Participate in Research

How do we select research participants?

The people who participate in our research projects are often students taking introductory psychology courses. In some cases we are interested in finding people with particular characteristics. For these studies we will often recruit participants from among the individuals who take the mass testing survey at the beginning of fall and winter semesters. In this way, students who complete the mass survey become eligible for certain studies for which they would not otherwise be considered.

For some of our other studies, though, we recruit participants from the community who are not necessarily students. For example, when we conduct experiments on the acute effects of alcohol, we must find participants who are at least 21 years of age. These individuals often are recruited using classified ads, posted fliers, and by word-of-mouth. We generally pay these participants (generally around $12-$15/hour) for their time spent in the lab. If you are interested in learning more about our alcohol research and potentially participating, visit our alcohol research page.

Earn cash for participating in alcohol research. more ;>>

Eligibility criteria

Potential participants in our studies must meet a number of eligibility criteria. For most of our experiments, the following general criteria apply:

  • Participants must have no history of major medical conditions, including:
    • Head injury resulting in loss of consciousness for more than 3 minutes
    • Neurological disorder, seizure disorder, or epilepsy
    • History of fainting/passing out
    • Skin or scalp irritability
  • Participants must be right-handed (or primarily right-handed)
  • Participants must be native English speakers
  • Participants must not have dreadlocks or wear decorations or jewelry in their hair

In addition, since participants will have electrodes placed on their scalp and face, we encourage participants to allow time for cleaning up after an experiment before going to another appointment. We have a shower and shampoo in the lab, but most people elect to simply go home to shower after experiments.