A frequent refrain in the genetic genealogy community is “Why do people take DNA tests if they’re not interested in genealogy?” There are lots of reasons to do a DNA test, from hardcore genealogy to health reports to ethnicity estimates to ‘Why the heck not?‘
How do those different demographics react to and interact with their results? That’s a great question! All serious genetic genealogists have reached out to intriguing matches who never respond—to our frustration—but do we understand how those matches perceive their results and our outreach? I don’t think we do.
Fortunately for us, the University of British Columbia in Canada is undertaking a research study on exactly that. From the study’s web site:
The UBC Genetic Connections study is looking for individuals who are considering purchasing or have already purchased but not yet seen the results of a genetic test kit. The study involves completing two anonymous surveys, one before and one after receiving your genetic test results. Our aim is to capture the numerous social and individual factors that go into the decision to pursue at-home genetic testing as well as the impact of receiving genetic test results.
If you are considering testing, have sent in your test kit but haven’t gotten the results back yet, or have already tested, please consider participating in the study. And pass the link along to your friends, relatives, and local genealogy societies. We will all benefit from understanding more about why people test.
More information about the study, and a link to the first survey, can be found here:
Updates to this post
10 Sep 2019 — Updated to clarify that the survey is open to those who have already tested, as well. Many thanks to Jim Davis for seeking out that information.