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Research Participation


Research Exposure Requirement

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At its core, psychology is the empirical study of human behavior. As such, it is vitally important that psychology students be exposed to the scientific methods used in psychology. As such, all students enrolled in PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychology are expected to complete a research exposure requirement. To satisfy this requirement, a student must earn research exposure credits. These may be earned either by participating in research studies or by reading articles relevant to psychology and writing a short response statement about each one.

Credits required: 2 credits

Credit deadline for Spring 2024: 5:00 p.m. on April 15th, 2024

Research Participation: Each semester, psychology program faculty and students conduct research studies to test their hypotheses about human behavior. Participation generally involves answering questions or performing simple tasks.  Students may sign up for these studies to earn research credits. Each credit represents one hour of research study participation. These may be given in thirty-minute (0.5 credit) increments, depending on the length of the study. (For example, a twenty minute study will be worth 0.5 credits, while a one-hour study would be worth 1 credit.) The credit value of each study will be listed along with the study name and description. You will use the online Sona system to sign up for studies and keep track of your credits (see below).

Response Statements: As an alternative to research participation, you may earn research exposure credits by reading articles relevant to psychology and writing short response statements. The list of acceptable articles appears below. Copies are available on the Brightspace site entitled “PSYC 101 Research Exposure – proj” which can be accessed by logging in to Brightspace, and selecting it from your list of classes. You should receive access to this site by the third week of class. The articles are available on that site under Content, in the Articles folder. After reading the article, you should write a 650-word response statement containing your thoughts on and reaction to the article. Each response statement is worth one research participation credit.

Submit your response statement(s) electronically on the Brightspace page for the Research Exposure Requirement, in the Assignments area.  (Links to online documents such as Microsoft OneDrive or Google Docs will not be accepted.)  Be sure to indicate which article you are using.

If you have trouble with submitting your response to the Research Exposure Brightspace page, please contact the Research Exposure Coordinator, Dr. Levitan at

Note that credits for research participation and response statements may be combined to add up to the required number (2 credits). For example, you could participate in two half-hour studies (each worth 0.5 credit) and write one reaction paper (1 credit).

Failure to meet this requirement will result in the reduction of your final PSYC 101 grade by one full letter grade.

Online Research Participation System

You may sign up for studies and keep track of your research participation credits using the online Sona system, available here:

User documentation (PDF file) may be found here: SONA documentation for participants

Ordinarily, a user account will be created for you during the third week of the semester. If that does not happen, then you should contact the Research Exposure Coordinator (below). When your account is created, you will receive an e-mail from the Sona system with your login User ID and password. Keep these in a safe place, as you will need them to access the system during the semester.

Research Exposure Coordinator

The Research Exposure Coordinator is Dr. Lindsey Levitan.
She may be reached via email at
Her office is located in Stutzman-Slonaker, Room 104.
She may also be reached via telephone at 304-876-5804.

Articles for Reaction Papers

Copies are available on the special Brightspace site entitled “PSYC 101 Research Exposure” which can be accessed in the same way as your classes on Brightspace.

Clark, J. L., Algoe, S. B., & Green, M. C. (2017). Social network sites and well-being: The role of social connection. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 27 (1), 32-37.

Darley, J. M. & Latane (1968). Bystander intervention in emergencies: Diffusion of responsibility. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 8, 377-383.

Douglas, K. M., Sutton, R. M., & Cichocka, A. (2017). The psychology of conspiracy theories. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 26(6), 538-542.

Drury, J. & Reicher, S. D. (2010). Crowd control. Scientific American Mind, 21 (5), 58-65.

Duckworth, A., & Gross, J. J. (2014). Self-control and grit: Related but separable determinants of success. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 23(5), 319-325.

Fields, H. L. (2009). The psychology of pain. Scientific American Mind, 20 (5), 42-49.

Levine, A. & Heller, R. S. F. (2011). Get attached: The surprising secrets to finding the right partner for a healthy relationship. Scientific American Mind, 21 (6), 22-29.

Macknik, S. L., Martinez-Conde, S., & Blakeslee, S. (2010). Mind over magic? Scientific American Mind, 21 (5), 22-29.

Masters, W. H. & Johnson, V. E. (1966). Human sexual response. Boston: Little, Brown.

Schumann, K. (2018). The psychology of offering an apology: Understanding the barriers to apologizing and how to overcome them. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 27(2), 74-78.

Wenner, M. (2009). The serious need for play. Scientific American Mind, 20 (1), 22-29.