Participating in Paid Studies

Here and in the Unusual Ways Newsletter (there should be a subscription form in the side bar to the right) we occasionally report on being a paid research subject at universities, and other opportunities to make money as a human guinea pig. So we were happy to get the following true story from a visitor to the site.

My Experience With Paid Studies

By Andreea Manole

My friend was coming to England and I needed some money to visit her in Birmingham. I remembered from my undergraduate studies that psychology departments of local Universities conduct paid studies and usually allow registering as volunteer of virtually anybody, even if not a student. One study that was running the next day was advertised on their website. It was a two part study that involved measuring a hormone level, oxytocin, whilst performing several attention-based tasks. This was estimated to take 1 hour and with at least £ 10 reward at the end.

I quickly completed the first part online to check my eligibility for the experiment. It consisted of several questions regarding the medical conditions and drugs which could interfere with the levels of the hormone in the saliva. The questionnaire wasn't particularly helpful as anyone could in theory lie about not having such problems.

The next part had to be done in the lab and I was required to bring a female friend with whom I should not have any physical contact that day. I came across a woman with whom I have transiently spoken before and asked if she would like to participate in this 1-hour study concerning oxytocin for which she could earn some money. I quickly gave her directions on how to get there and some general details about our ‘friendship’.

The next day I arrived first at the lab and was given a cup with the university name on it and was told it now belonged to me. I was then asked to provide a saliva sample for them to test and went on to complete several computer based tasks involving not only my attention but also my current mood. Also, they looked at the degree of risk I was willing to take for my friend to help her obtain some additional money. There were scenarios that tested my trust in other people and my altruism level. During one of these evaluations, I was given the opportunity to exchange the cup for money, but only if my lower threshold was in agreement with that imposed by the researcher.

Meanwhile, my partner arrived and independently did similar tests. The next tasks involved us working together to solve some riddles with the idea that in approximately 30 minutes a bond will form between us. After, our saliva samples were taken again and we received £ 13 at the end of the study. We also got to keep the cups. Interestingly, maybe due to the nature of the experiment, my partner had decided to give me £ 10.

In general any College or University with a decent research psychology department will offer cash for minutes or hours spent doing these risk-free studies. There are no right or wrong answers, the hours are flexible, and the pay is good - usually £ 10-15 per hour. If you schedule studies during your idle time, you can even earn in the thousands per year from that alone.


Note: As of mid-2014 £ 10-15 per hour equals approximately $17 to $25 per hour.


For more on paid studies and related ways to make money see the following pages:

Test Subject in Amsterdam - The author's experience taking part in a research study.

Donate Blood for Money - How much you can make and where.

If you liked this page please let others know with one of these...

Other Relevant Pages

Fast Ways to Make Money

Odd Ways to Make Money

Money Articles

Interviews with People Making Money

(The newsletter has been discontinued.)

Every Way to Make Money | Participating in Paid Studies