Student Participation in Research

Approved Projects for Fall 2014


These are the approved experiments that Psychology 101 and other eligible psychology students may participate in for credit. Participation in any experiment that is not listed here will not count for credit. All appointments are being scheduled online.  To sign up for an experiment, please follow the link to the online appointment scheduler for that project. Not all experiments will be available at all times. If there is no sign-up sheet for a particular experiment, or if all appointments for an experiment are full, please find a different experiment to participate in.  For questions about any experiment, please contact the experimenter. For questions about participation credit, please contact your instructor.

1. You only get credit for participating in approved experiments. With few exceptions, all experiments are sponsored by the psychology department. You will only receive participation credit for the experiments listed on this website.  Check here for updates.

2. Each experiment has a fixed amount of credit assigned to it based on the average length of time that it takes most people to participate. If an experiment is worth 0.5 credits, you will get 0.5 credits whether it takes you 25 minutes or 35 minutes to complete it. Be sure to check the amount of credits when you sign up for the experiment.

3. To sign up for an experiment, please follow the link to the online appointment scheduler for that project. Please be respectful of the experimenter’s time and make sure that you keep your appointment! If you are unable to keep your appointment, please notify the experimenter as soon as possible.

4. There are two general types of projects that you can participate in.  Lab studies require you to meet with the experimenter in person, whereas online studies can be completed online without scheduling an appointment.  Each type of project has a different way to track your participation.

  • Lab Studies: When you participate in a lab study, you should make sure that the experimenter has your Bates email address and psychology professor so that he or she can register your participation.
  • Online Studies: When you participate in an online study, you will be given the experiment number and a code word for that study at the end of the survey.  You will then be asked to enter that information in another web form in order to get credit for the project.  If you don’t enter the correct experiment number and code word, you will not receive credit. Here is a sample online survey so that you can see how to find the link to the participation credit survey.  (Answer the questions and submit to get to the link.)

5. Unless it is specifically noted, you can only participate in each project ONE TIME.  You will not earn credit for repeat participation in a given experiment.

6. Once you have participated in an approved study, you will begin to receive weekly credit reports to your Bates email (usually on Thursday mornings) which summarize all of the credits that you have earned this semester.

Lab studies

Experiment #1: Personality and writing style

Location: Pgill 353
Duration: 30 minutes
Credits: 0.5
Experimenter: Maggie Foster
Phone Number: 207-752-4154
Sign-up link:

In this study, you will complete several personality measures, write an essay, and respond to other students’ essays.

Restrictions: None.

Experiment #2: Reading comprehension and self-perceptions

Location: Pgill 363
Duration: 25 minutes
Credits: 0.5
Experimenter: Helen Boucher
Phone Number: x6395
Sign-up link:

In this study, you will read a brief essay and answer questions about it. Then, you will complete a few measures asking you about yourself.

Restrictions: 101 students only

Experiment #3: Visual Perception

Location: Pettengill 366
Duration: 40 minutes
Credits: 0.75
Experimenter: Melody Altschuler
Phone Number:
Sign-up link:

In this experiment you will be asked to look at a computer monitor and identify briefly presented symbols.

Restrictions: Must have normal or corrected to normal vision. Please wear glasses or contact lenses if you use these to read.

Experiment #4: The role of oxytocin in decision-making

Location: Pettengill Hall, Room 327
Duration: 2.0 minutes
Credits: 0.25
Experimenter: Ramya Ghantasala
Phone Number:   9789961095
Sign-up link:

Have you ever heard of oxytocin, the supposed “love hormone”? We are studying the relationship between naturally-occurring levels of oxytocin and patterns of decision-making. Oxytocin is produced in the brain but can also be found in bodily fluids outside of the brain, such as blood and saliva. We have two goals for this study. The first goal is to determine if blood levels of oxytocin predict how individuals reason with information, think logically and abstractly, and make sense of complexity. The second goal is to compare the amount of oxytocin present in people’s saliva and blood. We hope to achieve these goals by obtaining data from Bates College students, including (a) fluid samples in order to measure oxytocin levels, (b) responses from self-report questionnaires, and (c) pencil-and-paper cognitive tasks to measure how you process information. It is important to note that both blood and saliva will be collected from you during the testing session. A minima l amount of blood (about ½ teaspoon) will be drawn via a simple finger prick using a sterile device called a lancet; this procedure is very similar to that used by clinicians who are testing your blood sugar or cholesterol levels and involves very minimal discomfort. Saliva collection is non-invasive and painless and involves drooling through a straw into a collection tube.

Restrictions: To participate, you must be right-handed and have normal or corrected vision and hearing (eyeglasses, contact lenses, and hearing aids are okay). You cannot participate if you have ever been diagnosed with a learning disability, neurological condition (e.g., epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, recurrent migraines), or psychiatric condition (e.g., ADHD, mood disorder, eating disorder). You cannot participate if you are currently taking medication for depression, anxiety, or attentional problems. You cannot participate if you ever sustained a concussion or head injury in which you lost consciousness for longer than five minutes. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding cannot participate. Due to the nature of certain test items, participants must have been born and raised in the United States.

Online studies

There are no online studies registered yet!

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