About the lab

The Research Laboratory on Behavioral and Experimental Sciences (BES_Lab) is born out of the union of both the Laboratory of the Department of Political and Social Sciences (DCPIS Lab) and the Experimental Economics Laboratory (LeeX) at Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF). It has been created to facilitate interdisciplinary research activities in political, social and economics sciences. Studies by UPF researchers of different disciplines, such as economic and political behavior, sociology, or political and social or personality psychology, can be conducted here. The laboratory can host studies with experimental, quantitative and qualitative methods, creating opportunities and synergies among them.

The BES_Lab is located at the Mercè Rodoreda 24 building (3rd floor, office 24.320) at UPF Ciutadella Campus. The location and easy-access of this facility make it suitable for research with both student and community based populations. The laboratory has 28 computer work-stations in separate cubicles, a separate room (for meetings, focus groups, non-computer-based experiments, etc.), and a separate computer for the researcher. All computers have internet connection and state-of-the-art software to conduct surveys and experiments (Qualtrics and Z-tree). In addition, all the computers are equipped with the office suite and data analysis programs available at the university. Any software available at the Department can be installed on request after obtaining permission.

The lab facilities allow researchers to conduct a wide range of studies: computer-assisted (e.g. web surveys) or in-situ (e.g. face-to-face interviews) studies, individual or group experiments/data-collection, studies where participants interact virtually in an anonymous way, among others. All studies conducted in the laboratory should comply with the requirements that have been established by the Institutional Commission for the Ethical Review of Projects of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra. The lab is open to all researchers of the Department of Social and Political Sciences, the Department of Economics and Business, and to other external researchers with a defined design of the study and resources to conduct them.

Furthermore, these facilities can be used by professors who are interested in teaching research methodology using the lab equipment (survey and experiment software). The professor should always be present during the lab sessions and students must not access the lab alone.


Software & Equipment

Many statistical and survey software packages are installed in the lab and can be used, such as:

Z-Tree: a software package developed by Urs Fischbacher at University of Zurich's Institute for Empirical Research in Economics, to conduct economic experiments such as auctions, ultimatum games, prisoners' dilemma games, trust games, etc.

Qualtrics: survey software with many programmable options (including the insertion of reaction time tasks, audio, video, randomization, branching). 

Direct RT: software to design Reaction Time tasks/experiments, presenting sound, video images and text with exacting precision. Useful in studying memory processes, attentional processes or evaluative processes (e.g. lexical decision tasks, implicit associations, evaluative priming tasks).

E-Prime: software used for behavioral research, for designing, generating, collecting, analyzing data.

IBM SPSS: statistical package for data analysis.

R: free software environment for statistical analysis and graphics.

MatLab: a programming platform designed specifically for engineers and scientists, to analyze data, develop algorithms, create models and applications. The heart of MATLAB is the MATLAB language, a matrix-based language allowing the most natural expression of computational mathematics.

There is also the following equipment that can be used:

Tobii Eye-Tracker: to measure and observe differences in attention or attention biases to different stimuli, measuring eye positions and eye movement.                                                      

10-millisecond-accurate keyboards (for reaction time studies/experiments)              

Headphones with microphones


Conducting a study

Requirements: Studies must have defined design and qualified personnel to carry them out. For information about UPF ethical requirements contact CIREP: https://www.upf.edu/web/cirep/membres

Lab booking: A calendar page will be made available to schedule the lab sessions, to ensure that you can use the lab we recommend booking your sessions well in advance.

Lab manager: Anyone wanting to conduct a study in the lab should contact Pablo López Aguilar ([email protected]), in order to obtain more information about its use, requirements and service prices (which apply in case you are not a UPF researcher). He can offer advice and support for planning and scheduling the data collection, for recruiting the sample, and also for conducting the lab sessions.

Early arrival: Researchers must be at the lab at least 15 minutes before lab use start time.

Cleanup: After using the lab, researchers must leave it in the same condition they found it upon arrival. No study-related papers or personal objects should be left ANYWHERE and all study-specific software and files should be removed from the computers, computers and lights should be turned off.