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Psychology 001 Research Participation Requirement

As part of your exposure to general psychology, you are required to participate in 7 psychology 
studies during the semester, with two exceptions: (1) If you object to taking part in psychology research; or (2) if you are under the age of 18.  If you object to taking part in research, instead of participating in psychology studies, you may instead write an 8-page paper on a topic to be determined in consultation with the Chair of the Psychology Department.  If you are under the age of 18 the requirement may be adjusted in consultation with Professor Frank Durgin, who administrates the research requirement through the Sona Systems website (Sona). All students should sign up for an account on Sona by the third week of the semester. Instructions for doing so are below.

To help meet the course requirement for participation in 7 psychology studies, you will occasionally be contacted by e-mail to let you know that studies are available for sign-up. You should then try to sign up (on Sona), in a time slot that works for you. You should also check the Sona site periodically for opportunities to sign up for research.

A few studies, which take much longer than normal, are counted as 2 credits in Sona’s accounting. If it is hard for you to accumulate 7 credits because you are ineligible to participate in too many of the studies available, please contact the Sona administrator (Professor Frank Durgin). In some cases alternative studies are available for participation. If you have any questions or concerns about this requirement, please contact your course instructor or the Sona Administrator. 

The purpose of this research participation requirement is two-fold. First, it provides a source of participants for students and faculty in the psychology department who are conducting research. Second, it provides you with direct experience in psychological studies being conducted in the department. Because the experience is meant to be educational, the background and purpose of the study will be explained to you at the conclusion of the session.

Empirical research is an important part of psychology, and the department of psychology believes that your participation in studies being conducted in the department will give you an important insight into the research process. By being in psychological studies, you are engaging in an important intellectual task with the faculty and advanced students in the department. It is our hope that you will gain an appreciation that will help you to better evaluate other research that you read or hear about. We also hope that you might be inspired to get involved in a research project of your own.

All of the research projects have been approved by a review committee of the college, the Institutional Review Board (IRB). Every procedure must guarantee your safety and confidentiality. Your responses will not be permanently associated with any identifying information, and in no case will personal or identifying information be disclosed. Any concerns should be brought to the attention of the Research Ethics Committee of the College. If you object to participating in this program, you should contact the Department Chair, Professor Dan Grodner (  Professor Grodner will provide an alternative writing assignment. If you are presently under age 18, you should contact the Sona administrator, Professor Frank Durgin ( who can help adjust the requirement.                                                                                                                                                                                 

About Sona Systems

To create your account:
NOTE: If you are a Bryn Mawr or Haverford student, please contact Professor Frank Durgin to set up your Sona account.
If you are a first-time user for Sona Systems, you must create an account in the system by requesting a new account.

Go to the Sona Systems website:
Click on the button that says “Request Account”
Follow the instructions. You need to use your swat e-mail name to create your account (e.g., jsmith1).
SONA will send you a random password.
If you forget your SONA password, you can always have the system send it to you again.

To sign up for a study:

Login at the Sona Systems website:
Click on the green button that says “VIEW AVAILABLE STUDIES”
Check the restrictions on the studies listed to make sure you are eligible.
Check to make sure it is a study for credit (if it is for pay, then it is not for credit).
Click on the “Timeslots Available” button.
Scroll down and click on “View Time Slots for This Study”
Click on the “Sign Up” button for a time that works for you.