What is experimental economics research?
Experimental economics is a research method that investigates economic theories, models and issues with the help of controlled laboratory and online experiments as well as field experiments.
In a controlled experiment, study participants make decisions on the computer within the framework of a clearly defined, specific economic situation.
The study participants are paid depending on their decisions and those of other participants. The anonymized data obtained in this way are then analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively for the purpose of investigating and answering economic questions.
What is the purpose of these experiments?
One goal of experimental economic research is to gain a better understanding of the decision-making behavior of individuals, since the predictions of economic theory often do not match the actual observed behavior. The data obtained can thus be used to test existing theories and to develop new theories. Furthermore, experiments are also used, for example, to extensively test new market institutions - even before they are introduced in practice - for their functionality.
The results of the experiments are published in articles of scientific journals or in scientific papers, i.e. dissertations or post-doctoral theses. We provide information on our website about where the results of specific experiments have been published. Publications for which the data collection was performed in KD²Lab are also linked in the KIT Library under the tag "KD2Lab".
What is the research focus?
To date, the projects at KD2Lab deal, among other things, with the determinants of solidary behavior, the analysis of different market and auction designs, but also the impact of different information systems and their design. In addition, studies with and without the acquisition of biosignals (e.g. eye-tracking, EEG, ECG, wearables) are taking place.
Where can I find the KD²Lab?
Click here to plan your journey to the KD²Lab. The address is:
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Fritz-Erler-Straße 1-3 (Zähriger-Haus)
The KD²Lab is located near the Kronenplatz tram station. You can access the lab via a staircase from Fritz-Erler-Straße as well as via the pedestrian bridge between Waldhornstraße and Kronenplatz. You will recognize the lab by a sign reading "Karlsruhe Decision and Design Lab" at the entrance. The lab allows barrier-free mobility and can be reached via elevator.
How is an online experiment different from a lab experiment? What do I have to keep in mind?
Are the payouts taxable?
The income generated by you in the KD²Lab basically represents income (among others in the sense of the EStG, BAföG etc.). You are required to report this income to your relevant authorities (tax office, health insurance, BAföG or housing subsidy office, etc.). With regard to your tax obligations, your responsible tax office or tax advisors can usually provide you more information. If you need a document to prove your financial statements, please contact us via the following e-mail address: team∂kd2lab.kit.edu.
Is registration free of charge?
Is there compensation for participation in the experiments?
In general, there is a compensation for each experiment. However, the amount of payment usually depends on your decisions and the decisions of other participants. For scientific reasons, we do not give any information about the exact expected value and the upper and lower limits. Nevertheless, we pay attention to an adequate compensation.
Why did I earn less than other participants in the same experiment?
Why was I not paid? I was only one minute late for the experiment.
You are expected to arrive at the lab prior to the specified time to allow a timely start of experiments. Since the experiments are very expensive to run, we cannot wait for participants who arrive late, as this will jeopardize the conducting of experiments. Please take into account that all experiments are designed for a certain number of participants. If even one test person is absent, experiments often cannot be carried out.
What prior knowledge do I need?
No further prior knowledge is required.
How can I register?
Can I register under a different name or with false information?
When registering, please enter the name provided on your student ID and personal ID card. Changing your name retroactively is currently not possible. Furthermore, please do not provide false information when registering.
This information is crucial for planning scientific studies, especially in deciding for/against inviting experimental participants. Additionally, you will not be invited to participate in experiments if we determine that the information you have provided is incorrect. If you do not want to provide certain information, please leave the corresponding fields blank. However, providing additional information will increase your chances of being invited to participate in an experiment.
Can I register using different email addresses?
Registering with more than one e-mail address is not permitted. In case of multiple registration, it might occur that one person participates in a series of experiments more than once, thus falsifying the results. Should you be registered for an experiment with different e-mail addresses, we reserve the right to exclude you from participating in that experiment without compensation.
If you wish to change your email address, you can do so using the link attached to our emails. This will lead to your profile, where you can change your address.
What is the procedure after successful registration? How can I participate in an experiment?
To participate in an experiment, you must first register in our participant database. After successful registration you will be considered for invitations by the system. However, it may take a few weeks until the first invitation in individual cases, please be patient. The invitation will tell you the type, time and, in the case of laboratory experiments, the location for the experiment.
Since it also happens that experiment participants do not show up for an experiment despite binding registration, but we have to make sure that there are enough experiment participants, usually more participants are invited than are necessary for the experiment. It may therefore happen that you are "only" a substitute participant. In this case, you will receive an expense allowance right at the beginning of the experiment and will not participate in the experiment. However, in this case you can still register for later sessions of the same experiment.
Can I transfer an invitation addressed to me to another person or can I be represented by another person?
It is not allowed to be represented by other participants. Only those who have been invited and have registered bindingly may take part. Therefore, it is prohibited to forward invitations to others or to be represented by others! However, you are welcome to encourage other students to register in the participants database.
A friend of mine has been invited to an experiment, but I was not. May I also participate?
Why have I not been invited for a long time?
Depending on the experiment, we need different groups of participants who meet certain requirements (e.g. participation in similar studies in the past,...). Within these groups, some of the possible participants are randomly invited for an experiment. Always more participants are invited than needed for the experiment. Of course, it can happen that some are randomly selected more often than others. Unfortunately, this cannot be avoided. In our experience, everyone in the participant database is invited with a similar frequency throughout the year.
If you have frequently failed to show up unannounced for experiments, this may also be a criterion used to filter study participants in order to prevent experiments from not being carried out due to an insufficient number of participants.
How long do experiments take and how often do they take place?
The experiments take place irregularly and last differently depending on the experiment. On average, the execution of an experiment takes 1-2 hours. However, participants who are invited to an experiment always find out in advance in the invitation email when an experiment will take place and how long it will last.
Also always bring the time announced in the invitation. Leaving the experiment early is not possible and would have far-reaching negative consequences.
How does an experiment proceed and what do participants need to do? Can I be lied to by experimenters during an experiment?
At the beginning of each experiment, study participants are given detailed instructions about what they should do and which decision-making problem they will face. In many cases, consent and data protection documents must also be signed in order to protect the participants. You do not need any special knowledge, or prior experience, in order to solve the tasks. However, please note the participation requirements for the respective experiment.
Very important: Our experiments run exactly as stated in the instructions. You will never be lied to or be manipulated! Doing so violates our laboratory rules and is, furthermore, fundamentally forbidden in experimental economic research.
Are drugs administered during an experiment?
When do the lab experiments take place?
How can I sign off an experiment?
Signing off an experiment is generally not provided. Please double check that you are available for an experiment PRIOR to registering for an experiment.
Should you become ill or be unable to participate due to other circumstances, be sure to respond to your invitation email as SOON AS POSSIBLE. The lab team will then sign you out of the experiment.
Do I have to appear in any case if I am invited for an experiment?
What happens if I fail to show up for an experiment for which I am registered?
For each absence after registration for an experiment (without timely cancellation by the experiment organizers or without giving a valid reason), a minus point will be added to the participant's personal account. The more minus points participants have, the lower their chances of being invited for further experiments. Once your account receives three minus points, you will not be invited to participate in another KD²Lab experiment.
What do I do if I no longer want to receive invitations?
All participants can determine at any time on the personal page under "My data" that they do not wish to receive any further invitations to experiments. You can also set your status to "inactive" if you do wish to participate in experiments at a later date. Upon request of participants, personal data will be deleted without restriction. To do so, send an e-mail to the team address: team∂kd2lab.kit.edu with the note "Löschen" ("Delete").
How can I unsubscribe from the database?
It is your right to have your data permanently deleted from the participants database. To do so, send an e-mail to the team address team∂kd2lab.kit.edu with the note " Löschen" ("Delete"). Subsequently, all of your personal data will be deleted. You may also have your profile set to the status "inactive" in case you want to participate in experiments at a later date. In that case, we will switch your data record back to the status "active" on your instruction.
I have a new email address. How can I register my new address?
Can I sign up with a friend's email address?
What happens with my data?
- When conducting experiments, data are generated by the decisions to be made by the study participants.
- These data are analyzed scientifically. In the process, the decision data is anonymized and cannot be assigned to any person. Participation in the experiments is anonymous in this sense.
- The generated, anonymized data are used for the preparation of scientific research papers and presentations. These papers will be published.
- The experimental data will not be linked to the data in the participant database. There is no linkage between the data generated in the experiment and the data in the Participant Database. The collection of study participants' names in the experiment is permitted solely for the purpose of generating the disbursement list and must be deleted thereafter. By participating in the experiment and signing the participant agreement, you accept the anonymized use of the experimental data for the research purposes of our researchers.
How can I delete my personal information?
It is your right to have your data permanently deleted from the participants database. To do so, send an e-mail to the team address "team" with the note " Löschen" ("Delete"). Subsequently, all of your personal data will be deleted. You may also have your profile set to the status "inactive" in case you want to participate in experiments at a later date. In that case, we will switch your data record back to the status "active" on your instruction. ∂ kd2lab kit edu