The Duke University ResearchMobile is a mobile laboratory for research in the social and behavioral sciences funded by a Major Research Instrumentation grant from the National Science Foundation. Watch a video of it in action here.

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The Research Mobile at the State Fair

The 37-ft. air-conditioned trailer is equipped with four soundproofed cubicles, each capable of holding up to two participants for studying either individuals or dyads.

Each cubicle has a writing surface, computer, monitor, and two cameras for audio-video recording.

In addition, equipment is available for measuring physiological responses such as heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, and galvanic skin response.

8 Lenovo laptops are available for off-site data collection.

The ResearchMobile permits researchers in the social and behavioral sciences to:

  • recruit nontraditional and underrepresented samples of participants, thereby increasing the generalizability of research findings and the types of phenomena that can be studied;
  • study difficult-to-reach target groups who have difficulties traveling to on-campus research sites, such as children, the elderly, users of rural healthcare, occupations that are tied to particular locations, and individuals who are displaced by natural disasters;
  • conduct experimental studies of people’s reactions to local events, such as local elections, plant closings, natural disasters, violent incidents, and advertising campaigns;
  • respond rapidly to phenomena that are short-lived, such as disasters and community events;
  • increase the ease with which broad samples of “ordinary people” may be studied.
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People looking at at sign in front of the ResearchMobile