Volunteering for psychological studies

As a Psychology student at Sheffield, first year students are encouraged to sign up to take part in studies being conducted by third year and post-grad students. So, in the months running up to Christmas, I was a participant in a grand total of 26 studies! For me, this was a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the ways psychologists conduct their research.

Anyone who has studied Psychology will have read about hundreds of studies testing weird and wonderful phenomenon in human behaviour – it was quite fun to actually experience it. Some of the studies included playing with a robot seal to reduce stress, building towers out of Lego to look at spatial ability, watching a simulated car robbery and taking part in a cognitive interview as an eye witness, finding my pain threshold whilst counting backwards blindfolded (not as scary as it sounds) and I must have read thousands of gibberish words. It’s great fun to learn something about yourself, whilst also helping someone with their research project.

All the researchers were very friendly, and it’s reassuring to know everything is ethically approved. You don’t have to be a Psychology student to sign up for studies, and of course lots of other departments do research to. You can even get paid! There are so many opportunities to take part in the excellent work that goes on at the University of Sheffield. You can sign up by responding to emails or via the Online Research Participation System (ORPS). Highly recommend for everyone!

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