An Invitation to Join Us
Welcome to the Behavioral Research Lab website. CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP. Please read on for a general introduction to the lab and what it means to be a participant. If you’re looking for detailed information about particular topics, or for the SONA system, click the links to the left.
Who We Are, What We Do
The Behavioral Research Lab supports the research activities of dozens of social scientists at Columbia Business School and elsewhere at Columbia University. Our researchers include psychologists, economists, and other scholars who study human thinking and behavior. The research we do often revolves around getting people’s opinions about things (like their impressions of someone in a video, or their attitudes about the environment, or their preferences for certain products). Some of the research involves interacting with other people, in pairs or groups, to discuss various topics or work together on tasks.
Much of our research takes place on Columbia’s Morningside campus in Uris Hall. Some studies are done online.
How You Fit In
Our scholarship relies on input from our participants. In return for participation, the lab’s researchers typically offer cash as compensation immediately upon completion of a study. In some cases, researchers offer other or additional forms of compensation, such as gift cards or consumer products, or entry in a lottery of some kind.
Students who register in our system receive regular notices about upcoming studies. These notices describe the time, length, and payment for the study as well as what kind of activity is involved (such as a 10-minute survey for $5 in cash or a 45-minute group decision task with the chance to earn up to $20).
Students are not obliged to attend any studies and can opt out of receiving messages at any time. When a student is interested in participating in a study, she or he signs up for the session online or, if the study accepts drop-ins, stops by the study location during drop-in hours.
All lab studies are approved by the Columbia University Institutional Review Board (IRB), a group dedicated to protecting research participants’ rights and safety. At the beginning of each study, participants are given information about the study and can decide to whether or not to continue participation.
In most cases, participants receive cash payment immediately upon completion of a study. Lab participants are also eligible to receive prizes for participation throughout a semester.
If you’re interested in participating, we welcome you to read through the FAQ and Tips section of the website. Answers to most questions can be found there.
In the FAQ & Tips section, you’ll find information about registering with our online system called SONA which allows you to see what studies are coming up and then sign up to participate. Signing up on SONA is the next step in getting involved in our research.
We hope you’ll consider being part of our research community. Our scholarship depends on your input. Each year, hundreds of Columbia students share their perspectives with us. We hope you might join us and share your views as well.