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Psychology Research Opportunities

Psychology faculty are active researchers whose productivity is reflected in part by their publications, grants and presentations. Students have numerous opportunities to engage with faculty on research projects. Faculty-student research collaboration helps students achieve current and
post-graduation goals, and has led to publication of research, as well as presentation of research at professional conferences.

Research Opportunities

Earn Credit for Research-Oriented Activities

General Psychology (PSY 2301) and Psychology of Adjustment (PSY 1303) require students to earn three credits (equivalent of three hours of work) for research-oriented activities. This requirement can be fulfilled by serving as a participant (subject) in psychological research and/or completing an “alternative” research-oriented activity.

In addition, other undergraduate psychology courses allow for extra credit to be assigned for such activities (see the course syllabus or check with the instructor). In all of the above situations, it is necessary to make an account online at the Sona-Systems website, following the instructions that are provided below about how to log on.

Earning Credit by Participating as a Subject in a Research Project

A list of ongoing research projects that are open for participation is posted on the Sona-Systems website. During the fall and spring semesters, the opportunity to participate lasts until the end of the week prior to Dead Week. To receive credit for participation, students must sign up online for that research project before participating or within 72 hours of participation.

Note that some of the research has further restrictions regarding signing up—this is indicated on the website. No credit (extra or course required) will be given for students who may have served as subjects, but failed to sign up on the online site.

No credit will be assigned to students who sign up, but fail to participate.

Earning credit by completing an alternative, research-oriented activity

To qualify for an alternative activity, a student must first provide a written justification to her or his instructor as to why the alternative should be granted. The justification must be provided before the end of the eighth week of the semester. The alternative activity may involve reading research article(s) and providing written answers to relevant questions.

How to Log on to the Sona-Systems website

Connect to Sona-Systems

  1. A log-in screen will come up, but you cannot log in without an account.
  2. Select the link Request an Account Here in the lower left-hand corner.
  3. A screen will come up requesting your name, user ID and other information.
  4. Your user ID is the same name used for logging in to Blackboard. For example, Joachim Studente would be jstudente.
  5. Find the area to select the psychology courses you are enrolled in. Read the instructions and select the courses in which you may want to have extra credit assigned.
  6. Once you are finished and submit your information, the system will email a numerical password to your ASU email address. You cannot log in to Sona-Systems until you retrieve this password.
  7. Using your user ID and password, log in to Sona-Systems.
  8. On the screen that appears, you can change your password and email address as well as modify other information.

Working in a Lab as an Undergraduate Research Assistant

Students who are considering graduate school should take advantage of opportunities to improve their research skills. The department has several labs under the direction of the faculty members listed below. Typically, this experience requires more than one semester of involvement, but check with the faculty member who directs the lab for specific arrangements.

A one-credit-hour course, PSY 4191 Research, can be taken up to three times. Only a few openings are available in each lab, so slots are usually taken by advanced undergraduate students majoring in psychology who have completed the course in research methods (PSY 2321).

The Industrial-Organizational Psychology Lab is located in the Psychological Research Center on the east side of campus. The I/O lab space provides a general-purpose space with several computers, closed-circuit behavioral observation and a work area for graduate students to conduct research projects. In the past, studies have addressed issues of human performance, error management and perception.

The Social Psychology Lab is located in Room 215 of the Academic Building.

The Clinical Science and Deception Lab is located in Room 205B of the Academic Building and is under the direction of Dr. Drew Curtis. The lab has focused on deception within psychotherapy, health care professions, intimate relationships and parental relationships.

PsychForums Partnership

The Department of Psychology has established a partnership with PsychForums. The partnership allows us to access a specific population of individuals, specifically those with psychological disorders and related concerns. For the specific information about using this avenue, please visit the Psych Forums web site.

Angelo State University Social Sciences Research Journal

The Angelo State University Student Research Journal aims to recognize undergraduate and graduate students for their written accomplishments. The journal showcases student’s outstanding efforts and provides an excellent opportunity for students to present their work in a selective journal. Examples of such work include research manuscripts, literature reviews, research proposals, critical analyses, and other research related papers.

Angelo State University Student Research Journal

Students or their faculty advisor may submit students’ finished work. Submissions (or inquiries) should be sent to Elizabeth Randell at, or to Dr. Tay Hack at