All students enrolled in Psychology 201 and 202, and in Linguistics 301 and 396 and sometimes other specified courses (e.g., Linguistics 100, Psychology 303), are required to have some experience with empirical research. One of the best ways to gain experience is to be directly involved in on-going research investigations. If you agree to serve as a research participant, the information on this page (and the other Human Subject Pool sub-pages listed to the right) will describe your responsibilities for satisfying the research participation requirement and the procedures that you will need to follow.
Your participation serves five important functions. First, most of what you learn in your psychology and linguistics classes is based on carefully conducted research with human volunteers. Research can seem rather mysterious in the abstract. Participation in research studies gives you a first-hand look at the research enterprise that uncovers the explanations for human behavior. Second, you learn about and are exposed to a variety of different kinds of research methods and different areas within psychology and linguistics. Methodology can range from survey, to measuring physiology, watching videos, responding to computer stimuli to interacting with others. This can help you obtain a better idea of the type of psychology or linguistics research you will be interested in pursing in the future. Third, you contribute to the knowledge base. Just as students in earlier generations contributed to the information in your text books, you also will be "paying it forward" by contributing to the knowledge base of generations that follow you. Fourth, you will become a better consumer of research literature. The first-hand experience with research will empower you to ask critical questions about results, generalizations and methodology based on psychological research. Finally, you may find the experiments enjoyable and/or interesting. This will have inherent value in enhancing what you are learning in your classes. Some comments from student participants about the studies are:
"The debriefing was great. In one study I was given a burned CD with my fMRI on it."
"A lot of them were really fun, especially the "game"-like ones."
"I learned some different ways of thinking in the debriefing, things that I had never thought of on my own."
Other benefits of participating in research are often mentioned in the consent forms of individual studies, which you will discover when you participate. You will use the Sona Systems web site to sign up to participate in studies.