Experimental platforms for behavioral experiments on social-ecological systems

Marcus Janssen, Allen Lee, Timothy M. Waring

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Recently, there has been an increased interest in using behavioral experiments to study hypotheses on the governance of social-ecological systems. A diversity of software tools are used to implement such experiments. We evaluated various publicly available platforms that could be used in research and education on the governance of social-ecological systems. The aims of the various platforms are distinct, and this is noticeable in the differences in their user-friendliness and their adaptability to novel research questions. The more easily accessible platforms are useful for prototyping experiments and for educational purposes to illustrate theoretical concepts. To advance novel research aims, more elaborate programming experience is required to either implement an experiment from scratch or adjust existing experimental software. There is no ideal platform best suited for all possible use cases, but we have provided a menu of options and their associated trade-offs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20
JournalEcology and Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2014


  • Education
  • Lab experiments
  • Research
  • Software

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology


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