Research Participation Instructions

There are three parts to these instructions.

  1. The first part provides you with some important general information.

  2. The second part explains how to use the web based subject pool sign up system.

  3. The final part explains what to expect, and what to do, when you go to the study to participate.

The URL for the website is at the end of these instructions.
PLEASE DON'T GO TO THE WEBSITE UNTIL YOU HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD ALL OF THE INSTRUCTIONS.

GENERAL INFORMATION

  1. Students in General Psychology (PSY 011) are REQUIRED to earn 3 research participation credits. What percentage of your course grade or what number of course points your research participation credits count for is a separate issue, and is up to your instructor. Instructors in other courses may also grant extra credit for research participation, but that is up to them.
    .
  2. Your research participation is managed through our subject pool website. Please do not try to use the subject pool website until you have read all of these instructions.
    .
  3. You will create an account on the subject pool website. (Some professors may create accounts for all students in their class. If so, they will tell you. However, you should assume you have to create the account yourself unless told otherwise). If you belong to more than one class in which the instructor is having you earn research participation credits, then you will need to "re-assign" any credit you earn to the appropriate class by using the appropriate links on the subject pool website.
    .
  4. You will sign up for appointments for research studies on the subject pool website. Students often want to meet their research participation requirement as early as possible in the semester. They may wish to do so because their professor has established a cut-off date for doing the research participation, or just because they don't want to be rushed at the end of the semester. For those reasons, it is good to look for studies to sign up for as early in the semester as you can. However, if you can't find studies to sign up for there are two things you should be aware of. First, the students in the Experimental Psychology classes are required to run research projects that you will be able to sign up for, but they are not able to run those projects until later in the semester. Also, although we would much rather you actually participate in studies, if you really need to, your professor does allow you to earn the research participation credits through an alternate means. Therefore, if you are having trouble finding projects to sign up for as early as you would like, don't panic. Tell your professor about the problem, and ask them if they think there is still enough time to sign up for studies, or whether you need to do the alternative. However, please do not email the subject pool administrator to ask if there will be more studies posted. Unless it is extremely late in the semester, the answer is almost always yes. And even if it isn't, you can still look into doing the alternative.
    .
  5. The subject pool website will give you a 5 digit ID code that identifies you anonymously to the researcher. YOU MUST BRING THE CODE TO THE STUDY. This 5 digit code is separate from any subject number you may be given during the study.
    .
  6. You must keep the information about the name of the research study, and the date, time, and place of the study, so that you can keep your appointment.
    .
  7. It is your responsibility to either keep your appointment or to go back to the subject pool website and cancel it before the deadline to cancel expires.
    .
  8. You must know where the room for the research study is located (find it ahead of time if necessary), and arrive on time. If you are late, you will probably not be able to participate.
    .
  9. After you have participated, the researcher will grant your research participation credit on the subject pool website. Your instructor may require you to do something more, such as turn in a short report, before granting you whatever course points or percentage of your course grade are given for your research participation. Research participation credit is linked to, but not the same as, course points.
    .
  10. If you fail to participate without cancelling, you will be given a "no show" on the subject pool website instead of research participation credits. Whether and how "no shows" are penalized is up to your instructor.
    .
  11. You may go to your account on the subject pool website at any time to track your research participation credits. You can also double check the appointment information there. Instructors also go to the subject pool website to check on the research participation of their students. You must check on the subject pool website to make sure you received your credit, and, if necessary, that it has been assigned to the correct class. The subject pool system will not show anything about your course points or course grade. Any information about that will have to come from your instructor. Your instructor may post such information on BlackBoard, but that is up to them.
    .
  12. Next you should read the more specific instructions below (or click on links to the right of these instructions) for each step in the process before you need to do that step. If you have any questions, you should first make sure you have read and understood all the written instructions provided for you, including those on the subject pool website itself, and the information below. If you still need help, your next recourse is your instructor. Finally, any questions that your instructor can't answer can be referred to research participation administrator (as of Fall 2007, Dr. Ryan).

