Research Participation Handout


Research Participation Handout – Psychology Department

Students in specific psychology courses are encouraged to participate in research conducted by the Psychology Department. Through this participation, you can earn credits (percentage points) that are put toward your final grade. Credit is assigned based on the amount of time spent participating in research: a study involving one session of up to 60 minutes in duration is typically worth 1%, and a study involving a session up to 30 minutes is worth .5%, etc.

All of the studies being conducted by the University of Guelph Department of Psychology (both in person and on-line) can be found through the sign-up system (called the Sona System).


Studies for WINTER 2019 will be available from TUESDAY, January 15 at 5pm until FRIDAY, April 5 at 5pm. User names and passwords will be emailed to each student on the opening day (TUE, Jan 15 at 5pm) of the Participant Pool. After this date, if you have not received login information, please email


Logging into sona:

The login page asks for your username and password. This system is not connected to your ‘’ account. Your username will be the same login as your uoguelph login (i.e., name before the @ symbol in your uoguelph email); however, your password will be new and will be sent to your uoguelph email account on the day that the Participant Pool opens.


Prescreening Questionnaire:

When you initially sign-up to participate in research on SONA Systems, you will be asked to complete a set of screening questions. These important questions are used by the researchers to determine who is eligible for their study and should be answered honestly. For example, some research is conducted with women only; so, when you logon to the system you will be asked your gender, and only women will be able to see research studies designed specifically for women. Taking part in the prescreening questionnaire is completely voluntary, but if you choose not to take part you will not have access to as wide a variety or number of studies. You will not receive credit for completing the pre-screening survey.


Mass Testing Questionnaire:

Once you have completed the Screening Questionnaire, you should consider completing the Mass Testing Questionnaire. Many studies require that you complete Mass Testing before you are able to participate in their specific research. This questionnaire contains questions that provide researchers with additional information for their study, but might otherwise cause problems with data collection. You will receive some credit for your participation in Mass Testing.


IMPORTANT NOTE: There is no guarantee that students will have access to the number of studies that are required for full participation marks. The Screening and Mass Testing questionnaires are voluntary, but be warned that if you chose to skip these questionnaires, you will limit the number of studies that are available to you.



To change your password, click on “My Profile” and follow the instructions. If you forget your password, click on “Forgot Password?” on the left of the login page. Enter your user ID and your password will be emailed to you.


Signing up for a study:

You can check which studies are running by clicking on “Study Sign-up”. When you do, the next screen will show you a list of studies that you can sign up for. If the first column says “timeslots available”, you can click on the study, which will take you to a page containing a brief description of the study. Here you can click on “View time slots for this study” at the bottom of the page, and then click on “Sign-up” to the right of the timeslot you wish to participate in.


PLEASE ensure to write down the time and location of the study as well as the researcher’s contact information.


Missing a Study/Appointment:

If you cannot attend a study timeslot that you have signed up for, you can cancel your session by clicking on “My Schedule/Credits” from the menu at the top of the page and click on “Cancel” to the right of the session you cannot attend. Please note that each session has a cancellation deadline. If you miss your appointment without cancelling, you may be penalized 1 credit. Thus, you would have to participate in additional research in order to “make up” for the penalty. If you missed your session and did not cancel by the deadline, contact the researcher immediately to see if alternate arrangements can be made. You can also click on “My Schedule/Credits” to determine how many credits you earned and for which studies you received credit.


Support: Please contact if you have any questions.