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Thomas Harriot College of Arts & Sciences

Department of Psychology

 
Research Activity Requirement

Psychology is rooted in the research findings of psychological scientists from around the world. Because of the centrality and importance of research to understanding psychology as a science, all students enrolled in face-to-face sections of PSYC 1000 or PSYC 1060 are required to experience the research process first-hand, as a participant and/or consumer of research. This opportunity is designed to:

  • show you how the science of psychology is conducted first-hand, a form of active learning that may enhance your understanding and memory for the material in your psychology course;
  • help you to better evaluate other research that you read or learn about;
  • provide you with a unique and often interesting opportunity to participate in cutting-edge research;
  • and inspire you to get involved in a research project as part of your academic training.
The research activity requirement also provides an essential source of participants for advanced students and faculty in the Department of Psychology  who are conducting scholarly research. As such, participation provides a genuine contribution on your part to the advancement of knowledge in psychology. The field cannot advance its understanding of human behavior and mental processes unless we have people like you help us by participating in our research studies.

For all students enrolled in face-to-face sections of PSYC 1000 or PSYC 1060, 5% of your final grade is based on your completing 5 credits worth of research-related activities. That is, 5% of your total course points will result from research activities and the remaining 95% from the regular exams, quizzes, and other assignments/activities documented in your course syllabus.

Some instructors have an all or nothing policy with respect to research activity credits – that is, if you do not earn all 5 of the required credits, then you get zero points from research activities. Other instructors will give you course points in proportion to the number of credits you have earned, up to 5% of the total course points. Check your syllabus to determine the method your instructor employs. Regardless, to fulfill this requirement, you must earn these credits by the deadlines noted below.

Completion Dates

Fall 2017

  • Research-related Activities Begin: 8/21/2017
  • Start-of-Semester Survey Closes: 9/18/2017
  • 50% Deadline: 10/20/2017
  • Research-related Activities End: 12/4/2017
  • Final data available for instructors: 12/6/2017

Spring 2018

  • Research-related Activities Begin: 1/8/2018
  • Start-of-Semester Survey Closes: 2/5/2018
  • 50% Deadline: 3/2/2018
  • Research-related Activities End: 4/24/2018
  • Final data available for instructors: 4/26/2018

Please note that you are required to complete 50% of the five-credit requirement (i.e., 2.5 credits) by the midpoint of the semester. If you only complete 1.0 credit before the midpoint the maximum amount of credits you can be awarded at the end of the semester is 3.5; however, you may complete more than 2.5 prior to the mid-semester point (e.g., you can earn all 5 of the required credits during the first two weeks of class).

This deadline is in place to encourage students not to wait until the end of the semester to try to earn all research credits. If students wait until the end of the semester to earn credits, there will not be enough opportunities to do so. We strongly recommend you attempt to earn research credits across the semester through completing a variety of options (participating in research studies, taking quizzes for research articles you read, taking quizzes for research studies in which you participated).

Under 18?

Students under the age of 18 may not be eligible to participate in many experiments. Subsequently, these students may read research articles (Option #3) and write a summary to earn credit. Each passing article is worth .5 credits.

Click here for some answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

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Step 1

Create an account at ecu.sona-systems.com:

  1. Go to ecu.sona-systems.com.
  2. Click on "Request Account" on the right side of the screen.
  3. Provide the required information, being careful to select the correct section in which you are enrolled.
  4. Check your e-mail for a verification message to complete your registration.
  5. Logon to ecu.sona-systems.com and complete the prescreen questionnaire.

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Step 2

Earn credits. You can earn credits by doing the following:

  1. Participating in research studies offered throughout the semester. To sign-up for a research study visit ecu.sona-systems.com. Every hour of research participation will award you 1 credit. (More details regarding this option are noted below.)
  2. Reading research articles and taking the associated quizzes throughout the semester. Each passing quiz grade (i.e., 60% or greater)  awards .5 credits. (More details regarding this option are noted below.)
  3. Any combination of the above choices.


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Additional Information About Earning Credits

Each hour of participation is worth 1 credit, 45-minutes of participation is worth .75 credit, 30 minutes of participation is worth .50 credit, and 15 minutes of participation is worth .25 credit.

