What does being a participant involve?
By registering to be a participant you provide much needed input to our research. Participating in our research is both a fun and interesting way to get involved in Warwick’s research efforts whilst making some money too. Once registered there is no obligation to participate. Simply sign up for the research studies that you qualify for and are able to do.

How do I register?  
You will need to set up a SONA participant account. SONA is the software we use to manage participation in our studies. You will receive a password by email. The information entered by you is confidential and is stored securely on SONA’s servers.

Invitations to research.
Once registered you may be invited via email to research studies, upon receipt of these emails login to the system and sign up for the relevant test session. You are also free to log-in at your leisure and sign up for any studies posted which you qualify for. However, please make sure that you are able to attend any studies you sign up for or ensure that you cancel in the specified deadline. Please note that available timeslots may fill up quickly.

Attending a research study.
Most of our sessions take place in the University of Warwick main campus, within laboratories in Psychology, Economics and Warwick Business School Departments. For more information on these laboratories please visit the resources page. Some studies are delivered online, in which case you can complete the study wherever you have internet access.

The research study session. 
Our studies can vary in length typically lasting between 30 and 90 minutes. Compensation often comes in the form of cash reimbursement, where you will receive a “participation fee” for attending, and then an additional compensation depending on your performance in the session. Each research study will have a specific compensation scheme and session length and this is visible when you go and sign up.

What types of research are conducted?

We run studies in order to gain insight into people’s views and the processes of decision making. They mainly involve standardised computer trials, where you may be required to complete a survey, complete a task or a game on a computer.

For those who haven’t taken part in one of our research studies/experiments before, we understand that the thought may be slightly unnerving. However, you can be assured that our research is neither invasive or clinical in it’s nature.  Should you wish to find out more about a study you are thinking of signing up for, there will be information on the study page of SONA. Alternatively, you are welcome to email the researcher.

Participants’ rights and responsibilities

As a participant you have the rights to be treated ethically and respectfully, to be informed of the nature of the study, and to withdraw your participation at any time. All research projects receive ethical approval from the University prior to commencement.

In addition, you are able to manage your own personal information via the SONA Sign-up system, in accordance with the University’s data protection policies. Should you wish to deactivate your account at any stage, simply email us at sona.experiments@warwick.ac.uk and your account will be removed.

All participants agree upon sign-up to the system that they agree to the following terms.

University ID. To ensure that only participants who sign up for the study can take part, all participants will be asked to provide an ID with a photograph. If you fail to provide a proof of your identity, the researcher may disqualify you from participation. Your identity will not in anyway be linked to your data or your performance in the study, this process is solely for registration purposes.

Arrival Time. Participants should arrive at least 5 minutes prior to any study session taking place. If you are not at the study location at the specified time , you will not be permitted to participate and may be marked as a “no show.” If you can’t attend a study session after signing up you should either cancel via the system or email the researcher.

No-show Policy. A “no-show” is a term used by the system to indicate a participant who signed up for a research session, but did not show up at the appointed time, or did not cancel in advance and inform the researcher they would not be attending. No-shows have a negative effect on the project, not only by wasting the time or supplies of the researcher, but can also prohibit certain studies from being conducted if they require an exact number of participants. As such, if you are a no-show for a particular research session, this information is recorded, and this could result in you receiving fewer invitations to future research projects. After one no-show you receive a warning e-mail, and at three no-shows your account is deactivated.

Personal Conduct During Research Studies. Participants are expected to work on their task quietly. Should any participant make undue disruption in the study, the researcher may ask them to leave or in more severe cases terminate the study. We ask that all participants take their participation seriously, as this is someone’s research which takes a great deal of time to plan and coordinate.