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Information for Participants

The SONA system is a web portal that allows researchers in the Psychology Department to post studies for which they may need participants. Some PSYC and HD classes allow students to participate in these studies for extra credit.

Signing up for a SONA account

  1. You must create a Participant account in SONA to sign-up for studies. Follow the steps below:

  2. Go to

  3. Click the “Coyote ID Log In” button.

  4. Enter your Coyote ID and associated university password in the provided fields

  5. After you are authenticated, you will see a page with your name, User ID, and email address. Select your courses for the semester from the available list. Make sure you are selecting the correct time/days/instructor associated with your classes. There are multiple sections of many courses.

  6. Click “Request Account”

  7. You will receive an email from the SONA system. Check your Spam folder if you don’t see the email.

  8. Return to and select “Coyote ID Log In” again.

  9. After logging in, acknowledge the SONA policies and complete the Prescreen survey.

  10. You will then be directed to your main page where you can view available studies, credits earned, and upcoming appointments.

Follow all instructions on the SONA pages!

Important dates

2020-2021 Academic Year

  Fall Spring Summer
First day of SONA 8/24 1/25  6/2
Last day of SONA 12/4 5/14 8/4
Last day to assign credits/move credits between classes (@ 5pm) 12/5 5/15 8/5

General SONA Information


Canceling Appointments

If you will not be able to attend a study that you signed up for, you should cancel your sign up (go to “My schedule/credits” after you log in to see the studies you are signed up for. And select the specific study to cancel your sign up). Usually, you have until 24 hours before a study to cancel your sign up. This varies by study- read the study information!

If you are no longer able to cancel a sign up for a study because it is too close to the study time, you should contact the study researcher! You will see the researcher’s name listed with the study information and an envelope icon. Click that icon to send them an email. Do not contact the psychology department office or the SONA admin team. They do not administer specific studies and your message may or may not eventually make it to the researcher.

Credit Status

Any questions about credit status should be directed to the study researcher, not the SONA admin team. You may contact study researchers by clicking the envelope icon next to their name on the Study Information page. Possible credit statuses are explained below:

Awaiting action from a researcher: this means you either 1) have not yet participated in a study or 2) you participated in a study but the researcher has not yet granted you credit. Although some online studies are set so credit is granted automatically upon completion of a survey, many online and in-person studies are not set up to autocredit. A researcher on the study will manually grant credit. Researchers are encouraged to do this in a timely manner, but they technically have until the end of the semester to make a credit decision. Your “Overall Credits Pending” is the sum of the credits across all studies that have this status

# Credits granted: the researcher has granted you credit. Your “Overall Credits Earned” is the sum of the credits across all studies for which you have been granted credit.

Failure to appear- excused: you have not been granted credit because you 1) did not appear for an in-person study, 2) did not complete an online study before the timeslot end time/date.

Failure to appear-unexcused: you have not been granted credit because you 1) did not appear for an in-person study, 2) did not complete an online study before the timeslot end time/date. If you acquire two of these, you will be unable to sign up for more studies in SONA for the rest of the academic year.

Some researchers are now assigning “Failure to appear” (excused or unexcused) for studies where participants appeared for an in-person study or took an online survey, but did not participate in good faith. Researchers assess this through attention check items, or other measures of good faith participation. If a researcher does this, they will explain so in their consent form. Again, any questions about this should be directed to the study researchers.

Assigning Credits to a Class/Changing Class Credits Assigned To

To add a course after you have created your account, go to “My Profile” and click the “Change Courses” button. Select the classes you would like to be able to apply your credits toward.

To assign credits to a class go to “My Schedule/Credits.” You can use the “Reassign” button to move credits around. You must already have your courses selected to assign credits to them.

Be sure to assign your credits to a class! Unassigned credits do not carry over to future semesters!

Credits from a single study cannot be split, but separate studies can be assigned to different classes.

If you do not see your class that means that class does not allow for SONA extra credit and you cannot assign any units to it.

Study and credit limits

For Spring 2020 the limit to online study participation has been increased from 6 units to 12 units. Students may earn up to 12 units by participating in studies online.

Studies are posted at the discretion of researchers. Sometimes at the end of the semester there are no more studies available because researchers have all the participants they need. Do not count on there being available studies. If SONA is offered as an extra credit option in your class, the instructor is required to offer an alternative in case you cannot or do not want to participate in research. You should ask your instructor about the alternative if there are no studies available to you.

Who to Contact

If you have any questions or concerns about anything related to a study- credit decisions, study locations, study procedures- contact the researcher on the study (click the envelope icon next to their name in the study information). Do not contact the SONA admin team.

The Psychology Department Office cannot provide you information about study times or locations. You must refer to the Study Information in SONA.

Any questions related to the SONA system (account log-in and creation, how to assign credits to courses, etc.) you may contact SONA admin team at If your question is answered on this page, you will be directed to look here.