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SONA Information, Instructions, and FAQ

Research Experience:
Throughout the semester, you will be learning about theories that were empirically tested in experiments conducted at
universities like McNeese State University. Because there is so much material to cover in an introductory psychology textbook,
the research descriptions necessarily omit details about what participants actually do in these studies and what the experience
is really like. As part of your General Psychology experience at McNeese, you will therefore be required to participate in
research counting for 5% of your grade. This requirement gives you a unique, behind-the-scenes look at how research is
conducted without having to read another textbook. All experiment scheduling will occur through the website
( You are encouraged to register for an account in SONA by the end of the second
week of classes (9/4/15) so that you can complete the Prescreen survey for credit. (See details on last pages of this
syllabus.) Your professor has nothing to do with arranging these experiments, and does not know anything about their
scheduling, where they are held or what experiments will be coming in the future.
Please treat these commitments in the same way you would a doctors appointment. If you absolutely cannot make a scheduled
commitment, I would expect that you would have previously written down the name of the experimenter in charge of the
experiment, and that you would call and alert him/her about the situation.
In order to develop a greater understanding and appreciation for psychological research, all students enrolled in Psychology 101
at McNeese are required to participate in research counting for 5% of your grade (specific number of credits needed will be
decided by the professor). First-hand participation is the direct and hands-on approach to learning about the process of
psychological research. However, if you would prefer not to participate in experiments, your instructor will provide you with an
acceptable alternative activity.
How and where to sign up for research:
If you choose to participate in experiments, you will need to sign up for an account on SONA ( SONA is McNeeses web-based system for managing research participation. Studies will be posted in SONA
throughout the semester. The times and number of sessions will vary, so check online regularly as new studies and sessions
are always being added.
1. Log onto
2. On the right side of the screen, click on "Request Account" under "Announcement."
3. Enter all of the relevant information requested (you can change and update your information once you get an
account. Your USER ID is your McNeese email address. You will see that is
already in the field. You need to type in the prefix to that! For example, if your email address is, then you will type in mjackson4. SONA will automatically add the rest of
it. **Make sure your email address is correct** You are required to use your McNeese email address.
4. When you receive your password via email, you can log into your account. You can change your password and
account information by clicking on "My Profile."
1. Log onto
2. Access the system with your username and password
3. Click on "Study Sign-Up"
4. You should see a list of active research studies. Click on the title of the research study - this will give you more
details regarding the study
5. If you are interested in participating in the study, click on "View Time Slots for This Study"
6. If you see a time slot that works for you, click on the "Sign Up" button to the right of the study title
7. An email will be sent to you regarding your research appointment
8. To cancel an experiment, click on My Schedule/Credits, click the "Cancel" button to the right of the research
study for which you have an appointment but would like to cancel

Please treat experiments in the same way you would a doctors appointment. If you absolutely cannot make a scheduled
appointment, contact the experimenter by email to alert him/her about the situation. As an incentive against unexcused noshows for research participation, students who accrue three (3) unexcused no-shows for research participation will be
blocked from using SONA-systems.
Alternative assignment option: If you do not wish to participate in research, you may do an alternate activity. The alternate
activity is designated by your instructor. Please email your instructor for any questions about the alternate activity.
If you are still having trouble figuring out how to sign up for SONA-systems, please watch the student tutorial powerpoint posted
on Moodle or the following video tutorial:
SONA Frequently Asked Questions

1. When are new studies added? New studies and times are always being posted. Please login to SONA systems to view a list of current studies and times. When signing up for an experiment,
make sure to write down the name of the study, the time, the location, and how to contact the experimenter if you need
to cancel.

2. How do I receive credit for participating in research? Credit is awarded by the researcher and is tracked by the

research administrator (Dr. Charlotte Carp, Participants do not need to do anything beyond
their participation to receive credit. If you have concerns about the points youve been awarded, you should contact
the researcher directly.
The research participation requirement is handled by the Psychology Department, not by your instructors. If you
have any questions about signups, logins, points youve earned, etc., please go to the experimenter or research
administrator. They can help you in ways that your instructor cannot.

3. What if Im late for an experiment? Please arrive to experiments on time. If you show up late, you will be treated as a
no-show. No-shows will be noted in SONA-systems as unexcused. An accumulation of three unexcused no-shows
will result in you being blocked from using SONA.

4. What is the pre-screen and how do I participate? You will be asked to complete a survey the first time you log into

SONA-systems. Many studies depend on prescreen responses, and if students dont complete the survey they may not
qualify for subsequent studies over the semester. Please complete the survey during the first 2 weeks of classes you
CANNOT complete the pre-screen once the survey closes.

5. What happens if I am under 18? If you are under 18, you need to obtain permission from a parent/guardian prior to
participating in studies. See the main Psychology Department Office (Diane Manuel, Farrar 151) to get copies of the
parental consent form.

6. What happens if the requirement is not met? If you have not earned the 5 required credits by the last day of class,
you will lose the allocated points in the class for each credit.