Participation Guidelines

DEPARTMENTAL GUIDELINES FOR USE OF INTRODUCTORY PSYCHOLOGY STUDENTS AS RESEARCH SUBJECTS


The following guidelines apply to the use of PSY100Y5 students who elect to satisfy the research participation requirement by serving as volunteer subjects in ongoing research or students who may volunteer to serve as subjects for reasons other than for course credit (money, love of science, personal interest). 

Any researcher who is found to be in violation of these guidelines will lose their PSY100 Subject Pool privileges.
 

SUBJECT POOL GUIDELINES

Use of the PSY100Y5 subject pool for research purposes is predicated on the assumption that all experiments, studies, or research programmes employing human subjects have been approved by the University's Office of Research Services (ORS) or by UTM’s in-house Psychology Ethics Review Committee.  Ethics approval is the responsibility of individual supervisors and is a requirement for all studies posted.

In order to have use of the PSY100 subject pool, you must provide a substitute assignment.  If you do not provide a substitute assignment you will be denied access to the Experiment Database PSY100 subject pool.

A supervisor is defined as any person holding a full-time professorial appointment in the Department of Psychology at UTM (or an individual so designated by the Psychology Associate Chair in consultation with the Subject Pool Committee).

Supervisors are ultimately responsible for the conduct of subject pool users under their supervision.  It is assumed that supervisors have examined the experiment debriefing and the questions to be asked of the student after the debriefing, and that they will continuously monitor the conduct of their researchers.  It is the responsibility of the supervisor to ensure that all research personnel under their supervision who use the subject pool have received a copy of these guidelines and that they are familiar with the procedures described herein.

The subject pool is administered by the Subject Pool Committee.  Membership on this committee consists of a Coordinator, and two or three additional members who will usually be full-time UTM Psychology professors selected by the Coordinator.  Other individuals (e.g., students) may be appointed on the recommendation of the Committee.  Current membership is viewable here.

Students are not, under any circumstances, required to participate in a specific study.  They are free to select whatever studies they wish to participate in, at a time that is convenient for them (and coincides with a time offered by the researchers).  It is not acceptable for researchers to contact potential subjects and reserve them for some undesignated time in the future.

Students must not be paid for research participation for which they receive academic credit.  When subjects are paid for research participation, payment should be at a reasonable rate and in accord with ORS and/or University of Toronto guidelines (never less than Government regulated minimum wage).

MINIMUM LENGTH OF EXPERIMENT FOR ACADEMIC CREDIT

MINIMUM LENGTH OF EXPERMENT FOR ACADEMIC CREDIT

A credit is given for approximately one hour of subject participation including debriefing and a few questions.  Researchers should plan experiment sessions with this provision in mind.  It is not acceptable to advertise the time duration to lure students (e.g., "1 credit for only 45 minutes").  Subjects should not receive credit for participation of less than 45 minutes.  Furthermore, students should not receive an additional credit for a study that exceeds one hour by less than 30 minutes.  Students must participate for more than one and one-half hours in order to receive 2 participation credits.  Students cannot receive more than two credits for a single experiment or research study.

Length of Experiment

Credit Earned

45 minutes to one hour

1 credit

One hour and twenty-nine minutes

1 credit

One hour and thirty minutes to two hours

2 credits

 

Researchers may assign a score of zero to "no-shows" who do not give at least 24 hour's notice of cancellation; however, it is to the discretion of the researcher if they want to accept shorter notices.   Researchers are also required to provide a minimum of 24 hours notice of cancellation.  If you have to cancel and cannot reschedule an appointment during the last 2 weeks of term,  and if there are few studies posted that still need subjects, give the student credit for signing up for your study.  If you don’t show up for an appointment, give the student credit for your study.

DEBRIEFING AND QUESTIONS

All research participants must be given an appropriate verbal debriefing, as approved by the relevant Ethics Review Committee, and must be asked a few questions about the experiment in order to satisfy the academic requirements.  Researchers are required to make every effort to ensure that participation for course credit is an experience of academic value.  They can do so by going beyond the ethical guidelines for debriefing subjects, by explaining in more detail what they are doing, and by clarifying, should the students not know the answers to the questions asked of them.  

CONFIRMATION OF COMPLETION

All experimenters are required to give all PSY100Y5 research participants a Student Participation Form. 

END OF TERM

The last day for a student to participate in an experiment for PSY100Y5 credit is the last day of term.  This date is published in the UTM Academic Calendar.  If you use a student after the last day of term, you must give compensation other than PSY100Y5 credit.  If your experiment is ended with students still signed up, give the students credit for your study.

RECORDS

Researchers must keep a record of all PSY100Y5 students who participate in their research projects for credit, for at least 6 months after the PSY100Y5 final exam.

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