Research Participation (Subject Pool) Information
This document contains further information about research participation. Participating in research studies is one way of fulfilling your course research requirement, or of obtaining extra credit. Your course syllabus should contain further information regarding other ways you can fulfill this requirement or to obtain extra credit. You can also ask your instructor about the full range of options that are available in your course.
Why should I participate in research?
The studies you will participate in are run by Penn faculty and students, and often can be a very interesting glimpse into cutting-edge psychological science.
It's a learning experience: participating in psychological research can provide you with insight into the empirical research process that will be valuable whether or not you pursue psychology as a career.
It also serves to foster the research in our department -- which is one of the finest departments in the country and is conducting groundbreaking studies every day.
How does the research participation system work?
First, you'll need to create an account on the Experimetrix website. Your account allows you to sign up for studies and check the number of credits you have accrued. The account also keeps track of your credits for your instructor. After creating a new account, you will be sent a password. You will need to login within 30 days of receiving the password. If you haven’t done so, your account and password will be void, and you will need to register as a new user again.
IMPORTANT: Please read the instructions carefully BEFORE creating your account!!
To create an account,
1. go to Penn’s Experimetrix website: http://experimetrix.com/penn
Make sure you are using this url and not another similar-looking one; other institutions than the Psychology Department at Penn use the Experimetrix system for different purposes; signing up for studies in any other website will not count toward fulfilling the requirements for your class.
Please make sure that your web browser accepts “cookies” (an option that should be turned on).
2. Then, select “New user” option.
3. Fill out all the fields of the page in the following way:
4. Once you have received your logon and password, log in the experimetrix system by going to the Experimetrix website again (http://experimetrix.com/penn) and selecting the “Log in” option.
5. You'll need to select a course to make sure your participation is properly credited. If you are enrolled in more than one course that requires experiment participation, select as many as needed. At the end of the semester, make sure you allocate the credited hours to each course.
If you need to change something on your account, you can do that by logging in to your account and then going to "edit my profile."
More instructions on signing up with Experimetrix are here:
How do I find out about experiments?
Log in to the website and select the “Sign up” option. New experiments and new time slots will be posted throughout the semester. If nothing is available when you look the first time, try again in a day or two. There are many different kinds of studies going on, so if you start early, you should be able to find ones that fit your interests and your schedule.
IMPORTANT: Many experiments have requirements for participants (e.g., participants must be 18 or older; participants must be English native speakers, etc…). If you wait until the last minute to fulfill your requirements, there may not be enough studies you fulfill the requirements for and you may not be able to accrue all of your participation hours.
What do I need to do to participate?
Sign up for an open slot on the Experimetrix site. Be sure to write down the time and location of the study, the name of the experimenter, and his/her email address. Be on time for the experiment, and plan to stay for the entire time (the length of the study will be specified on the Experimetrix site). If you are not familiar with the building where the study is being held, look at a campus map or give yourself extra time to find it.
Some experiments have specific requirements for participation (e.g., only left-handers, only people who love Penn, etc.). Please read the requirements carefully before signing up.
What if I sign up for a session and can't go?
You should plan carefully to avoid missing experiment sessions. Failing to show up for a study both wastes the experimenter's time and prevents another student from attending that session. If you know a day or more in advance that you can't make a session, you can cancel through the Experimetrix system. If an emergency arises close to the time of a session, you should email the experimenter to cancel. If you fail to show up for a study without contacting the experimenter, you may receive a penalty—that is, you will have to do extra experiment hours on top of your requirement.
If you show up for a study and the experimenter is not there, contact them to find out what happened. If they had to miss a session due to emergency and did not contact you beforehand, you should receive credit for the session.
Can I participate in more hours than is required to receive credit/extra credit?
Nothing prevents you from participating in many more hours than necessary. However, in doing so, you may create difficulties for your classmates who need to fulfill their requirements and may not be able to find studies to sign up for. Also, note that any extra hours you may have accumulated will not roll over to the subsequent semester. All accounts are reset at the end of each semester.
How long will experiments be running?
Experiments will be running through reading days, but not during finals. We strongly encourage you to START EARLY! Many studies will be finished before the end of the semester, so if you wait until the last minute, you may not be able to find any experiments.
What if I forget my login or password?
Use the "forgot password" option on the front page of the Experimetrix site—all you need is your email address, and your logon or password can be automatically sent to you.
What if I have other questions?
If you have questions about your course requirement, please ask your professor or TA. If you have questions about the research-participation system, you may contact Geoff Goodwin, the subject pool coordinator, at email@example.com.
The faculty, graduate students, and your fellow undergraduates who are running these studies greatly appreciate your participation. Thanks in advance for signing up and taking the experiment participation seriously—you are helping to advance science!
updated September, 2013