Department of Psychology

Pryale Hall, Room 111
654 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-2300
Fax: (248) 370-4612


Fall 2014

The deadline for all research participation (and alternative assignments) is Monday, December 1, 2014 @ 5 PM.

As part of the PSY 100 and PSY 250 course, you are required to participate in departmental research studies OR alternative assignments based on your reading of predetermined research articles.

Where do I go to sign up?

All experiments and alternative assignments will be posted in the Psychology Experiment Management System, called SONA. You will have to create an account using your Oakland email address and a password that will be easy for you to remember. Once you have created an account you can begin signing up for research studies or the alternative assignments. Make sure to read the instructions on how to create an account, find research studies that you are eligible for, or find alternative assignments to complete.


How many research studies or alternative assignments must I complete?

You are required to complete 8 research credits. Credits are allocated in the following way:

·         1 credit for each ½ hour (30 minutes) of in-person, laboratory research participation

·         ½ credit for each ½ hour (30 minutes) of online research participation

·         1 credit for each alternative assignment


How do I complete the alternative assignments?

You must sign up in SONA for either the PSY 100 Alternative Assignment or the PSY 250 Alternative Assignment. After you have created an account in SONA you can complete the alternative assignment. 

Step 1: Choose a Research Article

Choose an article from the list of pre-approved articles for your course: Psy 100 list of articles or Psy 250 list of articles.

Step 2: Find the Research Article

Use the PsychINFO search engine on the Kresge Library website to find the article. All articles on the list can be accessed in electronic format. 

Step 3: Read the Research Article

Read the article and take notes or highlight the important information for later reference. Once you have read the article, you will then be required to answer a series of questions about the article.

Step 4: Sign up for the Alternative Assignment in SONA

Log in to the SONA system and click on “Study Sign-up.” You will then see a list of research studies and the alternative assignment. Sign up for the “PSY 100 Alternative Assignment” or the “PSY 250 Alternative Assignment.” Once you have signed up, a link to the online quiz will become available for you to access. 

Step 5: Complete the Survey/Quiz

When you are ready to complete the quiz, you can access the link, which will take you to a survey/quiz in SURVEYMONKEY. Complete the quiz for the article you just read.

Step 6: Keep a copy for your records

At the end of the survey a screen will be displayed with all of your answers. It may be wise to save a screen shot of your answers or to print a copy of your responses as proof that you completed the assignment (this option is available to you during the quiz). 

Step 7: Be patient and wait for your credits

It may take up to a week to receive your credits. At the end of the semester, the final credits will be awarded shortly after the deadline. You will receive one credit for each quiz you complete based on the reading of a different article. If you plan to fulfill your research requirement by only completing the alternative assignments, you will need to read 8 articles, sign up for the alternative assignment in the SONA system, and complete eight quizzes by the semester deadline. You can access the same link to complete each quiz for a different article.


When will I receive credits?

Make sure that you read the instructions or information provided to you by the researcher conducting the study. This information may be posted on SONA or may have been provided to you in a document or online. It may take several days to be awarded credit for participation. Please be patient and only contact the researcher after an appropriate amount of time (i.e., the time specified in the instructions or information) or several days after the closing of the session.

Your credits for the alternative assignment will be awarded on a weekly basis.


When is the last day to complete the research requirement?

For this semester, you must have all research participation or alternative assignments completed by Monday, December 1, 2014 @ 5PM. This will give researchers and the Subject Pool Coordinator enough time to award appropriate credits before the end of the semester.


What happens if I do not complete my credits on time?

For each credit you fail to complete, 2% will be deducted from your final grade. For example, if you fail to complete 1 credit, 2% will be deducted from your final grade. If you fail to complete 2 credits, 4% will be deducted from your final grade and so on. Therefore, if you fail to complete all 8 credits 16% will be deducted from your final grade (NO EXCEPTIONS). If you complete the research requirement, no deductions or additions will be made to your grade.


What if there are no research studies?

Throughout the semester, new experiments and new openings for existing experiments will be posted on SONA. Be patient and check the system regularly (i.e., a few times per week).

If it is nearing the end of the semester and you have not completed your credits, you must complete the alternative assignments to complete the research requirement. There are no excuses. If there are no research studies available, you must complete the alternative assignment. A lack of available studies is not a valid excuse for not completing the research requirement. Everyone is required to complete the research requirement either by research participation or the alternative assignments.


What else might I need to know?

·         If you do not remember your password you can request your password to be sent to you on the SONA main page. Please attempt this option prior to emailing the coordinator.

·         You need to be at least 18 years old to participate in the experiments listed on SONA, unless otherwise specified in the description of a specific experiment. If you are not at least 18 years old, you will need to complete the alternative assignments.

·         Students who show up for experiments they are not enrolled in will be refused the opportunity to participate.

·         If you cannot make a session that you have signed up for, you should resign from that session. If it is too late to resign, you should email the researcher conducting the study to inform them that you will not be able to make the session. This may mean that you forfeit your opportunity to participate in that particular study. 

·         If you are having difficulty with SONA or have specific questions about being a research participant, you may contact the Subject Pool Coordinator, Dr. Scott Pickett, Make sure that you have attempted to answer your questions on your own prior to contacting Dr. Pickett.


What if I am participating for extra credit?

Extra credit is only awarded by instructors who have designated participation in the Subject Pool as a viable extra credit option. If your instructor has agreed to allow extra credit for experiment participation, information regarding this option should have been made explicit in your syllabus or by your instructor. If your instructor or your course is not listed in SONA, extra credit is likely not an option for you. 

If you are a PSY 100 or PSY 250 student, your instructor must have explicitly stated that extra credit is an option. If it is an option, you need to discuss this option with your instructor for the details. However, you must complete the 8 mandatory credits prior to receiving any extra credit for research participation in your course.