Experimental laboratoryAWI lab rules

In order to participate in experiments, you must accept our privacy and lab rules. These rules determine your compensation, what your data will be used for, and the consequences if you fail to attend an experiment for which you have signed up without an excuse. 

Please read these rules carefully. By agreeing to these rules, you acknowledge and agree to abide by them. If you have any unanswered questions, please contact lab@awi.uni-heidelberg.de before accepting these rules.

In brief:

  • You will be paid for participating in experiments.
  • Registrations for experiments are binding.
  • Please be on time.
  • You must show identification at the beginning of each experiment.
  • Repeated failure to show up will result in exclusion from further experiments.
  • Information in experiments is always true.
  • Your data on Sona will not be shared with third parties.
  • You can always request the deletion of your data on Sona.

1 Registration and account

Registration for laboratory experiments on Sona is a declaration of intent to participate in experiments conducted by Researchers the Alfred-Weber-Institute of Economics (AWI). Multiple registrations are not allowed. Likewise, you may not share the access data to your Sona account with other persons.

There is no entitlement to hold a Sona account or to participate in experiments. The AWI reserves the right to exclude participants from experiments or Sona due to misconduct, e.g., repeated and unexcused non-attendance, sharing of access data, or keeping multiple Sona accounts. You may deactivate your account on Sona at any time.

2 Laboratory experiments

For each experiment, a certain number of registered persons will receive an invitation by e-mail. Those invited to the experiment, are entitled to participate. Forwarding the invitation emails or invitation links may result in exclusion from further experiments or Sona.

Registration for a particular experiment takes place after receipt of the invitation via Sona (the invitation contains a corresponding link). This registration is a binding commitment to participate in that experiment. Non-attendance of registered participants causes significant costs and may lead to the cancellation of an experiment!

For some experiments, more participants are invited than needed to ensure that the experiment can take place even if individual participants do not show up. In these cases, it will be decided at the beginning of the experiment who will participate (e.g. randomly). Those who have registered and are present on time, but cannot participate due to capacity or other reasons, will receive compensation for their appearance (show-up fee).

3 Online experiments

Registration for online experiments is done in the same way as registration for lab experiments via the portal after receiving an invitation. Online experiments are usually conducted with the help of our own software or survey tools from third-party providers (e.g. Limesurvey, Qualtrics). Usually, a request for your bank details follows before the experiment for your payout after the experiment. You can also pick up your payout at AWI upon request. Further rules for online experiments are described on the page of the respective experiment.

4 Participation

During an experiment, all participants must abide by the rules set forth by the experimenters in the instructions. Participation in experiments is voluntary and can be terminated at any time if desired. In this case, you will be paid the show-up fee of the experiment.

5 Unexcused non-attendance

Participants who have declared their willingness to participate in a particular experiment and do not show up jeopardize the experiment. This is detrimental to the experimenters conducting the experiment, as well as to other participants, and may result in significant costs.

If you are unable to participate for a valid reason, you must cancel your participation immediately. To do so, please contact the director of the respective experiment. The relevant contact details can be found on Sona in the study information.

The Sona account of individuals who have failed to show up for an experiment without excuse at least twice will be limited. Limited accounts will not be able to participate in most studies (at the discretion of the experimenter). Limitation will be lifted at the beginning of the next semester.

6 Compensation and duration

Experiments usually last between 15-90 minutes. The expected duration will be stated in the study information of the respective experiment. Longer or shorter experiments are possible and will be compensated accordingly. 

Each participant invited for an experiment and present on time will receive payment. For laboratory experiments, participants are usually paid in cash. In online experiments, payment is usually made by bank transfer. In exceptional cases, vouchers or raffles are also possible as payment. In these cases, however, you will be informed of this in the invitation email. The amount paid out may depend on your own decisions, the decisions of the other participants, and chance. 

Final earnings for participation average around €15 per hour, but can vary significantly (i.e. it is possible that one participant earns €3-4 per hour while another earns €18-19). The participants must take care of the taxation of the received allowance in the context of their individual tax declaration. Participation in experiments does not constitute employment, hence the AWI does not have to withhold income tax.

7 Obligation to identify

In order to ensure that only invited and duly registered participants take part in the experiment, each participant must identify themself (student ID, ID card or driver's license). If you are unable to identify yourself, you will not be compensated for your appearance and will not be able to participate in the experiment.

8 Punctuality

Please arrive on time for the start of the experiment. Arriving late after the start will result in exclusion from the experiment and will be recorded as an unexcused no-show. In addition, you will receive no show-up fee.

9 No deception

Experiments in economics follow a strict no deception rule, which prohibits deceiving or misleading participants the experiment. Therefore, information you receive in experiments in the instructions and from the study director is always true. If you are concerned about violating this standard in an experiment, please contact the laboratory directly at lab@awi.uni-heidelberg.de.

10 Personal Data

During some experiments you might be asked about personal data such as racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, sexual orientation, or trade union membership. In these cases, you will always have the option to refuse to answer the question. By agreeing to the privacy and lab rules, you also explicitly agree to the processing of the aforementioned data according to Art. 9 GDPR.

11 Data protection

The data collected on Sona is used exclusively for the organization of scientific experiments. It will not be disclosed to third parties. 

We use the data for the following purposes:

  • Organization and planning of experiments.
  • Information and invitation to experiments.
  • Scientifically motivated selection of participants.
  • Verification of appearance and non-appearance of registered participants.

Upon request, data collected in Sona will be deleted without restriction. For this purpose, an informal, written and signed deletion request must be sent to the Alfred Weber Institute of Economics, AWI-Lab, Bergheimer Straße 58, 69115 Heidelberg, Germany.

Data from experiments are anonymized and used for scientific purposes only. Experiment data may be shared with third parties for scientific purposes, e.g., journals and other researchers in the context of peer review. There is no direct link between the data generated in the experiment and the data on Sona. The only exception is online experiments, if you agree to payment by bank transfer. In this case, your bank data and the payment for the experiment will be linked to facilitate the transfer.

12 Insurance coverage

The insurance coverage on AWI's premises is based on legal liability under private law. The AWI is liable for all damages for which the institute is responsible. The AWI has no liability regardless of negligence or fault.

13 Contact

For general questions about the lab and your account, please contact lab@awi.uni-heidelberg.de. For questions and cancellations regarding specific experiments, please contact the study director of the corresponding experiment. The corresponding contact details can be found on Sona under study information.