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About the Xlab

Cronk Gate

Founded in 2004, the Xlab - more formally, the Experimental Social Science Laboratory - is a laboratory for conducting experiment-based investigations of issues of interest to social scientists. The Xlab is conveniently located in the Haas School of Business, Room S460.

What is the Xlab?

The social sciences are in the midst of a scientific revolution, whereby computer-based experiments in controlled laboratory settings have significantly altered the research paradigm in economics and related disciplines. The Experimental Social Science Laboratory, known as XLab, is at the forefront of this revolution.

Xlab enables researchers to explore the well-springs of human decision-making, especially where it involves decisions with monetary consequences. The Xlab is thus an "economics wind-tunnel" whereby social scientists can test out various theories that help us understand economics and other forms of human behavior.

Economic experiments in the Xlab are distinguished from more familiar psychology experiments in that a) no deception is involved and b) to make the experiments more realistic, participants are (in many cases) paid according to how well they perform relative to other participants.

Why is there an Xlab?

XLab has augmented the research creativity of Berkeley's faculty and graduate student researchers by offering attractive laboratory facilities, development of infrastructure for mobile field experiments, and administrative support. These features lower the barriers to entry into methods based on experimental design.

Who makes Xlab possible?

XLab was established with a grant from National Science Foundation and the Vice Chancellor for Research. It is open to UCB researchers from all fields and has been generously supported by the Dean of the Haas School of Business, the Dean of Social Sciences, and the Vice Chancellor for Research.