Research Participation Credits
Students in the following courses are required to participate in psychology research.
- PSYC1110 Brain, Mind, & Behavior
- PSYC1111 Self, Mind, & Society
- PSYC1120 Introduction to Behavioral Statistics and Research I
A student in one or more of these courses must earn 1.5 research credits during the Fall 2023 semester. The deadline to fulfill this requirement is the last day of classes, Friday, December 8, 2023.
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:
1. Participate in Research
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.
2. Write an Article Critique
You may write a critique of an article linked below. Each critique is worth 1.5 research credits. You need a Sona Systems account (see above) to receive research credit for an article critique
Submit your article critique by email attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org. Attach only a Word or PDF file (no Google Docs or Mac-specific formats).
Your critique must be at least 500 words in length and include the following identifying information.
- 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?
Article Critique Downloads
Access to MCAS Psychology and Neuroscience Research Credits (Sona Systems):
Creating an Account: Click "Request Account" to set up your account. You must enter your BC email address as your login and also indicate which courses you are in. (See FAQ.)
Participant Tutorial: Tutorial video on YouTube
Frequently Asked Questions
Go to the Sona Systems page for this department, Psychology and Neuroscience Research Credits (Sona Systems), and click Request Account.
Your user ID must be a BC email address. Use a valid email address (not your Eagle ID number).
You must indicate which courses you are in. If you do not, your professor will not be able to tell whether you have completed the requirement and will assume you have not. The courses listed at the top of this page are the ones that require research credit participation. Each course has multiple sections with different instructors. For example, if you are registered for PSYC1110, section 01, select PSYC1110 01.
These steps are necessary because Sona Systems is not connected to your Agora account.
A member of the department reads your critique and, if it meets the specifications outlined above, credits your Sona account. You will not receive an email notifying you of the credit, but you can log in to check that it has been granted. An article critique is credited within two business days.
We do not know. Studies are added by individual research labs at their discretion. We do not know if or when this will happen. In general, many studies are listed in mid-September and early February, and then studies are occasionally added later in the semester. (If there are no studies available, you can submit an article critique, as explained above.)
The credit requirement is per semester. If you take PSYC1110 and PSYC1111 during the same semester, for example, the credit counts for both courses.
No. You cannot use credits from a previous semester for this semester. You cannot round up a half credit.
No. The Department of Psychology and Neuroscience has a Sona Systems site (linked at the top of this page) that is entirely separate from other Sona sites, such as the one used in the Lynch School of Education. We are not aware of their studies or credit requirements. Studies outside this department do not count for this department's credit requirement, and this department's studies do not count for another department's requirement.