Psychology Research Experience (PREX)

At KSU, students in psychology courses have the opportunity to learn about, participate in, and even collaborate on research concerning topics such as stress and cognitive function, mental health  disparities, interpersonal violence, resilience after trauma, workplace motivation, social justice education, brain dynamics, captive animal welfare, infant emotional development, and more! You can learn more about faculty research interests by navigating to the PSYC faculty page and reviewing faculty bios.  
We believe that truly understanding psychology comes from doing as well as reading – and PREX (Psychology Research Experience) gives students that opportunity! PREX enables students to explore the empirical basis of psychological science early in their college careers. Students enrolled in Introduction to General Psychology (PSYC 1101) earn 5% of their final course grade through participating in PREX activities.  See the tabs below for more information.  

Psychology research findings play a role in shaping many crucial factors that have direct influence on students' lives, including social policies, healthcare practices, workplace environments, and education choices and opportunities -- the list could go on. Through PREX participation, students help researchers obtain critical information that impacts these real-world issues. That’s what PREX is all  about – learning about how psychological research is conducted and how it impacts our everyday lives!

  • SONA is the Research Participation System utilized by the Department of Psychological Science. This is the program in which students will participate in research studies and/or alternative research-related activities to fulfill their PSYC 1101 Psychology Research Experience (PREX) requirement. 

  • Students can often find a link to SONA on their PSYC 1101 course homepage in Desire2Learn (D2L). You can use this link for easy access or you can type in the address, which is

    PSYC 1101 Instructors will provide details of the SONA requirement in the course syllabus, including the number of credits to be earned and instructions on how/when students are eligible to login. Please note that student access to the SONA system will not be immediate at the start of the term. The date of student access can be found in course syllabi as well as the PREX instructions.

    When the access date arrives, students can navigate to SONA and login with their normal KSU credentials (i.e., and password that is used for OwlExpress). After DUO Authentication, access will be granted.

  • Please first double-check that you have followed the login instructions provided in your course syllabus and/or additional course materials. If you have followed these instructions and are still experiencing challenges signing in, email for assistance. You can typically expect to receive a response to your inquiry within 24 business hours, so you are encouraged to plan accordingly. 

    To avoid potential error messages, you will want to clear your cookies and cache before attempting to log in to SONA.

  • Here are the options for completion of the PREX assignment in PSYC 1101:

    Option 1: Research Participation (open to students 18 or older who are not dual-enrollment students)

    Participation in faculty/student researcher-led research study among various topics and areas of study.

    Option 2: Alternative Research-related Activities (open to all students) 

    Participation in research-related activity for learning/demonstration purposes only (no student responses in alternative activities are used for research purposes). May include activities involving reading and answering questions about psychology research articles, responding to questions about a video or demonstration of a psychological phenomenon, and more.

    Note: Due to APA research guidelines, if you are a dual-enrollment student or a student 17-years-old or younger, you are required to complete Alterative Research-related Activities versus PREX research participation (see "Alternative Research-related Activities - Are you Under 18 and/or Dual-Enrolled?" below).

    Note: Alternative Research-related activities are available for the entire time span that PREX research study participation is available.

  • Important: Due to APA research guidelines, if you are a dual-enrollment student or a student 17-years-old or younger, you are required to complete Alternative Research-related Activities versus PREX research participation.

  • After successfully signing into SONA (see "SONA - How Do I Access/Login to SONA?" above), you should see an option to "View Available Studies". You can read descriptions of the available studies and alternative activities, find the number of PREX credits granted for each, and note the modality in which the study or alternative research-related activity will take place (i.e., in-person or online). You can also narrow your search to include only studies or alternative activities with available timeslots with the filter function at the top of the page.

    Reminder that if you are required (i.e., if you are under 18-years-old and/or dual-enrolled) or are over 18-years-old but would prefer to engage in alternative PREX activities versus participating in a research study, you will sign up for activities that being with the title "Alternative Credit:". 

  • In PSYC 1101, 5% of the final course grade is earned through completing 3 credits (approximately 3 hours) of Psychology Research Experience (PREX) activities. In other words, to earn the full 5% of credit, students must complete a minimum of 3 credits of Psychology Research Experience (PREX) activities in total. There is no partial credit for this assignment. You must have completed 3 PREX credits by the participation deadline to earn the 5% PREX portion of your final PSYC 1101 course grade.

    You are welcome to participate in additional PREX activities beyond the 3 required credits. Although no more than 3 credits will count toward your course grade, the more you learn about psychology research in PSYC 1101, the better idea you will have of the areas of psychology you might want to explore in later classes - and maybe you will even find yourself in a future role as a research assistant helping to conduct studies like the ones in which you participate this semester!

  • For online studies, students earn 1 credit for each 1 hour of participation. For in-person studies, students earn 1.5 credits for each 1 hour of participation. So, for example, if a student completes a 1 hour online alternative research-related activity, they will earn 1 credit toward their required 3 credits and should plan to complete the equivalent of 2 additional credits of alternative research-related activities or research participation (as eligible) to meet their 3-credit requirement. As another example, if a student completes a 2 hour in-person study, they will earn 3 credits and thus fully meet their PREX requirement by completing only one in-person study. 

    You will find information about a study's modality (in-person or online) and PREX credits along with each study description. 

  • Please note that particular research studies found on SONA may vary throughout the semester. So, if you wish to fulfill your PREX requirement through research participation but do not see a research study you find interesting when you first log into SONA, you might check back in a couple of weeks to see if new studies have been added. Alternative research-related PREX activities will be available for the entire time span in which PREX research studies are available. 

    To stay on track for successful completion of this assignment, it is recommended that you begin signing up for PREX activities by the fourth week of classes and complete at least 1.5 of the 3 required PREX credits by the semester midpoint.

    Overall, we encourage you to be mindful of the participation deadline as you plan your PREX activities. 

  • For select alternative PREX modules, a small percentage of students have reported a timing issue during module completion. If you are experiencing a similar issue, please review the PREX Troubleshooting Guide for recommendations on how to bypass such issues. If you continue to encounter timing issues after following the recommendations outlined, please let us know by emailing