Conducting Experiments at ESL

Conduct Experiments at ESL


Please click a link below to learn more about conducting experiments at ESL, including our policies and procedures, facilities, requesting funds or reporting lab issues:

The ESL is an environment ready made to run incentive-based, computerized, interactive or individual, decision-making experiments. The ESL maintains a deception-free subject pool.

Scheduling an Experiment

Researchers will need to register the experiment with the Laboratory Manager. Once the experiment is registered, a researcher can schedule the experimental sessions.

Experiment registration requires:

  1. Human subjects approval
  2. Certification of completion of appropriate CITI training on procedures with human subjects
  3. Submission of experimental instructions

The ESL staff summarizes material from (2) and (3) above as supporting documentation for periodic reports on lab activities. Parts (1) and (2) are needed to verify that each experiment observes ethical standards for research involving human subjects and that the subject pool remains deception-free.

Recruiting Subjects

One week prior to running an experimental session, recruitment of human subjects begins. Before subjects are recruited, the experiment must be ready to run.

The goal of the operations staff in the lab is to substantially increase subject show-up rates. To that end,

  • Experiments will start on time
  • Experiments will be completed within the announced time
  • Technical difficulties will be minimized (no crashes)
  • Experimental sessions will be adequately staffed
  • Payments must be sufficient to induce subjects to participate in future experiments


The Economic Science Laboratory’s (ESL) purpose is to create a home for cutting edge experimental research and teaching in social science. Scholars outside economics innovate by adopting tools economists have developed, including game theory and incentivized experiments, and behavioral economists build on insights from psychology and neighboring sciences. The ESL is dedicated to being a leader in these developments.

Lab Structure

The ESL is a state of the art computer-networked facility with three rooms. The largest contains 40 individual subject cubicles, each with monitor & mouse allowing interactive decision-making in computerized experiments, as well as a podium with projector and whiteboard. In addition there is a control room, from which experiments are launched and managed, and a seminar room where subjects can be collected, privately paid, and debriefed. The ESL manages a recruiter system with over 600 student subjects in its database and which can support experiments with large numbers of subjects over short time periods.


The Director of the ESL is Professor Charles Noussair (Economics). The ESL employs Richard Kiser, a Research Computing Specialist, Principal who can also help with programming, as well as two graduate student Research Assistants who can assist in conducting experiments.

The ESL has limited funding of up to $1,000 per project available to help finance research projects conducted by University of Arizona personnel. Requests for funding will be evaluated on the basis of perceived need, perceived merit and the availability of funds at the current time. To apply, please complete this form: