Student Research Participation (SONA)

Psychology Research Participation

Rationale for Research Participation

Much of what psychologists know comes from research studies conducted at universities like Radford. If we are to learn about human behavior, then we must observe humans. By agreeing to participate in research studies conducted by members of our Psychology Department you are providing information that is not available by any other means. In addition, we intend for your participation to have educational value for you as a student. Thus, you will be given a full explanation of the studies in which you participate. Aggregated results of the studies in which you participate will be made available to you upon request.


Students enrolled in certain classes (ask your instructor if your class is eligible) may participate in Psychology Department research to 1) fulfill a course requirement, 2) receive extra credit, or 3) both. Each ½ hour of research participation in online studies will earn you “one credit” in the Sona system.  For in-person stuides, each ½ hour of research participation will earn you "two credits" in the Sona sytem. All experiment times are rounded to the next half-hour (e.g., a 70 minute online experiment equals 3 credits and 70 minute in person study equals 6 credits). Your instructor determines the value of each credit.  For example, each credit might equal 4 points toward your course grade. Furthermore, your instructor determines the maximum amount of research extra credit that you can earn for the course. Finally, your instructor will provide alternative assignments so that you can still earn extra credit without participating in research.

Rights of Participants

You may choose to leave any experiment at any time without penalty. If you choose to leave, you will still receive at least partial credit for that session. If there is ever an instance in which you feel that you were not treated properly, respectfully and courteously, you should contact the department’s participant pool director (Dr. Katie Arnold at 540-831-1068) or the Office of the Institutional Review Board at Radford University (540-831-5290).

Responsibility of Participants

During studies, you should behave in the same way you would behavior during an exam. Any behavior that disrupts a research study even slightly is a violation of the Standards of Student Conduct.

When you sign up for a study and you cannot keep your appointment you should cancel your appointment online at least 12 hours prior to the study. After the 12 hour cut off, you must contact the researcher directly (their contact info is included with the sign up information).

If you miss two studies in one semester without cancelling your appointment (either online or by contacting the researcher directly) you will be blocked from participating in any studies posted on SONA for the remainder of the semester.

Resources for Students