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Behavioral Business Research Lab

by | Dec 18, 2018 | Catalyst

Nidhi Dahiya (left), managing director of the Behavioral Business Research Lab and Sherry Li (right), professor of economics and director of the lab.

The Behavioral Business Research Lab, a world class research facility in the Walton College of Business, is an interdisciplinary resource for studying human behavior and decision making. The lab allows researchers to test current theories in business and economics and provide an empirical basis for the development of new theories. Behavioral researchers use the facility to study a wide variety of business and economic topics including strategic behavior, worker-employer relations, information processing, group problem solving, and decision making under uncertainty. The lab provides many different spaces and technology resources for research, and staff at the lab provide study participants from their large subject pool. The BBRL is interested in sharing resources and building interdisciplinary research collaborations with researchers from across campus. 

The BBRL features a large computer lab with a projector and screen that can seat up to 40 participants and a small computer lab. Software programs, including SAP, DirectRT, MediaLab, and Visual Studio are installed on each of the lab computers. The BBRL also has several focus group rooms and breakout rooms, and laptops and iPads are available for use in these rooms. Some of these rooms have cameras and/or intercom systems. In total, the lab can accommodate up to 100 research participants at one time.

Researchers can study shopper behavior in the large shopper insights area, which features movable shelving and a wide variety of products. This room has two cameras, as well as a one-way observation window, which can be accessed from a control room. The control room also has a window to the large computer lab, and it features computers, a document camera, microphones, an intercom system and ten recording decks.

Take a virtual tour of the lab.

Once researchers have attained IRB approval for their projects, the BBRL uses a system called SONA to recruit participants from their subject pool. Subjects can view posted studies and enroll on an electronic sign-up form. Researchers can maintain records of student participation from the website. In order to encourage participation, all participants receive either cash incentives or course credit. The BBRL staff can also help design, distribute and analyze surveys through the Qualtrics system.

Students who are interested in signing up to participate in studies can contact the lab’s managing director.

The lab is located in room 127 of the J.B. Hunt Center for Academic Excellence.

The BBRL will co-host the 15th Annual Behavioral Operations Conference with the Department of Supply Chain Management and the Department of Economics of the Walton College of Business in summer 2020.

To learn more, visit the website, or contact:
Sherry Li, director
(479) 575-6222

Nidhi Dahiya, managing director
(479) 575-7590

About The Author

Camilla Shumaker is the director of science and research communications. She writes about physics, chemistry, political science and other topics. Camilla can be reached at or (479) 575-7422.

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