Instructions for Research Participants

All research participation in the Department of Psychology is voluntary. Students have the right to withdraw at any time, without prejudice, should they object to the nature of the research. For reasons of scientific control, students may not know the exact nature of the research before participation but they will be informed of procedures, risks, and benefits. Students are entitled to ask questions and to receive an explanation of the research after their participation. Students' responses will be kept confidential. Any report of the data collected will be in summary form, without identifying individuals.

The Psychology department uses an on-line sign-up system. Click here for detailed instructions for using the on-line sign-up system. To volunteer for research participation you must have an account in the on-line system. You will automatically be enrolled in the system if you are enrolled as a student in a psychology course that is allowing research participation. If students have difficulty accessing their SONA account, there is a recover password link in SONA (your user name is your ULID). If the password recovery does not work, please email the SONA system administrator (Dr. Laura Finan at

To sign-up to participate in a study, using a web browser go to to view the on-line sign-up sheets for currently available research projects. These projects will be identified by code names. Read the posted instructions carefully. Students are responsible for following these instructions. After signing up, students should receive an automated e-mail containing the code name of the study, the time and location of their appointment, and the researcher's name and contact information. Students must be 18 years of age to give their consent to participate in research. If under 18, students may not be eligible to participate in some research studies—contact the principal investigator (identified in the on-line posting) for information about age requirements.

Students are responsible for keeping their appointment at the stated time and place. If students must cancel an appointment, contact the researcher immediately; at least one day (24 hours) in advance is best. If a researcher does not keep an appointment, students should double check that they have the correct time and place; if more than 10 minutes has elapsed, inform the staff in the Psychology Resource Center (Room 17 DeGarmo Hall). Students should also contact the principal investigator to discuss rescheduling another appointment.

After participation, students will typically receive a debriefing explanation of the research and be given an opportunity to ask questions. Students will also receive participation credit through the on-line sign-up system. Credit will be allocated to the course specified when the student signed-up for the study. However, the course allocation may be changed by the student within the system (see the video for a demonstration). Alternative means of earning research participation credit are available; students should consult their class syllabus for more information.

Routine questions about participation can be directed to the principal investigator of the research project (such as if you did not receive credit). Any ethical questions should be addressed to the department's representative of the Institutional Review Board (Dr. Jeffrey Kahn at

We expect that participating in research will help students learn about the research process and about important topics in psychology. Without students' assistance, much of the research by faculty and advanced students in the department would not be possible. We hope that students' participation will be a mutually beneficial experience.

Policy updated May 2019


Any research participant needing to arrange a reasonable accommodation for a documented disability and/or medical/mental health condition should contact the researcher or SONA administrator for accessibility accommodations.