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Paid Participants

Joining the Rady Incentives Lab subject pool is a great way to contribute to academic research and earn cash or gift certificates while doing so. Anyone age 18 and over is welcome to join.

Our studies typically ask people to indicate their opinions and judgments about various things. Alternatively, participants may be asked to interact with another student or choose among a set of products. 

In-person studies are usually 20 minutes to one hour in length. They take place at the Rady Incentives Lab, Otterson Hall in 2S116, 2S114 and 2S113. 

Online studies can take five minutes to one hour.

Please note that participants in Rady Incentives Lab studies are only eligible to receive cash or gift certificates, but not course credit, whereas participants in the Atkinson Behavioral Research Lab (Rady Behavioral Lab) primarily receive course credit, and have a chance to earn cash or gift certificates as well. The Behavioral Lab is located in Wells Fargo Hall, 5N115.


Becoming a Participant

The first step to becoming a participant is creating an account on the Incentives Lab SONA system. Please note that this is a separate SONA system from that of the Behavioral Lab (class credit), and will require a separate account. When you create your SONA account, please note that you must select "PAID STUDIES" in the drop-down menu.

Once you create a SONA account, you will be notified via email every time a new study becomes available. 

You can ask to be removed from the subject pool anytime by emailing the lab

Signing Up for Studies

Sign up for studies by logging into your SONA SYSTEMS account. You will be able to see the studies offered by the lab. There will be a list of experiments available and you may click on them for a more detailed description of the study. There will be a "timeslots" link at the top of the page where you will be able to select the available dates and times for your studies.

After you find an experiment with the timeslot you want to participate in, click "Sign Up" and wait for a confirmation to show that you are registered for that experiment. When you receive the confirmation page, please write down the time, date, location, and name for the study. (For those who have never been to the lab, there will be a sign on the second floor at Rady to help you get there.)

Please try to arrive a couple of minutes early and wait outside for the assistants to get you situated. If you cannot make a study, please cancel your appointment on SONA at least 24 hours prior to the start of the study or contact the lab manager. Failure to cancel will result in an unexcused "no show" for your attendance. If you continuously have unexcused absences with no prior notices, the lab may forfeit your right to attend studies. In these circumstances, you will have to consult the lab manager or do an alternative assignment.


Compensation varies across studies depending on their length and complexity. Participants can be compensated with cash or gift certificates. In some cases, participants will be entered in a raffle to win Amazon gift cards.

Note that in some experiments, participants will receive cash based on the decisions they make in a study or on their performance. When paid, participants will be asked to sign a payment receipt. The receipt is only for accounting purposes and will not be linked to specific responses.


The lab uses email to notify participants about available studies. All information provided to us will be kept strictly confidential and privacy will be respected to the fullest extent. Your answers will never be associated with you personally and will only be used on an aggregate basis.

Your Rights as a Participant

As a participant, you have the right to be treated ethically and respectfully, to be informed of the nature of the experiment, and to withdraw at any time. All behavioral lab studies are approved by the UC San Diego Human Research Protection Program. If at any time you have questions about your rights as a subject, contact the UC San Diego Human Research Protection Program office by phone (858-455-5050) or email.