REP Students FAQ

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What is the purpose of the REP program?

The purpose of REP is three-fold: 

  1. To provide students with hands-on experience in the topics, goals, methods and ethical procedures of contemporary psychological research.
  2. To provide training for graduate and undergraduate students in the Psychology department in research practice.
  3. To sustain the department of Psychology’s extensive and nationally recognized program of research.  Each semester about 80 studies are approved for REP research, and typically about 25-40 studies are active at any given time.

What can I earn for participating in the REP?

Besides the hands-on experience of taking part in a research study, you will typically receive some sort of compensation for participating in research. Most researchers in the REP system will give you REP points for participating in their research. These REP points translate into extra credit points in some undergraduate Psychology courses. Your instructor will tell you at the start of class and/or in the syllabus if their course allows you to earn REP points. Some studies also offer a cash award, often in the form of a gift card or the potential to earn cash through a random gift card draw. For most studies, you will have to choose between earning REP points and cash, so that you cannot earn both.  To learn about the incentives that each research study provides, click on the title of the research study to read more details. When school is not in session, you can continue to earn cash for participation in research, but not REP points.

How many REP points can I earn each semester?

It depends! Each instructor will decide on how many REP points will be accepted in their course. In Introductory Psychology, you can always earn 20 REP points. But, most classes that offer REP will allow you to earn a maximum of 4 to 12 points. Your instructor will announce the maximum number of REP points he/she will accept at the start of the semester. You can always email the instructor or teaching assistant if you are not sure. If you are a Psychology major or minor student, you might have two or more classes that offer REP points. In this case, you cannot apply the same points to two different classes. So, if one class offers 10 points and another class offers 5 points, you will need to earn 15 points to get the maximum REP points in both classes. If you earn less than 15 points, you will be able to designate within our system how many points you’d like to go to each class. An email message will be sent to your university account encouraging you to allocate your points to your different classes. If you don’t allocate your points, the points will be split equally between your classes.

How do I complete a REP study?

Some REP studies can be completed online. In this case, you will receive an email message that provides you with a survey link. You are expected to complete the online survey within two weeks. Other studies require you to come to a campus building at a designated time. We call this type of study an “in-person” or lab study.  If you want to earn REP points, some classes require you to get a certain number of points from lab studies. When you read about each study, it will be clear if the study is an online study, an in-person lab study, or a combination of the two. If you are required to come to campus for an in-person study, you will receive an additional REP point for your travel time to campus.

How much is each REP study worth?

Not all studies are worth the same amount of points. How many points you earn depends on how much time you spent on the study, and if you have to travel to the location. Generally speaking, you will earn 1 REP point for every 30 minutes you spend on the study. You will be awarded 1 REP point for traveling to campus. When you read the study description, you can see how many points you could earn in the study. If you have questions about how many points you can earn in the research study, you can ask the researcher directly about how the points will be awarded.

Do I have to participate in REP?

No! Participation in REP is completely voluntary. If you still want to earn extra credit in your class, talk to your instructor about what extra credit alternatives they can offer you.

How can I participate in REP?

You can find studies to participate in by clicking here. Be sure to read the description and participant qualifications for each study carefully. Many studies have eligibility requirements - that is, specific criteria you have to meet to participate. If you cannot find enough studies that you qualify for, you can check back to the website because new studies are posted throughout the semester. You can also talk to your instructor about what other options you have for completing extra credit. 

If you sign-up for a research study, please take this commitment seriously. Researchers in labs go to some effort to prepare for your arrival, and typically can offer only a limited number of participant sessions, so please show-up for these appointments or cancel with at least 24 hours notice.

What rights do I have as a research participant?

Students who participate in research have certain rights: the right of informed consent, the right to withdraw from research studies at any time without penalty, confidentiality, appropriate debriefing, and appropriate compensation for their time. Students who do not wish to participate in research studies have other opportunities to earn extra credit. Furthemore, the research studies you see posted on the REP website have received approval from the university (typically the IRB or Institutional Review Board) to conduct the study. The ethics of the study were reviewed by university staff, but you always have the right to ask questions about the study if you are feeling uncomfortable.  You will never receive a cold call from a researcher to complete a study. You may see announcements from researchers about their studies, but it is always your decision if you decide to sign-up.

I am not seeing my REP points. What should I do?

Researchers do not always enter REP points right away. Sometimes it can take about a month for your points to show up on your account.  If you expect to receive REP points, and they don’t show up within 4 weeks, the first step is to contact the researcher for that study and inquire about your points.  If that doesn’t work, contact [email protected].

What if the researcher doesn’t show up or can’t conduct the research for some reason?

Our policy is that if you go to a study, and the researcher fails to show up within 15 minutes of an appointment then you are free to leave. You will still receive the points for the study. If this happens to you—that is, you show up for a study and wait 15 minutes—email the researcher, tell them where and when you waited, and that they should enter points for you. You are not obliged to complete the study to get the points. If this doesn’t produce your points, contact [email protected]. This same principle applies to a situation where the researcher wasn’t able to complete the study, perhaps in the case of a technological glitch. Again, if you have shown up in Elliott Hall, you should get full points.

What if you can’t make a scheduled appointment?

You have the right, as the participant in a research study, to withdraw at any time without penalty. That includes not showing up to participate in something you signed up for. However, not showing up wastes researchers’ time and deprives other students of a possible research opportunity. Please let the researcher know even if you have to cancel at the last minute.