Research Participation Credits

If you are taking PSYC 1001, 1002, 2001, 2002, you will have the opportunity to have an “up close” look at psychology research through research participation. Research participation comes in several forms:

  • lab studies
  • online studies and
  • reading and writing about research articles).

All are designed to foster understanding and appreciation of psychology research.

Research Participation credits are worth 4%.

**Important Change for Fall 2015**

        PSYC 1001 and 1002: 4% Research Participation Credits count towards final grade.

   PSYC 2001 and 2002: 4% Research Participation Credits count as bonus grades.

Participating in Psychology Studies for Credit

One way to earn research participation marks is by participating in psychology studies conducted by psychology professors, graduate students, and honours thesis students from Carleton University’s Psychology Department.  In order to see a list of the available studies, you will need to log into the SONA system at

There are two types of studies that you can sign-up for:

  • Lab studies (conducted in a lab, typically on campus)
  • Online studies (completed online from any computer).

Lab studies: For each 30 minute block that you spend participating in a lab study on campus, you will earn 0.5%. There is no cap (i.e., no limit) on the number of lab studies you can participate in up to the maximum of 4% towards your research participation credits.

  • (up to) 30 min lab study = 0.5%
  • 31-60 min lab study = 1.0%
  • 61-90 min lab study = 1.5%
  • 91-120 min lab study = 2% … etc.

Online studies: For each 30 minute block that you spend participating in an online study, you will earn .25%. There is a cap on the number of online studies you can participate in; you can earn a maximum of 3% (of the 4%) towards your research participation credits by participating in online studies. The remaining 1% can be earned by lab study participation or reading and writing about research articles for credit.
* The reason for the online cap is that we want to encourage students to experience a lab study which typically provides a richer and more interactive experience.

  • (up to) 30 min survey = 0.25%
    •  31-60 min survey = 0.5%
    •  61-90 min survey = 0.75%
    •  91-120 min = 1% … etc.

Reading and Writing about Research Articles for Credit

An alternative way to earn your 4% research participation credits is by reading and answering questions about research articles (see your course outline for more details).

At the beginning of the term that you are taking PSYC 1001, 1002, 2001, 2002, you will receive an e-mail containing your SONA login information and instructions explaining how to use the system.  You will then have until the last day of classes for the term to earn your research participation credits (i.e., through psychology studies and/or alternative written assignments).

If you have not received an e-mail by the end of the first full week of classes or have questions, you should contact the Ethics TA (Melissa Salmon) at

How do I sign up for a study in SONA to earn Research Participation Credits May 2016

For additional information about the SONA system, please read the following:

Researcher Usage of the Department of Psychology Participant Pool
Carleton University
April 9, 2015

The Department of Psychology Participant Pool system is facing greater demand than it can supply. In a review of the projects that have accessed the Pool in 2014-15, non psychology faculty and/or non psychology students have used the Pool (along with psychology faculty and students). Given the limited Pool resources, the Department of Psychology voted (April 9, 2015) to restrict access to the Pool (including Mass Testing usage). Usage of the Department of Psychology Participant Pool will be restricted to the following groups:

  • A study may be posted in SONA if the principal investigator OR primary supervisor is a Full-time faculty/ instructor member** in the Department of Psychology at Carleton University. **Full-time faculty/instructor member refers to a person with a 50% cross-appointment or higher to the Department of Psychology.
  • A study may be posted in SONA if the principal investigator is a psychology graduate or undergraduate student AND the study is part of their psychology course work (including thesis work or a formal independent study). A faculty supervisor of the posted study can include faculty members outside the Department of Psychology and faculty members with less than 50% cross-appointment to the Department of Psychology.
  • Any studies posted to SONA (and Mass Testing) as of September 1, 2015 must adhere to the Participant Pool Usage restrictions described above.