Being a Participant in the Psych 125 Subject Pool

2013-2014 Coordinator: Prof. Jeremy Loebach 

We believe that participating in research is an integral part of your education in Psychology. All students registered for Psych 125 will be asked to participate in research for course credit. By participating in research at this level, we hope you will both learn something about how psychological research is conducted and will perhaps be inspired to conduct some psychological research of your own during your undergraduate career.

We are committed to protecting your privacy and integrity as a research participant. You have the right to an explanation of any study before you agree to participate. In addition, everything that you say or do during a research project is strictly confidential. If, for some reason, you suddenly decide that you would rather not participate in a research project after all, then just ask for your credit slip and leave. You cannot be penalized in any way for leaving a research session once it has begun and you have given your informed consent.

How to sign up for an experiment

  • To sign up for an experiment, open the “Research Participation Sign Up Sheet” for the current semester (located in Google Drive). This document will be used to sign up for all approved experiments and is shared with members of the class once enrollment closes. A link is also included on the main Moodle page for when you forget it.
  • At the bottom of the document there are several tabs labeled with experiment names. Click on a tab to view an experiment.
    • Not all of the tabs will be filled out, such as those with generic names such as “Experiment 1”. When a study is ready and is actively seeking participants, the tab name will change and instructions on how to participate will be posted.
    • Read through the experiment information paying close attention to the instructions and any special requirements listed by the researcher.
    • If you are interested in participating in that study, sign up as directed by the researchers.
      • If there are time slots listed on particular days, add your name or email address to the open slot to sign up for the study. Some online studies may ask you to click a link to go to the study, or sign up to be emailed a link.
      • Please do not add additional time slots, many studies have limited seats.
      • Please do not delete other students who have signed up for a study. All changes to the document are tracked by your login and IP address, and I will know who changed what when. The academic honor policies also apply to research conduct.
      • Complete the experiment you signed up for. You must participate to get credit.
      • If you have any questions about the experiment, before or after participating, please email the researcher.

How to get credit for your participation

  • In-lab studies
    • After you have participated in an in-lab study, you will be given a Research Credit Slip. It is your responsibility to fill this slip out and deposit the White copy in the drop box outside of the Psychology Office (RNS 236). Keep the Yellow copy for your records (this receipt will be required to clarify any discrepancies).
    • Be sure your name is on the credit slip. Every year we have scads of slips that do not get credited because someone forgot to include their name.
    • Online studies
      • If you participate in an online study, you will not receive a Research Credit Slip. Instead, after the study has closed, the researchers will send a list of participants to the Psychology office in order for you to be granted credit.

How to track your research credit

  • You can keep track of your Research Credits using the “Psych 125 Subject Pool” Moodle site for the current semester. Each experiment will appear as a separate assignment in the grade book. If you have been granted credit for your participation, it will appear here. Your credit will NOT appear in your regular course gradebook until the end of the term.
  • For in-lab studies it may take a few days for credit to be granted, so if your participation does not appear immediately, don’t panic. Check back after a few days, and if credit still has not appeared, please contact the Subject Pool Coordinator (Prof. Jeremy Loebach at loebach at stolaf.edu). For online studies it is not uncommon to not see your credit appear until the study is closed.

General Advice

  • There will be plenty of studies to sign up for! The amount of credits required are calculated based on the needs of the experimenters, so we have an estimate of the number of hours needed and available each semester.
  • Don’t panic if you haven’t participated in a study until later in the semester as some Research Methods students will not have experiments running until a few weeks before finals. Researchers will not email the class alias to advertise their studies, so check the sign up document often, as new experiments will be added throughout the semester.
  • If you cannot find a research project to participate in, or if you simply don’t want to participate in research, there are several alternatives available to you including the alternate video project. The form to do this is available online and the list of available videos are available in the Psychology Office (RNS 232).

A Guide to Research Etiquette

Below are a few guidelines that will help the research process run more smoothly. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Subject Pool Coordinator Prof. Jeremy Loebach (loebach at stolaf.edu)

  • If you sign up for an experiment, please show up on time! Sometimes tardiness may be unavoidable, but a study may be very time sensitive, and being late may block you from participating (and you will not get credit for the study).
  • If you sign up for an experiment, please show up for it! Do not sign up for time slots that you are unsure of or know you will be unable to keep. This wastes the time of the researchers and makes signing up for studies more difficult for other students in the class. You may be penalized for missing experiments that you have signed up for.
  • If you have signed up for a time slot, but cannot keep the commitment due to a conflict, there are two options:
    • If you are aware of the conflict and it is less than 24 hours before your scheduled time slot, please email the researcher and let them know. Do not just erase your name from the Google document… the researcher may be planning on your participation and end up waiting around for you at the experiment location, which is no fun for anyone.
    • If you are aware of the conflict and it is more than 24 hours before your scheduled time slot, it is OK to erase your name from the document, as this gives enough time for other students to sign up for that time.
    • If you miss an appointment, please do not go back to the Google document and delete your name. If you are still interested in participating in that study, you may want to sign up for another time slot, or contact the researcher about additional times.
    • If you sign up for an experiment, please write down its name, time, location and the researcher’s name. It is your responsibility to get to where you need to be on time. Not everyone in the Psychology department knows where studies are being held, so they may not be able to help you. You can always log back in to the Google Document “Research Participation Sign Up Sheet” from a public computer terminal and check the details.
    • Be courteous to other users of the Google Document! Please do not add time slots (the researchers may have limited time and may not be able to accommodate you). Please do not delete or overwrite the name of another participant from any time slot (we can track who changed what when and will know who was responsible). Please read the experiments carefully! Some may have specific requirements or procedures for your participation!