The Department keeps a list of those interested in participating in research for pay. The information on the list is confidential. Anybody can sign up: an undergraduate student, graduate student, staff member, faculty or someone unrelated to the University.

When a researcher has a need for subjects, they review the list and contact those who meet the criteria for their specific study. The researcher will also coordinate payment for participation.

Please note the paid subject pool list is only shared with researchers affiliated with the Department of Psychology.

In order to be added to the paid subject pool list, please complete the Paid Subject Pool Survey.

Data is purged each year some time in the summer after the academic year. You will be emailed before the start of the Fall semester of the following academic year to complete the survey if you wish to sign up for the Paid Subject Pool again.

If you have additional questions, please contact the Subject Pool TA (

    • If you are in a class that provides extra credit for participation, your instructor should always provide you with an alternative extra credit exercise. You should always remember that you can quit a research study at any time, with no negative consequences. If you are feeling physical discomfort or emotional upset from the study, you should not feel compelled to continue. Just inform the research assistant that you want to discontinue the study, and you will be able to do so immediately.
    • When you participate in a research study, the researchers should give you a written Information Sheet or Statement of Informed Consent that you sign before beginning the study. These documents describe what you will be doing during the course of the study and what risks or discomfort there might be.
    • The USC Office for the Protection of Research Subjects (OPRS) and Institutional Review Board (IRB) exist to protect research participants, Every research study in which you participate in the psychology department has been reviewed by the USC IRB for ethical and safety concerns. If you have any concerns or negative experiences or feel coerced or unfairly treated, you may contact Dr. Stephen Read (coordinator of the psychology department subject pool),, or Dr. Antoine Bechara, (Department Chair) Contact the IRB if you have questions about your rights as a research participant or you have complaints about the research. You may contact the IRB at (323) 442-0114 or by email at You can also submit a complaint online at the OPRS website. Do not feel hesitant about alerting us to problems! The sooner a problem with a study is identified, the sooner it can be resolved.