Humans and robots in markets

Human-robot interaction in financial markets (HREC 1749612.1)


We would like to invite you to participate in a project investigating the interaction between human traders and robots in financial markets when humans are in control of the robots. This project has been approved by The University of Melbourne’s Human Research Ethics Committee, and internally funded by The University of Melbourne.

What I will be asked to do?

Should you agree to participate, you will complete a computer-based trading game on an online trading platform. You will be asked to sit a training session which provides ample opportunity for you to familiarise yourself with the trading platform and the use of available robots. During the test session, you will be endowed with cash and a single, 15-period-lived share with a random dividend payment (with known possible outcomes and expected value) at the end of each period. You can trade shares for cash, manually, or with a robot. The objective is to maximise earnings. The choice of which robots to use and the timing of using them are completely at your discretion.

The estimated time of commitment will be 150 minutes. Participation in this study is completely voluntary and the information collected will remain strictly confidential. On successful completion of both training and test session, you will receive between $40 and $80 with expected payoff of $60 depending on your performance score during the test session.

How will my confidentiality be protected?

Any identifiable data which you provide will be stored in password-protected files, and will only be accessed by the researchers. The information you provide will be safeguarded subject to any legal requirements, and will be destroyed at least 5 years after final publication of results. Any publications or presentations resulting from this study will be based on de-identified data only.

What if I want to withdraw from the research?

Participation in this research is completely voluntary. You are free to withdraw at any time and to withdraw any unprocessed data previously supplied. This would have no effect on your relationship with any member of the Department of Finance at the University of Melbourne. It would not affect your grades, assessment or any treatment that you would otherwise be eligible for.

Where can I get further information?

If you have not understood any of this information, please contact us at This research project has been approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee of The University of Melbourne. If you have any concerns or complaints about the conduct of this research project, which you do not wish to discuss with the research team, you should contact the Manager, Human Research Ethics, Research Ethics and Integrity, University of Melbourne, VIC 3010. Tel: +61 3 8344 2073 or Email: All complaints will be treated confidentially. In any correspondence please provide the name of the research team or the name or ethics ID number of the research project.


How Do I Agree to Participate?

If you decide to participate, please sign up for an experimental session here.

Human ethics approval

This study has been approved by the University of Melbourne Human Research Ethics Committee (project ID: HREC: 1749612.1).

Brain, Mind and Markets Lab
Department of Finance
The University of Melbourne
Victoria 3010
Phone: +61 3 9035 9950