The Centre for Experimental Social Science (CESS) is dedicated to all areas of experimental social science research. With dedicated diverse laboratory, virtual laboratory and online subject pools, CESS has an international reputation for the promotion and facilitation of laboratory, online and in the field experiments across all areas of the social sciences. Since its inception in 2008, CESS has facilitated over 100 experiments engaging over 50,000 subjects for researchers around the globe.

The CESS team includes researchers from political science, sociology, social psychology, and economics. Our research is based on a highly interdisciplinary mix of methods, including (virtual) laboratory, lab-in-the-field, online, and field experiments. Current research by members of CESS covers is focused on understanding the impact of Covid-19 on behavioral preferences, the potential dangers associated with deep fake technology, and the underlying conditions necessary to produce oppressive behavior.

Nuffield College has a strong commitment to promoting cross-disciplinary research in the social sciences, and CESS is a major contribution to this mandate. CESS provides infrastructure for laboratory, lab-in-the-field, online, field experiments and new to 2020, the CESS virtual lab facility. This infrastructure is essential in enabling CESS to develop innovative solutions to the unique design problems faced by experimentalists. Although our physical laboratory continues to be CESS’s central node, global events have caused CESS to focus more closely on our online and virtual laboratory capabilities.  CESS is proud to be able to offer viable alternatives for researchers facing limited capacity to run experiments.

CESS supports its commitment to fostering all forms of research in the experimental social sciences through its plethora of seminars, colloquia, conferences and workshops. Over the past six year, CESS has cohosted the International Meeting on the Behavioral and Experimental Social Sciences (IMEBESS), an interdisciplinary conference for experimental scientists across every social science discipline. Additionally, CESS further its pledge to mentor students through our courses and workshops such as our month-long summer school on experimental methods.

Moving forward, CESS hopes to build on and expand its current capabilities.  CESS plans to do so by fostering collaboration with other centres and by greatly expanding the number of subjects and locations for running virtual laboratory studies.