Skip to main content


The Joe and Maggie Kernan Experimental Social Science Lab is a space for cutting-edge experimental research in the social sciences, jointly founded by the Sociology and Political Science Departments at Purdue University. The lab is made possible by a generous donation by Joe and Maggie Kernan—the former governor and first lady of Indiana. Maggie Kernan is a graduate of Purdue sociology.

The lab’s founding directors (2022) are Trenton Mize (Sociology) and Tara Grillos (Political Science).

Location, Facilities, and Equipment

The lab is located in room 2208 in Beering Hall. Our facility includes a multipurpose space with portable tables, laptops, and desk dividers to increase participant privacy. The room also includes two large flat screens for presentations. The lab also features a smaller room with a conference table and a 360 degree camera and microphones for focus groups and studies of small group dynamics. For studies that require virtual reality technology, we have a number of headsets that can be used in either room.


Our lab conducts both studies that are compensated with cash payment and studies that are compensated with extra credit. For the latter type of studies, participants are recruited through (typically introductory-level) undergraduate classes taught in Purdue University’s Sociology and Political Science departments, and are compensated with extra credit.


Please feel free to contact with any questions.