Team MIMIc aims to contribute to the improvement of today’s society and help you benefit the most from your media use. In order to do this, we first need to gain information on how you and your peers use media and how you react to the images you see on a daily basis. If, like us, you are curious about the effects of media use, and would like to help your generation gain the most out of their media, maybe we can help each other.
What do we do?
Our research is organized across three different countries (Belgium, Slovenia and France) and is part of a European project led by Prof. L. Vandenbosch. We want to gain insights into the media that you and your friends like to use (12 to 16 year-old) that regularly contain unrealistic messages relating to relationships, school success, body ideals, sexual and social success. Our team aims to understand how adolescents, such as yourself, interact with these messages that appear on social media, television and in popular music lyrics, both over a long period of time and on a daily basis. We would also like to know if and how you post about yourself on social media (e.g Instagram and TikTok). More generally, we would like to learn more about the relationship between media use and how you and your peers think about yourselves, each other, your body, school results and sexuality.
After our research, we would you and your school with a separate report. These reports would include tips & tricks to help you manage specific difficulties that come with social media, such as online privacy, cyberbullying… and thus allowing you to reap the most benefit from using these media.
As a token of appreciation for your participation in our study, you will be given an individual gift voucher, in addition to participations in lotteries to win additional vouchers. The tokens of appreciation are given based on your time investment in the research. If you decide to revoke the use of your personal data after completing the research, the vouchers will still be given.
What about data confidentiality?
Confidentiality of identifying data will always be guaranteed. The obtained research results will be used for scientific research only, these scientific reports will never contain any identifying information (such as your name or birth date). The data are used in agreement with the law (GDPR) and the strict KU Leuven, University De Tours, University of Ljubljana rules. You can find more information on the procedures and the confidentiality of the research in information brochures. All this information will also be explained orally to you when we visit the school to invite them to participate in our research.
Our project consists of multiple studies. Find more information about each of them below.
In-depth interviewes Research
If you participate in our Longitudinal Study, they will be asked to complete a questionnaire on how they interact with media at four different time points over the course of two years. These questionnaires will always be the same, because we want to see how your opinion on these topics evolves over time. The questionnaire contains questions about your body, the importance of your appearance, school results, beauty ideals, sexuality, your media use (for instance social media) and how you think about their peers.
The Diary Research study will ask you to complete a brief questionnaire at home on how you interact with media, every evening before bed. This questionnaire will always be the same, because we want to see how your opinion changes depending on your daily experiences. Answering this questionnaire will take approximately 10 minutes, and can be completed by using a computer, a phone or a tablet with internet connection. The questionnaire contains questions about your body, the importance of your appearance, school results, beauty ideals, sexuality, your media use (for instance social media) and how you think about their peers.
Content Analytical Research
A Content Analytical Study is research conducted on your social media profile. If you are invited to take part in this study, you will be asked to accept a friendship or follow request from a social media profile specifically designed for the current research. During the time of the data collection, the researchers will be part of your online network. Next, the researchers will take screenshots to investigate the pictures, status updates and messages posted on your social media profiles. Only the researchers have access to the screenshots and will investigate them by calculating, for instance, the number of pictures on a profile, before deleting these screenshots permanently.
Results of the research
If you participate in our research, you will receive a report presenting the most important results of the study every six months after the data collection has taken place. These reports will include the findings of the research, but also tips and tricks on how you can optimize your media interactions
Thank you in advance for your cooperation, your help is greatly appreciated. Any questions? You can always contact the responsible researcher in your country.