SONA information

SONA is a website that manages your study participation. Once you are enrolled in your Psychology course you will be able to access your Sona account by logging into the system using your WatIAm/Quest ID. You can log on as often as you wish to view available online and lab studies, sign-up to participate, view your sign-up schedule, change scheduled appointments, e-mail researchers and see how many REG credits you have earned.

  1. 2024
    1. May
      1. Start of Class

        Monday May 6, 2024 - First Day of Spring Term

        Class resumes for spring term.

      2. Phase 1

        Tuesday May 7, 2024 - SONA Opens Phase 1

        Mass Testing and Pre Screen are available

      3. Phase 2

        May 13, 2024 - Sona Opens for Phase 2

        Studies Will be approved for SONA starting today

      4. Victoria Day

        Monday May 20, 2024 - Victoria Day Holiday

        University is closed.

Registration in your Psychology course

  1. Your SONA account will be active once the class list from the Registrar's office reflects your enrollment. New Class lists are uploaded every Thursday.
  2. Log in to SONA.
    • You must do this early in the term and frequently throughout the term. The very first time you log in, you will read a statement of the ethical policy surrounding research with human participants (titled the Human Subjects Privacy Policy statement), and outlining your rights as a participant. We strongly encourage you to read this document thoroughly and indicate that you have read and understand these rights.

  3. Complete the PreScreen (demographics) Questionnaire online
    • not mandatory
    • very brief (approximately 10 minutes) so no credit offered
    • needs to be completed each term
    • many of our studies select participants based on their responses in the prescreen questionnaire. You may decline to take the prescreen questionnaire but we strongly encourage you to take the questionnaire
    • the prescreen questionnaire is a pre-requisite for the Mass Testing survey
    • if you decline to participate you will still be eligible to participate in studies, however you might find that fewer studies are available

After completing or declining the prescreen, you will arrive at the home page for your SONA account where you will find the following options posted as tabs across the top of the page or icons down the page

  • Studies/View Available Studies
    • view available remote and web-based (online) studies
    • if you have completed the PreScreen Questionnaire (in particular Question 1 of Section 2) the Mass Testing survey will be listed as an eligible study
    • see the study name and a list of eligible courses
    • click on the study name to learn what the study is about and what you will be asked to do
    • sign up in a "time slot" to participate (a study may have course, prescreen or study restrictions that prevent you from signing up. These cannot be circumvented, so try signing up for a different study)
  • My Schedule/Credits
    • view your credits (how many you need and how many you have)
    • view your study schedule (list of study names, time slot details and credit status for completed and upcoming studies)
    • assign/re-assign credits to courses
    • e-mail researchers if you have any questions
    • cancel appointments if you are not going to be available - please be sure to cancel your appointments as early as possible to open the spot for another participant and be respectful of the researchers' time, especially because failure to appear for 3 studies results in denial of access to further studies
    • SONA will permit you to cancel a timeslot up to 24 hours prior to scheduled timeslot. After that time please contact the study Researcher and/or the REG Coordinator to let them know that you cannot make the timeslot (Researcher email links are provided on the study description page).
  • My profile
    • Important: view and learn your SONA Identity Code
    • update your phone number, if necessary
    • view your credits (how many you need and how many you have)
  • FAQ (Frequently asked questions)
    • view important information
    • dates and deadlines
    • how to cancel appointments
    • how to participate in studies
    • special instructions about online studies and limits
    • how to earn credits by submitting Article Reviews instead of doing studies
    • find in-depth information about using SONA in the SONA support manual

Sign up for studies

The first study available from the first day of lectures is the Mass Testing Survey. It is recommended but not mandatory, as participation in the Mass Testing survey will provide you with more participation opportunities. This survey should be completed as early in the term as possible. The Mass Testing Survey:

  • consists of a set of psychological measures/scales
  • takes about 1 hour and offers 1 online credit 
  • only offered for first 6-7 weeks of the term
  • many of our studies select participants based on their Mass Testing scores. You may decline to take the Mass Testing but we strongly encourage you to take the survey
  • If you decline you will still be eligible to participate in studies, however you might find that fewer are available

How to sign up for studies

  1. Log onto SONA using your WatIAm/Quest credentials (user ID and password).
  2. Click on "Studies" link or "Study Sign-up" icon to view the list of available studies.
  3. Click on the Study Name of studies that are eligible for your course.
  4. Read the Study Information page.
  5. For online studies: click on "view time slots" or "participate, for lab studies: click on "view time slots" to set up lab appointments.

