Research Opportunities

Take advantage of the different kinds of academic experiences the Department offers by becoming an active member of our intellectual community.

  • Get to know the faculty. Our faculty is accessible to undergraduates, but you must seek them out. Doing so is worth the effort. Professors often serve as unofficial advisors and provide letters of recommendation for jobs or graduate programs.
  • One of the best ways to get to know the faculty is get involved in one of our research labs early in your undergraduate career. Some labs have posted job openings on our undergraduate job board.
  • Work with a faculty member as a research assistant, or take an independent study course.
  • Get to know some of the graduate students, many of whom you will meet as Teaching Assistants or Teaching Fellows or by taking advanced courses. Graduate students can give you advice about applying to graduate school.
  • Undergraduates are welcome at our colloquia; see the calendar on our home page.


Research Participation Credits

Links and Instructions

Use this link to access Sona Systems for the A&S Psychology Department:

Creating an Account: Click "Request Account" to set up your account. You must enter your BC email address as your login.

Participant Tutorial: Tutorial video on YouTube

Research Participation Requirement

Students in the following courses are required to participate in psychology research.

  • PSYC1110 Introduction to Psychology as a Natural Science
  • PSYC1111 Introduction to Psychology as a Social Science
  • PSYC1120 Introduction to Behavioral Statistics and Research I
  • PSYC1121 Introduction to Behavioral Statistics and Research II

A student must earn 3 research credits each semester he or she is in one or more of these courses. The deadline to fulfill this requirement is the last day of classes, Thursday, May 2, 2019.

Failure to complete the research participation requirement will result in an Incomplete (I) grade for the courses that require research participation. If the requirement is later completed, a new course grade will be submitted. If the research credits are submitted after the due date but before grades are due, the course instructor decides whether or not to submit an Incomplete.

Students fulfill the research participation requirement in one of two ways:


One-half research credit is given for each half-hour (or any part thereof) of participation in research. Research participation and sign-ups are managed through Sona Systems.

Following the student’s participation in a study, the researcher will grant research credit using Sona. A receipt will be given to the student as proof of participation in the study. It is the student’s responsibility to keep the receipt as a record of participation and to verify that he or she has received credit in Sona.

Students cannot participate in the same study more than once.

Cancelling Appointments: If you need to cancel an appointment, please give the researcher 24 hours’ notice. Researchers may also need to reschedule an appointment; if you are given 24 hours’ notice of a canceled or rescheduled appointment, you will not receive credit.

Missed Appointments: A student who makes an appointment is committing to show up at the designated time and place. Missing or arriving more than 15 minutes late for an appointment will result in the student being given a “no-show.” Students who accumulate multiple no-shows may be asked to write article critiques (see below) beyond the normal research credit requirement. A student who gives 24 hours’ notice of cancellation will not receive a no-show.

If a researcher does not arrive within 15 minutes of the appointment time and did not cancel the appointment 24 hours ahead of time, the student receives research credit for the study. In this situation, the student must provide the following information to the Psychology Office: the study name, the researcher’s name, and the date and time of the scheduled appointment. The office will confirm that the researcher missed the appointment.

Withdrawing from a Study: If a student decides to end participation during the course of a study because he or she feels uncomfortable with the nature of the study, the student will not be penalized.


Students may satisfy all or part of the research requirement by writing critiques of the articles linked below. Each critique is worth one research credit. You need a Sona Systems account (see above) even if all of your credits come from article critiques.

A critique should be no less than 500 words in length. Please include:

  • Full name
  • Professor’s name
  • Course number
  • Title of the article

We ask that you critique these articles by answering the questions below. A student who submits a critique that is incomplete or does not adequately address the questions may be asked to revise it or to evaluate another article.

  • What question or questions were the researchers trying to answer in this study?
  • Is the study best described as an experiment, a correlational study, or a descriptive study? Explain your answer.
  • Briefly, and in your own words, what was done and what was found in this study? (Answer in general terms; elaborate details are not needed.)
  • What did the researchers conclude from their findings?
  • Do you think the study was well designed for answering question(s)? Why or why not?
  • Do you have any other comments or questions regarding this article?

You can submit article critiques to the Psychology main office in McGuinn 300 or email them to

Article Critique Downloads

Inattentional Blindness Versus Inattentional Amnesia for Fixated But Ignored Words

Differentiation in Preschooler’s Categories of Emotion

Schooling, Intelligence, and Income