Researchers use the Business Simulation Lab to delve into many areas of business study, which tends to be highly interdisciplinary. Here are a number of questions that Lab researchers have been examining:

Financial Markets

  • Do "Day Traders" make markets more or less efficient? (Bloomfield, O'Hara and Saar)
  • Does improved disclosure increase firms' stock prices? (Bloomfield, O'Hara and Zhou)
  • How does the cost of information affect market behavior and investor welfare? (Bloomfield and Zhou)
  • Why do firms "smooth" earnings? (Bloomfield and Hales)


  • How does changing the process of planning in negotiations alter negotiation outcomes (Mannix and Proell)
  • How does previous bargaining experience affect bargaining success? (O'Connor, Arnold and Burris)
  • The power of a positive reputation (C. Tinsley and E. Mannix)

Teams, Groups and Firms

  • How are financial markets like small groups? (Bloomfield, Libby and Nelson)
  • How do relationships between superiors and subordinates affect group decision-making?
  • During the group decision process, when have they really decided and what happens after this point of consensus? (Russo)
  • Are individuals driven more by the desire to gain status or avoid a status loss? (Pettit, Yong, and Spataro)
  • How does the status of a comparison out-group influence performance effort in comparative contexts? (Pettit and Lount)
  • How does status influence our perceptions? (Pettit and Sivanathan)

Managerial Decision-Making

  • How do firms use cost accounting systems to make production and sales decisions? (Bloomfield)
  • Why do people fool themselves by distorting information to support the leading alternative during a decision? (Russo)
  • How do decision makers manage to bias their evaluation of information when they believe that they're not doing it and would stop it if they could? (Russo)

Consumer Behavior

  • How construal mindset moderates sensitivity to metacognitive experiences (Thomas)
  • The effect of background music on attention orientation (Thomas)
  • On the effects of pain of payment on loan pre-payment decisions (Thomas and Park)
  • How does positive affect influence intemporal choice, self-control, and the ability to wait for larger rewards (Pyone & Isen)
  • The influence of positive affect on focus of attention (Pyone & Isen, Isen & Schmidt).
  • Positive affect's influence on materialism, conspicuous consumption, and pursuit of material goods (Pyone & Isen).
  • The influence of novelty and new products on preferences within an existing product line (Spassova & Isen).
  • The influence of novelty and of positive affect on choice from complex product offerings (Spassova & Isen)
  • The influence of choice overload on creative problem solving (Kim, Isen, & Goncalo).
  • The influence of positive affect on different forms of logical reasoning processes (Nester, Isen, Erez, Pyone, & Schmidt).
  • The influence of positive affect and anxiety on attention to financial disclosure information (Collins & Isen).
  • Attribute trade-offs and peer influence in choice (Narayan, Rao)

Social Networks

  • Looking in: How social exclusion shapes network perceptions (E. Gladstone and S. Sauer)
  • How actors shape their social networks: The role of neuroticism (E. Gladstone and S. Sauer)
Manoj Thomas, Associate Professor of Marketing

Controlled experiments are very useful in generating consumer insights. The BSL offers Johnson faculty the opportunity to run controlled experiments.