DREAM stands for Duisburg Research in experimental Economics And Management laboratory. It is a behavioral economics laboratory. The lab offers 24 seats for participants as well as the IT infrastructure to conduct behavioral experiments. Such experiments are subject to certain ground rules. In particular, participants are remunerated financially in accordance with their decisions, the decision-making structure is clear and participants are truthfully informed about the consequences of their decisions in each experiment. Furthermore, the data generated by them is anonymised and analyzed only for scientific purposes. The laboratory is located on the campus in Duisburg of the University of Duisburg-Essen and is under the direction of Mrs. Prof. Dr. Lilia Zhurakhovska.
In contrast to experiments in psychology, sociology, and other sciences, experiments in economics are characterized by the participants earning money depending on their decisions and therefore their real behavior. During experiments, participants are given no false information regarding their decision-making possibilities and resulting payments. Experimenters do not cheat the participants.
All students of the University of Duisburg-Essen who have an official email address (@stud.uni-due.de) can participate in experiments in DREAM. Depending on the experiment, very good German and/or English skills are required. Thus, the language competence is queried during the one-off registration process. Experiments usually take place at PC workstations. Therefore, it is necessary for participants to be able to work on regular PC workstations.
The myDREAM-participants management system under mydream.msm.uni-due.de(LINK zur eng. myDREAM-Startseite) serves to manage the registration and signing up procedure for experiments. The lab uses this online platform for participants management. You can register with your university email address (@stud.uni-due.de) and then receive invitations to experiments. You can respond to these invitations by signing up for the respective experiment with your myDREAM-account.
In addition to language skills in primarily German and possibly English, no further previous knowledge is necessary. Having (adequate) skills in both languages is not a precondition for getting invited to an experiment.
After registration, students regularly receive invitations to experiments. The date, the time and the maximal duration of the experiment is specified in the invitation email. After enrolling and being on time for the experiment, the experiment begins and does not take longer than indicated in the email. The distribution of the participants to the PC workstations happens at random. Before conducting the experiment, participants are briefed on the exact course of the experiment and on the possible financial consequences of their decisions in the experiment. After the experiment, the participants receive their individual earnings directly in cash and sign a confirmation receipt. This receipt is for administration purposes only. Your data is treated anonymously. That means that your decisions in the experiments are not linked to your person.
Since individual earning depends on one's own decisions and sometimes on the decisions of other participants, different amounts may be paid out. In all cases, we only inform the respective participant of her payout. Other participants do not gain knowledge of your individual payout. It is possible that some experiments deviate from this rule. If so, the procedure is previously communicated.
Since the experiments can only begin when all the participants are present, it is essential that all participants appear on time. We recommend to arrive at the laboratory about 15 minutes before the start of the experiment. In the event of an emergency, participants can contact the laboratory management (dream (at) uni-due.de). Should a participant be late on several occasions without a valid excuse, we exclude this participant from future experiments.
Since the experiments can only be carried out when all participants appear, it is absolutely necessary for all participants to come to the experiment. If you are nevertheless prevented from coming, you can sign out using your myDREAM-account up to 24 hours before the start of the experiment.
Since an experiment can only be carried out if a particular number of people participates we typically invite subsitute participants. They receive a punctuality premium, but cannot participate in the experiment. Normally, it is determined randomly immediately prior to the experiment, who of the punctual people can participate in the experiment and who receives the punctuality premium.