Research Participation

How does research participation work?

You will be using our Psychology Department’s SONA system to sign up for research studies – and to complete the Psychology Department Research Questionnaire at the beginning of the semester.  The Research Questionnaire may make you eligible for particular studies, ones which require an Invitation Code.


There will be no access into the SONA system until approximately one week after the first day of classes each semester. At this time, you will have about one week to complete the Research Questionnaire posted on SONA, after which sign-ups for research studies will become available. Your instructor will provide the exact dates for the semester in which you are taking PSY 101.

To access Sona: when you are on the Sona homepage, click on the below button and log on using your ASUrite information

How do I sign up for research participation credit? 
  1. Log onto the SONA website.
  2. Read the Human Subjects Policy Memo. Click on "YES" if you agree.
  3. Click on "My Profile." Make sure your information is correct. Click on "Update" if you make any changes.
  4. Click on "Experiments." Click on an experiment name to view the description of that experiment. Click on "view time slots" to sign up for the experiment.
  5. Click on "My Schedule" to view the experiments you have signed up for – and for credits/no-shows you have earned.
  6. If you experience any problems logging in, click on on the SONA home page to email your question.

Research studies are posted throughout the semester, and timeslots are added daily.  Timeslots fill fast so check back often for availability. Some studies are online, so make sure you note whether you are signing up for online or in-person research participation.

For in-person studies, arrive before your scheduled appointment. Know the exact name of the study and location of where the study is being held. Stay close to the room and listen for your name to be called.   You do not want to receive an unexcused absence for missing your studies.

Some researchers prefer to recruit students by phone to schedule appointments. If you are called by a researcher and can be there for the study, be sure to get all the information: date, time, room number, study number, and the researcher's name.

What if I need to cancel an appointment for participating in a study?

If you find that you cannot attend a study, cancel the study through the SONA website, or contact the researcher ASAP prior to the study.  Do not contact the PSYwebmaster, the Psychology Department , or your instructor if you cannot make it to a study.  Only the researchers can excuse your absence. You can find the researcher's contact information by clicking on the name of the study in Sona-systems.

1. Log onto the SONA website. 

2. Click on "My Schedule," and then click on the Cancel button next to the study you had scheduled

3. Cancel your appointment.

If you cancel 24 hours or more before the study, it will not count as an absence.

What if I don't show up for an appointment for research participation?

Not showing up for a study without canceling the appointment is an enormous waste of departmental resources. A research team is there for that time slot, leaving them without a research participant and preventing other students from having signed up for a slot that's in high demand.

Students who receive three (3) unexcused absences for studies will be barred from signing up for any additional research participation and will not be able to complete future studies for which they’ve signed up.  In such cases, the only way to fulfill the PSY 101 requirement is to write reports summarizing journal articles for credit.

What rights do I have as a research participant?

All research conducted in the Department of Psychology has been carefully reviewed by the University Institutional Review Board (IRB). The function of the IRB, in part, is to ensure the safety, rights, and dignity of participants.

Participation in experiments entails additional safeguards:

  • Informed Consent. Each posted experiment contains a brief description of what the experiment is about and what you’ll be asked to do.  When you sign up for an experiment, you are giving your informed consent to participate in that experiment. This means that you have willingly selected to participate. In these cases, the consent form is kept on file in the departmental office. Giving your informed consent does not negate your right to withdraw from any study at any time for whatever reason.
  • Confidentiality. All data collected are kept strictly confidential, to the extent permitted by law. The only persons with access to data are those directly associated with the experiment. Data are typically kept in locked files in locked lab rooms.
  • Withdrawing from a study. Once you have started a study, you may withdraw from it at any time for any reason without penalty.  Simply inform the researcher of your decision. To find the researcher’s email address, log into SONA, and click on the name of the study. You will find the researcher’s information in the window that opens.

ASU Standard Rights.  If you have any questions about your rights as a subject/participant in research – or if you feel you have been placed at risk – you can contact the Chair of the Human Subjects Institutional Review Board, through the ASU Office of Research Integrity and Assurance, at (480) 965-6788.