UMass Psychology

Research & Trng

Prescreen dates for Spring 2015 - January 20th to February 17th

Prescreen Option

Some researchers in the Department of Psychology seek particular kinds of people to participate in their studies. For example, some researchers need people who speak more than one language; others need people who hold particular beliefs or have experienced a particular life event. The prescreen offered at the beginning of classes each semester includes a range of questions that will allow researchers to determine who is eligible to participate in their studies. Researchers may contact you during the semester to invite you to participate in one of these studies. The prescreen is automatically offered to anyone who logs into SONA for the first time in the semester.

The FULL prescreen option is only offered at the beginning of the Fall and Spring semester during the first few weeks of classes. During this LIMITED time, the prescreen is more comprehensive and opens the possibility to all students who log into SONA to be considered for inclusion in a wider variety of studies. Also any students in a psychology class offering extra credit through human subjects studies will also be eligible for additional course credit. Once the deadline for this initial prescreen has been exceeded, it will be reduced to a much smaller questionnaire and the access to more studies and extra credit option will drop away. Check the Important Dates page on this website to verify when the initial prescreen option will be available.

ALTERNATIVES TO PARTICIPATION: As with any research study, if you are uncomfortable answering any question in the prescreen, you may choose to skip that question by clicking the "opt out" check box. You also may choose not to participate in the entire survey by clicking the "opt out" check box at the very beginning of the survey, all without any penalty.

COMPENSATION: If you are in a psychology class that offers extra credit for doing Human Subject studies AND you complete the longer prescreen before the deadline each semester you will be granted 2 human subject credits.The two extra credits will show up on SONA.

POSSIBLE RISKS AND DISCOMFORTS: Your data will be stored on a computer. As with any such stored data, there is a small chance that it may be inadvertently disclosed. We are taking all reasonable precautions to ensure that this does not happen.

CONFIDENTIALITY: All of your answers will remain confidential and will be used only for research purposes only. At the beginning of the study, you will be assigned a numeric code that will be paired with your survey responses. The link between your name and the numeric code assigned to you will be kept in a separate location. Access to all your responses will be restricted to research staff. If these research findings are presented in public, they will only be reported in average form; individual responses will not be presented.

QUESTIONS: If you have questions, concerns, or would like to discuss any aspect of the study, please contact Dr. Paula Pietromonaco, chair of the Special Survey Committee, Department of Psychology, (545-3156) or Melinda Novak, Psychology Chair at 545-2387.  Any other concerns about the study should be sent to the University human subjects committee at

1. We are using an online recruitment system....SONA System. Go to You can download the pdf to the right of the full instructions.

2. Once you log in, you will be automatically taken to the prescreen survey.

3. The length of the longer survey will be limited so that it can be completed in approximately 60 minutes.

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University of Massachusetts Amherst

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