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Get paid to take part in psychology experiments

Marc Crosby 9th Jul 2019 2 Comments

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Fancy making money whilst helping researchers understand the human mind?

If so, did you know you can get paid to take part in psychology experiments?

We’ve already shown you how you can make up to £4,000 for taking part in medical research, but psychology experiments are a safer option (though not quite so lucrative), with very rarely any risk to your health.



What do psychology experiments involve?

The short answer – all kinds of things.

There is a wide range of different experiments, from tests that you can take online on your own computer at home, all the way to MRI scans (not recommended for those of you who suffer from claustrophobia!)

Online experiments

Student blogging

If you’re taking part in online experiments then you usually do so from home. These often work like online surveys, you’ll be presented with a series of questions that you’ll have to answer.

Examples that we have seen include ranking certain voices in order of how trustworthy you find them and rating words in the English language.

Sometimes these online experiments aren’t paid so do make sure you’re fully aware of what it is you’ll get in return if you do complete one.


Take part in psychology experiments

Patient looking at inkblots with psychologist

The majority of experiments that pay you for your time will require you to go and take part in person.

Many of these experiments will require the use of equipment to scan your brain. For example, the experiment might involve an MRI scanner, an MEG scanner or some Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (basically a method to establish the connection between the brain and a muscle.)

Some experiments might also have to be conducted in darkened rooms.

The time you spend partaking in an experiment can vary hugely – the experiment may take an hour or it may take three, and in some cases you may be asked to make repeat visits, particularly for memory tests.



Where can I find experiments to take part in?

University Psychology Professor writing notes

Most psychology experiments will be conducted at a university and are often run by students.

To begin with it would make sense to start inquiring about universities that are near to you, finding out whether they have a psychology department and, if so, whether there are paid experiment opportunities.

You’ll probably be able to look up all the information you need on their website but you can always phone the university if you have any doubts.

If you’re serious about making money this way, though, you’ll likely have to travel to find a university that has an experiment you can take part in.

Some of the universities we’ve seen (by no-means all of them) with ongoing psychology tests include:

  • Cambridge University
  • University of Glasgow
  • Sussex University
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Southampton

These are just a few, but there’ll be many more. Just phone your local university and ask for the psychology department. It’s worth speaking to someone there to see if they do these experiments and how you can join up.

If you’re only looking for online experiments to take part in then you could use a site like Onlinepsychologicalresearch.co.uk – however, do remember that not all online experiments are paid.


How much can I make?

Someone counting notes/cash

Realistically you’re not going to make a fortune partaking in online experiments – you can probably expect a rate of between £6-12 an hour, depending on the type of experiment and the equipment used.

At the time of writing there is an eye experiment (two and a half hours in total) offering £7.50 an hour and an EEG memory study that takes place over two-three days and pays £20 for each two hour session. So that gives you an idea of what’s on offer.

If you’re taking part in an online experiment then you can expect less, maybe £3 for a short survey or just the possibility of winning a competition (for example, a £40 Amazon gift card.)

To be honest, if you’re interested in making money filling in surveys you’re best taking a look at our online survey list first – although don’t be put off from doing psychology surveys if you do want to help out in research.


Are psychology experiments safe?

Rorschach Inkblot Test

Psychology experiments are usually extremely safe, and carry much less risk than clinical trials.

Obviously make sure you notify those carrying out the experiment of any conditions you have (for example, if you’re epileptic) but there is very little risk attached to psychology experiments in general.


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4 years ago

worth a go. Psychology has always interested me

5 years ago

It would be an interesting way to make money.

Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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