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FAQs


General Questions / Other

  • What is the Research Lab?

    The Research Lab is a facility for faculty and PhD students at the London Business School (LBS) to utilise for their research needs. Online, Lab-based and occasionally field studies are run. The data collected contributes to the academic research of LBS faculty and PhD students. The number of studies running at the Lab depends solely on the demand from LBS faculty and PhD students. The staff working at the Lab facilitate the data collection of the studies that are run.

  • Who conducts research at the London Business School Research Lab?

    The Lab is used by London Business School faculty, predominantly from the departments of Marketing and Organisational Behaviour, but other departments also carry out behavioural research projects. If you are interested in knowing more about LBS researchers and their fields of interest and their research interests visit the London Business School website.

  • What if I need to contact the lab or have any questions?

    Feel free to email the Research Lab Manager, Zareen Choudhury (zchoudhury@london.edu) or call 02070008638. Alternatively, you can contact the Lab team at lab@london.edu or call us on 0207 000 8630. If we contact you via your university-associated email address, remember to change it to another when you finish university so you can still receive study email invitations from us.

  • What happens with the data collected by the Research Lab?

    All data collected by the London Business School Behavioural Research Lab is used for academic purposes only. The researchers/ principal investigators are LBS staff or PhD students and they analyse the study data with the goal of publication their research papers in academic journals or books and possibly for presentation at academic conferences. Data will be stored as required by journal and professional standards. Your privacy will be maintained in all published and written data resulting from your participation in our studies.

  • What if I've forgotten my username and/ or password?

    If you have forgotten your username or password, please click on the "forgot password?" button, which can be found at the bottom right of the research participation home page (https://lbs.sona-systems.com) and follow the instructions. When you receive the email with your new login information, please be careful to remove any spaces that should not be there if you have copied and pasted the user ID and password. If you experience any further issues, e-mail the Lab team.

  • How do I cancel my study sign up?

    To cancel a study sign up, please login to your research participation account, go to "My Schedule and Credits", select the study you want to cancel and click on the cancel button. If you need to cancel with less than 24 hours before the start of your scheduled time slot, please e-mail the Lab team or call us on 020 7000 8630. The Research Lab office hours are 9:30am-5:30pm on week days, excluding Bank Holidays.

  • Can I create more than one account?

    No. Please do not create more than one research account. Participants are NOT permitted to have more than one research participation account OR to use anyone else’s research participation account as this leads to unreliable data collection. Participants found to have more than one account will have their accounts deactivated. One individual participating multiple times in the same study can result in the reporting of incorrect findings or the skewing of data, which undermines research. Even if you created an account a long time ago and never used it, please do not create a new account. Just drop the lab team an email and we will resend you the login information for your original, old account. If you experience any issues with your research participation account, please e-mail the Lab team at the first instance.

  • How do I find the London Business School Research Lab?

    The Research Lab is a 5-10 minute walk from the Baker Street Underground station which is served by the Metropolitan, Circle, Jubilee, Hammersmith & City and Bakerloo lines. Turn right out of the Baker street North exit; walk up Baker Street against the one-way traffic flow. Take the second left onto Park Road and walk for about 2 minutes. The Research Lab is situated at 26 Park Road on the ground floor on the right-hand side of the road. There is a large blue door with the words "Behavioural Lab" on the front. Press the buzzer and state either your name or research identity code for access. Please do not use the internal School entrance as this may sometimes be inaccessible and is not always monitored for study access purposes. (If you find yourself in front of the main entrance for the school, you have walked too far). Buses 13, 82, 113, 139, 189 and 274 all stop within walking distance of the Research Lab. Visit the London Business School website to view a map of our location at 26-34 Park Road, London NW1 4SH.

  • What are the general rules for the lab?

    Here are some general rules that all participants must follow when taking part in research.


    • Participants are not permitted to create more than one account on our research participation website or to use the account of another participant.

    • Phones must be turned off and kept in pockets or bags for the duration of study participation. Participants who interact with their phones at any stage during study participation may be asked to leave without payment.

    • No loud conversations in the Lab unless required as part of the study

    • No consumption of food or beverages (water is acceptable), unless as part of a study.

    • Participants are not allowed to disturb other participants.

    • Repeatedly turning up late and/or failing to inform the Lab team of non-attendance is not acceptable.

