Human Participant Pool (HPP)


IMPORTANT: When signing up for HPP you need to make sure that you pick the correct course and section number in order to get credit. If you have already chosen your course, but you chose the wrong section number, you need to go back in and change it.


What is it?

HPP stands for "Human Participant Pool," and CSUSM, like all institutions that conduct research, has a pool of human participants.  This is the group of individuals who volunteer to participate in research projects conducted at the university. 

Consult our current HPP document for more information about HPP.


Who participates in it?

Students in lower-division psychology courses such as Introduction to Psychology (Psyc 100), Introduction to Statistics (Psyc 220), and Research Methods (Psyc 230) make up the bulk of the HPP at CSUSM. This happens through the course requirement that students participate in research in order to gain an understanding of the process and outcomes of experiments and other types of research studies (e.g., surveys, interviews, focus groups).

Although participation is a requirement in many of the lower division psychology courses, any student age 18 or older can participate in the studies.

For students who do not wish to participate in the pool, an alternative research assignment is available. Students who choose this option read, summarize, and critique a published empirical article (i.e., a study with methods, results, and discussion and not a review article) to earn HPP credits.


How do you sign up to participate in a study?

Since Fall 2005, students can sign up for HPP studies from any computer that has internet access. Students not only sign up for studies, but can also track the number of credits they've earned to date and receive emails to remind them of upcoming appointments for studies they have selected.

To sign up to participate in a study, please visit http://hpp.csusm.edu/ At this site you will be required to register as a new user.  Once you have registered, a password will be sent to you via the CSUSM email you provide.  You will want to change this password to something only you know.  There are instructions on the site which tell you how to do this.  At this point, you will be able to participate in any study listed in the "sign up for an experiment" section as long as you meet the prerequisites of the study.  

If you are having problems and need to contact the administrator about the online sign-up scheduling system, go to hppadmin@csusm.edu.


How do you sign up to run a study yourself?

Students must conduct studies under the supervision of a faculty member. Faculty and students who are conducting studies that use human participants must get approval for the project from the Institutional Review Board (IRB).  First, a proposal outlining the project is submitted to the IRB. Second, the IRB members review proposals and meet to discuss them.  Projects may commence once the IRB has notified the experimenter in writing that the proposal has been approved.  For more information on this process and the appropriate forms for submitting your proposal, follow this link:

CSUSM Institutional Review Board (IRB)

After receiving IRB approval, the researcher must complete the "Request for Human Participant Pool Use" form and return the completed form to the HPP Coordinator.  Once this form is completed, the HPP Coordinator will follow up with the researcher regarding further instructions on how to use HPP.


For further information, or to report study issues or ethical problems, contact the HPP Coordinator:

Dr. Dustin Calvillo 
  • Office:   SBSB 3233
  • Phone:  760-750-8577