NOTE: The following is a policy of the Department of Psychology. All PY 101 instructors must use it in their courses.


Research Participation Requirement

Introduction to Psychology (PY 101)

Spring 2007


One requirement for passing Introductory Psychology is participating in approved psychological research conducted by the faculty and students in the University of Alabama Psychology Department.This addendum to the PY 101 course syllabus describes this requirement in detail and how you fulfill it.


Purpose of the Research Participation Requirement

The field of Psychology is primarily concerned with people's behaviors, thoughts, and emotions.To study people scientifically, it is essential that individuals participate in psychological studies.The research participation requirement for introductory psychology is one source of individuals who are available to the faculty and students in the psychology department for research.Your participation in research is, therefore, very important to the ongoing research projects conducted by individuals in this department.Your participation is very much appreciated.


We also believe that you can learn something about the field of psychology and how psychological research is conducted by being a research participant.You should feel free to contact the experimenters of any study that you participated in if you are interested in learning more about the experiment and some of the findings.To aid in the educational value to you, the students, experimenters should be more than willing to answer your questions about their research.Note:However, to help maintain confidentiality, experimenters may not be able to give you any specific information about your individual results.


Basic Requirement

To meet the basic requirement you must earn 6 participation credits during the semester for which you are enrolled in PY 101.


Penalty for Failing to Complete the Basic Requirement

Departmental policy dictates that if you fail to complete the requirement your course grade will be reduced by ten percent or one letter grade.For example, a B- would become a C- and an A would become a B.

Early Participation Bonus

To encourage students to participate early in the semester and fulfill part of their requirement before the midterm, experimenters will be giving 1.5 times the original credit for an experiment. This means that a 1/2 hour experiment will receive 1 credit, 1 hour experiment= 1.5 credits, 1.5 hour experiment = 2.5 credits, 2 hours = 3 credits, and 3 hours = 4.5 credits. To receive bonus credits, you MUST participate in the experiment (not just sign up) before March 17, 2007. There are NO exceptions to this rule. The Early Participation program is not designed so that all students fulfill their credit requirement by March 17; it is designed to help students get a good start to the requirement. Timeslots will be taken quickly and to get an early start you should check the website daily for new experiments and timeslot postings.The subject pool will not have enough opportunities for all students to obtain all 6 credits before March 17; however, experiments will run through the end of the semester.



Attendance Requirement

When you sign up for an experiment, you must come to the room shown for the experiment on the Research Participation Web Site. Be sure to check the room number prior to the day the experiment to see if you know where it is, if you are unfamiliar with the location of the room, contact the experimenter to get directions. Experimenters are obligated to wait 5-10 minutes from the time that the experiment is scheduled to start, if you are more than 10 minutes late it is considered a No-Show and you will be penalized. Failure to find the correct room on time or going to the wrong room for an experiment is NOT an acceptable excuse and you will receive a No-Show penalty if you are more than 10 minutes late to an experiment. If you find that you cannot attend the experiment at the time for which you signed up, you must cancel the experiment by logging on to the subject pool website at least one hour before you were scheduled to participate. Note: Sending an email at the last minute to the experimenter is NOT an acceptable form of cancellation and may result in a no show penalty, you must cancel the experiment online.


***Penalties for Failing to Complete the Attendance Requirement

Failure to attend an experiment without canceling at least one hour before the experiment will result in a negative Participation Credit for each experiment that you miss.Each Negative Participation Credit will be added to the total number of credits you need to complete.


PLEASE NOTE: This means that you will need to earn an additional experimental participation credit to complete the six that are required.For example, if you complete six experiments for one credit each, but failed to attend two other experiments, you would need to complete a total of 8 credits to meet the requirement. IF YOU RECEIVE 3 OR MORE NO-SHOW PENALTIES YOUR SUBJECT POOL ACCOUNT WILL BE DEACTIVATED AND YOU WILL NO LONGER BE ABLE TO PARTICIPATE IN EXPERIMENTS AND YOUR GRADE WILL BE DROPPED BY 10%. There are NO exceptions to this rule. Once an account is deactivated it WILL NOT be reinstated for any reason.


Procedure for Research Participation

The Research Signup Website

††††††††††† All research signups will take place online.The Research Participation website may be found at or†† The first time you access this website, you will need to create a user account.You must use your new University of Alabama Student Identification number. You must enter your personal information and a UserID; you must enter your CWID as your UserID and as your student number. The system will send you an email to the address you specified which will have your account information and password in it. Please carefully enter your email address, if you enter an incorrect email address you will not be sent your account information and will not be able to log on. It is also crucial that you accurately select your instructor and course section.If you select the wrong instructor you may not get credit for participating. You are responsible for making sure this information is accurate.If it is inaccurate, your credits may not be properly reported to your instructor.


††††††††††† The first time you login, you will be asked to read and agree to a statement of rights and responsibilities of participants and researchers when conducting research with human subjects.Please read this carefully. Once you have logged in, you will be given a menu where you can either: 1) signup to participate in an available study, 2) view studies that you have completed in the past or for which you are currently signed up (or cancel current studies), and 3) modify your user profile.


When you signup for an experiment, a confirmation will be immediately sent to you via email.Additionally, a reminder will also be sent 24 hours before your scheduled appointment.†† It is important to note that all experiments go offline and will unavailable for signups at 9:00pm the night before they are to take place.This means that if you want to participate in an experiment that is set for 3:00pm on Thursday, you need to sign up by 8:59pm Wednesday night; at 9:00pm this experiment will be unavailable.Note: You may NOT attend an experiment unless you have properly singed up for that experiment on the website. If you participate in an experiment without signing up on the website the experimenter will NOT be able to grant you credit and you will have wasted your time.


