Mindworks Frequently Asked Questions
The most commonly asked questions are answered below. If you are still unable to find the answer to your question, please contact Mindworks at 773.795.4580 or email us.
The Center for Decision Research is a dynamic community of behavioral scientists who examine the processes by which intuition, reasoning, and social interaction produce beliefs, judgments, and choices. As part of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, the CDR is home to faculty whose accolades include the Nobel Prize and the MacArthur Fellowship.
Mindworks is operated by the Center for Decision Research, part of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Mindworks is operated by the Center for Decision Research at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and is home to the CDR’s PIMCO Decision Research Laboratories, named in honor of a generous philanthropic gift from PIMCO. As academic researchers at the University of Chicago, we operate in compliance with the university’s Institutional Review Board. Our academic research is 100% independent. Our data is anonymized and used solely for academic research and publication in peer-reviewed journals, and is never shared with third parties or otherwise disseminated.
We’re open Wednesday–Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mindworks is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
Admission is free, and the space is open to the public.
Mindworks is located on the first floor of 224 South Michigan Avenue at the corner of Jackson and Michigan in the Loop. Mindworks is easily accessible via ‘L’ train (Adams/Wabash or Jackson stops), Metra (Van Buren station), bus, bike, or car.
There are more than 10,000 parking spaces within two blocks of the building, including more than 1,300 spaces at the adjacent Grant Park South Garage.
Our behavioral science studies explore judgment and decision-making with surveys, games, and interactions. Some studies ask you to fill out a questionnaire on a tablet or computer, while others are interactive and ask you to talk with another person. We do our best to make studies fun, engaging, intellectually stimulating, and safe.
By participating in studies, you play an invaluable role in helping scientists better understand human decision-making. But that’s not all! You can also earn prizes by participating in research.
We encourage all visitors to try a study during their visit, but participation is completely voluntary and optional.
All visitors ages 18 and up can participate in studies for which they’re eligible. For studies that seek participants younger than 18, minors are eligible if a parent or guardian provides permission.
Mindworks is not designed as a children’s museum, although people of all ages are welcome. Children under the age of 12 may find some of the exhibits challenging to understand and will benefit from having a parent or guardian help explain the content. We ask that all children under the age of 16 be accompanied by a guardian.
We are not currently running research experiments with child participants.
As academic researchers at the University of Chicago, we take great care to ensure the data privacy of all participants. Participant data and study responses are confidential and anonymous. Your anonymized responses will be used to help UChicago researchers advance their vital work in behavioral science and may be used in academic publications. Your data will never be shared with third parties or otherwise disseminated.
Participants are compensated in prizes, such as apparel, books, games, and more. If you’re interested in paid study opportunities, please visit the CDR’s Virtual Lab, which pays in Amazon e-gift cards at a rate of $12/hour.
Researchers are constantly running new experiments in Mindworks. Our staff will describe which ones are available on the day of your visit.
A visit to Mindworks takes about 30 to 60 minutes, depending on whether you participate in a study.
No, but our friendly research assistants are available to enhance your experience and answer any questions during your visit.
Absolutely. In the exhibit space, you are welcome to take photos and share them on social media. (Don’t forget to tag us @mindworkschicago on Instagram!) Photography is not allowed in the testing rooms and while taking part in any studies.
Mindworks is currently welcoming college classes and clubs and professional groups for group visits. We hope to accommodate high school groups in 2023.
Proof of vaccination is no longer required to visit Mindworks.
Beginning March 4, 2022, masks are recommended but not required.
Please abide by social-distancing guidelines, maintaining a six-foot distance from others not part of your visiting group.
Hand-sanitizer stations are available.
Surfaces and exhibits are routinely cleaned and disinfected by staff.
Visitors who are not feeling well for any reason or (a) have any COVID-19 symptoms, (b) have had a positive COVID-19 test in the past 14 days, and/or (c) have had close contact with anyone with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 should not visit Mindworks. In such cases, visitors are asked to postpone their visit for another day.
No outside food or beverages are permitted.
Service animals are welcome at Mindworks, but no pets, please.