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Subject Pool/Sona Systems

Psychology Research Participation

Participation in psychology experiments is an integral part of the psychology major. Not only do you develop a better understanding of the research process and see the concepts from your psychology classes in action, but you become a part of the future of the field by assisting in the research process. Although participation is voluntary and instructors will allow alternative credit opportunities, your experience in psychology experiments will provide memories and stories for years to come.

Introduction to Psychology students, are required to accumulate 10 Research/Experiential Activities credits and have the option of accumulating an additional 5 credits, which would be added as extra credit to your grade. Credit for each laboratory study is calculated as 1 credit for attending plus 1 credit per 30 minutes (or portion thereof) of time spent in the study location - e.g., a 45 minute study would be worth 3 credits. Many studies are conducted online, allowing you to participate conveniently from home. Credit for online studies is 1 credit for each 30 minutes (or portion thereof) of time spent on the study, based on the experimenter’s estimate of how much time the study would normally require. Florida Tech Online Introduction to Psychology students are required to accumulate 4 research credits.

Signing up for Studies

Florida Tech utilizes an online subject pool management site called Sona Systems for listing studies, signing students up for sessions, and keeping track of credits earned. Here is what you need to do enroll in Sona Systems:

  1. Visit the Sona Systems site at, and click on the link in the lower left hand corner under "New Participant?" where it says, "Request an account here."
  2. In order to request your account, you WILL NEED: your Florida Tech email address, your student number, AND the name of your Intro to Psychology instructor. It is VERY important that you choose the correct Intro to Psychology instructor, because each instructor will only be able to see the number of credits earned for his/her students.
  3. After your account is set up, you can log into Sona Systems, click on the listing of current studies and sign-up directly from the Sona Systems website.

IMPORTANT: You WILL lose Sona Systems privileges if you sign-up for studies but fail to show-up for the study session without canceling AT LEAST two hours prior to the session start time.

Participant Rights and Responsibilities

For any experiment, you have the right to refuse to participate or to cease participating at any time with no penalty to you. You also have the right to be informed, prior to the experiment beginning, what will occur and what will be expected of you.

To obtain credit for your participation, the experimenter will log onto Sona Systems after your session and apply the credit to your account. If you have not received credit, and it has been more than 24 hours since your participation, please contact the experimenter.

Information for Instructors

Please contact Dr. Travis Conradt ( or to request an instructor account if you are teaching Introduction to Psychology (on-campus or online) or if you are teaching any other undergraduate class and would like the opportunity to offer your students extra credit for research participation. Once your class is set up, your students will be able to choose your name/class section from a list when they create their accounts. Ech time you log in, you will be able to access a Course Report that summarizes the number of credits earned by each of your students. In order to respect student privacy, you will not be able to see which particular studies your students participated in.

Information For Researchers

Use of the Subject Pool

The subject pool is for Florida Tech faculty and graduate student use only. In order to have your study posted, you must have proper approval from the university's Institutional Review Board (IRB). The IRB homepage has information on Florida Tech's policies and guidelines for human subjects research as well as the proper forms that will need to be submitted to have a project approved.

Once approval has been granted, you may contact the Sona Systems Administrator (Dr. Travis Conradt, and request an account. When you are posting a study on Sona Systems, you need to indicate the IRB approval expiration date in the form provided. All students will cease to be visible to students after the IRB approval has expired.

After a student has participated in your study, you will need to log into Sona Systems ( and give that student the earned credit. This should be done as soon as possible after study participation.

For students' convenience, all studies are listed on the Sona Systems website and sign-ups will occur through this site.

How-to Documents For Sona Systems

Requesting a Researcher Account

Setting up an On-Campus Study

Setting up an Online Study

Posting Timeslots for an On-Campus Study

Posting Timeslots for an Online Study

Crediting Participants for an On-Campus Study

Crediting Participants for an Online Study

Sona Systems FAQs


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