Section Image: Woman with purple scissors cuts a purple ribbon while Marketing professors with their "frogs up" outside of the Behavorial Research Lab.

New Behavioral Research Lab Showcases Neeley’s Investment in Providing Students and Faculty Cutting Edge Opportunities

The official unveiling of the new lab included a ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by an observational study using a tasty ice cream treat for faculty and staff.

August 19, 2022

By Tiara Ellis Richard

Research has always had a home at the TCU Neeley School of Business. Now the school boasts a first-rate Behavioral Research Lab to support this priority mission.

School leaders hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony this summer to showcase the newly opened Neeley Behavioral Research Lab. This space, which is on the first floor of Hays Hall, provides a dedicated place for faculty and student scholars to conduct experiments and observational studies.

Neeley Faculty and Staff in the new Behavorial Research Lab.

Research is frequently the backbone of innovative instruction and a valuable resource for Neeley faculty and students. Daniel Pullin, the John V. Roach Dean for the Neeley School of Business, said the completion of the lab demonstrates Neeley’s significant commitment to research.

“By investing in the tools to match the talent of our world-class faculty, we’re reinforcing our belief that research rigor is the heart and soul of business education,” Pullin said. “Neeley’s faculty is leading the way in arming our students with cutting edge insights to prepare them to deploy and improve upon those insights in practice.” 

Mark Houston, Neeley’s Associate Dean of Research and Faculty, spoke about the value of data and the importance of utilizing systematic processes to collect and identify quality data.

“One critical way to gather data is through lab-based experiments and observational study,” Houston said. “As we recruit more scholars across departments who can leverage the lab, the Neeley Behavioral Lab is both a powerful research tool and a powerful signal of Neeley’s commitment to investing in research.”

Pullin recognized the commitment of current leaders who advocated for the development of the research lab, as well as TCU Neeley’s previous dean Homer Erekson, who was heading the school when development and funding for the lab originated.

To highlight the lab’s observational capabilities, Neeley faculty and staff were invited to participate in a study after the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Ice cream was served with a variety of optional toppings, and then faculty and staff were surveyed about their choices and the reasons behind the decision making.

“Having the lab has been very helpful, allowing us to conduct more computer-based experiments, as well as a hands-on, interactive studies like the ice cream one at the ribbon-cutting [ceremony]. It’s a place dedicated to studies and it helps move research forward,” said Gretchen Ross, an assistant professor of marketing.

Fellow marketing professor, Jennifer D’Angelo agreed.

“When surveys or online experiments are conducted at home or in other settings, there may be unknown distractions,” said D’Angelo, an assistant professor of marketing, who has already published a marketing research article including data collected in the Neeley Behavioral Research Lab. “The lab provides a controlled environment and the results we are finding help progress our research.”