Beyond The Purchase Privacy Statement

Our goal is to conduct research on consumer and positive psychology. We are committed to conducting this research ethically and to protecting your privacy. The surveys and studies on this site will ask you questions about your personality, current attitudes about the economy, spending behaviors, money management, happiness, life satisfaction, community preferences, values, and time orientation. You may choose to take as many or as few of the studies as you desire. There are no risks or benefits to you by participating in this survey. You may choose to participate or not. You may answer only the questions you feel comfortable answering, and you may stop at any time. If you do not wish to participate, you may simply close your browser, with no penalty to yourself.

What we collect

At registration we request that you tell us some information about yourself that will help us to analyze your other responses. We ask you to provide us with an email address because that is a kind of username that people are unlikely to forget. However, you may use any username you like. When yo participate in any of our studies you provide responses to questionnaires, or to experiments on consumer behavior and well-being. We store all of this information on a secure server, protected by a firewall. The file containing your email address and the files containing your responses to the studies are stored separately, in separate databases with different passwords, and cannot be merged or interpreted by anyone without specialized knowledge of our website. The password you chose is stored in an encrypted form, which means that even we cannot find out what it is. If you forget your password, you will be given the opportunity to reset your password, but we can’t send it because it is stored on our server in a form that we cannot unencrypt.

If you previously submitted your e-mail address and would like to remove it, please contact our webmaster (at) beyondthepurchase (dot) org.

What we will do with your information

To analyze the results of the various studies conducted on Beyond The Purchase, we create a variety of merged files which combine the information you gave us at registration with the information you gave us on each study you completed. These files of information from registration do NOT contain your email or password, so these merged files are essentially anonymous. Some of these files will contain IP address information in order to identify usage patterns by country/state and to prevent duplicate submissions, however most IP addresses are not fixed and are traceable only to the organization which provides you with internet access. As a practical matter, it is generally impossible to identify a user with an IP address without the cooperation of an internet service provider, which usually is not given without a subpoena. These merged files are then sent out to the members of the research consortium that runs Beyond The Purchase. At times we might send these files out to other researchers, as part of normal scientific courtesy, if they think that the data in these files could help them to answer scientific questions. But we repeat that these files will not contain any information that could lead anyone to identify the people who provided the data, and we will always strip out IP address information from any file that is sent out beyond our small group of researchers. We will carefully guard your privacy. We plan to keep these merged data files for many years. We might place some of this anonymous numerical data into a “data archive” of the sort that some scientists are trying to create to make it easy for scientists to check each other’s work. We will write up scientific articles that report the results of our studies by reporting the averages and other statistics computed across many people’s data. In the rare cases that we report a quote from text that a participant typed into a text box, we will be certain that such quotes do not reveal the identity of the source.

How we use cookies

We will not place any cookies in your browser without your consent. When cookies are allowed they will only be used to manage each session you have at the web site. The cookies make sure that you and only you are able to view your scores.

Web-related information we collect automatically

Like almost all Web sites, we automatically collect information on all requests for pages from our Web server. We collect the IP address of your Internet connection (which generally does not identify you unless your Internet service provider has assigned you a static IP address), the type of browser you used, what you requested, and what was sent. This helps us understand usage of the Web site and allows us to produce aggregate statistics on usage.

Security of the data we collect

We take reasonable technical, administrative, and physical precautions to keep your information secure. For example, we store your responses in a password-protected database located in a secure data center. Email address information is stored separately from your responses and requires a separate password to access.


We retain the right to change this Privacy Statement. If we do, the revised Privacy Statement would apply only prospectively to future data collected. We will post changes to this page in a prompt manner. This statement is effective as of January 20, 2012.

Featured Studies
Importance of Happiness Survey:
How much will you sacrifice for more happiness?
36 questions
The Big Five personality test:
How do you score on the five fundamental dimensions of personality?
29 questions
A 2-week Gratitude Intervention:
Can recalling grateful events increase your happiness? Note: only people who register with FB can take this study
About 5 minutes nightly for two weeks
contact: webmaster at beyondthepurchase dot org