In the course of the scientific reorganisation of the CSL institute, the Department of Criminology has shifted to­wards a strongly experimental approach. A central feature of the new department involves the development of a Crime Research, Innovative Methods and Experimentation Laboratory (CRIMELab) lab facility. In this CRIMELab, research studies and experiments will be carried out using Virtual Reality and other innovative technologies.

Virtual Reality Lab

The Department of Criminology at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law conducts research on a range of different issues. Certain research studies require the acquisition of study participants. All participants re­ceive appropriate compensation for the time spent partaking in a study. Below you will find general information and instructions on how to participate: please carefully read the information and register online if you are interested (the link is provided at the bottom of this page). We are extremely grateful to all those who offer their time to contribute to our studies and support our scientific research.

Study: Decision-Making and Perception Processes in Virtual Reality

The Department of Criminology at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law is currently looking for adult male test subjects (aged 23+) for a study on “Decision-making and Perception Processes in Virtual Reality.”

The study investigates the decision-making and perception processes of people as they evaluate a virtual residen­tial neigh­borhood. The goal is to better understand the automatic perception and decision-making processes of people in the real world. Research has shown that over time our actions become habitual and generally occur auto­matically. In everyday situations this is a great relief as it means that we no longer think about each action we take. This is how ha­bit­ual behavior is formed. However, habitual behavioral patterns can sometimes get us into trouble and have been linked to problematic behavior, such as eating habits, depression, anxiety, and risk-taking behavior (i.e., criminal acts). To fur­ther investigate when and how such decision-making and perception processes occur, the study requires participants to wear a virtual reality headset (with eye-tracking technology) as they navigate around a simulated neighborhood. At the same time, the study will also evaluate how practical and realistic this method of simulating a virtual environment ac­tu­ally is.

What is required and who can participate?
Participants will be asked to navigate around a virtual environment – in this case a residential neighborhood – while wearing a virtual reality headset that is equipped with integrated eye-tracking technology.

To participate in the study you must be:

  • A German-speaking adult male (aged 23+)
  • With no history of epilepsy or any other neurological or psychiatric disorder (e.g., schizophrenia).

Participation in the study takes 45 to 60 minutes. By way of compensation, each participant will receive €20 (paid directly on site after participation).

Would-be participants are asked to register via the following link:

We will then contact you with additional information.

Please call the following number if you have any questions: +49 761 7081-777

Participation in the study is completely anonymous. The Max Planck Institute is subject to the strictest privacy guide­lines. Your name and contact details will only be used to communicate with you. If you participate in the study, you will receive a code number that will not allow any conclusions to be drawn about your person at any time. All data we collect will only be assigned this code number. The study has been approved by the Ethics Committee of the Max Planck Soci­ety, which also includes external members.

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