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Washington State University
Carson College of Business Center for Behavioral Business Research

Center for
Behavioral Business Research

Engaging students in research projects for industry partners

The Center for Behavioral Business Research (CBBR) brings together industry leaders, academics, and undergraduate students to study issues relevant to business, consumers and broader society.

The Center for Behavioral Business Research (CBBR) is a cross-disciplinary center for behavioral research, undergraduate engagement and education, and external communication of our research that studies consumers, business, and society at large. Funded by the Boeing Company in 2007, the CBBR is housed in the WSU Carson College of Business at the main entrance of Todd Addition off the Terrell Mall, and is directed by Dr. Andrew Perkins. The CBBR is approximately 1,500 square feet and contains a data collection computer lab with state-of-the-art hardware and behavioral research software, a reception/ observation area, a focus group room, a virtual reality lab, and multiple interview rooms. The CBBR also includes appropriate technology to link the facility with other research centers and with industry partners for virtual meetings or conferences. The CBBR’s mission includes support for the following three interrelated areas of emphasis:

  • A faculty research mission charged with generating behavioral research consistent with WSU’s Grand Challenges agenda and faculty-motivated topics relevant to business and society;
  • An educational mission aimed at preparing WSU undergraduate students for positions with firms requiring employees well-trained in behavioral research methods with a cross-disciplinary orientation (such graduates are required by industries who are becoming increasingly reliant upon collection, analysis and interpretation of human data as part of the “big data” movement);
  • A communication/outreach mission designed to facilitate communication of cutting-edge research and faculty expertise across Washington State University and public and private industry.


The mission of the Center for Behavioral Business Research (CBBR) is to bring together industry leaders, academics, and students to study issues critical to business, consumers and broader society in order to increase research productivity, enhance the undergraduate experience, and strengthen industry engagement.


The vision for the CBBR is to be the go-to behavioral business research facility for faculty and students, to forge topic-specific research partnerships with industry, and to increase the visibility of both academic research and undergraduate educational accomplishments across the northwest.

Research topics

The Consumer Experience

How do consumers respond to the marketing environment? What psychological processes underlie the decisions that consumers make? How do marketers change perceptions and attitudes toward the products and services they are selling? How can marketing affect individual, societal, and even planet-wide beliefs about and behavior towards the challenges we face? The research conducted at the CBBR endeavors to answer these and a multitude of other questions related to the interaction between consumers, the marketplace, and the world at large.

The Retail Experience

The relationships between consumers, retailers, and brands are of particular strategic importance to many firms in the Pacific Northwest. Firms involved in all aspects of retail and service must consider how consumers relate to the tangible symbols of their business, including retail storefronts, retail settings, logos, and business names. The center’s partners will work with leading researchers in consumer behavior and branding to analyze issues involving the dynamic interface between retailers, brands, and consumers.

The Virtual Experience

Virtual reality (VR) research examines a number of issues related to the interaction between humans, information, technologies, and tasks, especially in the business, managerial, organizational, and cultural contexts. Specific topics include differences in behavior between real and virtual retail experiences and the effects of augmented reality on consumer behavior when deployed in a consumption setting. Ultimately, our research is interested in reporting how experiencing VR affects a variety of factors such as user attitudes, behavior, performance, perception, and productivity.

Faculty leadership

Dr. Andrew Perkins (Director): Dr. Perkins is tenured faculty at WSU. Dr. Perkins joined the Carson College of Business Marketing department in 2014 after previous faculty appointments at Rice University in Houston, Texas and Ivey Business School at Western University, London, Ontario, Canada. Dr. Perkins has numerous peer-reviewed publications across many disciplines including Marketing, Psychology, Organizational Behavior, and Health and Medicine. His research interests include consumer decision-making, consumer self-identity, implicit processes and behavior, and the intersection of consumer psychology and the environment.

Partnership opportunities

Support the Center

Industry partners are invited to support the CBBR by providing financial resources, student research projects, and collaborative expertise. Current funding needs include undergraduate and graduate student scholarship support for course-related projects, an endowed chair to support a dedicated center director, and operational funding for ongoing facility administration, maintenance, and updates.

Undergraduate Experience

Every semester, Carson College of Business certified junior and senior undergraduate students volunteer to help in the CBBR. These students help with the collection of data, building materials and experiments for future studies, and assisting lab managers, graduate students, and faculty with other lab tasks. These students also have the opportunity to take workshops in marketing research and experimental design.

Working in our lab is a great opportunity for any student planning to work in industries related to marketing research or apply to graduate school. We are looking for students who will be dedicated to the lab, are eager to learn, and are excited about consumer behavior research.

We need motivated people who work well in groups and individually. If you are interested, please complete the application found here. The CBBR will be in touch soon to discuss your application.

Sponsored research

Upon the identification of a project, the CBBR director and members of the sponsoring organization will finalize a project description along with a timeline for deliverables.A typical project team will consist of one or more lead faculty members, a graduate student (either doctoral or master’s level), and three to five undergraduate students. The selection of undergraduate students is a competitive process.

The students who are selected are designated CBBR Research Fellows. Ideally, a portion of project funds will be directed to CBBR Research Fellows in the form of scholarships.
Upon completion of a project, sponsors will be invited to the WSU campus for a formal presentation of the results. A typical project will be completed within an academic term. Sample project proposals including financials and timelines are available from the CBBR director upon request. A downloadable .pdf of a detailed description of the services available at the CBBR is available here.


Andrew Perkins, director
Center for Behavioral Business Research