Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What does CLER stand for?

  2. How much money can I earn?

  3. I just signed up - why can't I see any sessions?

  4. How can I stop receiving CLER emails?

  5. What is the difference between "registering" and "signing up" for sessions?

  6. Can I share an account or an email address with someone else?

  7. How can I update my email address, reset my password, or change other information in my profile?

  8. Didn't I have to provide my Social Security Number (SSN) previously? Do I have to now?

  9. I work for Harvard, but only part-time. Can I still participate?

  10. Why do my friend and I not see the same list of studies when we check the "Sign Up for Sessions" link?

  11. I just registered but I still can't log in to my account. Why?

  12. I tried to log in but I receive a message that says that my account is no longer active. What should I do?

  13. What counts as a "valid ID"?

  14. Why didn't I get paid? I was only one minute late.

  15. Can I work on homework or other work during a CLER experiment?

  16. I signed up for a study and showed up on time, but was turned away with just $10. Why?

  17. Where is the CLER?

  18. How long do the studies last?

  19. Something has come up and I cannot make a study. How do I withdraw?

  20. Something came up and I couldn't make a study, but I never cancelled. What do I do?

  21. Can I still participate if I forgot to sign up?

  22. How can I get free parking at HBS?

  23. I was turned away because the researcher said I was not on the list, even though I'm pretty sure I signed up. What can I do?

  24. Why didn't I earn as much money as my friend did in the same study?

  25. What do I have to do in these studies? What are they all about?

  26. What efforts do you make to ensure my privacy?

  27. How do I get paid?

  28. I found a bug or mistake on your website. What can I do to help?


  1. What does CLER stand for?

    Computer Lab for Experimental Research.

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  2. How much money can I earn?

    For most studies, payments range from $15 to $40, with an average of $20-$25. There is a minimum payment of $10 if you sign up, are eligible, show up, and can't be used in the session. To receive any payment, you must arrive on time!

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  3. I just signed up - why can't I see any sessions?

    It can take 1-2 days before new accounts fully integrate into our system - if you don't see any sessions right away, please check back in 1-2 days and they will start to appear in your account under "Sign Up for Sessions".

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  4. How can I stop receiving CLER emails?

    As of April 2009, you can opt out of CLER invitation emails! If you no longer wish to receive emails about new studies, please log in using the "Your Account" link, choose "Update Profile," and select "No" for "I wish to receive invitation emails." This will remove you from the mailing list. You will still receive reminder emails when you are signed up for a study. If you wish to remove yourself from the subject pool entirely and deactivate your account, click "Unsubscribe from CLER" on the "Your Account" page and follow the instructions as presented.

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  5. What is the difference between "registering" and "signing up" for sessions?

    You only "register" one time by creating your account (or renewing it if you were a member before April 2009) and filling out the profile form. You should do this only once; DO NOT attempt to register twice, either to create a brand new account or to renew an existing account (from pre-April 2009). After you have registered, you can then log in using the "Your Account" link. From that page, you can use the "Sign Up for Sessions" link to see if there are sessions for which you are eligible. You can sign up for the individual sessions that fit into your schedule.

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  6. Can I share an account or an email address with someone else?

    NO. Every person in our database must have a unique email address, which serves as your account's username, and maintain their own user profile. Sharing your account or using another person's account may result in your being excluded from all future CLER studies and sessions.

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  7. How can I update my email address, reset my password, or change other information in my profile?

    To change your email address or change your password, log in to "Your Account" using your current login information, click "Update email" or "Change Password," and follow the instructions. Use the "Update Profile" link to change any other information in your profile. If you have forgotten your password, click "Reset Password" in the left menu bar and follow the instructions. You may also edit information on the receipt you sign when you attend a session, and we will update your profile to reflect the changes.

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  8. Didn't I have to provide my Social Security Number (SSN) previously? Do I have to now?

    Yes, we used to require your SSN as part of your profile for tax-reporting purposes, but no longer do. For security purposes, SSNs have not been copied from the old system in place through March 2009 to the new system launched in April 2009. Please note, however, that if you are paid $75 or more in a particular session, you will be required to provide your SSN at the time you receive payment. If you earn more than $600 in a calendar year, IRS regulations also require us to obtain your SSN. Please click here for more information. Please also see our privacy policy.

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  9. I work for Harvard, but only part-time. Can I still participate?

    No, unfortunately. If you receive a paycheck from Harvard, you are not eligible. This is because of tax and withholding implications.

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  10. Why do my friend and I not see the same list of studies when we check the "Sign Up for Sessions" link?

    Eligibility for studies is determined based on many factors, including but not limited to your participation in other studies, the information you have provided in your profile, and simple randomization. As a result, different people are often eligible for different studies.

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  11. I just registered but I still can't log in to my account. Why?

    To complete the registration process, you must click on a link that is sent to the email address you provide, to confirm that you are the owner of that address. If you do not follow this link in your email within 48 hours, you will have to begin the registration process again. USE ONLY ONE EMAIL ADDRESS TO REGISTER; DO NOT REGISTER AGAIN WITH ANOTHER EMAIL ADDRESS, or you could be excluded from all studies. If you have any questions or problems with the registration process, please send an email to the CLER administrator.

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  12. I tried to log in but I receive a message that says that my account is no longer active. What should I do?

    If you haven't participated in some time, or if emails sent to the address provided in your profile are returned undeliverable, your account has probably been deactivated. DO NOT register a new account. Please send an email to the CLER administrator to reactivate your account.

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  13. What counts as a "valid ID"?

