For Students

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How to sign up for studies in the MBL for students/participants

The Mendoza Behavioral Lab (MBL) provides students with hands-on exposure to the research processes of a world-class university business behavioral lab environment. With the MBL, students may participate in studies, learn about the topics and goals of current projects, engage further in research as paid Research Assistants (RAs), and connect with expert Mendoza faculty members in their areas of business discipline.

To sign up for studies in the MBL, students must have a SONA account. Lab staff will create new accounts and update existing accounts with current course information for students enrolled in courses with the research requirement. Students with new accounts will receive an email with login information when SONA accounts are active. Login information for existing accounts will remain the same.

Students without a SONA account and participating in studies for extra credit should request an account at Those with existing accounts should add the extra course in SONA. Contact the behavioral lab staff at for assistance adding a course. 

Request SONA Account

To receive credit for participating in a study, it is extremely important to assign the correct course and section number to each study. Reassigning SONA credits between courses and sections is not permitted beyond the last lab day. One study cannot be used for more than one class, and online studies conducted outside of the lab do not count toward the research requirement.

SONA points and credit allocation

Students earn 1 SONA point for participating in 30-minute research studies and 2 SONA points for participating in 45- to 60-minute studies. Grading is at the faculty instructor’s discretion so the application of such points may vary across classes. Points should reflect a meaningful outcome for the students in each class. Different approaches can be taken to allocating credit.

Examples of study point allocations:

  • Specific exams/test
  • In lieu of a homework assignment
  • Extra credit

All students enrolled in Principles of Marketing and Principles of Management at the Mendoza College of Business are required to satisfy a research requirement for a total of 2 credits per class. There are three options to satisfy this requirement, which must be fulfilled in entirety. Students who complete 0 or 1 credit will not receive full credit.

Option 1: Participation in studies at the Mendoza Behavioral Lab

Students serve as subjects in academic research projects through the MBL. Common experiments include surveys, negotiations, and choice studies. Studies that run 30 minutes in duration earn 1 credit toward the requirement. Studies that run 45-60 minutes in duration are worth 2 credits. Participation can help students become better critics of research discussed in class, allowing them to refine their critical thinking skills. Also, students receive exposure to the type of research conducted by their professors, which aids in furthering the knowledge that is a critical component of a great course. 

Option 2: Research review

A research review involves reading a scientific article from an academic publication related to the course and writing a one-page summary that discusses how the findings of the research apply to actual organizations. The summary must be single-spaced, formatted in 12-point Times New Roman font with 1-inch margins. Students may select any article published within the last three years in an academic journal designated by the professor of the particular course. Include the title of the article and journal name in the review. For resource assistance, please contact a librarian at the Thomas Mahaffey Jr. Business Library in the lower level of the Mendoza College of Business.

Please note that one article summary is worth 1 credit. Students that choose option 2 must complete two research reviews. Research reviews are due by 5:00 pm on the last lab day of the semester. 

Option 3: Lab study and Research review

Students may participate in a 30-minute lab study and submit one research review for credit. Students who complete 1 credit toward this option will not satisfy the research requirement.  

Submit Research Review

Process overview

The MBL uses SONA Systems software to post available studies and invite student participation. Each time a student signs up for a study, he or she must select one course for which the study will earn credit. Students may not assign credit from a study to more than one class. Students may participate in as many studies as they wish. SONA provides reports to instructors to detail which of their students has earned course credit for participation. 

The MBL seeks to minimize the administrative burden on instructors in implementing the research requirement. To this end, the program director and research assistants handle the majority of administrative work so the time needed for instructors to record credit from studies is minimal. The lab tracks course credits and provides a report of participating students and associated course points earned at the end of each term.

All questions about the research requirement should be directed to lab staff at