    • Participants must take tasks seriously and follow instructions carefully; ask the researcher for clarification if you are unsure about anything.

    • Do not discuss study procedures or content with other participants who are yet to take part in the same study. Please note, you may be asked to show a form of photographic ID. All participants must be over the age of 18 years.
  • Is my personal information kept secure?

    We will never provide any of your personal information to any third party. The researchers (LBS faculty/ PhD students) who analyse study data do not have access to any of your personally identifying information or the research participation database (SONA Systems) and so cannot connect your data to you personally. Your unique participant ID number is the only reference attached to your data. All study data is stored securely in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998, the LBS research ethics policy and GDPR guidelines.

  • How can I remove myself from this research participation pool?

    To request to be removed from the research participation site, just click the 'remove' link at the bottom of our emails and follow the instructions, or send an e-mail to the Lab team. Please note, if you do not provide the email address, user ID or unique participant ID number associated with your research account within the short survey, we will be unable to locate and remove your account from the research participation system. Please allow 7 working days for your removal request to be actioned.

  • What happens to video recordings?

    Some studies may involve video recording of participant. If this is a requirement, you will always be informed. No recordings will ever be used without participant consent. Any recordings (video or still) are only viewed by the researchers working on the study for data analysis.

  • What if I need to change my contact details (mobile/email)?

    If you need to change your contact details, send an e-mail to the Lab team with your username and the old and new information and this will be updated. You can also update this information yourself by logging in to your research participation account and clicking on "My Profile". If you are no longer able to access the email account that your research participation account is associated with, please send an e-mail to let us know you would like your email address to be changed. Please do not create a new research account.

  • I know some other people who might be interested in participating in your research studies, can they sign-up?

    Of course they can! We are always looking for participants for our research studies. As long as they are aged 18 years or over, all they need to do is to go to our participation website to create their personal research participation account.

  • What is the Research Lab Loyalty Card?

    This is a card that the lab will be trailing to encourage lab-based study participation through recommendations from our existing participants. If you agree to participate in this scheme, your loyalty card will have your participant ID number written at the top of it. You can give this loyalty card to a friend/ colleague/ family member, who must then participate in two Lab-based studies before both parties (recommender and recommended) will receive a monetary bonus payment of £10 each.

    Terms and conditions:

    The recommended friend must be 18 years or over, a new participant without an existing or past research account with us. They will need to create an account and sign up to studies with the London Business School’s Research Lab at https://lbs.sona-systems.com/. Loyalty cards will only be stamped with the lab’s ‘blab’ stamp on completion of lab based studies. Online studies will NOT count. Participants may be disqualified from the scheme if any of rules of the lab have been broken:


    • Participants are NOT allowed to make more than one account on our research participation website.

    • No phone usage/ interaction during the duration of a study session. Phones must be switched off.

    • No talking in the lab unless required as part of the study.

    • No food consumption or beverages (water is acceptable), unless a part of a study.

    • Participants are not allowed to disturb other participants.

    • Repeatedly turning up late and/or failing to inform the lab team of any changes in your circumstances.

    • Participants must take tasks seriously and follow instructions carefully, asking the experimenter for clarification if unsure of any instructions.

    • To claim a stamp, photo ID with name must be provided each time.

    The recommended friend will be paid on the completion of the second lab based study. The recommender will be sent an email to the address in their research account to inform them of their friend’s completion of two lab based studies. They will then be given a month from the date of the email to claim their payment (£10 cash). Failure to claim their reward at the end of the month will result in either a £10 Amazon.co.uk voucher sent to the recommender or a £10 donation to a charity. Participants must sign out for any cash bonus payment given as a result of the loyalty card scheme, as confirmation of compensation. Only the recommender and recommended individuals are eligible for payment. The payment cannot be transferred to another individual and photographic ID will be requested at the point of payment in the lab.

Research Participation Account

  • Why have I been assigned points/ credits for a study?

    If you have been assigned credits or points for a study, they have no meaningful value. This is a function commonly used by other institutions. If you notice you have been granted a credit or point for a study, but not for another, there is no significance in this and no need for concern.

  • What does it mean that I am "taking part in a self- employed capacity and responsible for any tax due"?

