Psychology Research Exposure
Most introductory courses in the natural sciences include laboratory sections in which the student is exposed to the research methods of the discipline by demonstration or actual repetition of well-established phenomena. Because of the unique quality of the science of psychology, it is possible to introduce students to research methods by direct participation in ongoing studies. These studies are designed to contribute to the contemporary research in psychology, and it is quite possible that the results of this work will be reported in future journal articles and/or textbooks.
All students in Introductory Psychology (PSY 1010) at the University of Toledo (Bancroft Campus) must accumulate 4 units of research credit during the semester. Students failing to do so will automatically be given a grade of Incomplete (I) for the course. These 4 units of research credit may be obtained in any combination of two different ways. The two ways are:
1) participating in psychology experiments
2) writing research reports
Introductory Psychology students may also be able to earn extra credit points by participating in additional psychology research experiments or writing additional research reports. The decision to offer extra credit resides solely with the course instructor. The amount of extra credit that these students may earn is also under the instructor’s discretion. So, be sure to check with him or her!
Detailed instructions for creating a research account and scheduling research participation was provided during the first class of the semester.
Students earn research credit based on the duration of each research session. For example:
- A session that lasts 30 minutes or less is worth one-half (0.5) credit
- A session that lasts between 31 and 60 minutes is worth one (1.0) credit
- A session that lasts between 61 and 90 minutes is worth one (1.5) credit
- A session that lasts between 91 and 120 minutes is worth one (2.0) credit
And so on…
Each research study will provide information about how long each session lasts and how much credit it is worth. There will be a variety of research studies available throughout the semester. Some studies may involve coming to more than one session. In such cases, students receive credit for each session they attend.
To sign up for an experiment, you will need to login to the psychology department’s research sign-up system on the internet (http://utoledo.sona-systems.com/). Almost all 1010 students will have an account set up for them before the semester begins. To access your account, simply type in the user name and password that were emailed to your UT account at the beginning of the semester. This should give you access to the system. If this does not work for you (e.g., if you’ve added the course after the semester began), you may need to request a new account when you login. To request an account, click on the words “request an account here” at the bottom left hand of the front page to get your account set up. After you sign up for your account, a password for your personal account will be sent to your e-mail address so you can log in (you will be able to change your password after your first time logging in if you want).
Once you are logged in, you will be able to view a list of the available experiments and sign-up for those that are of interest and/or convenience to you. All of the information you will need for each experiment is presented on the webpage. New studies will be available on a regular basis. Before signing up, be sure to check for exclusion criteria for each study. You will not receive credit if you sign up for a study for which you do not qualify (e.g., if you are male, don’t sign up for a “female only” study).
For more information on how to use the department’s research scheduling page (e.g., how to check your credit status, how to check the time/location of a study, how to cancel a scheduled session) please check the FAQs on the research sign-up page, or contact psych firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the start of each experimental session, you will be informed of what you will be asked to do during the session and given the option of continuing or not continuing with your participation. Those individuals who elect not to participate in the session or who elect to stop their participation at any point during the experiment for any reason will not be penalized. Thus, your participation in each session is voluntary. At the end of each session, more information will be provided concerning the data, theory, and/or research area under study; questions are quite appropriate at this point and will be encouraged. Experiments are generally conducted by faculty members and graduate students of the Department of Psychology; on occasion, advanced undergraduates (usually honors students) are also allowed to conduct experiments.
These experiments help members of the psychology department increase our understanding of human psychological functioning. The participation of beginning students is appreciated and the department is very aware of its debt to students like yourselves who make the program possible. In essence, the research contribution made by each student becomes a lasting part of scientific psychological knowledge. Be assured that all studies are carefully evaluated to comply with the ethical code of the American Psychological Association and the University of Toledo. If you are concerned or upset about any procedures, or if you found participation in a study to be uncomfortable or distressing, please contact the Psychology Research Coordinator, Dr. Rose at Psych Research@utoledo.edu or in University Hall 6516.
Rules and Procedures for Research Participation
Students are responsible for fulfilling the research exposure requirement. To sign up for an experiment, you will need to select and sign-up for a research study listed on the psychology research sign-up internet page. New studies will be added throughout the semester, so please keep checking. Before signing up, be sure to check the subject specification section on each sign-up sheet. You will not receive credit if you sign up for a study for which you do not qualify (e.g., if you are male, don’t sign up for a “female only” study).
You are responsible for getting to an experiment on time and keeping the appointment. Be sure when you sign up to record the date, location, and time of the experiment in addition to the name and e-mail of the experimenter. All of this information is available to view in your research account. You can check this webpage whenever you wish to confirm your sign-up information and location of the study. Also, you can check the webpage anytime you wish to see how many studies you have done and how many more you need to complete.
Cancellations & No-Shows
If it is necessary for you to miss an appointment because of illness or some other emergency, you must cancel your appointment at least 2 hours before the experiment. All cancellations must be done via the department’s research web page (see FAQ #2 for more info). If it is within 2 hours of the study, you can attempt to contact the experimenter to cancel. The experimenter's contact information is available on the experiment sign-up page (Do not contact Dr. Rose about cancellations). In this case, your absence will be designated an "excused no show". However, if you miss a scheduled appointment without canceling or contacting the experimenter, your absence will be designated an “unexcused no show”. If you fail to show up (i.e., you are designated an “unexcused no show”) for 3 experiments, you will lose your privilege to sign up for additional experiments and be prompted to contact the system administrator. If an experimenter fails to show up for a session but you do not, you will still receive credit for participating. If this happens, you must wait at least 10 minutes and then contact the Research Coordinator at: email@example.com.
Credit is based on writing a brief report about a research paper published in a psychological journal. These reports involve answering a series of questions concerning the hypotheses, methods, and results of these completed studies. One unit credit will be provided for each satisfactory report. The amount of time required for completion of this alternative is usually comparable to the amount of time required for laboratory participation. Instructions for locating acceptable journal articles and writing each report are available from your instructor. He/she will also indicate to you how the reports will be evaluated. Research reports can be written and turned in to your instructor at any time during the semester, but must be completed and turned in no later than 1 week before the last day of class.
Click here to access the powerpoint slides that were presented for the SONA (Psychology Research) orientation in class (Fall Semester 2013).