Guide to Fulfilling the Research Participation Requirement through Participation in Studies

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Revised January 2015
The Advanced Psychology Student's Guide to

Fulfilling the Research Participation Requirement through Participation in Studies

Summer Sessions
One requirement of your course in Introductory Psychology is that you fulfill a Research Requirement by either taking part as a subject in 1 hour of psychology studies, with the option of doing as many as 1 more hour for extra credit to improve your final grade (details provided by instructor), or preparing written critiques as described in the Research Requirement in Advanced Psychology Courses (below). This guide has been prepared to give you all the information you need to fulfill the research requirement by participation in studies. PLEASE READ IT CAREFULLY! If you have changed your mind and would prefer to choose the literature and critique option (discussed below), please contact your instructor no later than the mid-point in the semester. You must choose either participation or literature searches; credit from both may not be combined to fulfill the Research Participation Requirement.
The Psychology Department has attempted to make your research experiences as informative and enjoyable as possible. We hope that by participating in psychological research, you will get a first-hand look at how the science of psychology is practiced and knowledge gained. So do not hesitate to ask researchers any questions you have when a study is over. Most students find participating in these studies to be educational, interesting and among the best parts of the course.
You should start your participation as soon as possible or there may not be enough studies left for you to finish the requirement! We strongly urge that you complete half the requirement by the middle of the semester. You must complete the requirement before the last day of classes; no studies are conducted during the week of final exams. We keep close watch over how many studies are posted on the web site, to insure that enough studies are available during the semester for everyone. However, we do not guarantee that there will be enough studies at the end of the term. A good guideline is to do at least one study a week.
Nearly all students complete their research requirement without trouble. If you finish the requirement early, you will not have to worry about it later when papers and tests loom on the horizon, and you may be able to take part in additional studies for extra credit. If you do not finish the research requirement in time, you will receive an "Incomplete" for the course. You will then have to complete any remaining hours in the following semester during which the option to accrue extra credit is not longer available. This applies whether you are almost done with the requirement or whether you have not begun. No exceptions are made to this rule, so start early!

Sign up for studies on the Psychology Department web site at Before you can do that, however, you must activate your NYU email account, which we use to get in touch with you. If you have not done this already, go to and follow the instructions. Then go to your NYU Home page at and activate your email account.

At the beginning of the semester, we will add you to the Sona system. Both your user ID and your password to the web site will be your NYU Net ID (located on the back of your NYU ID card); your Net ID is the first part of your NYU e-mail address, without the suffix “” During summer sessions, you may be registered in Sona under the e-mail address used when you registered for the course, rather than your NYU Net ID. In this case, please use the relevant e-mail address without the suffix following ‘@’ as both your user ID and password. You will be able to sign up for studies, using your user ID and your password, as the studies become available on the Sona web site throughout the semester. Sona lists the name of the course for which you are registered and shows the number of research credits required for this course. If you are taking more than one course, you will find a drop-down list of your courses and you can choose to which course you would like credit assigned when you sign up for experiments. Please be sure that each credit is assigned to a specific course in your Sona account. It is vitally important that you allocate the credits you earn to the course(s) you are taking. Any credits that have not been allocated to your courses by the last day of the semester will be lost, so "use it or lose it." You will receive several reminders of this policy throughout the semester however it is the student’s responsibility to assign/allocate their credits correctly by the last day of classes. There will be no exceptions to this rule.
The web site lists each study that is available by its name. The listing gives the name of the researcher, any restrictions on who can participate, and a very brief description of the study. It also tells how much credit you will receive for each study (usually 1 hr. or 1/2 hr. but sometimes more), and when and where the study will be held.
If you are under 18 years of age, you must get your parent’s or guardian’s written permission for your participation in each study. To do this, look through the available studies and note the names of those that interest you. Then go to and download two parental permission forms for those studies. Get your parent’s or guardian’s signature on one copy of these forms (leaving the other with your parent) and take the signed copy to the studies when you go to participate.
1. CHOOSE A STUDY THAT FITS YOUR SCHEDULE. To sign up for a study, go to and sign up for the studies that fit your schedule. MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE FREE TO ATTEND AT THESE TIMES BEFORE YOU SIGN UP. After you sign up, you will receive an email confirmation of your appointment through your NYU email address, with the study’s name and information about when and where it will take place. PRINT AND SAVE THIS CONFIRMATION.
2. SAVE YOUR CONFIRMATION NOTICE. Be sure you note the following 4 things about the experiment:
1 - WHAT? -- study name.

2 - WHERE? -- location of the study (building and floor, and perhaps room).

3 - WHEN? -- date and time of the study.

4 - WHO? -- the researcher's name, whom to contact about the study (phone number and/or email).
Keeping this information is very important! Only you, the researcher, and the web site know WHEN and WHERE your experiment is. And because other experiments may also be going on nearby, you will need to know THE EXPERIMENT'S NAME. If any problems arise (and they sometimes do), you need to know how to contact the RESEARCHER.
Students who do not bother keeping this information often wander around the psychology building looking for their experiments, and then missing them. If you come without this information, you will have to leave the building and find a computer terminal you can use to look it up on the web site.

