Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- What is an experiment?
- How do I register to receive invitations to experiments?
- How do I sign up to participate in an experiment?
- Where is the lab located?
- How much will I get paid for my participation?
- How long do experiments last?
- Do I need to show up on time? Can I come at anytime in the time period?
- What can I expect to do in an experiment?
- How often can I participate?
- How am I protected in an experiment?
- How is my private information protected?
Q: What is an experiment?
A: Economic experiments provide researchers a unique opportunity to study participants in a laboratory setting which controls for other outside factors. This allows us to test hypotheses, especially those that concern the validity of economic theories.
For the participant, economics experiments are a lot like playing a game. Some of the games are computerized, and others are done with pencil and paper. They are a way for participants to earn cash and help science in a friendly, non threatening atmosphere. Not only will you help science by giving us data to analyze for our studies but you also have the opportunity to earn CASH.
Q: How do I register to receive invitations to experiments?
A: To register your name in our database, please visit our registration page.
Registering does not obligate you to participate in an experiment. It just means that you would like to receive an email when we have an experiment available for you to participate in. Then if you are interested, you can follow the link in the invitation email to sign up.
Q: How do I sign up to participate in an experiment?
A: You will receive invitations by email to participate in experiments. To sign up, you should click on the link in the invitation email. Then, you may select a session time that you will be available to participate in. Please remember that participation is by email invitation only. UTD email inboxes that are “over quota” will bounce emails. Be sure your inbox has sufficient space is you wish to receive all experiment invitations sent to you.
Q: Where is the lab located?
A: We are located in the Cecil Green Hall (Green Building) room GR 2.402. The Green Building can be found on this Campus Map. Room 2.402 is located in the center of the building near the "pit". If you are having trouble locating it, please give us a call at (972) 883-4880.
Q: How much will I get paid for my participation?
A: How much you make is determined by: the type of experiment and the decisions you and others make. Since we don't know what your decisions will be, we can not specify the exact amount of money you will make. But, we know you are busy students and design our studies to compensate you for your time (this is why many of our experiments include a show-up fee).
Q: How long do experiments last?
A: Experiments vary in subject matter, format and time. Some last for as long as 2 hours and others can go for only 30 minutes. Before you sign up for an experiment you will know its start and end times and thus how long it is estimated to last. We try to err on the side of over-estimating how long an experiment will last to insure you can plan to definitely be out by the end time.
Q: Do I need to show up on time? Can I come at anytime in the time period?
A: Yes, it is very important that you arrive on time and be prepared to stay through the end of the experiment. Many experiments require a certain number of participants and cannot run without enough people participating.
Q: What can I expect to do in an experiment?
A: Economics experiments usually involve a game and a survey. Sometimes you will fill out decision sheets by hand, and sometimes you will play on the computer. Sometimes you interact with others and sometimes you play by yourself. Before you play you will know the structure and rules of the game and how you can make money. You will also know how your decisions interact with others in the room to make one or both of you money. The survey collects additional information about you and your thoughts and opinions.
Sometimes economics experiments have been compared to psychology experiments. They are very similar except for two crucial details: we are not allowed to deceive you in any way, and we always pay people based upon decisions they make throughout the session.
Q: How often can I participate?
A: Most experiments you can only participate in once. There are also some experiments which have special requirements (participation in other experiments, classification, age, gender, a class taken, etc.). The computer sign-up system will not let you sign up for an experiment you are not eligible for (if you have already participated, you are signed up to participate in another session, or do not meet qualifying requirements).
If you have questions about signing up for an experiment, please call us at (972) 883-4880.
Q: How am I protected in an experiment?
A: In order to run any experiment we must have Internal Review Board (IRB) approval. This is a committee made up of members from many disciplines. They review our plans and procedures and approve a project before you participate in it. This is to insure you are never placed in a situation in which you could be harmed.
Note also that even if you register in our database, you are under no obligation to participate in these experiments. Volunteering to participate will in no way affect your grade or status in any past, current or future class. You can ask to be removed from the database at any time.
Q: How is my private information protected?
A: In addition any information you give us is kept in strict confidence. Most of the time decisions you make and how you do is recorded by an experimenter-generated ID number (NOT your student ID) and we never link it back to a particular individual. Your participation is completely safe.