Frequently Asked Questions


Registering/Logging in


How do I set up my SONA account?

To register, go to and click on “request an account here”, then fill out the form provided. Your User ID is the part of your UK email address before the @ symbol. This is the same as the login used for Canvas, UK Exchange email, and myUK.

*When you fill out the form, use your ID number without the 9. For example, if your ID number is 912345678, just type in 12345678.

A password and logon ID will be sent to your UK email account within several minutes from the Webmaster (i.e., the Subject Pool Administrator). If you do not receive this email, check your Spam/Junk email folders. Otherwise, an error may have occurred, and contact the Subject Pool Administrator immediately to correct the problem.

* Be sure to check your Spam/Junk email folders, and configure your email filters to accept emails from


I registered online and I’ve never received an email confirming my registration. What do I do?

Make sure you are checking the email account that you used to register. This could also be due to the email being entered incorrectly - you will need to log in and correct it. Also, make sure you’ve allowed enough time for the email to be sent - it can take up to a couple of hours to receive the email once you’ve registered.

I’m still having trouble registering online. What do I do?

Email the Subject Pool Administrator with your FULL name, Student ID# and correct email address, and describe the problem you’ve been having.

I’m having trouble logging in - HELP!

Passwords are case sensitive - “B” is not the same as “b” - so make sure you’re using the correct case when you type the password.

If you’ve forgotten your password, use the “forgot.password” option from the front page of the SONA website.

If you’ve forgotten BOTH your logon and password, email the Subject Pool Administrator with your FULL name, Student ID#, Class and Section #, and put “Forgot Login AND Password” in the email’s subject line.


I had a SONA account last semester for a different course. Do I need to create a new account or can I use my old one?

You will need to create a new account each semester, because student accounts are deleted after each semester in order to keep the SONA system running smoothly. For example, if you had a SONA account for PSY 100 in the Fall semester, you will need to create a new account for PSY 215 in the Spring semester.


I'm taking a COM class and/or a MGT, MKT, FIN class that also requires SONA. Why do I need to create a separate SONA account for Psychology? Can I just use the same account?

You cannot use the same account - please make a new and separate account in order to earn SONA credits for your PSY 100, 215, or 216 course. The different SONA systems used across campus are individual to the Colleges who operate them. The Psychology SONA system is completely separate from any others on campus that are housed in the College of Communications & the Gatton College of Business & Economics. Credits earned from SONA systems outside of Psychology cannot be applied to your Psychology SONA requirements. 


Can I use my gmail/yahoo/.me email account to receive email updates from SONA?

You can change your preferred email address on SONA, however, your first login must be with your UK email address. You can then change your preferred email in your profile settings.

* We recommend using your .uky email address, as this works best with SONA. Occasionally the SONA system does not work well with certain types of email accounts.


I changed my mind and want to take the prescreen, but now I can't find it. 

The prescreen is open for about two weeks at the start of the semester. You should take it as soon as possible to avoid missing out. SONA will ask if you want to take the prescreen the first time you log into to your SONA account, but if you click "No", you can still change your mind and take it later as long as the prescreen is still active. To retake the prescreen you should: 1. Log on to your SONA account using your User ID. 2. Click "Modify Contact Information" from your User Dashboard (it is under "My Profile" toward the bottom of the page). 3. On the right of the "My Profile" page that comes up you will see your prescreen status and if you haven't taken the prescreen there will be a button to click to take the prescreen. If the above button isn't visible on your screen, the prescreen has closed and you will not be able to take it. 




How many credits are required for my course?

For PSY 100, you need to complete 6 hours (credits) of research.

For PSY 215 and 216, you need to complete 4 hours (credits) of research.

If you are taking more than one of these courses during the same semester, you must meet the credit requirements for both. For example, if you are taking PSY 215 and PSY 216 concurrently, you must complete 8 hours (credits) of research. If you are taking courses concurrently, the pre-screening survey only counts for 1 credit, so you would still need to complete 7 hours of research, if you are enrolled in both PSY 215 and 216.

Remember, credits are allocated in ½ hour increments. Sessions lasting up to 25 minutes earn you .5 credits, and sessions lasting between 26-50 minutes earn 1 credit.

* You can earn 1 hour for participating in a “screening” session that involves completing online psychological questionnaires. This screening survey is only available at the beginning of the semester, so please complete it before the deadline.

Can I get all of my credits by participating in online research studies?



Should I take the online study right away or wait until the deadline?

Once you sign-up for an online study, you should take the study right away. Please make sure you have enough time to take the study in its entirety. Do not wait until the deadline to begin the online study. 


What happens if I do not complete the research requirement?

Penalties for not completing the SONA requirements are at the discretion of your instructor. Please see the course syllabus to learn more, and contact your instructor if you have questions.


Why is participation important? 

