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Cutting edge research on how managers and consumers make decisions and interact

The Broad Behavioral Lab is a research facility designed to conduct cutting-edge research on how people make decisions and interact in a range of settings, from the workplace to the marketplace. The Lab allows Broad researchers to pursue MSU’s mission of advancing knowledge and transforming lives to expand human understanding and make a positive difference.

Directions to the Lab

The Broad Behavioral Lab is located in Eppley Room 4, on the ground level. From the entrance to the Broad complex on Bogue, turn left. From the ground level passage from the Minskoff Pavilion, turn right. Walk past the bathrooms and classrooms, and through the double door into Eppley. Once you’re in Eppley, turn left and the lab entrance is the first door on your left.

Map to the behavior lab.

Broad Behavioral lab seating area

For participants

Participants in Broad’s Behavioral Lab are an important part of the scientific community because they help researchers answer important questions about how people work, make decisions, and interact with each other.

The Lab conducts a wide variety of different research studies. In one study, you might make decisions about which products to buy or how to invest your money. In another study, you might interact with other people to negotiate a deal or develop a new business plan.

Participant FAQ

  • What types of studies happen in the lab?

    Most studies conducted in the lab are surveys and behavioral tasks, such as making decisions or working with others to brainstorm ideas. You’ll be able to see a basic description of all studies on our SONA website before you sign up, so you’ll know exactly what you’re getting into.

  • Can I get course credit?

    Yes! Almost all studies conducted in the lab will be compensated with course credit.

  • What do I do if I’m going to be late for a study?

    If you know you’re going to be late for a study, please contact the researchers listed on the study’s page in Sona. Depending on the study, being late might disqualify you from participating.

  • What happens if I’m not able to participate in a study I signed up for?

    If you’re unable to attend a study you signed up for, please contact the researchers listed on the study’s Sona page and let them know. We ask that you cancel your sign up in Sona before the cancellation deadline (which varies by study), to avoid being counted as an unexcused no-show (see next question).

  • What's the no-show policy?

    The lab has a limit of 2 “unexcused no-shows” per semester. You will be marked as an unexcused no-show if you do not attend a study you signed up for, and do not cancel your sign up or contact the researcher beforehand explaining why you can’t make it. Once you have 2 unexcused no-shows, your Sona account will be automatically deactivated for the remainder of the semester and you will not be able to sign up for studies. If you are in a course with a research requirement, this means you will need to write research papers to satisfy the requirement.

  • What are my rights as a participant?

    As a research participant, you have the rights to be treated ethically and respectfully, to be informed of the nature of the study, and to withdraw your participation at any time. All studies conducted in the lab are reviewed and approved by MSU’s Institutional Review Board, and researchers are required to obtain informed consent from participants before every study.

Broad Behavioral Lab computer room

For Researchers

Accessing & Reserving the Lab

Requesting Access

Researchers must first request physical access to the lab before reserving or using the lab. Please use the link below to request access.

Once you have been granted access, you will be able to enter the lab with your SpartanCard. There is a keycard reader next to the lab entrance. Authorized researchers can access the lab 24 hours per day with their SpartanCard (but you must have a reservation to use the lab)

Lab Access Request (Researchers Only)

 

Reserving the Lab

If you would like to reserve one or more of the lab spaces, please check availability on the lab calendar in Outlook by searching for the shared calendar: Broad.BCC.E4. Once you identify available dates and times, send a reservation request to Sue Polhamus (polhamus@broad.msu.edu) and Andrea Bates (batesan4@broad.msu.edu). They will add your reservation to the lab calendar and send a confirmation.

If you reserve the lab and your plans change, you must cancel your reservation in Outlook at least 24 hours before the start of your reservation (and ideally more). Unused lab reservations will be tracked and lab privileges may be revoked for repeated violations of the reservation policy.

Lab Facilities

The lab has three types of rooms that can be configured to meet the needs of specific studies (see floor plan below).

  • Computer room. The computer room has 23 desktop computers where participants can complete studies on their own.
    • The computers may be partitioned into separate carrels with privacy dividers when participants need to work individually. However, all tables are on wheels and the privacy dividers can be easily removed (no tools required) for collaborative studies.
    • The computer room has a large wall-mounted monitor that researchers can use to introduce studies and provide instructions.
    • Computers are loaded with a standard software suite, including Microsoft Office, web browsers (e.g., for access to Qualtrics), and z-Tree.
  • Small team rooms. There are two small rooms that can hold up to five participants each. The rooms can be used for small group studies, interview studies, or when participants need to work on study materials in a private space. Each room has a table, chairs, and a wall-mounted monitor for collaboration.

