SONA Research Experience

The Department of Psychological Science at Kennesaw State University is committed to advancing the scientific study of behavior and mental processes. In order to emphasize the empirical basis of psychology, students taking PSYC 1101 must complete the research experience requirement as noted in their syllabi.

If you have any other questions or concerns about using Sona, please email

  • Sona is the KSU Department of Psychological Science Research Participation System. This is for students who are looking to serve as a participant in a psychology study to earn credits toward the PSYC 1101 Research Experience Requirement

  • You will find a link to SONA in Desire2Learn (D2L) on your course homepage. You can use this link for easy access or you can type in the address, which is

  • Within a few days of the end of add/drop, students will receive an email from KSU Department of Psychological Science Sona Research Participation System in their KSU student email account that will provide them with their SONA user name and password. Your User name is the same as your KSU Net ID, but Sona will assign you a password. Check your KSU email for your password. It may go in your spam or junk mail folder, so be sure to check there also.
  • If a student enrolled in PSYC 1101 cannot locate or did not receive an email with this information after the second week of classes, then go to the Sona link. Click on the Lost your password? link. Type in either your KSU email address or your KSU Net ID and your password will be emailed to you.

    If your account was not found, then send an email to for assistance. You can expect a response in 24-48 hours.

  • Students will login to SONA to view available studies. You will read the descriptions of the studies and sign up for those you wish to participate in. Various studies are available at different times throughout the semester. You need to check for the availability of studies regularly during the semester. There will always be enough studies available for students to earn their credits over the course of the semester; however, it is not something you can do in one day or one week usually. For example, you may login and find there is only one study available during a particular week and the next week there are two studies available and the following week there are no studies available. Again, you must check on a regular basis and complete the requirement throughout the whole semester. Do NOT wait until the last few weeks of the semester to try and complete your requirement or you may find that there are not enough studies available to complete the requirement and you will not be able to earn the 5% of your grade that comes from this assignment.
  • Researchers manually have to post credits. Usually, researchers post credits at least weekly. You can find the information about when to expect your credit to be posted in the study description. If you are not awarded credit for your participation, then you should email the researcher of the study after at least one week has passed.
  • There are two types of studies in SONA. There are online studies and in person or face to face studies. You must note whether the study is an online participation or an appointment for an in person or face to face participation. Based on the description, you will be able to determine what kind of study it is.
  • When you sign up for an online study, you are usually participating in a survey of some kind unless otherwise specified. You are expected to participate in the online study shortly after signing up. The sign up date listed for online studies is the last day and time that you may participate, but you are encouraged to participate much sooner than that date.
  • When you sign up for a face to face or in person study, you are signing up for a specific timeslot. You are making an appointment with the researcher just as you would if you were making a dentist appointment. It is your responsibility to remember all contact information (dates, times, researchers, buildings, room numbers, etc.) for your scheduled appointment time for the study. This information is provided to you at your sign up and in a follow-up email. Be sure to mark it in your calendar with contact information so that you do not fail to show up.
  • If you cannot keep a research appointment or you no longer wish to participate in a study, you can cancel your sign-up. You can do this by logging in to Sona and selecting My Schedule/Credits and selecting cancel for the study you do not wish to participate in. Most studies have cancellation cut off times which are usually 24 hours in advance, but check the study information to be certain. If you cannot attend an in person research appointment, but you must cancel after the cancelation period ends (but before the appointment takes place), you must call or email the researcher of that specific study, to avoid having your account limited to the alternative research experience. You will be given an excused no-show and you will not be allowed to sign-up for that study again. If you fail to show up and fail to cancel, you will earn an unexcused no-show and your account may be limited so that you would NOT be allowed to register for online or face to face studies for the remainder of the semester. If this happens you need to contact the administrator of SONA, Dr. Dorothy Marsil at for instructions on how to be re-instated.
  • Students must complete their research participation no later than the last day of scheduled classes found on the Academic Calendar in the Registrar’s website or by the date designated by their instructor.
  • The Alternative Research Experience is provided for students enrolled in PSYC 1101 courses as an alternate option to participating in a research study. Students may decide that they cannot or do not want to participate in a traditional research study in order to gain research experience and to fulfill the PSYC 1101 SONA research experience requirement. Thus, this research experience is provided as an alternative option for interested students.

    All students who are minors will participate in the Alternative Research Experience because they are not eligible to participate in other research studies offered through Sona; however, any PSYC 1101 enrolled student is eligible to complete this alternative research experience.

    The Alternative Research Experience is offered exclusively online using SONA, D2L, and Turnitin. Students will sign up for a timeslot using the SONA research system. It is important to note that the timeslot is the date that the assignment is DUE (@ 11:59pm), but not the start day and time.

    To find available sessions for the Alternative Research Experience, students will login, then select ‘VIEW ALL STUDIES’ to locate “The Alternative Research Experience”. From here, they will read through the details of this study and view the available timeslots. If a student does not see the alternative option, then that is because they are currently full and they will need to check back for opening later.

    After signing up for the Alternative, the student will receive an email in their KSUMail account to confirm their sign up and provide further instructions.

  • Generally, there are no research studies available to students who are minors. If you are younger than 18, then you are encouraged to complete the alternative research experience option early in the semester to fulfill the requirements for this assignment.