southern California. You are invited because you are an adult living in the United States, and a member of the Understanding America Study. This study is funded by the Department of Telecommunication, University of Florida.

Your participation is voluntary. You should read the information below, and ask questions about anything you do not understand, before deciding whether to participate. Please take as much time as you need to read the consent form. You may also decide to discuss participation with your family or friends or ask us for more information before you decide. If you decide to participate, you will be asked to agree at the bottom of this screen. We can send you a copy if you request it from

Study procedures

If you agree to participate in this study by providing us with permission to follow your Twitter account, you will answer a few more survey questions. We then will follow your account on Twitter for a period of no longer than 30 days. Our analysis will combine observations of study participants Twitter feeds with other information obtained from participants’ UAS survey responses. The study compares aggregated information from many participants. At no time will we have access to your personally identifying information, and will delete from our records any personally identifying information that may be inadvertently included in your Twitter feed. If you decide to participate, you will earn a total of $5 as a thank-you for completing this form, a few survey questions, and allowing us to follow your Twitter feed. If you decide not to participate, you will earn $1 for completing this form.

Potential risks and discomforts

There are no anticipated risks beyond the unlikely event of disclosure of your Twitter account name in relation to your responses to the short questionnaire.

Potential benefits to participants and/or to society

There are no direct benefits to participants, but the research and results being studied we anticipate to have benefits for society.


The researchers of this study, Professor Jieun Shin and Lian Jian, will collect anonymized data, and will not have direct access to your personal identifiable information. We will keep your records for this study confidential as far as permitted by law.

After our data analyses, all results will be reported in aggregate. No individual account names will be mentioned in our written reports or published research. We will use your information only for purposes of this study.

Participation and withdrawal

Your participation is voluntary. Your refusal to participate will involve no penalty or loss of benefits to which you are otherwise entitled. You may withdraw your consent at any time and discontinue participation without penalty. You are not waiving any legal claims, rights or remedies because of your participation in this research study.

Investigator’s Contact Information

If you have any questions or concerns about the research, please feel free to contact: Principal Investigators, Professor Jieun Shin ( and Lian Jian (

Rights of Research Participant – IRB Contact Information

If you have questions, concerns, or complaints about your rights as a research participant or the research in general and are unable to contact the research team, or if you want to talk to someone independent of the research team, please contact the University of Southern California Institutional Review Board, 1640 Marengo Street, Suite 700, Los Angeles, CA 90033- 9269. Phone (323) 442-0114 or email

I have read the information provided above. I have been given a chance to ask questions. My questions have been answered to my satisfaction. I can obtain a copy of this form by contacting the UAS helpdesk (855.872.8673 or, or by downloading it from here: Consent form
tw_001Could you provide us with your Twitter account handle (e.g., @smith) below? Please only type in a Twitter user name - not your email address. If you do not have a Twitter handle, select the second choice below.

If you are not so sure, please login to your Twitter account here at and double check for accuracy.
provide twitter handle
tw_002How often do you check your Twitter feeds? how often check twitter
tw_003My followers are mainly: (select all that apply)who are followers
tw_004Why do you consume content on Twitter? (select all that apply)why consume content on twitter
tw_005Why do you tweet or retweet on Twitter? (select all that apply) why tweet or retweet
tw_006_aConservativerespondent conservative political news
tw_006_bModerate or non-partisanrespondent moderate political news
tw_006_cLiberalrespondent liberal political news
tw_006_totalTotal respondent total political news
tw_007_aConservativeconservative conservative political news
tw_007_bModerate or non-partisanconservative moderate political news
tw_007_cLiberalconservative liberal political news
tw_007_totalTotal conservative total political news
tw_008_aConservativeliberal conservative political news
tw_008_bModerate or non-partisanliberal moderate political news
tw_008_cLiberalliberal liberal political news
tw_008_totalTotal liberal total political news
tw_009Do you agree or disagree with the following statement.

"The U.S. public is politically polarized because social media content is politically polarized”"
public is polarized because social media is polarized
tw_010Do you agree or disagree with the following statement.

"Social media makes people become politically extreme"
social media makes people become politically extreme
tw_011Do you consider yourself a:conservative, moderate or liberal
tw_orderIndicates order of tw_006 to tw_008indicates order of tw_006 to tw_008
tw_providedhandle provided