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The Lancaster Experimental Economics Laboratory is a dedicated space for economists to run experiments and conduct research.
The LExEL lab is located in the LUMS building, and consists of 15 networked Windows laptops, each situated within a partition-separated testing station. The lab equipment therefore can be taken into the field for running ‘artefactual’ or ‘framed’ field experiments.
At the front of the lab there is a large partition, from behind which the experimenter may run the session without disturbing (or being observed by) the experimental participants. The experimenter’s server machine has two displays, one for the LanSchool computer management software and one for the z-Tree experiment software. Experiment sessions are scheduled and participant recruitment is managed with an ORSEE system installation. The ORSEE-registered pool of participants is composed primarily, though not exclusively, of LUMS students.
Experiments run under the auspices of LExEL, whether on-site within the B36 lab or off-site, must be in full conformity with the University’s Research Ethics Code of Practice. In addition, LExEL ethics and operating protocols are designed to conform with the more restrictive ethical and methodological requirements of experimental economics. Most notably, any form of deception is strictly forbidden in economics experiments. Hence all experiments run under the auspices of LExEL also adhere to the LExEL Ethics Statement.
Experiments run within economics labs such as LExEL are designed to have low ethical risk, to maintain participants’ anonymity, to eschew intrusive questioning of personal details, and to be free of all forms of deception. The method is employed by experimental economics to ensure that participants are not consciously or subconsciously manipulating their responses is to apply financial incentives.
A registered participant in a LExEL lab session receives £3 for showing up on time to the session. Although it is conceivable that a LExEL lab session could be employed for soliciting responses to survey questions, economics experiments will invariably include payment in accordance with performance. The magnitude of the expected session earnings and the general nature of the experimental task(s) are made known to potential participants in advance.
If you are interested in conducting an experiment at LExEL, you should first familiarise yourself with the LExEL Ethics Statement and then contact us.
The following links will prove useful: