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Research Participation for PSY 100 Students

As your instructor has informed you, there is a research participation component to PSY 100.  Each student in PSY 100 is required to take part in 2 hours of research participation (or equivalent alternative activities, if you object to being a participant in a research study) before the end of the semester. Your participation will be measured in “credits,” where each credit counts for one half-hour of participation. You need to receive four credits to fulfill your research requirement. You can do this by participating in three or four short experiments (each less than 30 minutes), or a combination of long (more than 30 minutes) and short experiments.

 Your instructor will let you know how participation (or non-participation) affects your overall grade.

 We are using an online system called SonaSystems to keep track of the research participation program. You will be able to log onto the system, and if any studies are currently being run, you will see a brief description of each along with available times to sign up for each study. You can then sign up for a specific study at a specific time in the site; it will tell you where to go to participate.

Click here for information that was given to all PSY 100 students at the beginning of the semester.

 NOTE:  The research pool will not open until the 2nd or 3rd week of the semester. You will receive an email with your login information.  Until then, you will not be able to access the system  (nor will there be any studies to sign up for).

 This email gives you information on: 

1) Your rights as a participant in a research study
2) Alternative options to being a research participation
3) How to log in to the on-line system
4) How to sign up for studies once you have logged in
5) Rules about participation
6) What to do if you're under the age of 18

 1) Your rights as a participant:

As a research participant, you have certain rights. You can expect to be treated with respect during the study. You will be told before the experiment starts what you will be doing in the study and if anything about the study might be unpleasant or upsetting, so that you can decide not to participate. You can also choose to stop your participation in an experiment at any time. Afterwards, the purpose of the study will be explained to you.

 Additionally, your data will always be treated in a confidential manner, and your privacy will always be protected. Your name will never be used in any report of the results, and any personal information will be stored in a secure site. Also, your data will be stored anonymously, so that your name will not be attached to it. (If a particular study needs to keep your name in order to contact you for a follow-up study, you will be fully informed of that fact, and will have the right to decline to participate.)

All projects conducted by the Psychology Dept. have been reviewed and approved by the University’s Institutional Review Board for ethical considerations.

2) Non-participation option:

It’s been our experience that most students enjoy participating in research studies, and find it to be interesting and educational. However, we understand that some individuals may have a personal objection to having their data recorded in a research study. For those individuals, we have set up the following system:  If you do not want your data to be recorded, you can receive your research credit by signing up for a study and then telling the researcher that you want to be a non-participant.  You will not sign a consent form, and you will go through the entire testing procedure for the study, but your data will be discarded.  In this way, you will gain the same educational experience about the research process as other students.

If you do not want your data recorded, you simply need to do the following:

• Send an email to
• Include the subject line: "Research Alternative"
• In the body of the email, include your name and your SCSU email address (

You do not need to tell your course instructor, and you do not need to explain your request.

Once you send this email and it gets processed, you will be able to log into Sona and see timeslots for studies that you can complete without your data being recorded.  (You will not see all of the studies being run, because this process isn't feasible for their data collection procedures.)

We may also be able to offer other alternative activities that do not directly involve a research study; more information will be presented about this later in the semester.

3) How to log in to the online system:

• To log into the on-line subject pool system, SonaSystems, go to

• Your login ID is your southern email address without (such as smithj1)

• Your password is the first two letters of your last name and the last four digits of your student ID. For example, if your name is Eli Manning and your student ID is 12345678, then your password will be MA5678. After you log in, you can change the password and have emails forwarded to a different account.

• The first time you log in to, you will receive a short questionnaire. You must complete the questionnaire to be able to access the system. However, there is a “decline to respond” option for each question, if you don’t wish to provide an answer.

• If you click on “My Profile”, you can change your password and have system emails (signup reminders, etc.) sent to a different address.

4) How to sign up for studies:

• You can sign up for studies by logging in to the SonaSystems page and clicking on “Study Sign-Up.” Any studies with timeslots available will be marked. When you click on them, you will see a description of the study and the available times; you can select a time by clicking on it.

• Note that individual researchers in the department set their own times, so we can not control the availability of timeslots. There will be some times during the semester when many timeslots are available, and other times when there are few or none. If no times are available, please be patient and check back in a few days.

• If you sign up for an experiment, you can also cancel your appointment in the system up to one hour before your scheduled time.

• Your signup information is private; the only people who will see what you have signed up for are the researchers running the study, and the system administrators. No other students have access to your information.

5) Rules about participation:

• If you know that you can’t attend a study you signed up for, please cancel as soon as possible so that another student can take the timeslot. Note that when you fail to show for an experiment, you may be preventing other students from completing their requirements.

• If you are more than 5 minutes late for your scheduled timeslot, the researcher may inform you that you cannot participate at that time, in which case you will be marked as a "no-show" and will not receive credit for that timeslot. However, you will be able to sign up for future timeslots for that or any other study.

6) If you under the age of 18: 

If you are not yet 18 years old, you are not legally allowed to provide your own consent to be in a research study; the consent form must be signed by a parent or guardian.  Instead, students under the age of 18 can gain their research credit through the non-participation option outlined above.

IMPORTANT NOTE: At the start of the pool, you may have trouble finding studies with available time slots. However, more studies will become available in upcoming weeks.

If you have any questions, please email

Thank you!

Dr. Moore
Coordinator, Psychology Research Participation Pool