Method of recruiting subjects and performance on cognitive tests

Am J Psychol. 1993 Winter;106(4):499-521.


College students often serve as participants in psychological research. The effects of three methods of recruiting subjects for laboratory tests of attention and memory were assessed in a series of studies. The performance of students who received monetary incentives and the performance of students who received course-credit incentives were compared with the performance of students recruited from classes where research participation was a requirement. Monetary incentives resulted in slight, but significant, improvements in performance on tests of sustained attention and recognition memory. Course-credit incentives did not affect subjects' test performance. Test performance did not differ as a function of the time of the semester when studies were conducted. Recruitment issues pertinent to departmental subject pools are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cognition*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychological Tests*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Research*
  • Task Performance and Analysis
  • Workforce