Room Assignment

This is an experiment powered by Empirica. Through this experiment we attempt to answer the question: How does team composition affect team performance?

Experiment Details:

The task

In this experiment, participants are asked to assign N students into M rooms to maximize utility while respecting certain constraints. The task difficulty can vary in complexity levels:

  • High complexity: Assign 9 students to 6 rooms given 8 constraints

  • Low complexity: Assign 6 students to 4 rooms given 2 constraints

When the task is performed in groups then:

  • All participants can do the assignment simultaneously, however, ony one

    student can be moved by one player at any given time (i.e., locking the

    student being moved, but the others are free to be moved).

  • Participants can chat freely using the in-experiment chatting system.

  • All events (i.e., which student being assigned to which room etc) will be

    logged and announced in the experiment as they happen.


In the planned experiment, in step 1 each participants will be asked to complete a number of room assignment tasks and other test questions (e.g., read emotions from eyes tests) individually. This will allow us to determine 3 attributes about the individual:

  • Ability: measured by the performance in the game.

  • Social Perceptiveness (SP): Measured through

    Reading Emotions from Eye (RME) test.

  • Cognitive Style (CS): an in-task measure of problem-solving style (e.g.,

    intuitive versus analytical).

Then, in step 2, we randomly construct teams of 3 participants.

Experiment Demo:

You and a group of friends can play with this experiment as we ran it by following these instructions (assuming you have Meteor installed):

  1. Download the repository (and unzip). Alternatively, from terminal just run:

git clone
  1. Go into the folder with cd room-assigment

  2. Install the required dependencies meteor npm install

  3. Edit the admin password in the settings file local.json to something you like.

  4. Run the local instance with meteor --settings local.json

  5. Go to http://localhost:3000/admin (or whatever port you are running Meteor on).

  6. login with the credentials username: admin and the password you have in local.json

  7. Start a new batch with whatever configuration you want (see the example configuration).

Example Config:

First, you have to enter the Configuration mode instead of the Monitoring model in the admin UI.

This will allow you to configure the experiment: Factors, Lobby, and Treatments. Now, you have the option to create your own configuration (see below) or load an example configuration by clicking on import and then choosing the file ./example-config.yaml. Loading the example configurations will choose some example values for the factors (i.e., independent variables), lobby configuration, and few treatments.

Now, you can go back to the Monitoring mode:

Now the Batchs tab make sure you add a new batch, add the treatments you want, choose your lobby configurations, and then start the batch.

Go to http://localhost:3000/ and enjoy! If you don't have 3 friends to play with you, you always can use the new player button in development (for more details see this), which can add an arbitrary number players to the experiment while staying in the same browser (i.e., no need to open different browsers).