    For legal reasons we must include this in our consent forms. However, the research you are taking part in is voluntary and you will not have to pay any tax on the money you earn taking part in research studies at the Lab. You must hit a threshold of around £100 per week to meet the criteria where you would have to pay tax.

  • Why have I been asked to provide photographic ID?

    The display of photographic ID will be requested before all Lab-based study participation from all participants. As it is against Lab policy for participants to create more than one research participation account, or for those under the age of 18 years to take part, the Lab team must be able to ascertain that each individual participating in our research studies is a unique individual in our database and over the age of 18 years. Your photographic ID or any personal information will never be linked with any of your study data. Participants will be required to present a form of ID that clearly displays their photograph, full name (that matches the one in their research participation account) and their date of birth, or something separate to show they are 18 years or over. Presenting a photocopy of your photographic ID will also be accepted as long as the details are clear and legible. The following types of ID can be presented:


    • 18+ photo Oyster cards

    • military ID

    • passport

    • NUS extra card

    • provisional or full driver’s license

    • student ID cards with photo.

    If ID is sent by email and we can verify it matches the information in your research account, it will be deleted and our system updated to show that you have provided suitable ID. As we do not store the ID you provide, the Lab team may request ID on more than one occasion to verify you are a legitimate, unique participant. If your account information matches that of another participant and ID is requested, your research participation account will typically remain deactivated until photographic ID is provided. If you would prefer to come to the Lab in person to present your ID, please e-mail us to arrange a convenient time to do so. If the name in your research participation account does not match that on your form of ID, please e-mail the Lab team and we can update this information on your behalf.

  • I've forgotten my login information and cannot access my emails. Help!

    If you have forgotten your login information and cannot access your emails, please e-mail the Lab team, stating the email address associated with your research account, your user ID or participant ID code and we will be able to update your account with your preferred email address. Please DO NOT create another research account.

  • Why did I have to enter my full name when creating a research account?

    Your name or any other personally identifying details will never be linked to any responses you give during your study participation. The study researchers (LBS faculty and PhD students) will only see your 5/6 digit unique participant ID number; they do not have access to the research participation database. When attending Lab-based studies, you will be asked to show a form of photographic ID before taking part and the name on your ID should match the name in your research account. It is important for data reliability that the Lab team can verify that accounts are held by unique individuals who are authorised to participate in our research studies. It is against Lab policy for a participant to have more than one research account. If you need to update your details, please send an e-mail to the Lab team.

Participating in studies

  • I attempted to sign up for a study, and I was prevented from doing so, why is this?

    There are a number of possible reasons for this. Sometimes researchers run similar studies, or follow-up studies, to collect additional data. Your participation in one of the studies could influence your responses in the other (e.g. some of the questions or scenarios are the same or similar in both studies) and so you will not be permitted to participate in it. It may be that there are no longer any time slots available to sign up to. Please send an e-mail with your research identity code and the dates/ times when you are available to request to be added to the study waiting list. Also do update your contact information in your research account. If you have a number, we will likely call you to confirm ASAP if you can take part.

  • I've not received an email to participate in a study for a long time.

    There could be many reasons why you have not received a study invitation. --The lab is closed over Christmas and the New Year period. --The study may have specific restrictions or requirements that you may/ may not meet. --You may have completed a similar study in the past, which disqualifies you from participating in a particular subsequent study. --You may not have completed your pre-screen, which is mandatory before you can view or sign up for a study. If you have not done so, you will be prompted to do so each time you login. –You may have unsubscribed from our mailing list. Please click on the ‘my profile’ tab to check your email contact information is up to date. If you do not qualify for a study you should not receive an email relating to the study. If you have any queries relating to your research participation account, please contact the Lab team. Please do not create a new account, as this is against the Research Lab policy.

  • What if I am running late for a Lab-based study?

    Send an e-mail to the Lab team or call us on 02070008630 if you are running late and don't think you will make it in time to begin the study at the start of your time slot. This way, we can inform you whether or not it is likely that we can still run you on the study you have signed up for, or attempt to secure you a new rescheduled time slot where possible. Additionally, you can add your phone number into your research account details. This will enable us to give you a call if you are running late to give you directions to the lab or let you know if it is still feasible to run you on the study. To do this, you must click on 'my profile' after logging in and then enter your details. For most studies (ie. group-based ones) we can only wait for a limited amount of time before we must begin in order to remain on track with the rest of the day's scheduled study running. If you arrive after the start time of your scheduled time slot, we may not be able to run you and you will not be paid.

