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About the Xlab

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 Hearst Memorial Gymnasium, Suite 2.

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 "wind-tunnel" whereby social scientists can test out various theories that help us understand human behavior.

Economic experiments frequently run in the Xlab are distinguished by two features 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 experimental research.

Who makes Xlab possible?

Xlab was established with a grant from National Science Foundation and the Vice Chancellor for Research. Xlab is supported by the Dean of the Haas School of Business.