All students enrolled in PSY 100, 215, and 216 are required to gain experience with empirical research. This requirement is intended to introduce you to a wide variety of research being conducted in the department. It is our intent that these studies will ultimately benefit others in society, however, we hope that serving as a research participant benefits you as well. One of the best ways to gain experience is to be involved in ongoing research experiments. Participating in research studies will enable you to experience a variety of research methodologies, and you will become a better consumer of research literature. In addition, you will become acquainted with our professors, graduate students, and other advanced students who are actively contributing new findings to the field of psychology. Finally, we hope you find these studies to be interesting, and we hope it inspires an interest in psychological research. 


Alternative Assignments


I can’t seem to find an experiment that fits my busy schedule, what do I do?

There will be new experiments listed from time to time; however, if you are unable to find any you can choose to write the summary article, which will be turned in to your TA.

Can I fulfill the remaining 5 credit hours by writing summaries for the articles?

Yes you can - please be sure to complete the Alternative Assignments in a timely manner throughout the semester. Please DO NOT wait to submit them all last-minute.

Can I fulfill ALL 6 credit hours by writing summaries for the articles?

Yes, BUT you are still required to be registered in SONA in order for the credits to be applied.


Signing up for Studies


How do I view available studies?

When you login to the SONA website, you will see a list of experiments to sign up for, accompanied by brief descriptions and requirements of each study. PLEASE read the descriptions carefully. The descriptions will also indicate the duration of the experiment, which equates to the number of credit hours you will be awarded for participation.

I want to sign up for studies, but none are available - what should I do?

It is common that at the beginning of the semester there will be few experiments listed. More studies will be posted as the semester continues, so be sure to check back frequently.

* We recommend that if you are not able to complete any online or face-to-face studies before midterm, consider completing 1-2 alternative assignments by midterm so that you do not have as much to complete at the end of the semester. Please don’t put off these requirements!

There’s a study that I heard about that I’d like to participate in, but I don’t see it listed. How can I sign up?  

It’s possible that the study has not been posted yet, or that the study requires an access code.

Who can see the information about my sign-ups?

The researcher, the PI (Primary Investigator) of the study, and the SONA Administrator can see the studies you have registered for. In addition, some instructors have SONA accounts to monitor their students’ progress throughout the semester.

Showing up for Studies

What should I bring with me to an experiment?

Bring your student ID, and a pen or pencil. You also need to bring the location information of the study - the administrative staff in the department are unable to look up this information for you. If your study is located in Kastle Hall, take a look at the building map to make sure you know where the room is located. Some studies are located on other buildings on campus. You will receive emails from the researcher detailing the location of the study.

* DON’T BE LATE! Please arrive at your scheduled experiment location a few minutes ahead of time. Being even one minute late could disqualify you from participating in some sessions.

What if I am uncomfortable with an experiment?

Any experiment in which you participate in is approved by the campus Institutional Review Board, which insures that someone other than the experimenter has determined that the study follows strict ethical guidelines. Researchers place priority on the safety and well being of participants of their studies. However, if you feel uncomfortable, you may withdraw from the experiment at any time, and will be given full credit.  

Getting Credit

How can I find out how many credits I have earned, and how many I still need?

This information can be found on your “dashboard” once you login to SONA. Your screen should look similar to the image below. The circular display on the right (under “Credits Overview”) shows how many credits you have completed, how many are still pending, and how many are required overall.

I’ve participated in a study but I haven’t received credit for it yet. What do I do?

Please keep in mind that the crediting process is not automatic, and it can take several days to complete. If it has been longer than a week since your study, please get in touch with the experimenter of the study.

In addition, some online studies are credited automatically, and others are credited by the researcher. Please allow 2 business days for these credits to appear before contacting the researcher.

Will I get credit for the experiments that I get called for? (Will I get credit for experiments that don’t require me to sign up online?)

Only studies listed in the SONA system can be used for credit. You will get credit for callback experiments as long as you have already registered online through the SONA system and the experiments are listed on the SONA website.

I didn’t get credit for an experiment, but I did participate! What should I do?

Get in touch with the experimenter and ask him or her when your credit will be posted. In case of confusion or a disagreement, it may be helpful to have a copy of your signed consent and your debriefing to prove that you participated.

I completed an alternative assignment (research article/research talk attendance) and I haven’t gotten credit for it yet.

Please be patient - it does take time to grade the alternative assignments. If you have not received credit for your alternative assignment one week after you have submitted it, please contact the TA of your course.

Cancelling a Scheduled Study

I have a scheduling conflict - how can I cancel my appointment?

Studies can be canceled in the SONA system up to 24-hours before the study is scheduled to begin. If you need to cancel with less than 24-hours notice, it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to contact the researcher to let them know you will not be attending the study. You can find the researcher’s contact information by logging into SONA and looking at the contact information on the study.