Any experiment run at C.E.L.S.S. or with financial support from C.E.L.S.S. must follow a strict no-deception policy.

  • Deception is defined not only as an outright inaccurate or a misleading statement, but also as an intentional omission or a violation of default assumptions.
  • The researcher should do everything in her power so that participants do not make false assumptions.
  • There are several options that the experimenters can use as alternatives to deception, for example random lotteries, strategic method, and conditional information lottery. Experimenters can email the lab manager to receiver further information about these methods. 
  • Experiments funded by C.E.L.S.S., including online experiments, must indicate the no-deception policy in the instructions and provide a link to the website by using the following paragraph:
    This experiment is funded by the Columbia Experimental Laboratory for the Social Sciences (C.E.L.S.S.). In accordance with C.E.L.S.S. rules, whatever we tell you is indeed true. For example, if we tell you that something will happen if you choose a given option, then that thing will happen if you choose that option. Anything else would violate C.E.L.S.S.' policies. For more information on this policy, see

Below is a summary of the lab usage rules, which are further elaborated in the usage agreement. 

  • Lab usage, including testing and experimentation, should be within lab opening hours.
  • Lab booking for experimentation can be done no more than 10 days in advance. Booking for the same project cannot exceed 8 hours a week. In the case of canceled experiments, participants need to be notified as early as possible.
  • Recruitment for all lab experiments is expected to take place through C.E.L.S.S.’s subject recruitment system.
  • Participants must be paid at least $5 for showing up at the scheduled session that they register for. Experimenters should choose parameters leading to an average payment of at least $15/hour, including the show-up fee.
  • Experimenters need to be present at the lab at least 30 minutes before the start time of their experiments.
  • After the experiments, experimenters must leave the lab at the state it was in upon arrival.
  • Experimenters are not allowed to install any software in C.E.L.S.S.’ computers.