Make sure to go to your study, and please be on time! Most studies have to start on time, because many students are scheduled around the same time. If you are late, you may miss the study. Although some studies can start late, these are the exception rather than the rule. Give yourself enough time to find the right place, to wait for the elevator, etc. You will receive an email reminder of your appointment the evening before the study is scheduled.

Researchers' time is valuable, and they often take a lot of trouble to be ready for you! So do not sign up for an experiment unless you are sure that you will be able to come. If you become sick or have some kind of emergency come up at the last minute, you can cancel your appointment on the web site as late as 24 hours before the study. If there are fewer than 24 hours before the study, call and/or email the researcher as soon as you can so that you can be rescheduled, and so that some other student may take your vacated time slot. Calling or emailing the researcher should be reserved for the rare occasion that you truly cannot make the session. To avoid wasting many researchers’ time, if you miss two studies that you signed up for, without being excused by the researcher, you will automatically be reassigned to option 2, the written critique requirement which must be approved by the course instructor before you begin. If this happens, you will get partial credit for the studies you have completed.

After each study, the person running the study will give you credit for participation, on the web site. Make sure that this person knows your name at the study, so she or he can give you proper credit. It may take a day or two for credit to show up on the web site. You can check the web site any time, to see how many credits you have.


If you do not complete the research participation requirements (or alternative written critiques) by the last day of classes, you will receive a temporary incomplete until you finish the requirements during the following semester. You can sign up for experiments on Sona, as before. Please be sure to assign make-up credits to “Making Up Incompletes” in the drop-down box in your Sona account. After you have completed the requirements, please email subject pool administrator, Jessica Thomas at to notify us that you have finished the requirements. We will then notify the course instructor and request a change of grade for you.


If you have any problems, please contact the subject pool administrator who is in charge of supervising students’ participation and credit. The best way to reach her is by email at If you include your NYU Net ID, email and phone number, she will have more ways to reach you.

In conclusion, only sign up for an experiment when you are sure that you can make it on time. Make sure to print out the information. If you have an emergency, you can cancel your appointment up to 24 hours beforehand. If there are fewer than 24 hours before the study, call or email the researcher immediately so that you can be rescheduled. Get parental permission before the study if you are under 18. And complete half the requirement by the middle of the semester.
We hope you find these experiments both fun and educational. Good luck in the course!

Revised January 2015

Research Requirement in Advanced Psychology Courses

Summer Sessions

New York University College of Arts and Science
A first-hand experience with laboratory procedures and studies in psychology is an important part of the first course in psychology. This is a required part of the course and is important in gaining experience with original research in psychology.
There are two ways to fulfill the course requirement; you may choose only one:
1. A student may take part in several different types of research studies for a total of 1 hour during the term and may also take part in up to 1 more hour for extra course credit. At the end of each study, the student is given an explanation of the research and is told about the problem being investigated, how the problem is being attacked and why, and the meaning of the anticipated results both for theory and for everyday living. No quiz or paper on participation is expected but there will be a short essay on the final exam asking the student to describe at least one study they participated in, and how it relates to other things learned in the course.

Students who select study participation should know that there are both departmental and university-wide committees that review and approve studies for our Introductory Psychology students before they may be carried out, to ensure that subjects’ rights and well being are protected. All study records are confidential so participants’ privacy is also protected.

Students sign up for studies on a website, and may cancel or reschedule participation in a study as late as 24 hours before it is scheduled. To avoid wasting many researchers’ time, any student who misses two studies they have signed up for is automatically re-assigned to option 2, below, with partial credit for studies already completed. Option 2 must be discussed with the course instructor for approval.
2. A student may do a literature search and identify 1 significant article in psychology published in the last 5 years that report on findings from the article authors’ own studies. The student will read the article, and write a two-page critique of it (1 two-page critique). Additional credit of up to 1 hour may be gotten by critiquing one additional article. Articles must be approved by the course instructor. The critiques should discuss the significance of the study; the validity of the instruments and the data collection methods; the method of analysis, the conclusion, and the direction the results point to for future research. There will be a short final essay exam asking the student to describe one of the papers, its conclusions and how it relates to other things learned in the course.

Neither choice is graded -- they are both pass-fail. If neither is completed by the end of the term, an I (incomplete) will be recorded as the course grade until the requirement is completed.

All students who have not reached their 18th birthday and have chosen the laboratory participation option must have a parent’s or guardian’s written permission to participate in each study. If you are under 18, when you plan to sign up for a particular study listed on the web, you must first download the Parent’s Permission Form for that study from These PDF documents are organized by study name. Print two copies of the one(s) you’re interested in. Get your parent’s or guardian’s signed permission to participate in it (them). As you arrive to participate in a study, give one copy of the signed parental permission form to the person running that study. The parent or guardian gets to keep the other copy.

Please complete the next page and return it to your instructor

Research Requirement in Advanced Psychology Courses

Summer Sessions

New York University College of Arts and Science

Name (please print) _____________________ Signature __________________________

Course and section _________________ Instructor’s Name _____________________

Month/Day/Year _____________________ Semester ____________________

Research Requirement Option Choice:
I choose:

  • laboratory participation ________

  • written critiques _______

If I am under age 18 at the time of any study, I will download the form for Parental Permission from and provide a signed copy to the investigator at the time of the study.

Please complete this page and return it to your instructor

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