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The Research Lab team

Did you know that LBS has Research Labs on Park Place? We caught up with the team to find out more about the important role the lab plays in faculty research, and uncover details about how staff and students can participate in research studies and earn some money for contributing...

Who’s who? From left to right:

OW: Oliver Waddup- Lab Assistant, SM: Sharmay Mitchell- Lab Assistant, ZC: Zareen Choudhury- Lab Manager

What does the Research Lab do?

We are an interdisciplinary lab with cutting-edge facilities open to London Business School researchers who employ behavioural research methods. We carry out controlled lab-based, online and field experiments to collect data for the research studies of the faculty (and students supervised by faculty) at the School. We offer other research assistance support.

What kind of research is the lab conducting?

It’s all academic, behavioural research studies that take place either in the lab, online or outside in the real world. Faculty and PhD students formulate their ideas and hypotheses, and then speak to Zareen to iron out the logistics of running their studies.

The lab team are responsible for getting a study ready and the average lab study lasts between 30 and 45 minutes. Participants are paid in cash at the end of study participation, typically £10. The shortest lab-based study we have ever run was about five minutes long and was one of our popular consumption-based studies. Online studies are usually much shorter, from 2 to 20 minutes and participants are paid through a fixed Amazon voucher payment or entry into a prize draw.

A study could involve reading a scenario and giving your opinion on it, or answering questions about it. It could also involve solving puzzles as part of a group, or discussing a topic and then answering some questions. There might be some negotiation or decision-making involved. We’ve had studies involving physical activity, consumption of food products, or word games. Whatever it is, we provide a brief explanation of what is involved so participants can choose to sign up based on their interests.

We’d love to tell you absolutely everything about our studies but, of course, if you knew as much as we did then you wouldn’t be able to participate in them!

Who can participate in research studies and what’s in it for them?

Anyone aged 18 years or over can participate. A lot of external students from all over London come to take part, but it’s mainly people who are living, working or studying nearby.

To take part in our studies, you need to have a research account with us which is very simple to create. You just go to participate.london.edu, request a research account, fill out your details and then you receive an email with your login details.

Once you complete a very short pre-screen questionnaire, you’re all set to view and sign up for studies on our research participation system. Lab-based studies run Monday-Friday from 10am to 5pm. The Lab can be accessed from the big blue door between Co-Op and The House on Park Road.

If you create a research account, there is no obligation to take part in studies – you pick the studies you’re most interested in and select a time slot that fits best with your schedule. Through participation, you contribute to LBS research, serving top journals and publications worldwide. And, of course, you get paid for your time.

What does a typical day look like in the lab?

There really is no such thing as a typical day at the Lab. Every day is different! One day you’re setting up a lab-based study, the next day you’re at Stansted airport collecting data and the next you might be recruiting participants at university freshers fairs.

We once ran a study where participants had to build a house out of Lego. It was really fun seeing what participants made. They had no time constraint so there were some really lavish Lego houses created!

What do you enjoy most about your role?

ZC: I like the variety of my role. There’s always something new and exciting happening to keep me on my toes and get me thinking of solutions and new ways to improve things.

SM: I like the diversity of the role. I like seeing the results of all of our hard work. I like to think we have the best-run lab in the UK.

OW: Running experiments and collecting data is the most enjoyable aspect of my role. Observing differences in responses, as a result of a participant viewing a specific piece of stimuli, has been fascinating to me since I began studying Psychology in my undergraduate degree.

When a participant completes a questionnaire, they often complete a series of questions. Each question then holds meaning as numbers can be assigned to each question item. Seeing how these numbers translate to real-life behaviour (how people think, feel and behave) is addictive.

What do you like most about working at the School?

ZC: I love the community spirit at the School; everyone is really helpful. There are a lot of cat enthusiasts around the School and I enjoy talking to them all!

SM: I like the people and the work environment at the Lab. I love the flower boxes around the School and I notice every time new flowers are planted!

OW: The community that is felt throughout the school. Staff are extremely friendly and I always feel at ease approaching anyone about anything. Summer and winter celebrations are extremely enjoyable as they offer opportunities to mingle with those you don’t often get to meet.

What do you like to do outside work?

ZC: I’m really into cosplaying – a type of costume-performance art that’s popular with fans of anime, manga and comics. Something that might be surprising about me is that I have an Amazon blue-fronted parrot, a canary, some chickens and a hamster. I’m a cat person, but I have too many cat-edible pets to actually own a cat!

SM: Outside of work, I create at least one new thing every day. I’m currently into over 740 consecutive days of creating something new. I write a lot of poetry, make jewellery, digital art, and surface pattern designs in my spare time. I enjoy travelling if I’m on annual leave, and I’m usually exploring another part of the world.

Some surprising facts about me – I can juggle and I sometimes write and perform puppet shows for children. Some of the jewellery I designed was featured in one of Issa Rae’s YouTube series’ before she became famous.

OW: I love playing my guitar and socialising with friends whenever I can. I am always looking to travel to a place I have never been before too. If I’m not abroad, I’m saving up for the next trip.