Participating in Research

Fulfilling the research requirement for PSYC 100

An important goal of PSYC 100 is that all students in the course gain a strong understanding of how empirical research in psychology is conducted and used to evaluate theories. The best way to learn about the research process is to experience it first-hand. Some of the most exciting and cutting-edge research is being conducted right here at Maryland, so there’s no better opportunity to learn about scientific psychology than by participating in those studies. Therefore, all students taking PSYC 100 at the University of Maryland must satisfy the Department of Psychology’s Research Experience Requirement.

After you’ve completed participation in a study, the researchers will explain more about it, what they hope to learn from it, and how it was conducted to test a specific theory or research hypothesis. Participating in research not only helps the researchers, but it is also a great opportunity to ask questions about how experiments are designed and learn more about the different types of research conducted here.

All students are required to earn at least five research credits by the last day of class. The default way to earn these credits is to create an account on our research website (SONA Systems) and sign up for the studies you wish to participate in. The number of studies you’ll need to sign up for depends on how many credits each one is worth… one hour equals one credit, and studies range in duration from 30 minutes (1/2 credit) to three hours (3 credits). If for you prefer not to serve as a participant, you may elect to satisfy the requirement by writing review papers summarizing five research articles. (If you are under 18 years old, you must have parental assent on file for you to participate in the research or you may write the article summaries instead.) However, you must notify the Research Participation Administrator before the last day of schedule adjustment for the semester if you wish to register for the research alternative. Papers cannot be used to make up research credits at the end of the semester.
Please email the SONA System Administrator directly at SONAhelp@umd.edu regarding questions about the SONA System. 

Research Participation for Extra Credit

Your instructor may offer you the opportunity to participate in psychology studies for credit in this course. To do so, visit the SONA system website to sign-up

When you participate in an experiment you will gain credit hours. However, if you sign up for an experiment and do not show up at the time you signed up for (and did not cancel properly within 24 hours, following the instructions below), you will lose credit hours from the extra points that you have accumulated for participating in experiments.

Your instructor will explain how many credit hours you may earn for this course, and how these credit hours will influence your course grade.

At the end of the semester, your earned credit hours will be automatically reported to the instructor or instructors of the classes for which you have selected your earned credits to apply towards.

Paid Research Participation Opportunities

Researchers in the department of psychology frequently offer pay for participating in research.

The SONA System site for paid research participation opportunities is an entirely different, stand-alone website. This requires setting up a new participant account to register for paid opportunities. Participants may follow the same procedure and guidelines when creating a 'Paid' account. Simply make sure that you are on the correct SONA System website. You may sign up for paid studies through the SONA system.

Please note that paid studies NEVER count toward class credit and that studies for class credit are never paid.

Questions not answered above?  Email the SONA System Administrator directly atSONAhelp@umd.edu