Broad Behavioral Lab 3D Floor Plan Depiction

  • Flexible space. There is one open room that can be used for a variety of purposes.
    • Researchers can set up auditorium-style seating to provide instructions to participants. The room also has tables (on wheels) and divider walls that can create three separate group workspaces. Alternatively, researchers can remove all furniture and set up a retail environment or exhibits in the room.
    • The room has two large wall-mounted monitors that researchers can use to introduce studies and provide instructions.

There are seven high-resolution ceiling-mounted cameras throughout the lab complex with 360-degree viewing angles. Cameras are connected to a server with camera control and video storage capabilities.

In addition, the lab has a reception area to greet participants. The reception desk has a desktop computer. There is also a storage room with locked cabinets where researchers can temporarily store study materials while they run their studies. The storage room has a freezer maintained at -20C to store biospecimens.

Broad Behavioral Lab Floor Plan

Researcher FAQ

  • What types of studies can be conducted in the lab?

    The lab is designed to be flexible. Studies could be related to individual (e.g., managerial, consumer) decision-making, small teams, interview studies, etc.

    Note that all research conducted in the lab must be approved by MSU’s IRB.

  • Who may reserve and use the lab?

    Faculty and PhD students in the Broad College may reserve and use the lab.

  • How do people get access to the lab?

    Faculty and PhD students must request access to the lab before their SpartanCard will unlock the lab door

    Request Access

  • When is the lab available?

    The lab is available 24 hours per day for those with keycard access.
    The lab is available by reservation only.
    Please check E4 Lab calendar in Outlook for availability.

  • How do I reserve the lab?
    • Check the E4 Lab calendar in Outlook for availability.
    • Email your reservation request to Sue Polhamus (polhamus@broad.msu.edu) and Andrea Bates (batesan4@broad.msu.edu). If the lab is available, you should receive a confirmation within 2 business days.
    • If you reserve the lab and your plans change, you must cancel your reservation by emailing Sue Polhamus (polhamus@broad.msu.edu) and Andrea Bates (batesan4@broad.msu.edu) at least 24 hours in advance of the beginning of the reservation.
    • Unused lab reservations will be tracked, and lab privileges may be revoked for for repeated violations of the reservation policy.
  • What are the limits to lab reservations?

    A researcher can reserve the any one room in the lab for no more than 40 hours per month.
    Additional time may be reserved no more than five days in advance if the lab is available

  • What is the usage priority?

    The lab may be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • How do I put files on the computers and retrieve files?

    Researchers are granted access to lab network drive folders when they are granted physical access to the lab. Each computer in the lab has its own folder, and researchers may put or retrieve files from those folders from anywhere they have internet access.

  • Can I store research materials in the lab?

    Researchers may store study materials in the lab while their study is running but must remove all materials when the study closes (i.e., at the end of the lab reservation).
    Any materials left in the lab after a study closes will be discarded or will become the property of the lab.

  • What happens if researchers violate a policy?

    Policy violations will be reviewed and may result in lab privileges being revoked.
    Researchers are responsible for any damages to lab furniture and equipment during their reservation. Costs associated with repairing damage or replacing equipment will be charged to the faculty research budget or the faculty member’s department.

Broad behavioral lab seating area with a whiteboard, three chairs and a table.

Lab Policies

Reservations and usage

  • All faculty and PhD students in the Broad College may reserve and use the lab. However, the lab is for research purposes only and may not be reserved or used for instructional purposes. Moreover, the lab is a not a general-purpose computer lab and should not be used for word processing, e-mail, statistical analysis, or other non-research applications.
  • Lab reservations should be made and, if necessary, cancelled at least 24 hours in advance. This is to make sure all researchers have full visibility into lab availability and opportunities to reserve and use the facility.
  • Lab reservations are made on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Researchers can reserve any single room in the lab facility, or the entire facility, for a maximum of 40 hours per month. Additional time may be reserved no more than five days in advance if the lab is available.

Studies that may run in the lab

  • All research conducted in the lab must be approved by MSU’s IRB.
  • Faculty members associated with research projects (e.g., the PI listed on the IRB protocol) are ultimately responsible for everything that happens in the lab during a reservation.
  • Researchers are responsible for recruiting and compensating their own participants in a manner consistent with the protocol approved by MSU’s IRB.

Security

  • Lab security must maintained at all times. Only researchers and participants should be allowed into the lab, and only at the reserved times.
  • The door should be kept locked when the lab is not in use.

Lab condition and storage

  • All furniture should be returned to its original location at the end of the reservation.
  • Researchers may store study materials in the lab while their study is running but must remove all materials when the study closes (i.e., at the end of the lab reservation).
  • Any materials left in the lab after a study closes will be discarded or will become the property of the lab.
  • Researchers are responsible for any damages to or theft of lab furniture and equipment during their reservation. Costs associated with repairing damage or replacing equipment will be charged to the faculty research budget or the faculty member’s department.
  • Policy violations
    • Policy violations will be reviewed and may result in lab privileges being revoked.