At mLab we investigate, using theoretical as well as empirical methods, how people make decisions, how to improve mechanisms and institutions so that they lead to socially desirable outcomes, and which economic approaches and ideas work well or less well. Decision-making experiments play a key role in this. These are not surveys (“What do you think of…?”, “What would you do if…?”) but instead our volunteers face real decision problems. What does somebody do when he or she can choose between a safe alternative and a risky one? Is the choice always the same or does it depend on the circumstances? How does bidding behavior change when the rules of an action are modified? Under what circumstances do people tend to maximize their own earnings, and when are they more inclined to contribute to the common good? How much do we trust others, and what does this depend on? There are numerous other examples. Thus, we study decision making in many different situations.
Obviously, different people make different choices. Our goal is not to dissect the inner psychological workings of particular individuals but to better understand average behavior. We therefore require many paid volunteers to take part in our studies. Some of our studies are conducted online. But typically, we run our experiments in our research computer lab in B6 (School of Business Informatics and Mathematics) on the second floor, room A202. Importantly, the types of decisions participants face in our experiments are not vague tasks or hypothetical questions – they have real monetary consequences! Because payments depend on what people decide (and sometimes on a bit of luck as well), we cannot guarantee fixed per-hour earnings. However, we are seeking to calibrate our rewards such that we pay on average approximately 10 to 15 Euros for a typical 1-hour experiment.
Are you interested in experiencing fundamental behavioral research firsthand and on top of that earn some money? Then register HERE. Registering is free and does not commit you to participate or anything else – all that happens is that you will receive invitations from us by email to participate in particular studies. You are completely free to accept such invitations or to ignore them. You can withdraw from our list of potential participants at any time.