PSY 121 Research Subject Pool Policy

PSY 121 participants are recruited through the programs research participation system, SONA. You must use SONA to recruit subjects.

If you have a compelling reason to recruit PSY 121 subjects without using the system, you must receive permission from the administrator of the system and the head of the psychology programs.

If you are a researcher contact the administrator, CaSandra Stanbrough, for an account on the system.

All PSY 121 instructors should have an account to track student progress. If you do not have an account, contact CaSandra Stanbrough

If you are enrolled as a student in PSY 121, your account will be automatically created the first week of class.

Information for researchers using PSY 121 subject pool

Instructions to review

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Posting to SONA

Any study posted on SONA should include the following information:

  • A brief description of the nature of the research (its purpose and the activities subjects are expected to perform)
  • The name, telephone number and email address of the faculty member supervising the research
  • The time, place and approximate length of time participation involves (this will be required to create timeslots)
  • The number of units of participation will be worth
  • The approval number from Missouri State University Institutional Review Board. If the study is exempt from review indicate "Exempt".

All new or revised studies must be approved by the administrator before they can be made active.

Participation credit

Credit depends on participation time.

Participation credit
1 credit = 1 to 30 minutes of activity
2 credits = 31 to 60 minutes of activity
3 credits = 61 to 90 minutes of activity
4 credits = 91 to 120 minutes of activity
1 credit for each additional 30 minutes of activity

And so on for additional time. If subjects are asked to return on another occasion, then their second session is worth an additional unit of credit for every 30 minutes of participation.

According to this policy, individual PSY 121 instructors determine what a unit of credit is worth in their classes (i.e., how many points are assigned to each unit of credit) but the faculty member conducting the research determines how many units of credit participation is worth.

Feedback to PSY 121 instructors regarding their students’ participation will be obtained through SONA. Login to your instructor account to gather this information.

The last day to use the PSY 121 subject pool is Thursday of the last week of class, not including finals week. The last date to use the pool for a given semester will be posted on the login page of the experiment management system.

Remember that it is your ethical obligation to honor all implicit agreements with subjects. All researchers, and in particular student researchers, are encouraged to review APA Ethical Principles.

Additionally, although not required in the ethical guidelines, all researchers using the PSY 121 subject pool should maintain good etiquette when recruiting and testing subjects, such as using the experiment management system to recruit subjects, insuring subjects are awarded credit for participating, and showing up when a participant is scheduled to be tested.

Information for students about using the Experiment Management System (SONA)

According to psychology programs policy, students in seated or blended sections are required to complete 6 credits by either volunteering to be a subject in approved research projects and/or by completing library projects. Students in online sections are required to complete 4 credits by either volunteering to be a subject in approved research projects and/or by completing library projects. Students who do not complete the minimum credits receive zero (0) points for noncomplete credits. 

Your account will be created the second week of class. You will receive an email with your login ID and temporary password.

Visit the MSU Research Participation System to login.

If you have problems with login, contact CaSandra Stanbrough.

Logging in to the Psychology Experiment Management System

Once you have your login information, go to the MSU Research Participation System and enter your BearPass Login ID (without the and password to login.

Your login session will expire after a certain period of inactivity, usually 20 to 60 minutes. If this happens, you may log in again.

Changing your password and other information

  • If you would like to change your password or other information about yourself, chose My Profile from the top toolbar.
  • If you would like to change your password, type your new password (twice, for confirmation) in the provided boxes.
  • If you would not like to change your password, simply leave these boxes empty.
  • There are certain events in the system that will cause an email notification to be sent to you. Most often, these are notifications that you have received credit for a study, confirmation that you have signed up for a study, or a reminder to attend a study session.


To view a list of studies, click on Studies from the top toolbar. You will see a list of studies. A brief description of each study will be listed, as well as any special requirements that may restrict your eligibility to participate in the study.

Tracking your progress

You may track your progress at any time by choosing the My Schedule/Credits option from the top toolbar.

Canceling a sign-up

If you need to cancel a time slot you have signed up for, you can do this from the My Schedule and Credits page. Choose the My Schedule/Credits option from the top toolbar.