Improve your well-being and try a self-experimentation tool
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"Help us understand how self-experimentation tools can be designed to improve health and well being"
Age: 18+
Healthy Volunteers: Yes
Keywords: Well-being, Healthy behaviors, Self-experimentation
Type: At-home study
1000 Participants
Ever wonder which healthy activities are worth doing for you personally? Healthy behaviors are not one-size-fits-all.

This study will test a self-guided tool called Study of Me. The tool guides you through an 30-day 'self-experiment' to figure out if a healthy activity works for you and is therefore worth doing. It uses simple self-administered healthy activity (i.e., exercise, meditation) and will be tested to see if it improves psychological well-being (i.e., happiness, stress, and focus).

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the tool's design and usefulness.
This study requires

This study takes 30 days and comprises of the following steps:

  • Choose an activity you want to try as part of your 30-day ‘self-experiment.’ The activities are: deep breathing meditation, gratitude journaling, acts of kindness, physical activity.

  • Complete a short survey (5-7 minutes) asking you about your experience and intuitions about the activity you chose (if you chose physical activity as an option, this survey will help you decide if you should check with your doctor before exercising). You will need to provide some personal information (first name, gender, age, zip code) and a valid email address.

  • Get assigned to your experimental schedule. This schedule will ask you to perform – or not perform – your chosen activity for 5 days at a time. In total, you will perform the chosen activity for 15 of the 30 days, and maintain your usual routine on the other 15 days. The order in which you are asked to perform the chosen activity will be based on a random schedule developed by the study statistician. During each of the 30 days, you will track your psychological wellbeing in the form of a few questions we will ask you every day. You will receive the survey link in a text message sent to you. This will allow us to test whether the activity improved your wellbeing as compared to your usual routine.

  • Receive your personalized results after you complete your experiment (presuming we have enough data to perform analysis).

One of the aims of this work is to obtain feedback from you about the design and usefulness of Study of Me. You will complete a follow-up questionnaire asking you questions about your experiences.

This is an at-home study and all study interactions will be carried out online, or through text messaging/emails. You will not receive any non-study related emails or other promotions. However, upon completion of the study, our media partners (WNYC public radio) may contact you to see if you wish to talk about your experiences. This is not part of the study and you are under no obligation to participate.

Who can participate

No subject will be excluded based on gender, ethnic/racial background or socioeconomic status.

Inclusion criteria are:

  • Age 18 or over
  • Living anywhere in the United States
  • Using a smartphone
  • Having regular access to internet on their phone
  • Able to read and write in English

Individuals need to be able to read and write in English because the tool materials are currently available in English. All participants must be able to read the information on the website in order to make an informed decision about study participation as well as the intervention they want to try as part of Study of Me, and also to be able to interpret the results from their self-experiment.

Exclusion criteria are:

Most of the interventions that are being offered as part of Study of Me are low risk activities that could be performed by most individuals. Hence, there are no overall exclusion criteria for this study. However, participants will be instructed not to engage in an intervention that would endanger their health and wellbeing, and warnings will accompany any activities that could be associated with increased risk for particular people. In particular, even though the physical activity intervention is entirely self-guided (participants choose what to do, when, and how), we will direct participants who are interested in exercise as an option to additional information on this topic.

Participants will not specifically be recruited from special populations including adults unable to consent; individuals not yet adults, pregnant women, prisoners.

Benefits and risks of participating

We cannot promise any benefits to you as a result of taking part in this research study.


The risks associated with taking part in this research study are minimal (mostly the potential for mental fatigue related to study activities) and will be disclosed more fully during the written informed consent process.
You will not be paid to take part in this research study.
Study duration and period
You will be in the study for up to 30 days participating in the proposed activities. It will require a daily time commitment ranging from 8 to 20 minutes.
Recruitment period
From April 15, 2019
UC Davis Medical Center
2315 Stockton Boulevard
Sacramento, CA 95817
Sayantani Sarkar

Have any questions or want to learn more? Leave your contact details below and the research team will reach out to you.


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