Human Subject Pool

The Psychology Department's Human Subject Pool has two goals: (1) to provide a pool of human subjects from which LMU student and faculty researchers can do research; and (2) to provide participating students with an educational experience to enhance their understanding of research in the social sciences. Students in some lower division psychology courses participate in research studies through the Human Subject Pool for course credit; this generates about 1500 hours of human subject research involving 500 students and 20 researchers annually. Psychology faculty and students apply to use the Human Subject Pool for their research projects; occasionally, faculty from other social science disciplines lead research projects using the pool. An average of 4.5 of these studies per year go to publication.

  • What is the Subject Pool?

    A pool of students from lower division psychology courses who participate as Human Subjects in social science research conducted at Loyola Marymount University as part of their educational experience. All research in the LMU Psychology Department is conducted according to the guidelines set by the American Psychological Association and must meet the approval of the LMU Institutional Review Board before posting in the Subject Pool.

    Why do we need a Subject Pool?

    • To collect scientific data from human subjects in order to further our understanding of human behavior.
    • To provide advanced undergraduate students and LMU faculty with a pool of research participants for their research studies.
    • To provide LMU students with a hands-on experience with research in psychology.

    What is required for my course as a research option?

    Students in PSYC 1000 are required to complete a research component for their class. You have the option of completing research credit hours as a participant in research studies or an alternative assignment provided by your instructor.

    What are the starting and ending dates of the Subject Pool?

    • The Subject Pool opens on Monday of the 4th week of class.
    • Students must complete at least three hours of research participation or an appropriate number of alternatives approved prior to 5 p.m. on Friday of the 14th week of the semester.

    What is Sona Systems and how do I participate in a research study?

    Sona Systems is an online system for managing all of the research studies.

    • Only students currently enrolled in Psychology 1000 can sign up for experiments;
    • All students in the course are required to complete 3 hours as research study participants.

    You will receive an email with a username and password once your account has been created; you can expect this 3 weeks after the start of class. Once you have received log-in instructions, you can see the schedule, sign up for studies and check your earned credits through Sona Systems. Follow the steps below to log on:

    Log into:
    User ID: Initial of first name then last name
    Password: Birthday in 6 digits: 070397 (July 03, 1997)


    If you need more help please contact the Human Subject Pool at:

  • In order to utilize the Human Subject Pool for your research, you must:

    1. Receive prior IRB approval for your research study to ensure that your study meets current psychological research ethical standards
    2. Submit the HSP Research Application

    Upon the Human Subject Pool's approval of your study, you will receive an email notification of approval, information on how to set up your study on Sona Systems, and the number of student hours that your study has been granted.

  • The Human Subject Pool
    LMU Psychology Human Subject Pool
    University Hall 4720