  • What happens if I fail to turn up to a research study?

    Participants who fail to turn up to research studies and provide less than 24 hours notification will be recorded as an unexcused no show. After 3 unexcused no shows participants will be sent an automatic warning. Participants who incur a fourth unexcused no shows will have their research accounts deactivated, pending review. Participants who incur repeated, consecutive no shows may have their accounts deactivated before they reach 4 unexcused no shows. If a participant arrives too late to begin their scheduled time slot, an unexcused no show may still be recorded. Failure to attend a research study incurs a considerable cost to the researcher. If you are unable to come to the lab to participate in a study you have signed up for, please let us know in advance so we can make the time slot available for other participants to sign up to. Send an e-mail to the Lab team or call us on 02070008630.

  • I have been sent a warning about the failure to answer an attention question. What does this mean?

    To ensure participants are reading and understanding all instructions in a study, researchers may include questions that check participants are paying attention. Attention-checking questions are either instructional (e.g. requesting you respond to a survey question in a specific way to indicate you have read the full text instructions carefully before selecting and submitting a response on a survey page), or comprehension-based (e.g. requesting recall of information you have read on a previous survey page). Sometimes, participants who fail to respond appropriately to these types of questions will be automatically redirected out of an online survey without being able to view and respond to the main survey content. This is done to prevent participants from being excluded from taking part in similar studies in the future. Participants who fail attention checks will be sent an email warning and will be reviewed for account deactivation if they repeatedly fail attention- checking questions both in online and Lab-based studies. Payment for participants who have failed attention questions within a study is strictly at the discretion of the study researcher whose study is being conducted, not the Lab team. Therefore, failing to carefully read and appropriately respond to an attention-checking question could result in non-payment for study participation. It is important that you take your participation in our research studies seriously and read and follow all instructions carefully. If you have any questions or experience any issues when completing any surveys (online, or at the Lab), please inform the Lab team at your earliest convenience. As of 12.06.2017, participants who have failed to appropriately respond to an attention-checking question during a Lab-based study will be informed of this and then if said participant then signs up for a subsequent Lab-based study and fails another attention check, they will forfeit their payment for that Lab-based study participation. The participant will not be paid their base, or any bonus, payment or be included in any prize draws associated with that study.

Lab-based studies

  • What does 'excused no show' mean?

    An excused no show occurs when a participant provides sufficient notice (at least 24 hours before their scheduled time slot) for the Lab team to cancel the time slot they are signed up for and make it available for another participant to sign up to.

  • What does 'unexcused no show' mean?

    Unexcused no show refers to an instance when a participant has failed to provide at least 24 hours notice that they can no longer attend the study time slot they signed up for. This includes participants who cancel on the day of their study time slot. Participants are able to login and cancel a time slot 24 hours before they are due to take part. It also includes participants who arrive after their scheduled time slot and are too late to participate. We require participants to cancel 24 hours before the study takes place, as this allows sufficient time for another participant to sign-up for said time slot. Unexcused no show refers to an instance when a participant has failed to provide at least 24 hours notice that they can no longer attend the study time slot they signed up for. This includes participants who cancel on the day of their study time slot. Participants are able to login and cancel a time slot 24 hours before they are due to take part. It also includes participants who arrive after their scheduled time slot and are too late to participate. We require participants to cancel 24 hours before the study takes place, as this allows sufficient time for another participant to sign-up for said time slot. Participants who incur four unexcused no shows will have their research accounts deactivated, pending review.

  • The study time slot duration when I signed up said: 30 minutes, but in the email invitation and in the description online it says 45 minutes. Which is correct?

    Please go by the information in the email invitation and study description on the research participation site. For example, a study description may read; "This study will take approximately 30 minutes", but the scheduled time slots may appear to occur every 15 minutes. Please adhere to the information in the study description and email invitation you received. The scheduled time slots are mainly for admin purposes and allow for the Lab team to schedule overlapping time slots, which may not always correspond with the duration in the study description and invitation. Approximate study durations are based on the Lab team testing the surveys and taking into account potential waiting times, instructions, etc.

