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Business, human ecology schools open experimental, collaborative lab

April 23, 2013

Faculty and students from two UW–Madison schools are celebrating the opening of a new experimental lab — a collaboration between the School of Human Ecology and the Wisconsin School of Business to create a learning and research community within the university.

Photo: Brian Mayhew


The BRITE (Behavioral Research Insights Through Experiments) Lab is located in 2117 Nancy Nicholas Hall. The space will allow faculty and graduate students to do behavioral research, including experimental economics.

Brian Mayhew, BRITE faculty director and associate professor at the business school, says he hopes the dedicated space will allow professors to be more productive.

“This opening represents years of work to create a cross-campus collaborative space,” Mayhew says. “We hope that through the shared space, faculty can learn from each other’s research and thought leadership.”

While researchers can use the lab for a variety of reasons, much of Mayhew’s research examines economic decisions and uses monetary incentives to study how people make choices.

“I couldn’t be more pleased that the BRITE Lab is one of the first collaborative research spaces to open in Nancy Nicholas Hall,” says human ecology Dean Soyeon Shim.

“One of our goals with the new human ecology facility was to offer a hub for family, community, design and consumer research, as well as to promote exchanges among faculty, staff and students from multiple disciplines.”

Business school Dean François Ortalo-Magné says the lab brings together faculty who have a shared interest in applying experimental approaches to today’s biggest questions.

“The BRITE Lab provides a new environment for faculty across departments and colleges to collaborate on issues relevant to consumers and businesses,” Ortalo-Magné says. “I am delighted that SoHE invited us to share in the venture and that our naming partners offered the support we needed. I look forward to seminal contributions emerging out of this collaboration.”

BRITE Lab advisory board members include Mayhew, Assistant Professor J. Michael Collins, Associate Professor Noah Lim, Assistant Professor Anya Samak, Assistant Professor Justin Sydnor and Associate Professor Nancy Wong.