The University of Waterloo's Research Experiences Group (REG) coordinates the participation of Psychology students in studies being run by students and faculty members in the Department of Psychology.
REG coordinates the recruitment and participation of students, and ensures that all participants receive appropriate course or pay credit for their participation. The REG is staffed by a full-time REG Coordinator (David McLean) and is overseen by a Faculty Advisor (Dr. Ramona Bobocel).
At the beginning of the each term a video is provided to Instructors that offers a short explanation about Sona, how to sign-up for studies, and the credit allocation process. For the first 6-8 weeks of a term, participants have the opportunity to complete a group of online questionnaires and psychological scales. This is the "PreScreen Questionnaire" and "Mass Testing Survey", and the data from the questionnaire and scales are used by researchers to pre-screen participants to be recruited for studies (e.g. a study may require only individuals with high self-esteem). Submission of question(s) and scale(s) for this purpose must be done at the end of the previous term. See mass and validation testing for more information.
From approximately the second week of classes to the end of term, when participants log in to their SONA account, they see all the studies that are currently being run by researchers and that they are eligible for based on the courses for which they are enrolled and their responses, if any, to the PreScreen Questionnaire and/or the Mass Testing Survey. Participants can browse studies, and sign up online for those that interest them. Each time a participant logs in, the studies appear in a random order. This will reduce the effect of self-selection.
To utilize the REG/SONA pool, researchers must have prior ethics approval, have completed the online tutorial (in person training is not available for the Spring 2020 term), registered their study with SONA, be fully familiar with the REG policies, and completed the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS2) CORE training.
Around the eighth week of classes (for Fall and Winter terms only), when participants log in to SONA, they will have the opportunity to complete a second group of online questionnaires and psychological scales. This is "Validation Testing," and the data is primarily used to validate new measures and aspects of research. See the Mass Testing and Validation Testing page for more information.