Your input is needed for a study on survivors of abusive romantic relationships with psychopaths and narcissists. This is a valuable opportunity to share your experience with a researcher who understands, and who wants to learn more. I have already taken the study and I hope you will, too.

Yesterday I heard from Courtney Humeny, a PhD candidate in Cognitive Science at Carleton University in Ottowa. She said she is “recruiting survivors for a study I am carrying out for my PhD on resilience, post-traumatic growth and emotions in survivors of a romantic relationship with narcscissists or psychopaths,” and asks you to participate in her study, “Emotion, resilience, and post-traumatic growth in domestic abuse survivors.” 

This study investigates the outcome of being in an abusive romantic relationship.

“We are looking for participants (aged over 18) who identify as being in a prior heterosexual abusive romantic relationship.

Abusive experiences may include verbal/emotional abuse (i.e., bullying, manipulation), coercion (i.e., intimidation, threats, control of finances, isolation), lying and deceit (i.e., infidelities), and sexual assault. Particularly we are looking for people who identify as being abused by a romantic a partner who displays psychopathic or narcissistic characteristics. These may include:

• Pathological lying (i.e., use of aliases)
• Engaging in infidelities
• Failure to take responsibility for their actions
• Lack of empathy, guilt, and ability to feel deep emotions
• Manipulative and exploitative of others
• Sense of entitlement, grandiose sense of self-worth, or feelings of superiority
• Involvement in criminal activities
• Impulsive and irresponsible
• Engaged in risk taking behaviours (e.g., drug use)
• Was superficially charming

If you are interested in participating in the study please follow the link, which is a secure website where you will be asked to make an account with a username and password (no personal or identifying information will be asked, such as your name or address). The study will take approximately 1.5 hours to complete (you do not have to complete all of the study at one time; you can stop and complete the study at your convenience). The website is not compatible with mobile devices or iPads; please use a computer or laptop.

On the secure website, you will be asked to complete a few questionnaires, a card game where you will select decks to gain as many points as possible, and a task where you will be presented a series of images of male faces and asked what emotion they are expressing.

The questionnaires will include questions on your experiences of anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress; experiences of positive growth; and perceptions of interactions with other people (i.e., social support). There will also be questions addressing experiences in the abusive relationship (e.g., onset, type, severity, and length of abuse), and traits of the abuser, such as:

Does he or she think it is fun to push people until they get upset?
Has been convicted of a serious crime?
Does he or she think they can get what they want by telling people what they want to hear?

Please do not participate if…

1. You identify as CURRENTLY in an abusive relationship. For your safety, we recommend that individuals currently in a relationship not participate in the current study. We worry for participants’ safety if they complete this study while in close physical proximity to their abuser.

2. We ask if you are currently undergoing or have undergone treatment for a gambling problem that you do not participate because the card game is similar to a gambling game.

Some of the questionnaires may address stressful topics. If you wish to withdraw at any time (even skipping a few questions on the questionnaires), you may do so as the study is entirely voluntary and anonymous. There will be no penalization if you decide to withdraw, no matter at what point in the study. You do not have to complete all of the study at one time; you can stop and complete the study at your convenience. There is the possibility that participation in the study may trigger or exacerbate distress.

Participation in the current study is strictly voluntary (there will be no incentive or cash given for participation).

This study has been approved by the Carleton University Research Ethics Board-A (CUREB-A) (103670).”

To take part in Courtney’s study,
click the button to be taken to the secure web page and get started.

♥ Thanks to all of you who contribute your valuable feedback to further knowledge of the profound effects these relationships have on us!


sky-985360_640Don’t miss yesterday’s new blog post:

You Are Not Your Thoughts:
How METACOGNITION Can Help You Heal 


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