Finally, because it is likely that there may not be enough experiments available for everyone to receive a full 6 credits, persons who repeatedly signup for experiments but do not show up for those experiments without canceling will not be allowed to continue to signup for extra credit experiments.Once a student has received 3 Negative Research Credits, their User ID will be removed from Research Pool database and will not be allowed to signup for new experiments.Students who are removed can appeal this removal and discuss any extenuating reasons underlying it with the administrator of the Research Pool.You may contact the administrator by e-mail at, because of the limited number of opportunities to participate, it is highly recommended that you complete your participation as early in the semester as possible.Most researchers will not be able to run lots of participants in their studies the final week or two of classes (because they have many of the same end-of-semester responsibilities that you have).


Can I Appeal the Penalties?

If you failed to meet the Participation requirement or the attendance requirement for what you consider to be a legitimate reason, you are welcome to appeal your penalty to a representative of the research participation committee.You can contact the representative by emailing You will need to provide documentation (e.g., accident reports, physicianís note) of any incidents that you wish to argue caused you to fail to meet the requirements.Note: Simply providing documentation does not mean that your appeal will be successful.


To make an appeal you should fill out a Research Requirement Appeal Form (available in the Psychology Office--GP 348), attach any relevant documentation, and put it in the Research Box in the main office (GP 348).The result of your appeal will be communicated to you through a representative or through your PY 101 instructor.All appeals must be filed within two weeks of the missed attendance requirement.

On-line Studies
You will notice that there are several on-line studies listed on the website. The luxury of these studies is that you can participate in these studies at anytime and do not have to sign up for an exact time and day like the normal research experiments. These studies operate on a windows system. For example, the window for an on-line study may be March 2nd. This means that you can participate in this study anytime between now and March 2nd as long as slots are open. On-line studies do not post credit automatically upon completion. Most researchers do not post credit for on-line studies until the window for that study has closed. For example, you participate in an on-line study on January 25 and the window to participate in the study ends at February 1. It is likely that the experimenter will not post credit until February 1.


What if I Do Not Receive Credit for an Experiment That I Did?

The first thing you must do is contact the experimenter. Experimenters have up to 5 days after each subject completes the experiment to post the credits. If you do not have your credit after 5 days, you need to email the experimenter. If for some reason the experimenter does not cooperate, you may appeal to the Research coordinator at You must have a valid experimental credit slip for all experiments in which you participated.Attach copies of the credit slips of the experiments you have completed to the appeal form, and turn that in to the main office (GP 348).


What if I Go to an Experiment and the Experimenter Is Not There?

If you show up for an experiment and the experimenter is not there, you must wait 10 minutes. If the experimenter does not show up after 10 minutes you should go to the main office (GP 348) and report the experimenter no-show to a secretary.They will ask you for some information about the experiment and leave a note for the Research Participation Committee.If the no-show is confirmed you will receive credit for the experiment.If the no-show is not confirmed we will contact you about the discrepancy.Note: You must wait for the experimenter to show up for at least 10 minutes from when the experiment is scheduled.Also you must report experimenter no-shows during the time that the experiment was scheduled.DO NOT leave and come back to report a no-show later in the day.††



Alternatives to Research Participation

Your participation in research is very helpful to the work of the individual faculty and students in this department, and we believe that you can learn something about the field of psychology from your participation.So, we encourage you to participate in research.However, we recognize that some of you may choose not to participate in research.If you, for whatever reason, are not comfortable participating in psychological studies you may choose not to do so.


An acceptable alternative to research participation is writing six separate 2-3 page papers on approved topics that will be assigned by the Research Participation Committee.Another acceptable alternative will be attending six Psychology Department Research Presentations and writing 2 page summaries of the presentations.The papers will be evaluated by the research committee and must be accepted by the committee to count as research credit.Unacceptable papers will be returned to the student for revision.Papers that violate the University Policy on Academic Dishonesty will be referred to the University Committee on Academic Dishonesty for disciplinary action.


If you elect to write the papers or attend colloquia instead of participating in experiments you must notify the research committee in writing as to why you wish to select this option.Include in your note your name, your instructor's name, your student number and your phone number and put it in the Research mailbox in the main office (GP 348). If you do not hear from someone within 5 days of placing your note in the research mailbox, you need to email the Research coordinator at and someone will be in contact with you. If no contact has been made by the student to the research coordinator prior to the deadline date, this option can not be used and the student must participate in the required experiments.


Further details about the papers or colloquium attendance and a schedule of due dates will be provided to those who prefer this alternative.If you wish to discuss these alternatives you should contact the Psychology Departmentís research committee representative at must make these alternative arrangements by Friday, March 2, 2006óNO EXCEPTIONS. †††††††††††††


If you have any questions about any of these policies, please contact the Research Pool Coordinator by e-mail at or Dr. Sheila Black at

Experiment Availability

The Research Pool Coordinator does not have any control over experiment availability. Individual labs select their own experiments to run as well as when and how many timeslots they post. Experimenters can post timeslots whenever they wish. This means that students need to check the subject pool website frequently to see if there are new timeslot postings. Please do not email the subject pool asking when there will be more timeslots or experiments, the Coordinator does NOT have answers to these types of questions.