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James W. Pennebaker, Chair The University of Texas at Austin, SEA 4.212, Austin, TX 78712 • (512) 475-7596

Sona FAQ's

Welcome to Psychology 301!  Here is a bit of information to help you navigate Sona.  You will use Sona to complete the research requirement for your class.  If you have any questions, please contact the Research Coordinator at psyresearch@austin.utexas.edu 

Getting Started

Studies

Tracking your progress

Prescreening

What do I do if there is a mistake or penalty on my record?

Other Issues and Concerns


Requesting an account: 

Go to https://utexas.sona-systems.com On the bottom, left hand side of the home screen there is a link titled “New Participant”.  Select this link and fill out the info requested


Loggin In: 

Please use your EID when logging in to Sona, your password was emailed to you at the start of the semester. If you do not have this email/password, please see the Retrieving a lost password FAQ.


Retrieving a lost password:

If you have forgotten or do not have your password, you may choose to have your password emailed to you. You will see an option on the front login page here: https://utexas.sona-systems.com  titled “Lost your password?” Your password will be emailed after you submit the form, and should arrive in your email box momentarily. If you provided an alternate email address, it will be sent there. Otherwise, it will be sent to your main email address.  


Changing your password and other infortmation:

  • If you would like to change your password or other information about yourself, choose My Profile from the top toolbar. If you would like to change your password (and the option is enabled), type your new password (twice, for confirmation) in the provided boxes. If you would not like to change your password, simply leave these boxes empty. If you change your password, please be sure to select a password you do not use on any other systems or websites. This is good computing practice, and especially important as in some cases, our password may be sent over email.
  • You can choose to change your email address and notifications will be sent there. 

Viewing studies:

  • To view a list of studies, click on Studies from top toolbar. You will see a list of studies. A brief description of each study will be listed, as well as any special requirements that may restrict your eligibility to participate in the study
  • Studies that currently have available participation times (timeslots) will have “TIMESLOTS AVAILABLE” listed next to the name of the study. If no studies have available timeslots, you may want to logon to the system a few days later to see if new timeslots have been added. You may also select a specific date to view studies with available timeslots on that date. To view more information about a study, click on the name of the study

Signing up for studies:

To sign up to participate in a study, find the study you would like to participate in (see Viewing Studies in this documentation). Click on the study name for more information. You will see a list of any special restrictions or eligibility requirements, as well as a contact person if you have questions about the study. If the study has a principal investigator listed, you can click their name to view full contact details. In most cases, it is preferred to contact the person listed as the researcher if you have specific questions


Canceling a sign-up:

If you need to cancel a timeslot you have signed up for, you can do this from the My Schedule and Credits page. Choose the My Schedule/Credits option from top toolbar. You will see listed all the studies you have signed up for, as well as those you have completed (see the Tracking Your Progress section of this documentation for more information). Studies you have signed up for that you are allowed to cancel will have a Cancel button next to them. There is a time limit before the study is to occur, when it is too late to cancel. This restriction may be listed at the bottom of the page, or can be found by clicking on the study name and viewing the study details.  Once you click Cancel to cancel your sign-up, you will see a confirmation page. You will also be warned if your cancellation might affect your ability to participate in other studies you have signed up for, due to pre-requisite restrictions. If the cancellation will affect your ability to participate in another study you are signed up for, it is your responsibility to deal with this issue (usually by canceling the dependent study as well). The system will warn you, but will not block the cancellation. Click Yes to cancel your sign-up, and the sign-up will be cancelled immediately. If you cancel the first part of a two-part study, the second part will also be cancelled. If you cancel the second part of a two-part study, the first part will not be cancelled, but you will need to ask the researcher to sign you up for the second part again, if you would like to participate in it at a later date.


Tracking your progress:

You may track your progress at any time by choosing the My Schedule/Credits option from the top toolbar. When you view this page, you will see at the top a list of the number of credits you are expected to earn, and how many you have earned so far. You may also have an option to view how many credits you have earned for each course. Below that, if you have signed up for any studies, those are listed as well. In the list of studies, you will see information about your credit status.


What is prescreening?

Prescreening is an online questionnaire that the experimenters use to find subjects who are eligible for their studies on special populations. You are not required to participate in prescreening. However, it is a good idea for two reasons. First, it gets your first 1.0 hour of credit out of the way. Second, by doing prescreening, you potentially increase the number of experiments you are eligible for.


When and where can I take the prescreening?

See "Important Dates to Remember". The prescreening questionnaire is available online from Monday, January 15, 2014 through Friday, January 31, 2014.  To register for the prescreening survey, log on to the SONA system here.  The survey is not available after January 31st.  On your initial log in to Sona, it will ask you if you woud like to participate in the prescreening. If you decline then later decide to take it, go to "My Profile" in Sona, and at the bottom of the page it will give you the link to access the prescreening. 


Can I still participate in experiments if I do not do the prescreening?

Yes, most experiments do not have prescreening as a prerequisite.  Please remember that the prescreening is optional. However, you will not see some studies that might have restrictions placed on it if you do not complete the prescreenig and this could limit your available studies.  


What do I do if there is a mistake on my record?

E-mail the Research Coordinator, Whitney Faulkner at psyresearch@austin.utexas.edu


I participated in a study but do not have credit for it yet!

The researcher must grant you credit. This is usually done shortly after your participation. If it has been some time and you have still not received credit, contact the researcher or the Research Coordinator.  


Online vs. In Person Studies:

  • Online Studies:  There is a limit of 2 online studies for each student that is a registered University of Texas Student in Psychology 301. This does not include the prescreening survey. If you are a UT Extension Student, your required 5 hours can all be completed online
  • In Person Studies:  The remaining hours (or all hours if you prefer) need to be done in person through Sona

I received a penalty credit. Why?

  • If you missed an experiment and did not cancel your participation at least 6 hours before your assigned time, you will be penalized ONE HOUR, regardless of how many hours of credit the experiment session was worth.  This penalty applies for each experiment session you miss.  If you have a verifiable excuse (doctor’s note, etc.) submit a Research Error Correction Form (found outside of SEA 4.208 in the wall bins) within 5 days of the missed experiment to the Research Coordinator in that office for reconsideration of the penalty.
  • To avoid this penalty, please make sure to login to Sona and un-register for an experiment at least 6 hours before the scheduled experiment or if need be, contact the Research Coordinator
  • You may either earn an extra hour's worth of experiment credit to make up for each penalty deduction you earn, or you may choose the non-experiment option and write the 5-page research paper.

I didnt finish the prescreening, how do I finish it?

  • If you did not finish the prescreening, you can log back in to "My Profile" and at the bottom of the page will be the link to take you back to the prescreening.  It will take you back to the the section you stopped at, unless you did not complete an entire section. It that case it will take you back to the last completed section.  

2-Part Studies:

  • Both parts of the 2-Part Study will be scheduled together.  If you have a scheduling conflict with the 1st or 2nd part of the study, please contact the researcher.  You may cancel the 1st part of the study and it will cancel both sign ups, but if you only cancel the 2nd part of the study, you cannot access the calendar again.  If this happens to you, please also cancel the 1st part of the study and then sign up again for another set of timeslots that work with your schedule.  If you have any problems with the schedule please contact the researcher.  

Unexcused No-Shows/Absences

         Click here to
register for experiments!


Downloadable PDF Forms

Parental Permission Form
Research Syllabus (Green Sheet)
Error Correction Form
Experimenter Guidelines/Access Request Form


(Registration must be completed on Sona, the online Psychology Experiment and Registration System. You must have a UT EID to access the site.)

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