School of Health in Social Science

COSMOSS Study now live

A research project on stress, goals and personality collects data to understand the significance and effects of self-monitoring.

This research project, funded by the University of Edinburgh, aims to examine how and why people monitor data about themselves and their environments.

Monitoring our own behaviour is increasingly easy with so many apps and devices available. This can help us reach our goals, or keep an eye on our fitness, health, budget and so on.

Self-monitoring questioned

However, little is known about the effects of self-monitoring. The researchers are interested in the relationships between tracking and personality characteristics, to find out for example how different people take different approaches to tracking their behaviour.

Are people who self-monitor also more aware of their environment? For example, do they keep an eye on pollution, follow political debates, or get involved in charity organisations?

Is there a link between monitoring and taking action in any areas in life that are important to someone?

In short, the research team for the COSMOSS project want to find out more about the effects of any kind of (self-) monitoring, and about the people doing it. We want to discover how different people experience their (self-) monitoring: if it is enjoyable to do, but also when it can be stressful.

With these sorts of insights, we hope to be able to formulate advice for people on how to use self-monitoring techniques.

Phrasing general advice on self-monitoring

Since self-monitoring is frequently used to manage symptoms of health conditions, this knowledge could assist people adhering to clinical interventions. It might also simply help people improve their motivation towards personal goals and get better results.

To make sure the study will be representative enough to draw solid conclusions about the effects of self-monitoring, anybody over the age of 18 can take part.

Answer the online survey

All participation is completely confidential and voluntary. You can decline to answer any questions. There are no right or wrong answers.

The survey will take approximately 20 to 30 minutes to complete.

Please ensure that you start at a convenient time as data will not be saved if the survey is not completed.

There is a £25 voucher prize draw for survey participants.

Answer the online survey on the site of the University of Edinburgh

Take part in a short interview

Besides the survey, project researchers are looking for individuals who are willing to meet for a short interview (about 30 minutes).

Participants who take part in a full interview will receive a £10 gift voucher.

Email us with your interest and your questions

The COSMOSS project is led by a multidisciplinary group within the College of Humanities and Social Science. The three co-investigators are:

  • Liesbeth Tip, Clinical Psychology, School of Health in Social Science
  • Eugenia Rodrigues, Science, Technology and Innovation Studies, School of Social and Political Science
  • Kristen Knowles, Politics and International Relations, School of Social and Political Science