Option #1: Participating In Research Studies & Similar Activities

  • You can view available studies, sign up to participate, and track your credits on ecu.sona-systems.com.
  • Amount of credit: Studies will be worth varying amounts of credit depending on how long they take. Each hour of participation is worth 1 credit, 45-minutes of participation is worth 0.75 credit, 30 minutes of participation is worth 0.5 credit, and 15 minutes of participation is worth 0.25 credit.
  • Eligibility for studies: Before signing up for a study, be sure that you meet any eligibility requirements listed for that study. For instance, some studies may require that you be at least 18 years old to participate. In order to earn research credit, you must be eligible for research studies you sign up for.
  • Signing-up and showing up: When you sign up for a study on ecu.sona-systems.com be sure to write down: (1) the time and date when the study takes place, (2) the location of the study, (3) the researcher's name, and (4) the researcher's e-mail address. It is very important for you to show up promptly at the scheduled time.
  • Cancelling: If you cannot attend a study that you have signed up for, go to ecu.sona-systems.com and cancel your appointment as soon as possible so that another student may sign up in your place. If it is less than 24 hours before your scheduled time, send an e-mail message to the researcher informing him/her that you will not be there for your appointment. Please note if you miss three or more appointments you will be prevented from earning credits from opportunities available via Sona Systems (i.e., Options 1-3), and will then have to complete the research participation requirement via Option #4.
  • Research study-based quiz (optional): Credit may also be earned for some research studies in the form of an optional quiz based on educational information provided by the researcher for a study in which you have participated. Not all studies will provide this option. Each passing quiz grade (i.e., 60% or better) awards 0.25 credits. You are not required to take these quizzes. You can check to see if studies you participate in have the quiz option and sign up for the quiz as a separate study on ecu.sona-systems.com. Information about when (e.g., immediately following your participation in the study or later in the semester) and how (e.g., online or in-person) the quiz is administered will be provided on Sona Systems when you view the quiz details.
  • If you are under age 18: If you are not able to find studies for which you are eligible due to your age, you may earn credits by completing the reading research articles and taking quizzes (Option #2) and/or reading research articles and writing summaries (Option #3).

Option #2: Reading Research Articles and Taking a Quiz

  • Reading articles: The research articles relating to this option are listed at the bottom of this web page. The number to the left of the article is the "Quiz Number." The research articles are in .pdf format, so you can download them and read them on your computer or you can open the file and print out the article. You must pass the article quiz to earn credit. Thus, it is critically important that you read the article before attempting to complete the quiz. You may want to take notes to help you understand the article as the quiz is open notes and you may look at the article as you are answering the questions.
  • Amount of credit: You will be awarded 0.5 credit for each passing quiz grade (i.e., 60% or better). ·Signing up:After reading one of these articles you will need to log into ecu.sona-systems.com and schedule a time to come to the Research Activities office in Rawl 127 to take the associated quiz. Time slots are available under the Research Articles entry on ecu.sona-systems.com. When you sign up for a quiz, be sure to write down: (1) the time and date when the quiz takes place, (2) the location of the quiz, (3) the researcher's name, and (4) the researcher's e-mail address.
  • Showing up: It is very important for you to show up at the scheduled time. If you are more than 5 minutes late you will be required to reschedule for another appointment. When you arrive for your appointment you must know the number of the quiz you wish to take (i.e., the "Quiz Number" to the left of the listed article). If you take the wrong quiz it will still be graded and you will have to schedule another appointment to take the correct quiz. You may only attempt each quiz once. When taking the quiz you will have 10 minutes to complete it.
  • Cancelling: If you cannot attend a quiz appointment that you have signed up for, go to ecu.sona-systems.com and cancel your appointment as soon as possible so that another student may sign up in your place. If it is less than 24 hours before your scheduled time, send an e-mail message to the researcher informing him/her that you will not be there for your appointment. Please note if you miss three or more appointments you will be prevented from earning credits from opportunities available via Sona Systems (i.e., Options 1 and 2), and will then have to complete the research participation requirement via Option #3.
  • Start-of-Semester Survey (SoSS): The intent of the SoSS is to familiarize you with the research participation management system (ecu.sona-systems.com). SoSS items answered incorrectly will result in feedback including the correct answer and its rationale. You can earn .5 credit if they acquire at least a 60% (e.g., six out of 10 questions), which is the same policy applied to the research article quizzes and educational summary-based quizzes. You will be allowed to take the SoSS until you pass it. The SoSS will be available during the first month of classes.

Option #3: Reading Research Articles and Writing a Paper

  • This option is only for students who are under age 18 or who have failed to keep appointments that they have made for Options #1-2. This is not an option that may be engaged in without permission from the Research Activity Coordinator.
  • Reading articles: The research articles relating to this option are listed at the bottom of this web page. The research articles are in .pdf format, so you can download them and read them on your computer or you can open the file and print out the article.
  • Writing paper: After reading one of these articles you will need to write a three page double spaced summary of the research that was presented in the study. This is to be written in 12-point Times New Roman font with 1" margins. Failure to follow these formatting requirements will result in no credit being awarded. Each research summary will be submitted to the SafeAssign system to ensure that they are the original work of the student submitting it and not plagiarized. Any plagiarized work will not receive credit. Each passing paper is worth .5 credits.

If the above steps are not completed by the indicated deadline then your final grade in PSYC 1000/1060 will drop by up to 5%.

Need more help? Just send us an email: experimentrak@ecu.edu

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Research Articles