Participants and recruitment (ACT)

Aalto University/Unto Rautio

Participant pool

ACT uses Sona-systems (a web-based recruitment system) to manage the participant pool. Sona has been specifically designed to help with recruitment of participants and organisation of economic experiments.

The participants register themselves into Sona and will receive invites to experiments sent by the lab manager. The participant then uses the system to sign up for experiments. Registration to Sona does not bind the participant to any experiments, but simply adds them to the participant pool.

The current participant pool has been recruited solely by the lab manager and founder and is very small. Therefore we ask that if you use the laboratory, you have recruited at least part of your participants.

How do I recruit participants?

The original pool has been recruited using a variety of methods mentioned below and we ask that you use at least one of these methods to recruit participants for your experiment and therefore join them to the ACT participant pool.

  • Recruitment event at the university where you can hand out information on your experiment and ACT including the Sona system and joining as a participant
  • Sending out adverts and notices to existing and known mailing lists
  • Recruitment in lectures and classes
  • Adverts on web pages, Facebook and other social media

For a participant to participate in an experiment, they must be registered in Sona and register their participation through the system. Please do not accept direct registrations without the participant registering in Sona.

Recruitment and advertising material can be found from the ACT web pages and Facebook page. Feel free to use this material to help your own recruitment. You can also request electronic copies from the lab manager.

Please keep in mind that all participants have to be over 18.

How do I communicate with participants?

Communication from experimenter to participants is generally conducted by the researcher via Sona, with the exception of the invitation email.

 It is your responsibility to prepare and send the invitation email text to the lab manager to be sent on to the participant pool. Please inform the lab manager should you have any groups of participants you wish to exclude from the registration email (e.g. according to age, gender, experiment history etc.) and of all the basic information of your experiment. Keep in mind the invitation cannot be sent before you have created the study and reserved timeslots.

Please include your contact details in each communication, as if the participants have any further questions, these should be addressed directly to the researcher, who should also then respond directly to the participant.

Participants can at any time register or cancel their registration using Sona.  

Paying the participants

Once you have carried out the experiment, you will need to pay the participants the compensation promised. Please keep in mind the Aalto rules and guidance on paying participants which you can find here (only in Finnish).

We recommend that you pay in cash immediately following the completion of the experiment. Alternatively, you could ask for account numbers and transfer the payments promptly.

Please ensure that you are aware of the Finnish tax rules and legislation on paying the participants. The guidance by Aalto University is attached.

If you have booked reserve participants, and more participants show up that what you need, each one must at least be paid a “show-up” fee.

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