  • I can't make it for my study timeslot anymore. Can I send my friend in my place instead?

    No. Your friend (as long as they are 18 years or over) will need to create their own research participation account with us. It is against the Lab's policy for more than one person to use a single research participation account. Some studies carry specific participant restrictions/ requirements, which are imposed by the researcher, and so your friend may not qualify to participate. If you can no longer attend your study time slot, please either cancel your slot online up to 24 hours before it is scheduled to begin, or contact the Lab team to either notify of your cancellation or discuss rescheduling options.

Online studies

  • How do I complete the online study I have signed up for?

    To complete the survey for an online study you have signed up for, you can locate the study confirmation email sent to you after you signed up, which will have the survey link in it. Or, alternatively, you can login to the research participation website, select the name of the study concerned and you will be able to view a page that allows you to take the survey from there.

  • Can I use my phone to complete online surveys?

    It is important that participants do not use a mobile device (mobile phones, iPads, etc.) to complete online surveys (unless instructed to do so by the Lab team), as information may not load or be displayed in the way in which the researcher intended for it to be viewed for their study. In some cases, participants may be redirected out of a survey and unable to participate if they have attempted to take a survey using a mobile device. Furthermore, completing surveys on a mobile device can result in the delay (or even forfeit) of your study remuneration as in some instances survey completion is not recorded by the research participation site.

  • I experienced technical difficulties when completing a survey, what should I do?

    If you are at the Lab and experience issues taking a survey, please contact the experimenter as soon as possible to resolve the issue. Please do not attempt to navigate out of the survey to take the survey again. If you experience any technical difficulties when completing surveys (outside of the lab), please take a screenshot of any error message or anything unusual that you notice and send this in an email to lab@london.edu with your unique participant ID number and the date and approximate time at which you were taking the survey. This will help us to investigate what may have occurred. Please do not attempt to take a survey more than once unless instructed to do so by the Lab team.

  • Why was I assigned an unexcused no show for an online study?

    Participants who sign up for online studies and do not participate before the stated study deadline, will be marked as an 'unexcused no show' (as is also the case with Lab-based studies). Do remember, if you are unable to complete an online study, please cancel your sign up online or contact the Lab team to notify of this. Online study time slots are restricted to allow for specific data quotas to be met and so participants who sign up for online studies, but do not complete them, prolong the data collection phase of the study and hold back payment for all participants who have taken part, as payment is typically made at the end of all data collection once the data quota is reached. Consistent unexcused no shows will result in the deactivation of a participant's research account. If a study is shut down early, before the study deadline, then participation status is marked as an excused no show for those who were not able to complete the survey in time.

  • I completed an online survey, but I'm still receiving email notifications to take the same survey. What does this mean?

    When completing online surveys outside of the Research Lab, please remember to click all the way to the end of the survey to submit your data and wait for your webpage to redirect you to the SONA login page, which signifies that your data has been recorded. If you do not wait for this page to load, your survey data may not be recorded and you will not be granted with participation in the study you have just completed. This will in turn cause you to continue to receive notification emails to complete the study. If you believe you have already completed an online survey and you are still receiving email notifications to complete it, please contact the Lab to notify us. Please do not cancel your study sign up, as the Lab team will need to sign you up retrospectively to credit you either with participation or withdrawal/ partial completion of the study.

  • I have not been paid for an online study.

    Payment for online studies is typically made once ALL data for that study has been collected and the researcher confirms the list of eligible participant IDs to be paid. If data collection continues for a period longer than expected, the lab team may process payment in batches so participants do not wait for too long for payment after their study participation. Payment will be sent to the email address associated with your research participation account. Please ensure the security settings on your email account will allow for receipt of Amazon.co.uk vouchers. Participants will be notified via email when payment has been processed. Participants who have not completed the survey, attempted to take a survey more than once, displayed suspicious behaviour in their data (e.g. unusually fast survey completions, etc.), or have failed to answer specific attention-monitoring questions correctly may not be paid. Participants may be asked to provide a form of photographic ID before payment is administered. If you have any questions regarding online payment please e-mail the Lab team.

  • Why was the online study shut down before the deadline?

    An online study can be shut down before the deadline for closure if the quota of participants has been reached. The deadline provided is an estimate of how long it may take to reach the data quota. However, the time can vary depending on study restrictions and popularity.