Study Participation

Signing up for Research Studies

Throughout the semester students enrolled in designated courses (Psych 101, 230, 280 and ComSt 101) may sign-up for research studies using the on-line Research Sign-up System. You are encouraged to check the system regularly because the availability of studies changes frequently. Each study is briefly described on-line.

Important Things to be Aware of

Some studies are administered online, whereas others are administered by participating in a laboratory or through a remote synchronous interaction (e.g., Webex). You can earn up to 5 of your 10 required credits from online-administered studies; the rest must come from either lab-administered or remote studies.

When you participate in a research study, please be sure to collect a receipt. Retain this receipt until the end of the term. The receipt is proof that you have participated in the research study and will be used to resolve any discrepancies in research credits you have earned.


Psychology research studies are held in a variety of campus buildings including Lagomarcino Hall, Science Hall, Office and Labs, and Gilman Hall. Please view a map showing the location of these buildings.


A requirement of enrollment in Psychology 101, 230, 280, or Communication Studies 101 is completion of research credit. This research credit can be obtained in one of two ways. Students may participate in research studies that are conducted by faculty in the psychology department or complete a series of quizzes or short papers related to published research articles. Research participation provides a hands-on opportunity to become familiar with how research is conducted. Because you are a student at a large university in which faculty are researchers as well as teachers, you have the opportunity to be a participant in real psychology studies. You will also have the opportunity to learn more about yourself and your behavior in many of these studies. Students under 18 years old need parental consent to participate in research studies. More information about parental consent appears below in a section titled "Parental Consent for Minors". All studies are reviewed and approved in advance by the Iowa State University Institutional Review Board (IRB). When you arrive at each study, that study will be explained to you by the researcher and you will have a chance to ask any questions you may have about participation. You will be asked to give your consent to participate. Even after you have consented and have started to participate, it is always up to you to decide whether to continue. Additional information about how to use SONA is available at these links:

Parental Consent for Minors

Students under 18 years old who wish to participate in research studies must first obtain parental consent by completing a parental consent form. All studies that allow minors to participate are listed in the table below. Each study has its own parental consent form that may be obtained by clicking on the study’s name. For lab studies, the student must bring the signed form to the laboratory at the time of the study. For on-line studies, the student must either deliver the signed form to Sarah Kallsen, SONA Secretary, in W112 Lagomarcino Hall prior to participating in the study or email a scanned copy to If you have additional questions you may contact the administrator of the psychology department participant pool at, or the investigator listed for the specific study. The psychology department thanks you for your assistance in obtaining the necessary documentation to participate in research as a minor.

Studies that Allow Minors to Participate:

Study Name IRB# Experiment # PI Name / email
Short-Cut to Better Test Scores 17-248 171 Shana Carpenter (

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What is my user ID?

Your user ID is the same as your Net ID.  "Net ID" which composes your unique Iowa State email address (e.g., ""; User ID = joesmith).

Did you lose or forget your password?

If you have forgotten or do not have your password, then you may choose to have your password emailed to you. You will see an option on the front login. Your password will be emailed after you submit the form, and should arrive in your email box momentarily.

May I cancel a study I have signed-up for?

You may cancel a study you have signed-up for as long as you cancel it at least 2 hours before you were expected to show.

Immediately after I login, as soon as I click on any menu option, I am taken back to the login page and I see a message that my authentication has expired. What does this mean?

Your web browser is not properly configured to accept cookies. You should turn on cookies in your web browser, use a different web browser (for example, try Firefox if you are currently using Internet Explorer), or try a different computer. Detailed instructions can be found if you go to the site and enter the url “cookie_help.asp” in place of “default.asp” in the address bar of the browser, when you are on the front page of the site.

I participated in a study, but I have yet to receive credit. How do I receive credit?

The researcher must grant you credit. This is usually done shortly after your participation. If it has been some time and you have still not received credit, contact the researcher.

Who can see the information about my sign-ups? I don’t want everyone to know which studies I signed up for.

Only the researcher and principal investigator of the study may see that you have signed up for it, along with the subject pool administrator. No other users, including other researchers, may see this information.

I noticed that with some studies, I can sign up for them again even if I participated before, while others don’t allow for this. Why is this?

Researchers can choose if their studies allow you to participate more than once. Not all studies allow you to participate more than once.

I attempted to sign up for a study, and I was prevented from doing so because the study I was trying to sign up for is a disqualifier for another study I am scheduled to participate in. Why is this?

If you have signed up for a study that has disqualifiers (studies you must not have participated in to participate in that study), you may not then sign up for the studies that are listed as the disqualifier studies. You are allowed to sign up for the disqualifier studies if the disqualifier study will take place after the study with disqualifiers, or if you have already participated in (and received credit for) the study with disqualifiers. The easiest way to sign up for both studies is to schedule the disqualifier study at a time later than the study with disqualifiers.