Department of Psychology
Department of Psychology

Sona Frequently Asked Questions



Sona is the online Psychology Experiment and Registration System you will use to complete the research requirement for your class. A Sona account is automatically generated for students enrolled in PSY 301—you should receive an email with your login and password information on the first day of the semester. When you enter the system, you will be able to review experiment opportunities and register for studies based on your interests and availability. Use the information below to help navigate the system.

If you have 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?


Requesting an Account

If you are enrolled in Psychology 301, an account will automatically be generated for you on the first day of the semester—you should receive an email with your login and password information. You may wish to check your junk/spam folder if you do not receive this email in the first week of class.

If you added the class and/or did not receive account information, you can go to Sona to request an account. On the home screen select “Request Account” and complete the required information. You will need to wait for administrator approval.

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Logging In

Please use your UT 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.

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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 main login page titled “Lost your password?” Your password will be emailed to you after you submit the form. Please note that there can be a slight delay. If you provided an alternate email address, it will be sent there. Otherwise, it will be sent to your main email address.

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Changing Your Password and Other Information

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 do not wish 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 also choose to change your email address and notifications will be sent the new address. 

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Viewing Studies

To view a list of studies, click on "Studies" from the top toolbar. 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 log on 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.

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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 name of the study 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.

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Cancelling a Sign-Up

If you need to cancel a timeslot you have signed up for, you can do this from the "My Schedule & Credits" page. Choose the "My Schedule & Credits" option from the top toolbar. You will see all studies you have signed up for listed, 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 permit you to cancel will have a “Cancel” button next to them. Once you click "Cancel," 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 at a later date. There is often a cancellation “deadline” 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). If you do not see an option to cancel, please contact the researcher directly to notify them that you are unable to attend. If you do not show up for a scheduled study, you will receive an unexcused absence (please see Unexcused No-Shows/Absences).

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Unexcused No-Shows/Absences

If you fail to show up for three studies without properly notifying either the researcher of the study or the research coordinator, you will no longer be allowed to sign up for experiments. Your only option will be to complete the research paper. You can find more information about the research paper here.

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Online vs. In-Person Studies

Online Studies: There is a limit of 1.5 credit hours for online studies for all registered University of Texas students in Psychology 301 (this does not include the prescreening survey). If you are a UT Extension Student, your required 5 credit hours can all be completed online. Please notify the research coordinator at psyresearch@austin.utexas.edu of your status as a modification will need to be made to your account to allow all credits to be taken online.

In Person Studies:  The remaining hours (or all hours if you prefer) need to be done in person, in the lab.

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Two-Part Studies

Both parts of the Two-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. 

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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. Below that, if you have signed up for additional studies, those are listed as well. In the list of studies, you will see information about your credit status.

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What is Prescreening?

Prescreening consists of online questionnaires 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 .5 credit hours out of the way. Second, by doing prescreening, you potentially increase the number of experiments you are eligible for.

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When and Where Can I Take the Prescreening?

See Important Dates to Remember. The prescreening questionnaire is available online for approximately the first two weeks of the semester To register for the prescreening survey, log on to the SONA system here.  The survey is not available after the deadline.  On your initial login to Sona, it will ask if you would like to participate in the prescreening. If you decline, then later decide to take it, go to "My Profile," and at the bottom of the page it will give you the link to access the prescreen. 

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Can I Still Participate in Experiments if I Do Not Do the Prescreening?

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

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I Didn't Finish the Prescreening. How Do I Finish It?

If you did not finish the prescreening, you can log back in to "My Profile" and click the link at the bottom of the page 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. 

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What Do I Do if There Is a Mistake on My Record?

E-mail the Research Coordinator, Eunjung (EJ) Lee-Furman, at psyresearch@austin.utexas.edu.

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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. 

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