    We always accept any government-issued ID cards, driver licenses, or passports that have your name, birth date and picture. A valid and current student ID with a picture is also acceptable, unless the study description says, or you are notified, that you will be required to present ID that shows your birth date. Please note that if you cannot provide ID upon request, or if any of the information on your ID conflicts with information you have provided us, you will not be eligible to participate or to receive any payment. Not all researchers will check IDs, and some researchers will check IDs randomly, but you should make sure you have a valid ID with you. If you have questions about your ID, send an email to the CLER administrator.

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  14. Why didn't I get paid? I was only one minute late.

    You are expected to arrive before the study time so that the study can begin promptly as scheduled. Late arrivals are not accepted because they disrupt the entire session. Please allow extra time for travel in case of traffic, weather or unusual circumstances. The researcher's judgment on arrival time is final. If you have questions or concerns, send an email to the CLER administrator.

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  15. Can I work on homework or other work during a CLER experiment?

    Generally, the answer is NO. Researchers must minimize distractions and ensure participants are engaged fully in the study. On rare occasions when a researcher chooses to make an exception, he/she will let you know.

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  16. I signed up for a study and showed up on time, but was turned away with just $10. Why?

    Many studies require an exact number of participants (e.g., at least 24, or a multiple of 6). Extra participants are recruited to avoid having to cancel a study. When more people show up than are needed, some are turned away. Sometimes there are not enough participants to conduct the study and everyone has to be turned away. Keep in mind that you will always receive at least $10 if you arrive on time, are signed up for the study, meet all eligibility criteria as described, and can present valid ID.

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  17. Where is the CLER?

    The CLER is located in the basement of the Shad building on the Harvard Business School campus. Click here for more details.

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  18. How long do the studies last?

    The average lab study lasts between 1 and 2 hours. The start and end times are listed in the study description (when you sign up), and also on the "View Your Sessions" page. Although many studies finish early, you should always be prepared to stay the whole time.

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  19. Something has come up and I cannot make a study. How do I withdraw?

    Sign in to "Your Account," click the "View Your Sessions" link, and then click the "Cancel" link next to the session from which you need to withdraw. If you withdraw early enough, then you will free up your spot for someone else. Please, try not to withdraw less than 24 hours in advance unless it is an emergency. Withdrawing at the last minute allows little time for someone else to take your spot.

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  20. Something came up and I couldn't make a study, but I never cancelled. What do I do?

    We realize that emergencies will come up. Please send an email to the CLER administrator explaining the circumstances. If you repeatedly sign up and then fail to attend with no communication, you may lose your eligibility to participate.

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  21. Can I still participate if I forgot to sign up?

    Possibly, but you should not count on it. It is entirely at the researcher's discretion whether to allow people who have not signed up to participate. In general, you should not show up for a session that you have not signed up for, and you will not be entitled to any payment unless the researchers chooses to allow you to participate.

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  22. How can I get free parking at HBS?

    If you are signed up for a session, you are eligible for free parking (if there are spaces available) in the Harvard Business School parking lot only. Give your name to the parking attendant and let him or her know that you are attending a CLER research experiment. There is a possibility that you may be charged for parking by the attendant even if you are signed up for a session on that day. The parking fee, as of April 2009, is $10. If this should happen, please pay the fee, save your receipt, and present it to the researcher at the session for reimbursement.

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  23. I was turned away because the researcher said I was not on the list, even though I'm pretty sure I signed up. What can I do?

    The researcher has no way to verify your eligibility if you are not on the list of signed-up participants. If you believe you were turned away in error, send an email to the CLER administrator. If the mistake is on our side, we will arrange to get you a $10 payment for showing up.

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  24. Why didn't I earn as much money as my friend did in the same study?

    In most studies, your earnings are based on your and others' decisions, and sometimes on random luck. Some people will earn more than others.  Sometimes you will earn more than the average payment in the session and sometimes you will earn less.  If you have concerns or feel that the payment for a session was not as described, please send an email to the CLER administrator and we will look into it.

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  25. What do I have to do in these studies? What are they all about?

    Many of the studies conducted in the CLER involve a number of participants who make decisions over a computer network. Your decisions and the decisions of the others will often will affect your earnings. As a result, your earnings can vary from study to study. The research hypotheses come from a wide range of business-related disciplines such as economics, psychology, sociology, and finance. We accept participants from all backgrounds; you don't have to have a business background to participate. Feel free to ask researchers to give you more details about their study after the entire session has finished.

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  26. What efforts do you make to ensure my privacy?

    Unless indicated otherwise, your name will not be associated with your data and responses you provide in sessions.  Most data gathered is coded without personal identifiers of any sort. You will never be revealed in any publication resulting from your data unless the researcher gets written consent beforehand. You will be presented with a consent form to sign (or agree to) at the beginning of each session; this form will describe how the data that are gathered will be handled. If you have any concerns about the study or your participation, the consent form provides information on how to contact a person who will be able to answer your questions. All studies conducted through the CLER have been reviewed by the Harvard University Committee on the Use of Human Subjects. To view the privacy policy governing the use of this website (www.hbs.edu/cler/) and your account, please click here.

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  27. How do I get paid?

    Unless otherwise described in the study description or communicated to you in advance, you will be paid in cash at the end of the session. You will be required to sign a receipt. The experimenter will not reveal the amount you are paid to other participants. If the experiment is conducted online, you will be emailed an electronic gift certificate (unless otherwise described).

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  28. I found a bug or mistake on your website. What can I do to help?

    Please send an email to the CLER administrator. We appreciate your help in making our web pages accurate and easy for participants to use.

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