About the Study

Aim of the study:

The COVID on MIND research study aims to shed light on how exceptional circumstances, such as the coronavirus pandemic, affect our mental contents (when we are dreaming and mind-wandering). It is a continuation of the previous research carried out in 2020. You can take part regardless of whether you participated in the previous 2020 study.

Description of the study procedure:

The study will be carried out online and anonymously.

To enroll in the study you must, first, familiarize yourself with the study, indicate your agreement to participate in the study, and retrieve your personal participant ID from this page. Next, you are asked to fill in a well-being survey containing questions about well-being, sleep quality, dream experiences, and COVID-19 related experiences. After this, you are asked to carry out two tasks over a 2-week period (14 days):

  1. The mind-wandering task is carried out in the evenings and lasts ~15 minutes. The aim of this task is to observe the thoughts, feelings, images and scenarios that arise in your mind when you are not engaged in any specific activity. This task is reported in an online form available here. More detailed instructions can be found here.
  2. A dream log is the second daily task. The aim of this task is to report whether you remember having any dreams that night, and if so, what kinds of contents, events or experiences appear in your dreams during the reporting period. This task is reported in an online form available here. More detailed instructions can be found here.

The benefits and harms of participating in the study: 

There is no risk or harm involved in participating in the study. This study will increase scientific understanding of how our internal subjective experiences relate to external events. You will also be able to observe first-hand how this unprecedented coronavirus situation is reflected in the contents of your mind.

How will the research data be used:

No personally identifying details will be collected. You will be given a randomly assigned participant ID that you will use when answering the questionnaire and writing down the reports. It is not possible to re-retrieve this ID or to connect it with your identity (e.g. we will not collect IP address of your device), and even the researchers of the study will not be able to know whose ID it is. This ID is only used to match the various reports and answers given by the same participant when analyzing the data. The data will be stored in the Department of Psychology at the University of Cambridge (UK), the Department of Philosophy at Monash University (Australia), and in the Department of Psychology and Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Turku (Finland) who will be responsible for the processing of the data collected in the framework of this study. The results of the study will be published in a summarized manner in student theses, peer-reviewed scientific articles, and scientific conferences. According to the principles and practices of open science, the data will possibly also be published in an openly available database (e.g., Open Science Forum, www.osf.io) which enables other researchers to use the data. Before the data will be published, all possibly identifying information (i.e., information that can possibly be used to identify you) will be removed. This means that all names, locations, and other information that you provide in your mind-wandering and dream reports will be removed and it will not be possible to identify you or any other individuals based on these reports.

General information about how the University of Cambridge uses personal data can be found here: https://www.information-compliance.admin.cam.ac.uk/data-protection/research-participant-data

Your rights as a participant:

Participation in this study is completely voluntary. You have the right to stop your participation at any point of the study without providing any reasons for doing so or without any negative consequences. Data that you have provided up to that point can still be used in the study. If you want all your reports and questionnaire answers removed from the study, please email the research team as soon as possible and we will do our best to comply with your request. For this you need to provide the researchers with your participant ID. You should be aware, however, that once the dataset has been published or made open (e.g., available to other researchers) we may no longer have the ability to identify and remove information from a particular participant. You have the right to obtain more information about the study and to ask questions from the researchers at any point of the study. Please contact the researchers via email (see contact details below).

Ethical review of the study:

This project has been reviewed by the Cambridge Psychology Research Ethics Committee and by the Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee (MUHREC)


Jennifer Windt’s and Manuela Kirberg’s (Monash) contribution to the project is funded by the Australian Research Council through the Discovery Early Career Researcher Award scheme (Funder Ref: DE170101254)

Research Group (Contact details):

University of Turku, Department of Psychology and Speech-Language Pathology
Publicum, Assistentinkatu 7 20014 Turku, Finland

Ville Loukola, MA (psychology), junior researcher (Principal Investigator)
Jarno Tuominen, PhD (psychology), university teacher (Principal Investigator)
Pilleriin Sikka, PhD, (psychology), researcher (Principal Investigator)

Katja Valli, PhD, senior researcher
Antti Revonsuo, PhD, senior researcher

Monash University, Department of Philosophy
20 Chancellor’s Walk, VIC 3800, Australia

Dr. Jennifer Windt, senior research fellow (Philosophy)
Manuela Kirberg, PhD student (Philosophy)

University of Cambridge, Department of Psychology
Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EB, United Kingdom

Tristan Bekinschtein, PhD, university lecturer (psychology)
Alejandro Ezquerro-Nassar, PhD student (psychology)

Queen Mary University of London, Department of Biological and Experimental Psychology
Mile End Road, London E1 4NS, United Kingdom

Valdas Noreika, PhD, university lecturer (psychology)

Inquiries and further details are available via email from Manuela (Monash), and Ville, Jarno and Pilleriin (Turku), Valdas (Queen Mary, Cambridge)

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