Participating in experiments

What should I take with me to an experiment?

Take the study number and the building and room number with you. That way if you get lost, you can get directions. If you arrive at Young Hall and tell someone you are looking for a psychology study, chances are your question will be greeted with a quizzical expression! It is also good to have a pen or pencil with you, and your student ID.

What if I am uncomfortable with an experiment?

Any experiment in which you participate will have already been approved by the Psychology Department Subject Pool Committee and the Campus Institutional Review Board Human Subjects Committee. This insures that someone other than the experimenter has determined that the procedures for a study follow strict ethical guidelines. A researcher’s first priority must always be the safety and wellbeing of the research participants. This precludes any treatment that places undue physical or psychological stress on subjects as well as any form of unethical or unprofessional treatment. You have the right to withdraw from an experiment at any time. If you choose to exercise this right, you will still be given full credit.

What should I keep in mind when participating in an experiment?

Be sure to take the experiment seriously. Your participation is more than just a way for you to earn credits. Your contribution helps to further science, and some of our research at UC Davis could not be done if it were not for participants like you.

How do I participate in an online study?

Many online studies can be started right away. If this is the case, you should see a link that says “Complete Survey Now.” If you cannot start it right away, when you return to your list of studies, click on “View Study Website.” Do not wait until the time listed on the timeslot. For online studies, this timeslot is actually the deadline for when the study must be completed. If you wait until the deadline, you will not be able to participate. Some online studies require the researcher to send you a link. If this is the case, it should be clear to you when you sign up.