Rights and Responsibilities of Students Participating in Research for Course Credit

As part of your psychology course, you have the opportunity to participate in research studies outside of class through the Psychology Department Course Credit Participant Pool. By participating, you are contributing to cutting-edge psychological research. Results from these studies help to inform and advance what we currently know about psychology, so it is crucial that you take each study seriously and make every effort to provide quality responses.

Our goal is to make this experience both interesting and educational. By participating, you will better understand current psychological research and how they are conducted. You will also be providing valuable assistance to the researchers who depend on your cooperation for the successful completion of their studies. Your time and effort are sincerely appreciated!

The Psychology Department conducts these studies in accordance with the ethical procedures established by the campus Institutional Research Board (IRB) and the Department’s Human Subjects Committee (HSC). If you have moral or ethical concerns with participating in research, please contact your instructor for an alternative assignment. Below is a list of rights and responsibilities that you have as a participant in these studies. Note that you must be at least 18 years old to participate.


Rights of Students Participating in Research:
  1. Before each study, you will receive information about the study and possible consequences. This will be in the consent form. You must read and agree to participate before beginning the study.

  2. If you feel that a study violates your moral, religious, or ethical values, or makes you feel uncomfortable, you can withdraw from the study. If you withdraw from a study that is shorter than 1 hour, you will not receive any credit for the session. For studies that are longer than 1 hour, you can receive prorated credit for partial completion of the study. The researcher must provide you with a Course Credit Early Withdrawal Form, which you must submit to the Participant Pool Coordinator to receive partial credit.

  3. All personal and identifiable data collected during these studies will be kept confidential unless you give the researcher permission to do otherwise. Your privacy will be safeguarded.

  4. At the end of the study, you will receive a written debriefing. This will include a summary of the research in addition to resources for further information. You may ask questions about the research and can request information about the results and significance of the research.

Responsibilities of Students Participating in Research:
  1. You must be 18 years of age or older to participate in psychological research. If you are not yet 18, ask your instructor for an under-18 alternative assignment.

  2. You must register for Course Credit Pool, sign up for studies, and keep track of your appointments using the SONA system, at https://uiuc.sona-systems.com/. You will not receive credit for a study unless you are signed up for it on SONA. For in-person studies or studies conducted virtually in real time, make sure to schedule your appointments so that you can attend on time. You cannot participate in a study if you are late. Similarly, for online studies, make sure to access the study link and complete it BEFORE the study deadline.

  3. Each study has its own participant cancellation deadline marked on the study information page. If you need to cancel an appointment before the cancellation deadline, do so via your SONA account. For in-person studies or studies conducted virtually in real time, if you cancel after the cancellation deadline, miss the study, or are late to the study without proper documentation, your session will be marked as Unexcused No-Show. If you receive two Unexcused No-Shows, your SONA account will be locked. While your account is locked, you will be unable to sign up for new studies, although you can still take part in any studies that you have already signed up for and will keep any credits earned thus far. Your account can be unlocked after you provide valid documentation for your absence/cancellation or after you complete additional online ethics training at https://www.citiprogram.org/. If you have 4 or more Unexcused No-Shows within a semester, your account will be permanently locked, and you will not be able to earn further SONA participation credits to fulfill course requirements. For detailed instructions on how to unlock your account, please refer to the FAQ for students.

  4. You are expected to follow instructions and avoid creating disruptions during the study. You should be respectful, take each study seriously, and make an effort to give quality responses. If you are being disruptive, purposely providing inaccurate or inappropriate responses, or acting in a manner which makes the researcher believe that your data will be unusable, you will be asked to leave and will not receive any credit for the session. The session will be marked as a No-Show.

  5. For in-person studies, you are responsible for following all COVID-related directives from the department, campus/university, and state.