The Centre for Experimental Social Sciences (CESS) is an interdisciplinary research centre centrally located at Oxford University engaged in all forms of experimental work in the social sciences. The research involves human subjects who are paid for their participation in decision-making tasks. Participants come to the laboratory for some experiments and use links they receive through their emails or social media to participate in others.

On this webpage, you can register to participate in experiments. Participants in experiments receive payment for their time and effort. In addition, as the results are used for academic research, you participation helps further science at the University of Oxford. Once you have reviewed CESS’s commitments and how your data will be used, you may use the link below to register to be invited to CESS experiments (Note: CESS experiments are only open to individuals who are at least 18 years of age).

CESS & Researcher Commitments to Subjects

  • Personal data provided by individuals registering to participate in experiments at CESS will never be released to any third party unless express permission is given by the individual or to the extent required by law. Every participant has the right to have their personal data removed from the CESS system.
  • All data generated by participant’s during CESS experiments is only used for academic research, interior CESS analysis for future recruitment to studies, or to the extent required by law.
  • Participants are never coerced into participating in an experiment. Subjects always have the right to withdraw their participation in a study at any point without providing a reason and without penalty.
  • Prior to deciding whether to participate in an experiment, all participants receive information regarding what their participation entails.
  • CESS does not allow the use of deception. If a participant is informed that something is true, then it is indeed the case.
  • CESS ensures that all promises made to participants are kept. For example, if a certain payment is promised, participants will indeed receive it.
  • In the event that a mistake is made that is disadvantageous to participants, CESS will inform and properly compensate all affected participants.
  • All research conducted through CESS must conform to commonly accepted ethical practices as determined by CESS’s independent ethics review board.
  • All participants will be properly compensated for their time spent participating in experiments.
  • All subjects have equal opportunity to participate in any experiment unless they have previously participated in an experiment or if the experiment requires a specific type of participant. In this case, all participants meeting the appropriate criteria have equal opportunity to participate.
  • Sign-up and participation are generally based on first come-first served basis. In the event that more than the maximum number of participants come to a session, the researcher may ask for volunteers to receive their guaranteed compensation and leave without participating. If there are no volunteers, the participants who arrived later will be asked to leave without participating but with their guaranteed compensation.

How participant data is used

Prior to an Experiment (Registration for the CESS Subject Pool)
  • To register for the experiment invitation system, participants are required to provide basic personal information such as their first and last name as well as a method to contact them with invitations to participate in experiments.
    • Additional information is requested optionally to appropriately invite participants to experiments that require a specific demographic mix.
    • Records of participation in experiments is also stored in the registration system to prevent participation in the same experiment multiple times.
  • This data will never be released to any third party unless express permission is given by the participant or to the extent required by law.
  • This data will only be used to invite participants to experiments. It will never be used in conjunction with the final results of an experiment.
  • Upon participating for the first time, all participants must fill out a set of participation rules signifying an understanding of participant’s rights and agreement to how their data will be used. These sheets are stored in perpetuity in a locked cabinet or on secure servers and are only accessible by CESS’s experiment and ethics managers and responsible members of the University of Oxford. The rules sheet can be found here.
  • Registered participants always have the right to ask for their data to be removed from the CESS System. If you want to request that your data is removed, please contact cess-lab@nuffield.ox.ac.uk.
  • Upon registering for one of CESS’s participant pools, you will receive emails now and then inviting you to specific experiments. When you receive an invitation, you have the ability to sign up to participate at one of the times listed.
During an experiment
  • All participants must review and fill out an informed consent form that explains all aspects of the experiment. These forms are stored in perpetuity in a locked cabinet or on secure servers and only accessible by CESS’s experiment and ethics managers and responsible members of the University of Oxford.
  • During the course of the experiment, participants will be asked to make decisions or provide answers to survey questions. Participants always have the right to stop participating at any point without providing a reason and without penalty.
  • Participants have the right to have their data removed prior to the data being anonymized.
  • After the conclusion of the experiment, decisions made during the experiment may be used to determine payment. This is the only time that data generated during the experiment may be paired with personal information (unless otherwise stated during the consent process). After payment is received, any data link is destroyed. Signed receipts from laboratory experiments are stored in perpetuity in a locked cabinet only accessible by CESS’s experiment and ethics managers and responsible members of the University of Oxford.
After an experiment
  • Unless explicitly expressed otherwise during the consenting process, once an experiment concludes all of the data is anonymized and stored on CESS’s secure servers. A copy of the data is provided to the primary investigator to be used for academic publications. At this point, it is impossible for CESS or the researchers to remove individual data by design (as it is impossible to pair the anonymized data with individual subjects).
If you have any questions about your rights as a participant or believe any of your rights have been violated, please contact cess-lab@nuffield.ox.ac.uk.

Registration for Experiments

Laboratory Experiments

Laboratory experiments require coming to CESS-Nuffield at 3 George Street Mews, Oxford, OX1 2AA, at specific times outlined in email invitations to participate. Upon registering for the CESS participant pool, you will receive emails now and then inviting you to specific experiments. When you receive an invitation, you have the ability to sign up to participate at one of the times listed. Although we cannot tell you exactly how much you will earn for participating in an experiment, all subjects receive £5 for coming to a session that they have signed up for and earn an additional average of £10/hour for their participation. Your final earnings may depend on your choices, the choices of others and luck. Subjects are paid in cash, in private, immediately following the conclusion of the experiment.

Registration for CESS-Nuffield is currently open to anyone in the Oxford area who is at least 18 years of age. If you are interested in registering for the laboratory subject pool, click in the button below and indicate your desire to participate in lab experiments in the registration form. If you have any questions, please contact cess-lab@nuffield.ox.ac.uk.

Virtual Laboratory Experiments

Virtual Laboratory experiments can be completed at home at specific times outlined in email invitations to participate. Upon registering for the CESS Subject pool, you will receive emails now and then inviting you to specific experiments. When you receive an invitation, you have the ability to sign up to participate at one of the times listed. Payment for virtual laboratory experiments is provided through Paypal© or in the form of an Amazon© web voucher within two weeks of completing a study.

Registration for the virtual laboratory is currently open to anyone in the UK who is at least 18 years of age. We are currently working on opening the virtual laboratory to subjects located outside of the UK.

If you are interested in registering for the virtual laboratory subject pool, click in the button below and indicate your desire to participate in online experiments in the registration form. If you have any questions, please contact cess-lab@nuffield.ox.ac.uk.