How to Sign Up for Studies on the Psychology Participant Pool

Step 1: Create an account (if you do not already have one) and login.

  • Go to the Participant Pool website: http://newpaltz.sona-com/
  • If you don’t already have an account, create one Once you have an account, log in.
  • Here is the screen you should see after logging in:
    Screen shot SONA
  • The “Points Overview” graph on the right side tells you how many credits you have already earned, how many are pending (you have not yet earned the points from studies you signed up for), and how many are required.

  • Some very important points about points:

    • The number of points listed as required varies from student to student.

    • If you are a psychology major, it will be at least 12 required points because 12 points are needed to satisfy the requirement for psychology majors.

    • If any of your courses offer extra credit for SONA usage, the number of points they offer will be added to the tally for required points. So, if several of your classes do that during your time here, it is possible that your required points will rise to well over 20, as indicated on the right in the figure above.

    • Any extra points for courses are not technically “required” for you to earn – they are just extra, after all! Therefore, even if you don’t earn all of the required points, you can still graduate so long as you have completed 12 credits toward the major.

    • You can only apply a study’s points to either the SONA Participant Requirement or a single class. 

Step 2: View the list of studies.

  • Click on “View Available Studies.” The screen will list all active studies in alphabetical order:
    SONA screen shot
  • The list includes in-person studies, online studies, or talks from invited speakers.
  • Although many studies are listed as “active,” they may not all have time slots available. Check regularly to see if new time slots become available (researchers often add more).
  • To sign up for an activity that has time slots available, search for ones with the “Timeslots Available” button in the left column. Click on it to see a full description of the study – what it entails, where it is located, how long it lasts, how many points it is worth, etc.
  • Here is an example of a study’s full description:
    SONA screen shot

Step 3: Reserve a timeslot

  • At this point, if the study still appeals to you, then click on “View Time Slots for This Study.”
  • For In-Person Studies, you will see a list with many different time slots, mostly with study times in near future. If none of the time slots listed work for you, check again later to see if more have been added.
  • For Lectures or Job Talks, you will see only one time slot for each lecture or job talk. These time slots tell you when the event will occur.
  • For Online Studies, you will likely see only one time slot that is usually far in the future. You can complete the study anytime between now and that future date.
  • Here is what the screen looks like for an online study:
    SONA screen shot online study

  • If you see a time slot that suits your schedule, select it by clicking “Sign-Up.”

Step 4: Allocate the points to either the SONA Participant Requirement or a class.

  • The final step is to choose how to allocate the point(s) you earn after completing a study.
  • For psychology majors, the default is to apply the credit toward the SONA Participant Requirement (those 12 points you need to graduate).
  • If you wish to assign points to the SONA Participation, then click “Sign-Upto assign the points.
    SONA screen shot assign points
  • If you wish to allocate the points to a specific course that is offering you extra credit for participation, then click the drop-down menu and select your course. Then press “Sign-Up” to assign the points.
    SONA screen shot assign points to class

  • You can change your allocation (e.g., from the SONA Participation Requirement to a specific course, or vice versa) at any time before participating in the study. After that, however, you cannot change the allocation.

Step 5: Participate in the study.

  • After reserving your time slot, you will see a confirmation page.
  • For In-Person Studies or Lectures/Job Talks, mark the time slot on your calendar and show up at the event’s location a few minutes early.
  • For Online Studies, you can participate immediately, or any time before the time slot date, by click the “Complete Survey Now” button.
  • Typically, the researcher supervising the study will grant your points within a few days after you have participated. You can check the status by clicking on “My Schedule/Credits” at the top of the screen. Scan the list of studies to confirm which of them have been granted points.
  • If you later learn that you are unable to complete an online or in-person study, make sure to cancel your reservation.
  • To cancel a study reservation:
    • Click on “My Schedule/Credits” at the top of the screen.
    • You will see a list of all studies for which you have reserved a time slot.
    • Find the study you wish to cancel.
    • Click “Cancel” and on the next screen confirm this decision by clicking “Yes, I want to Cancel.”
    • IMPORTANT: Do not “No-Show.” If you miss your time without cancelling it beforehand, you will receive a “No-Show” mark. If you collect multiple “No-Show” marks, you will be barred from participating in other studies. Please avoid this by properly cancelling reservations when necessary.

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