You can earn cash, gifts and class credit by participating in research studies conducted by scholars in the Culverhouse College of Business.

TIDE Lab uses SONA to recruit, register, and track participation in TIDE Lab research studies. To participate in a study you must have an account with us. TIDE Lab will never use your information for any other purpose.

If you sign up for a session, you should arrive at TIDE Lab 5-10 minutes before the session is scheduled to begin. Most studies start on time and you may not be able to participate if you are late. The lab is located in 249 Bidgood.


Some studies earn participants credit in a specific class. Other studies earn participants cash, gift cards, or other items.


SONA uses what is referred to as “COURSES” to determine what participants receive when they complete a specific study. When you create your SONA account you select what courses you want to be eligible for. If you are looking for studies that give you credit in a Marketing 300 class, then click that option in your SONA account. If you want to know about studies that will pay you cash based on your decisions, then click the PAID course in your SONA account. GIFTS and RAFFLES are studies that provide gift cards or other items for completing a study. DO NOT EMAIL is just what it sounds like (if you click this option, we will not email you). You can opt into all the “courses” that are relevant to you and you can opt out at any time as well.

If the study is for class credit, then you will hear about it through your instructor. If the study is for payment in cash, a gift card, or other items then you will receive emails about it. These studies are associated with the courses PAID and GIFT & RAFFLE in your SONA account.

TIDE Lab provides a report to the instructors of students in their class who completed a study eligible for credit in that class.

For studies in the “PAID” course you will be paid $5 for participating plus an additional amount based on your decisions.  How much varies from study to study and is based on your choices, but on average people earn about $15-$20 per hour. There are also studies in the “GIFT & Raffle” which will either give you a fixed amount for participating (in cash, gift cards, or goods) or will randomly select some participating to receive larger prizes.  The description of a specific study should describe what you will receive for participating.

If you approach Bidgood from the quad, take the exterior stairs up to the second floor. TIDE Lab is on your right immediately after you enter the building in room 249.

You should plan to arrive 5-10 minutes before the study is scheduled to start. Most studies involve a group of people and each person must check in before the study starts. Studies typically take the full time, which means you should not agree to participate unless you can stay for the full time slot. Also, if you are late you may not be able to participate in the session at all.

No. Studies are designated as being associated with a course, which determines what participants in that study will receive. Only Marketing 300 studies give you credit in Marketing 300. Only Management 300 studies give you credit in Management 300.

No. Each study is associated with one course, which could be a class like “Marketing 300” or could be “PAID.”

This could happen for a variety of reasons. It could be that the study is associated with a course your friend has marked in SONA that you have not. It could be that the session is full. It could be that you already participated in a different session of the study or a related study.

This can happen for several reasons. Many studies require an exact number of people to be in the session. If too few people come to the lab, the session has to be cancelled. Because we do not know how many people will come to a session, sometimes we recruit extra people. If too many people show up then some will not be able to participate. It could also be that we are having technical problems with equipment in the lab.

Yes, but priority is given to people who register in advance.

You should log into your SONA account and withdraw from the session. This will allow other people to register in that slot. People who do not show-up for studies multiple times are excluded from studies.

Yes. TIDE Lab provides UA accounting office with a record of each payment. If you are on the UA payroll then taxes on your earnings will be withheld. If you are not on the UA payroll then the UA accounting office will follow UA policy as well as state and federal law regarding payments you receive.