PSY 121 Research Subject Pool Policy

PSY 121 participants are recruited through the department research participation system, SONA. You must use SONA to recruit subjects.

If you have a compelling reason to recruit PSY 121 subjects without using the system, you must receive permission from the administrator of the system and the department head.

If you are a researcher contact the administrator, Michelle Visio, for an account on the system.

All PSY 121 instructors should have an account to track student progress. If you do not have an account, contact Michelle Visio.

If you are enrolled as a student in PSY 121, your account will be automatically created the first week of class.

Information for researchers using PSY 121 subject pool

Instructions to review

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Posting to SONA

Any study posted on SONA should include the following information:

  • A brief description of the nature of the research (its purpose and the activities subjects are expected to perform)
  • The name, telephone number and email address of the faculty member supervising the research
  • The time, place and approximate length of time participation involves (this will be required to create timeslots)
  • The number of units of participation will be worth
  • The approval number from Missouri State University Institutional Review Board. If the study is exempt from review indicate "Exempt" and the last name of the faculty who is supervising the research.

All new or revised studies must be approved by the administrator before they can be made active.

Participation credit

Credit depends on participation time: If participation typically involves:

  • 30 minutes or less:  one unit of credit
  • More than 30 minutes but less than 60 minutes: two units of credit
  • More than 60 minutes but less than 90 minutes: three units of credit

And so on for additional time. If subjects are asked to return on another occasion, then their second session is worth an additional unit of credit for every 30 minutes of participation.

According to this policy, individual PSY 121 instructors determine what a unit of credit is worth in their classes (i.e., how many points are assigned to each unit of credit) but the faculty member conducting the research determines how many units of credit participation is worth.

Feedback to PSY 121 instructors regarding their students’ participation will be obtained through SONA. Login to your instructor account to gather this information.

The last day to use the PSY 121 subject pool is Friday on the second to the last week of end of semester classes (typically week 15 and not including finals week). The last date to use the pool for a given semester will be posted on the login page of the experiment management system.

Remember that it is your ethical obligation to honor all implicit agreements with subjects. All researchers, and in particular student researchers, are encouraged to review APA Ethical Principles.

Additionally, although not required in the ethical guidelines, all researchers using the PSY 121 subject pool should maintain good etiquette when recruiting and testing subjects, such as using the experiment management system to recruit subjects, insuring subjects are awarded credit for participating, and showing up when a participant is scheduled to be tested.

Information for students about using the Experiment Management System (SONA)

According to psychology department policy, all students are required to obtain six units of credit by either volunteering to be a subject in approved research projects and/or by completing library projects. Department policy also states that students who do NOT complete at least six units of credit are to be given an incomplete ("I") grade for the course, provided they achieve a passing grade according to the criteria stated elsewhere in this section. According to university policy, all "I" grades automatically turn into "F" grades if not removed during the following semester.

Your account will be created the first week of class. You will receive an email with your login ID and temporary password.

Visit the MSU Research Participation System to login.

If you have problems with login, contact Michelle Visio .

Logging in to the Psychology Experiment Management System

Once you have your login information, go to the MSU Research Participation System and enter your BearPass Login ID (without the and password to login.

Your login session will expire after a certain period of inactivity, usually 20 to 60 minutes. If this happens, you may log in again.

Changing your password and other information

  • If you would like to change your password or other information about yourself, chose My Profile from the top toolbar.
  • If you would like to change your password, type your new password (twice, for confirmation) in the provided boxes.
  • If you would not like to change your password, simply leave these boxes empty.
  • There are certain events in the system that will cause an email notification to be sent to you. Most often, these are notifications that you have received credit for a study, confirmation that you have signed up for a study, or a reminder to attend a study session.
  • You have two choices for your email address: your Missouri State University email address which has already been created in the system, or you may provide an alternate email address.


To view a list of studies, click on Studies from the top toolbar. You will see a list of studies. A brief description of each study will be listed, as well as any special requirements that may restrict your eligibility to participate in the study.

Tracking your progress

You may track your progress at any time by choosing the My Schedule/Credits option from the top toolbar.

Canceling a sign-up

If you need to cancel a time slot you have signed up for, you can do this from the My Schedule and Credits page. Choose the My Schedule/Credits option from the top toolbar.