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Psychology Department and Neuroscience Program Research Participant Pool Policy

One of the goals of General Psychology (PSYC 104) is to familiarize the students with the process by which information is gathered and developed in the field of Psychology. To meet this goal, the following shall be the policy of the Department of Psychology: 

  1. General requirement for research participants

    1. Students in PSYC 104 shall, as a portion of their grade (to be specified by the course instructor, but approximately 10%), participate in one of the following two options. Extra credit may be offered for completion of more than the specified number of research credits, if the instructor of PSYC 104 so desires and the Research Participant Coordinator concurs.

      1. Option I: Participate in a specific number of hours of research, with each hour of research participation being equal to one research credit.
      2. Option II: Read a specific number of research articles drawn from professional journals in Psychology, and submit a 2-3 page, typed discussions for each of the articles. Each research article shall be equal to one research credit.

    2. Documents describing these requirements shall be prepared by the Research Participant Coordinator, and distributed to students in PSYC 104.

  2. Number of credits of research

    1. The number of research credits required per quarter shall be established on a quarter by quarter basis, by the Research Participant Coordinator, based on the:

      1. Number of participants expected in the Research Participant Pool,
      2. Number of experimenters planning on using the Research Participant Pool during the quarter, and
      3. Number of minutes needed per study, for the studies expected during the quarter.

    2. The number of research credits required per quarter shall in no case be less than 2, or more than 5.

      1. If less than two credits are expected to be needed per student per quarter, the instructor of PSYC 104 may choose to give extra credit for students who wish to participate in the departmental research that does occur during the quarter.
      2. If more than five credits are expected to be needed during the quarter, five credits will be required, extra credit may be offered to students who wish to participate in more than five credits of research, and the Research Participant Coordinator may choose not to approve some studies. In this case, the following list of priorities will determine which studies are approved, based on the primary investigator of the project.

        1. Research conducted by Department of Psychology and Neuroscience Program faculty
        2. Research conducted by Department of Psychology and Neuroscience students for Honors projects, or Advanced Research projects
        3. Students in Methods and Statistics working on class projects
        4. Research conducted by faculty from other departments and schools at La Sierra University
        5. Research conducted by students from the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience Program working under faculty supervision on their own student projects, not signed up for units
        6. Research conducted by students from other departments and schools at La Sierra University
        7. Research conducted by faculty and students from institutions other than La Sierra University

      3. If a participant fails to meet a research appointment, or arrives late, this shall result in a demerit of 1 credit (i.e. an additional credit of participation shall be required to fulfill the requirement).
      4. Some studies may require more than one session. When this is specified (on the sign-up form), the student shall be required to attend all sessions to receive credit.

    3. Permission to use the Research Participant Pool

      1. Permission to use the Research Participant Pool shall be granted on a quarterly basis.
      2. Permission shall be granted by the Research Participant Coordinator, based upon the number of participants available that quarter, and the priorities listed in 2.b.ii above.

        1. In all cases, IRB approval is required prior to permission to use the Research Participant Pool.
        2. In all cases, a copy of a debriefing text to be given to participants, or else an outline of the debriefing that will be orally presented to participants, must be presented to the Research Participant Coordinator prior to approval.

          1. This debriefing shall inform participants of the nature of the research in which they were involved.
          2. The debriefing shall give participants an opportunity to ask questions about the nature of the study, either by giving them a phone number and address, or an opportunity for oral questions.

    4. Sign-up procedures

      1. Researchers list studies through the online Sona system and participants sign up through the system there.
      2. Participants must sign up for appointments for studies at least 24 hours before the appointment time.
      3. Researchers should not cancel appointments for studies except in cases of emergency, but if an appointment is cancelled less than 24 hours before the appointment time credit must be granted to the students who have previously signed up.

    5. Pre-testing and pre-screening

      1. Simple pre-screening questions may be used to ensure that only certain participants (e.g., women, right-handed people, scores on a simple self-esteem scale) are able to sign up for particular studies in the online Sona system. These pre-screening requirements should be communicated with the Research Participant Coordinator at the time that the researcher applies to use the Research Participant Pool.
      2. In quarters that the pre-screens take longer than 5 or 10 minutes to complete, research credit is granted for completing the pre-screen questionnaire.
      3. In cases that a longer or more complex pre-testing is required than is possible to do through the online Sona system, researchers should request two studies, one for the pre-testing and a second (available by invitation only) for those that meet the required criteria.

    6. Record-keeping

      1. It is the responsibility of the Research Participant Pool Coordinator to keep all records related to participation in research studies, and critiques written of journal articles.
      2. The research participation coordinator shall make available to the instructors of PSYC 104 information on the number of research credits each student has throughout the quarter, and a final listing by Thursday of Finals Week.
      3. Experimenters should record in the online Sona system attendance (or non- attendance) within one day of the completion of a session.

Research Participant Pool Application

Research participant Pool application