Skip to main content

Research Participation Policy

Psychologists learn about behavior, thoughts and feelings by conducting research. By participating in psychological research, you help other psychology students and researchers learn more about people’s thoughts and behavior. You also benefit by gaining a better perspective regarding psychological research.

Please read each section of the Psychology Department Policy on Research Participation

General Policy

All students enrolled in PSYC 1101 – Introduction to Psychology serve as participants in research (or complete a research alternative). Please refer to the syllabus for details.

The department allows instructors to provide alternative assignments for students who desire an alternative means of meeting the research requirement. Any alternative assignment must be completed while studies are being conducted. That is, the alternative assignments must be turned in no later than one week before the end of the semester. Students who are less than 18 years old fulfill the research requirement by completing the alternative assignments provided by their instructor.

Participation in a study generally earns one credit per hour of involvement. That is, studies lasting less than 30 minutes are worth .5 credit, less than 60 minutes are worth 1 credit, less than 90 minutes are worth 1.5 credits, etc. In-person studies compensate students for their time to arrive at the study with an additional .5 credit.

You may also earn a maximum of three extra credits in addition to the required credits. To do this, you may participate in additional studies or alternative assignments arranged with your instructor. Consult your course syllabus for the exact policy for your class.

You can use the SONA system to keep informed of the total number of credits you earned. You have two weeks after an appointment to discuss possible errors in the report with the researcher in charge of the study. Do this by contacting the researcher via email or during her/his posted office hours. Remember: in order to do this you must keep a record of the studies and the dates on which you participated.

Procedures for Volunteering for Research
  1. Researchers periodically will post studies on the Experiment Management System. Each participant must log onto the system and create an account in order to sign up for studies. You may participate in a particular study only once!
  2. If you meet the qualifications for a study and wish to participate, you may sign up for the study using the Experiment Management System.
  3. Be sure to write down the study name, number, and the date, time, and location of your appointment, in a calendar. Your schedule of studies is also available through the My Schedule/Credits option from the toolbar in the Experiment Management System.
    • It is very important that you keep your appointment. If you do not keep it, you deprive other students of the opportunity to participate in the study.
    • If you sign up for a study, but are unable to attend, you must your cancel appointment using the Experiment Management System (through the My Schedule/Credits option).
    • If you do not cancel your appointment for a study which you are unable to attend, you will be considered to have missed your appointment. Missing an appointment makes you ineligible for the bonus credit.
  4. Please go to the right place at the right time. If you are more than 5 minutes late for your appointment, you will be considered to have missed your appointment.
  5. When you arrive for your study, the researcher will ask you to sign your name on an attendance roster, and to list the date and time of the study.
Rights of the Student

All research projects are conducted according to the Ethical Principles of the American Psychological Association.

  1. Before participating in a study, you will receive enough information to decide whether or not to participate. (For example, if an aversive stimulus were to be used, this information would be provided.)
  2. You may withdraw from a study at any time without penalty after attending the study and hearing about it.
  3. After participating in the study, you will receive an explanation from the researcher about the purpose of the study and the role that you played in it. This may be done immediately following your participation, or it may be sent to your campus Post Office box.
  4. If you feel that your rights have been violated, or that you have been treated unfairly or in any other way harmed by participating in the study, you should register a complaint with one of the following people:
    • Dr. Michael Nielsen, Psychology Department Chair, 478-5539; or
    • The Georgia Southern University Institutional Review Board Coordinator, 478-5465.

Last updated: 1/8/2019