Online Paid Research Studies – Virtual Lab | Chicago Booth - Roman Family Center | Chicago Booth

Virtual Lab: Online Research Studies


The Roman Family Center's PIMCO Decision Research Virtual Lab allows people from around the world to take paid research studies online using surveys, Zoom video calls, and other remote tools.

By participating in online behavioral science studies, you play a vital role in helping Chicago Booth researchers better understand judgment and decision-making. Here's how you can take paid surveys and interactive studies from the comfort of home. 

Sign Up (New Participants)    Log In (Existing Participants)


Take Studies in the Virtual Lab

You'll need:

  • A computer, smartphone, or tablet
  • Internet connection 

How to Get Started

  1. Sign up for an account. Within 1 business day, you'll receive an email with your login info and other important information.
  2. Tell us about yourself. The first time you log into your account, you'll be prompted to take a short prescreen survey about you and your background. Watch a video tutorial.
  3. Sign up for paid surveys: When you log in, you'll see the studies you are eligible to take. By default, participants are eligible for surveys, one of our two types of studies. 
  4. Optional: Take the Zoom Prerequisite Study
    Pays $3 / 10-15 min. / Appointments Tu-Fri, 11am-4pm CT
    Many of our highest-paying studies are conducted via Zoom, a video chat platform. To become eligible for these more advanced studies, you must pass the Zoom Prerequisite Study. You'll need a computer with a working microphone, webcam, and audio. Video tutorial.

After completing these introductory tasks, you'll be able to sign up for behavioral science studies on our online research platform, Sona.  

Sign Up to Participate



Participants are paid at a rate of $12 per hour ($1 for every 5 minutes). After completing a study, you'll be emailed an Amazon digital gift card as payment, typically within two business days.

Please note that if you are located outside of the United States, you will only be able to redeem Amazon electronic gift cards via the USA-based site, and not on Amazon sites based in other countries.


What to Expect

Behavioral science combines psychology, economics, and other fields to better understand human decision-making. The Virtual Lab's online research studies involve simple, everyday tasks like filling out surveys, providing your opinions, or chatting with a study partner.  

Interactive studies are conducted using Zoom, a video chat platform. These tend to be our highest paying studies and require appointments scheduled Tuesday-Friday. Before taking Zoom studies, you must first complete the Zoom Prerequisite Study. Tips for using Zoom.

We pride ourselves on creating an inclusive and safe environment for all participants and researchers, so please review the Virtual Lab code of conduct before participating. 

Questions? Email us at


Research with Children

We also conduct online studies with children as young as four years of age with parental consent. These studies typically ask children to listen to stories via Zoom and respond to questions. Each study is designed to be interactive and fun, and studies last approximately 5-15 minutes. The sign up process is slightly different for our studies with children, so if you are a parent or guardian, visit our Research with Children page to learn more. 


Current Participants

Log into your account to see the paid research studies you are currently eligible to complete. Don't see any studies? Check back soon! New studies & time slots are posted each weeknight by 8pm. 

Surveys are available on-demand 24/7 and can be completed any time before the study's deadline.

Zoom studies are conducted Tuesday-Friday 11am-4 pm CT (UTC -5).


For Researchers

If you are a researcher interested in conducting online studies in the Virtual Lab, please visit the Researcher Portal (requires CNET ID) or contact the Virtual Lab to discuss your options. The labs team can help with IRB approval, study design, data analysis, and more.