Decision Labs Network

NIM Decision Lab Network

Traditionally, empirical economic research investigated the behavior and decisions of market participants using “naturally occurring” or especially collected survey data. However, this often has the disadvantage that the effects of different influencing factors on the observed behavior are mixed up and difficult to separate. Furthermore, survey data rather often are biased because stated and real behavior are not necessarily identically. Experimental research attempts to solve these problems. In experiments, test subects are placed in strictly controlled situations, where their decision is observed in order to carefully examine causal relationships and their level of impact.

In order to control the environment in such experiments as best as possible, they are conducted in laboratory experiments. These labs are usually equipped with isolated computer workstations where the test subjects have to make their decisions. A network of computer workstations and special software also enable interaction between the participants.

Today, lab experiments are well established and a widely used method in many scientific disciplines. Especially those disciplines, which could be subsumed under the term Behavioral Science, often draw on behavioral and decision experiments in labs.

The NIM Decision Lab Network is a network consisting of three experimental laboratories: a mobile experimental lab in Nuremberg and the “Prosumer Decision Labs”, which are jointly established with the University of Pretoria, and the Business School of the Central University of Finance and Economics (CUFE) in Beijing.

The research of the NIM Decision Lab Network focuses on the decision processes of market participants on both sides the consumption as well as the production side. With the use of empirical studies, the network aims on better understanding human decision behavior itself and how it is influenced by new technologies, societal trends, and cultural factors in markets.


Research Focus

Affective states / emotions and decision making
How does the affective state (e.g., the degree of emotional arousal) of a person influence the person’s decision-making process (risk taking, competition seeking, etc.)?

Confusion and decision making
Is there a relation between the solving of a confusing situation and the attention and cognitive performance in subsequent tasks or decisions?

Decision Support Systems
Could feedback or other supportive information during the decision process be used to solve emotional states and, hence, debias the decision and improve decision quality?


Current and concluded projects and experiments

Trust Among Cultures – A International Trust Game Study
by NIM, Prosumer Decision Lab at University of Pretoria and KD2 Lab at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Social Giving and sociodemographics characteristics
by Dr. Nicky Nicholls, Department of Economics, University of Pretoria

Inference of emotional states from human voices
Part of the project “How do intrinsic involvement and extrinsic incentive affect vocal arousal?”
(by NIM, KD2 Lab at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, University of Geneva, audEERING GmbH)


Academic partners

Prof. Yolanda Jordaan
University of Pretoria
Prosumer Decision Lab Pretoria

Prof. Dr. Veronika Grimm
University of Erlangen-Nuremberg
Laboratory for Experimental Research Nuremberg (LERN)

Prof. Dr. Nicole Koschate-Fischer
University of Erlangen-Nuremberg
Experimental Lab for Business Insights Nuremberg (ELAN)

Prof. Dr. Christof Weinhardt
PD Dr. Jella Pfeiffer

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Karlsruhe Decision & Design Lab (KD2Lab)

Equipment / Capabilities

Some impressions from our Decision Labs