PRIOR TO TESTING SESSION
1. 15 minutes prior to testing session, ensure a videoconference has been set up for the social interaction task on your chosen platform and other experimenters or dummy accounts are logged in and have joined the meeting. The observing panel's video feeds (cameras) and microphones should be turned off throughout. You should ensure that all experimenters and observers are named to indicate a balance of genders and ethnicities.
NOTE: We suggest enabling the 'waiting lobby' and forcing participants to enter the lobby on joining the meeting so that the experimenter has a warning that the participant has joined the meeting.
2. Set up your method for sending the participant a link to join the social interaction videoconference. We embed the link within an online survey used for collecting behavioural measures.
3. Send participant a personalised link to join an online survey. This survey will be used to collect behavioural measures. The participant should be instructed to start their testing session by clicking the link. The first screen of the session should include participant information and a facility by which they can provide informed consent.
WARNING: Do not continue if participants do not provide informed consent. Participants should be advised to close the survey if they do not want to continue.
4. Participants will make their way through the survey (initial baseline questionnaires can be included following the informed consent procedure). Qualtrics allows an experimenter to follow a participant's progress under the 'Data and Analysis' tab -> 'Responses in progress'. We suggest following the participant's progress if possible to ensure the participant has no issues completing the survey.
5. The ITSSAD begins with a 5-minute anticipatory period. This can be placed after baseline questionnaires, or if no baseline measures are being taken, then the survey can begin with this period immediately after informed consent. We include a time that counts down from 5 minutes to 0 on the participant's display during this period. During the anticipatory period the following instructions should be displayed:
In 5 minutes you will take part in a social interaction online using videoconferencing software. Your task will be to take some time to get to know the other person as you normally would. Just be yourself. You can talk about anything you want other than this experiment. You will be watched by 3 other experimenters who will be assessing your behaviour. We would like you to have your camera on during this interaction.
Additional instructions can be included as necessary.
6. After the anticipatory period, participants complete subjective measures of anxiety and mood.
7. Next, either ensure the survey presents the link to your currently running videoconference (set up in Step 1) or use an alternative method for sending the link to the participant. Provide the following instructions:
Please copy the link below into a new browser tab on your device to begin the social interaction. Leave this tab open while you run the link so you can return to complete the questionnaire following the speaking task
IMPORTANT: These instructions are necessary to ensure that participants do not accidentally close the survey and lose their progress (and your data!).
8. The participant should now join the videoconference. The experimenter should start a recording for the meeting and introduce the social interaction task with the following script:
Hello, can you hear me okay? This is the speaking task, I am the person you will be getting to know. Also in the call we have 3 experimenters [introduce them by name] who will be observing. I have pressed record and I'll start the timer now
At this point start a 5 minute timer.
During this task, the experimenter should not initiate conversation, instead allowing the participant to ask questions. If there is a silence lasting longer than 30 seconds then the experimenter can prompt the participant with a simple statement, e.g. "I am a student at the university". The experimenter should try to provide minimal verbal and non-verbal feedback to the participant regarding performance.
9. When the timer is complete, read the following script:
Okay, thank you, time is up. Can you please leave this window open and return to the survey for some post task questionnaires.
The participant will complete subjective measures of anxiety and mood. During this time, the experimenter should mute, turn off their video feed (camera), stop any recordings, and remove other experimenters and dummy accounts from the meeting.
RECOVERY AND DEBRIEF
10. After the post-task questionnaires, ensure there is a screen that asks participants to return to the videoconference.
11. When participants return to the call, the experimenter should turn their video feed (camera) and microphone back on. Read the following script:
This task is designed to be anxiety-inducing – and I am instructed to not be very forthcoming in my responses.
12. The experimenter should fully debrief the participant regarding the purpose of the experiment, and that some or all of the observers were dummy accounts. Allow the participant to ask any questions they may have.
13. Ask the participant to return to the survey to complete a re-consent form. This allows the participant to provide fully informed consent for use of their data now they are fully aware of the deception that occurred. The call can be ended at this point.