INSTRUCTIONS FOR USING THE WEB BASED SUBJECT POOL SYSTEM:

  1. The first page you come to when you go to the website will be the log in page. Please read each page you come to carefully. On the login page, there will be a link in the lower left of the screen for new users to request an account. Once you have an account, you will use this page to log in.
    .
  2. Click on the "request an account" link. Your User ID must be the same as your kutztown email User ID. You will select the course to which you need your participation credits to be applied as part of creating your account. An initial password will then be emailed to you. You should change the password the first time you log on to the account. (You will be able to retreive a forgotten password by following a link on the lower left of the login page)
    .
  3. When you log in, you will see the following links:
    1. Study sign up
    2. My schedule and credits
    3. My profile
      .
  4. Studies will become available from time to time, and sign up slots will be added from time to time. If you can't find a time to participate right away, keep checking. If you are having too much trouble finding a time, then tell your professor.
    .
  5. When you sign up for a study, you will be given an ID CODE to identify you to the researcher without using your name. YOU MUST GIVE THIS ID CODE TO THE RESEARCHER WHEN YOU PARTICIPATE. You can find your ID CODE in your profile if you forget it. (You may also be given a subject number in the study. But that subject number is NOT your ID CODE)
    .
  6. You will be sent an email reminder the day before your appointment. You would probably do well to also write down the time and place information to help you remember to keep the appointment in case you don't check your email the day before the appointment. You can also check any upcoming appointments by going to the "My schedule and credits" link.
    .
  7. BEFORE YOU PARTICIPATE, THE RESEARCHER WILL ASK FOR YOUR ID CODE.  After you participate, the researcher will assign your credit to your course. You can check to make sure you received credit by going to the "My schedule and credits" link. The experimenter should apply your credit to your course within a day or two, if not sooner. If you don't receive credit after two days, then tell your professor.
    .
  8. You can change your password and other information by going to the "My profile" link.

WHAT TO DO WHEN GOING TO THE STUDY TO PARTICIPATE.

  1. Some projects may have restrictions. For example, for some projects you may not participate unless you are at least 18 years old. For some, you may participate if you are under 18, but only if you provide written permission from a parent or guardian. In other cases, the project may be only about females, may require right handed people, or there may be a vision requirement.
    .
  2. There are usually many sessions of the same project. Once you have participated in one session you may not participate in another session of the same project. The system will not allow you to participate in a project that you have already participated in. In those rare cases in which a project does allow you to participate more than once, there will be an explicit statement to that effect in the information about the project.
    .
  3. It is very important that you are considerate of the experimenter once you make an appointment. Experimenters often go to a good deal of effort to be prepared to run the subject through the procedure. You should only cancel appointments for good reasons. Most importantly, if you can not make the appointment you should go to the web site and cancel your sign up. Some projects may require that you cancel at least 24 hours in advance.
    .
  4. If you arrive and find a sign on the door that says the experiment is already in progress, then there are two possibilities.
    .
    .
  5. Be sure you are checking your Kutztown email regularly (or having your Kutztown email account forward to the account you actually use). Experimenters seldom need to cancel a session, but it could happen. If so, then the experimenter will email you in advance. In the unlikely event that you would show up for an appointment and the experimenter did not show up, then you should tell your professor what happened, and she/he will notify the subject pool administrator (Currently Dr. Ryan - rryan@kutztown.edu).
    .
  6. When you go to your appointment, the experimenter will first give you an informed consent sheet to read to make the final decision  about whether you wish to participate. The experiments run within our department are almost always projects that no one would mind participating in, and some are even fun. Nevertheless, the decision is yours.
    .
  7. At the start of the experiment, the experimenter will give you any necessary instructions for participating. THE EXPERIMENTER WILL NEED THE ID CODE YOU WERE GIVEN WHEN YOU SIGNED UP IN ORDER TO GIVE YOU YOUR CREDIT. The procedures are usually as simple as filling out a questionnaire, responding to a visual or auditory stimulus, or performing some puzzle-like or problem solving task. Nevertheless, you always have the right to decline to continue without any penalty.
    .
  8. When the procedure is finished, the experimenter will give a full explanation of the study. The experimenter will assign your credit on the subject pool system. You will not be given a credit slip, but you can check that you have received your credit on your subject pool account.
    .
  9. You may not have been given all the information about the study in advance in order to prevent such information from influencing your responses. Therefore, it is very important that you do not share such information with any other students who may later participate in the study.

The URL for the KU Psychology Department subject pool is: http://kutztown.sona-systems.com .