Skip to main content

LERNE - Laboratory for Experimental Research in Economics and Management

The Laboratory for Experimental Research iN Economics and Management (LERNE) is an innovative center which conducts behavioral studies of consumers and their decision processes. This work strengthens the relationship between the University and the business world, offering companies a facility designed to study the buying behavior of consumers, and benefiting from a group of researchers with strong experience in the experimental area.

By investing in this high-quality infrastructure for experimental research in Economics and Management, CATÓLICA-LISBON strengthens its position at the forefront of leading international management schools. The two primary goals are to encourage high-quality scientific research and to offer advanced training and applied studies to meet the needs of external companies.


LERNE consists of two distinct research areas: the Research Lab and a Retail Lab, and offers a unique infrastructure for conducting studies on consumer behavior studies and related decision-making processes.

The Research Lab is an area for collecting individual and psychological data, using individual workstations equipped with personal computers, in a way that safeguards the privacy of participants in the experimental studies. This Lab allows a variety of studies in which it is possible to measure consumer preferences for and evaluation of products, to investigate the impact of individual characteristics in the consumption process, and to manipulate stimuli in order to monitor the reactions of participants.

The Retail Lab consists of a supermarket/retail area to collect data in the consumption space, thereby allowing a variety of studies to be carried out in a "real" purchasing environment. For example, it allows the impact of specific promotions to be analyzed, the evaluation of preferences when the packaging changes, and the manipulation of stimulus and layout, and/or monitoring decision processes and time control (through video surveillance cameras).

This unique infrastructure makes it possible to:

  • organize experiments and evaluations on choices and behaviors;
  • made by individuals or in groups;
  • for academic or managerial purposes.

This type of facility provides a strong vehicle to carry out applied projects that can answer in a controlled environment specific questions posed by companies.

Companies: Applied Projects 

The Retail Lab strengthens the University-Companies connection, and benefits from a group of affiliated researchers with strong expertise in the experimental area, in order to address specific needs of companies, including:

  • brand analysis;
  • purchase behavior;
  • evaluation of web site designs and search engines;
  • marketing communication.

Companies interested in carrying out a project of an experimental nature should contact CATÓLICA-LISBON's consulting team at LERNE, for the appropriate planning of activities (E-mail: and Tel.: (+351) 217 206 241).

Other initiatives