Participate in Research

Members of the Center for Behavioral and Decision Research at Carnegie Mellon University are always looking for new participants to recruit for research studies. This page contains information about our participant pool and how to sign up for an account. Thank you in advance for your interest.

Please read the participation policies below before entering your information to request an account.
Please note that account creation may take up to 72 weekday hours.  Do not resubmit information—this will return an error message.  Once you receive your account information, you will be able to view and sign up for studies through our Sona Systems website at

Participate in Research
Carnegie Mellon researchers are looking for participants to take part in studies related to organizational behavior, behavioral economics, psychology, and marketing. Participants are primarily needed for in-person studies in labs on campus, but may sometimes be able to participate online on a home computer. Studies typically include cash or gift card payments to participants averaging $10/hour.

  • Must be 18 years old or older
  • Must not already have a participant account
  • May not participate in any individual study more than once
  • Must complete a prescreen form prior to signing up for studies
  • Must speak and read English
  • Must NOT be a graduate student in Psychology, Organizational Behavior, or Marketing 

Participation Details
: For in-person studies, participants will be compensated immediately with cash or gift cards. Payment usually averages around $10 per hour for in-person studies. For online studies, participants will typically be compensated with online gift cards within 1 to 2 weeks after the study closes. Payment usually averages around $8 per hour for online studies, or participants may be entered into a lottery for a chance to win a larger prize.  Payment information for each study can always be found in the study description.

Study Topics: Personal attitudes and beliefs, human judgment and decision-making, product preferences, interpersonal perceptions, and group performance. 

Study Length:
Most online studies take between 5-20 minutes. In-person studies can last anywhere from 10 minutes to 3 hours.

Lab Expectations of Participants
  • Participants are required to receive an automatic weekly email that lists the active studies for that week.
  • Participants must present a valid state-issued or student photo ID in order to participate in each in-person study. The name on the valid ID must exactly match the spelling of the name used to sign up for an account. Any participant who presents an ID with a name that does not exactly match the name on their account will not be able to participate in the study and will not be compensated.
  • Participants must show up on time to participate in studies; participants who show up after the listed study starting time may not be able to participate and will not be compensated.
  • Participants are expected to attend all study sessions for which they sign up, or to cancel sign-ups on the website at least 24 hours in advance. Missing a study without online cancellation will result in an unexcused no-show. Participants who accumulate three unexcused no-shows will be banned from participating in studies for at least three months.
  • Participants and researchers are required to maintain an environment of respect. Participants may not be under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs while participating in studies. Use of vulgar or discriminatory language, threatening behavior, inappropriate communication, system abuse, etc. will result in permanent restriction from the system and from participation in studies. 

For general questions about the participation pool, please first look at the FAQ section on the Sona Systems website ( Any questions about a particular study (including but not limited to questions about compensation, preparation, meeting time, eligibility, etc.) should be directed to the researcher(s) listed in the study posting online. In the case that a participant feels any matter must be reviewed by the lab system administrators, participants may email the CBDR lab manager at

COVID - 19 Update: At this time, all in-person CBDR studies have been postponed until further notice. The online participation pool remains unaffected.

Please enter the following information in order to create your CBDR account:

First Name
Last Name
Birth Date
Open the calendar popup.
Phone Number
Email Address
Confirm Email Address  
Home Address
Please note: Gift cards may occasionally be sent via the mail to your home address.
Street Address
How did you hear about our research participation pool?