Research Participation

Research Participation for Course Credit

Psychology is the scientific study of behavior and the physiological, cognitive, social, and emotional processes related to behavior. In other words, psychologists use the scientific method to study how we think, feel, and what motivates us to act. Many psychological researchers use theoretical, computational, or animal models to study human behavior; many others use human "subjects." You are invited to participate in the human research studies being conducted by Department of Psychology faculty and student researchers at Fredonia. Your participation will help advance the science behind human behavior.

Psychology students are taught about research in many of their courses. Psych majors are required to take Research Methods to learn about the basics behind doing research. It has been said that we learn best by doing. Anyone can learn about the actual process of research by becoming a research participant. The Department of Psychology encourages any student studying psychology to learn about the discipline through participating in real research.

This webpage provides resources for research participants, including how to sign up for studies, how to earn some extra credit in certain psychology courses by participating in research, and your rights and responsibilities as a research participant. Please see below as well as the links and resources in the right navigation pane for detailed information and instructions. Also, please note that we currently limit research participation to those who are 18 years of age or older. There are alternate methods to earn extra credit in participating psychology courses for those who are under 18 or do not wish to participate in the research studies.

Thank you for your help in advancing the important work of psychological science.

Research Management System

The Department of Psychology has a subscription to Sona Systems, a cloud-based research and participant management system that make sit easy to sign up for research studies, make appointments for lab-based studies, do online surveys, and keep track of earned credits. Students in participating course receive an account in the beginning of the semester and can log in to sign up for studies. Instructors log in at the end of the semester to check how many credits each class member earned for that course.

If your instructor states that your course is part of the Psychology Department Research Participation Pool, check your FRED@mail after the second week of classes for a user name and password from the "Research Participation System." Log into Sona to view available studies. Keep in mind that studies become available or unavailable at different times throughout the semester, so it is best to log in and check for new study timeslots every week. You are welcome to participate in as many studies as you wish (and are eligible), but your instructor may have a limit for how many credits can be earned for that course. We do not allow "double-dipping;" you must apply each credit to only one course.

See the Sona Systems link to the right to access the log in screen for the research management system. We also provide a tutorial for using Sona Systems, a detailed guide Sona guide, and instructions for earning extra credit (research-based or the research alternative).


All studies are approved by a university ethics committee before students participate. Participation is completely voluntary. Any concerns about research should be directed to 1) the researcher in charge of the study, 2) the research participation administrator, Dr. Joseph McFall, or 3) the Associate Provost for Graduate Studies, Sponsored Research and Faculty Development (Dr. Judith Horowitz).


Research appointment cancellations are made using the My Schedule/Credits tab in the Research participation (Sona Systems) website. In the event that you need to miss an experiment and cannot access the internet, call the Psychology Department secretary (673-3129) in advance.


If you have more questions, first check our Student Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page. If your question is not answered there, please e-mail the research participation administrator, Dr. Joseph McFall (

Psychology Department

W357 Thompson Hall
State University of New York at Fredonia
Fredonia, NY 14063
(716) 673-3129