The Experimental Research Faculty of the Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE-ERF) offers a state-of-the-art facility for experimental, behavioural research.
The Experimental Research Facility at the Faculty of Business and Economics enables first class facilities for behavioural researchers to test economic theories and develop policies. Behavioural experiments are an increasingly important tool in social sciences research but also in business and policy-making.
Our laboratory experiments allow researchers to study behaviour at a level of precision that is not feasible outside a controlled laboratory environment.
A lot of experimental research in social sciences happens in laboratories like this where researchers can study people’s behaviour in highly controlled settings, allowing detailed observation of people and enabling zooming in on very particular aspects of behaviour.
Today, researchers study everything from risk-taking, to trading mechanisms, auction design and trading robots. Increasingly, controlled experimentation is also used in government agencies to test policy options before they are implemented, these days sometimes referred to as ‘nudges’; and in business, to test processes or products before they are rolled out in the market.
Experiments are used to study behaviour and develop theories in many areas of the social sciences, ranging from consumer research, to accounting, market microstructure and health economics. They are also increasingly being used by businesses and government agencies to develop and test new products, services and policies, before they are being rolled out in the population.
The Experimental Research Facility at the Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE-ERF) allows researchers to conduct a wide range of experiments with up to 40 participants at a time. It is primarily available to academics and students of the Faculty of Business and Economics.
The FBE-ERF is located at 233 Bouverie Street in Carlton. It comprises a total of 12 testing rooms of varying capacity and highly specialised equipment, including virtual reality and eye tracking equipment.
Testing area Alpha (G28)
This area is a large computer lab with 40 (PC) workstations. The room also contains two ceiling-mounted projectors that can be projected onto screens on either side of the room.
Testing area Beta (G11-G27)
This area contains 11 testing rooms (8 one-person testing rooms, 1 two-person testing room, and 2 six-person testing rooms).
The FBE-ERF is available to academic staff and students of the Faculty of Business and Economics.
The facility can only be used for data acquisition related to studies that have received human ethics approval by the University of Melbourne Human Research Ethics Committee. Ethics approval needs be granted prior to the beginning of data acquisition. If ethics approval for a study has been granted by another university, the study needs to be registered with the University of Melbourne Human Research Ethics Committee prior to the beginning of data acquisition.
At least one of the investigators of a study needs to have an affiliation with the Faculty of Business and Economics.
Clinical trials, studies with patients
The FBE-ERF cannot be used for clinical trials or for studies involving patients.
For all enquiries regarding the FBE-ERF, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A detailed guide and induction material is also available for FBE staff on the FBE Intranet here: https://staff.unimelb.edu.au/fbe/research/platforms.