My research interests are broad in application but specific in practice. I have been reviewing the process by which we obtain informed consent in research settings since my days as an undergraduate student at the University of Mount Olive. I am interested in the social and cognitive factors that influence the decision-making process and how the presentation of information can influence retention.
My current research projects are focusing on the effectiveness of an alternative method of delivery in experimental settings and on the impact of recorded presentations of consent information.
I believe that their are many factors influencing the level of understanding that a participant can glean from the consent process. Motivation, self efficacy, trust in the research process are some of the more common aspects that are incorporated in to my work. I have recently begun to explore the possibility that the principles of cognitive dissonance can be implemented to encourage participants to read informed consent documents.
Practical applications include understanding a person’s competency to consent, the implications for agreeing to contractual obligations without fully reading or understanding the contract, and the discovery of more efficient ways to convey information that must be learned. The principles examined this avenue can also be applied to educational settings (reading course syllabi) and many other real-word scenarios.