Psychology Department Research Policies, Procedures, and Forms

The Psychology Department at CSUSB is an active participant in the wider scientific community and is dedicated to conducting state-of-the-art research into the nature of human behavior and its associated psychological, biological, and sociocultural processes. Psychology faculty members are internationally recognized as researchers who make vital contributions to both basic and applied research in the field of psychology and related disciplines. Research conducted by the Department of Psychology depends heavily upon the Department’s Human Participant Pool. This pool consists of undergraduate students attending lower- or upper-division psychology and human development classes who volunteer to participate in research projects. Participation is generally compensated through course credit or through monetary and other incentives. Below you will find links that provide information about, and access to, the SONA Research Management System through which faculty and student researchers can solicit participants for their research and students can learn about opportunities to participate in state-of-the-art scientific research. You will also find a description of all policies and procedures concerning use of the Psychology Department Research Participant Pool.

SONA Research Management System

Psychology Participant Pool Policies & Recommendations

Proposing and Conducting Research with the Participant Pool or other Populations

Any research involving human participants at this University must undergo a systematic review to insure that it meets strict ethical standards for protecting the well-being of all participants. This review is conducted by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) or by the Psychology Subcommittee of the IRB. The links below provide all relevant information regarding this review process.

For those projects that do not fit into the Administrative or Expedited Review categories, a full board review by the IRB is required. This normally involves research within any of the protected participant populations. These include fetuses, pregnant women, children, and prisoners. This also applies in some cases to severely vulnerable populations such as patient groups or the elderly.

All faculty and students who seek to conduct research with human participants must undergo training available through the CITI website.

For Students Participating in Research

Voluntary student involvement in the Psychology Department Research Participant Pool is an essential part of our faculty’s efforts to advance the field through rigorous research. Students enrolled in psychology and human development courses will have the opportunity to participate in research being conducted by our faculty and students. The American Psychological Association and the CSUSB Psychology Department are dedicated to insuring that participation in research is a significant educational experience and opportunity for our students. The research questions being addressed in studies conducted by our faculty members are both important and interesting. Serving as a participant in this research is an opportunity to learn about the questions being studied and for you to satisfy your intellectual curiosity about psychology. As a student participating in research, you are encouraged to ask any questions you wish of the researchers conducting the study. Your participation is potentially as much a part of your education as any other aspect of the course activities and requirements.

Please remember that participation in research is expected to be responsible participation. We ask you to answer questions truthfully and focus your attention on the requirements of the study throughout your participation. Please endeavor to follow instructions to the best of your ability. The results from students’ involvement in psychological research are published in scientific journals, reported in the media, and printed in textbooks. Misrepresentation of your beliefs, thoughts, or behaviors, whether purposeful or due to indifference, is dishonest and contributes to bad science and public misconceptions of human experience. Please strive to participate honestly and with integrity. The Psychology Department appreciates your involvement in the research activities of our faculty and students. We want you to know that your honest participation contributes in valuable ways to the advancement of psychological science.