UTA Allows Students to Research How Human Behavior Affects Business

The new Behavioral Lab at the University of Texas- Arlington College of Business is giving both students and faculty the opportunity for research in human behavior.

Since opening this summer, students have had the chance to conduct a number of studies, ranging in fields from marketing to behavioral economics. At its core, the lab hopes to gain a deeper understanding of human behavior that can be used to influence decisions in these fields. The lab, which is located in Business Building Room 350 and cost roughly $35,000, uses doctoral students for conducting the studies, but invites students from any major to be  study subjects.

Kat Yut Chen, a professor of information systems and operational management, specializes in behavioral economics, and demonstrates how psychological insight can help inform marketing decisions. According to Chen, “[m]arketing actually has a lot of behavior and psychology”.

The Behavioral Lab had its origins two years before, when marketing associate professor Zhiyong Yang and his student researchers set up a booth in a shopping mall and talked to shoppers before and after they entered the stores.

Currently the lab can only be used by students who are assisting faculty in their research, but Chen hopes that, by spring, he can start training his students to conduct their own experiments in the lab. All three faculty leaders of the lab emphasized their interest in student-led lab studies, as well as the possibility of incorporating lab technology within the classroom. According to Chen, success of the lab will be measured by the extent that the research results in new understanding and discoveries.


About the Author

Alanna Shaffer

Staff Writer, covering MetroMBA's news beat for Atlanta, Houston, and Dallas.

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