Feedback and credits

Upon completion of a study, you will receive a Feedback / Appreciation letter with information about the study hypothesis, design, and predictions. Within 48 hours, you will be granted the credit and the credits will be converted to grades and added to your final grade at the end of the term.

One credit is worth 1% towards your final grade. Some courses offer "component" credits meaning the credits earned are part of the total 100% final grade. Other courses offer "bonus" credits. Course work will make up 100% of the final mark and "bonus" credit(s) may be earned and added to your final grade if/as need to bring your final grade up to a maximum of 100%. And some courses offer a combination of component and bonus grades (eg. - Psych 101 offers 4% component and 2% bonus).

Participation in regular online studies is worth 0.25 participation credits (or .25%) for each 15-minutes of a study. For example, a study that has a duration of one hour would award a total of 1 credit (or 1%) to the participant. A study that has a duration of 45 minutes would award a total of .75 credit (or .75%) to the participant.

Participation in Remote Online studies (replaced in lab) are worth 0.5 credits per half hour to address the added preparation required for these studies

Many studies offer pro-rated remuneration. This will be outlines in the SONA study description and the study Information Letter.

Study restrictions

You may be prohibited from signing up for a study due to the following restrictions:

  • PreScreen: the study may require participants of a specific demographic group e.g. gender, language, ethnicity, relationship status
  • Mass Testing: the study may require participants with specific traits, beliefs, characteristics e.g., those who score low or high on a particular psychology measure
  • Study (pre-requisite/disqualifier): the study may require you to have either i) already completed another specified study or ii) to have NOT completed another specified study
  • Course: this is important for participants in multiple courses. The study may be eligible for one of your courses but not for the other and it is your responsibility to choose studies accordingly. Your professor dictates the eligibility of a study. Some courses (e.g., Intro Psych, Stats) have no such restrictions so any type of study will be eligible. Other courses have indicated that credits will be earned through participation in studies that relate to the content of the course. Every study ad includes a list of "Eligible courses" *Incorrectly assigned credits may be lost*

Researcher no shows

Always be available on time for your scheduled timeslot and make sure you have followed the instructions from the study description and/or the Researcher. 

If, however, your Researcher does not show up you can complete a "Can't Find Your Researcher?" form. .

This form must be completed at the time of scheduled appointment.

Pacing your participation throughout the term

Tips for pacing your participation throughout the term include:

  • Do not wait until the end of the term to start your studies
  • Check for studies early and often (more than once per week)
  • You should try to spread your participation out over the term
  • If you wait too late in the term, there may not be enough studies available for you and if you don't check often enough you may miss some opportunities
  • You should aim for 1-2 credits per month

Denial of access to studies due to too many absences

It is very important that you complete the studies that you have signed up for:

  • For remote studies this means being available on time, and in the right place
  • For online studies this means completing the survey before the deadline
  • If you cannot keep the remote scheduled appointment or complete the survey before the deadline, please cancel the sign-up and/or contact the researcher in advance. Failure to appear for 3 lab and/or online studies without providing adequate prior notice to the researcher will result in denial of access to further studies. Details are provided on the frequently asked questions (FAQs) page on your SONA account.

Task performance, declining to respond, withdrawal and academic integrity

We very much appreciate that you are volunteering to participate in our studies and in return you will gain research experience. You will also receive grades (through participation credit) or payment (from paid studies) in appreciation of your time spent participating in each study. We do not vary the amount of credit for remote studies based on the quality of your performance but we trust that you will do your best. For online studies and surveys, researchers very carefully estimate the amount of time it should take to complete the study properly and we would really appreciate it if you would give us the time you have signed up for and not rush but rather spend the estimated time providing careful and honest responses.

We acknowledge that after starting a study you may find that the study isn't what you expected. If you are not comfortable with specific questions you may decline to respond to those questions but still answer the rest. If you are not comfortable with any of the questions or with the task itself (e.g., the decisions are too difficult or the questions are too sensitive) then you may withdraw from the study by informing the researcher. You are not required to provide an explanation of why you wish to withdraw, and you will receive your credit and study feedback. Please do not start a study or survey if you are too tired. We hope that you will use the "decline to respond" and "withdraw" options in the spirit in which they are intended and that you will treat our research with the same academic integrity that is expected of students in their undergraduate studies.


For information, instructions, help with login problems, etc. contact the REG Coordinator. You can also visit SONA frequently asked questions.

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