Laboratory for Experimentation in Social Sciences and Consumer Behaviour - LESSAC

Dr. Angela SUTAN

Dr. Angela SUTAN
Head of the LESSAC


Official website of the LESSAC (in French) :


The Laboratory for Experimentation in Social Sciences and Consumer Behaviour (LESSAC) has three missions:

  • To develop the skills of professionals in the fields of marketing, human resources and economics
  • To develop applied research through experimental projects on business issues
  • To provide students of the school with an innovative and high-quality educational tool
    the LESSAC

Inaugurated in May 2008, the LESSAC centralises the experimental economics activities of the school, in order to explore all of the dimensions of decision-making, in the context of consumption, in the context of management or in the context of individual choice. The results produced can provide a quality response to the challenges of decision making that companies have to face.

Experimental economics is...

  • A controlled methodology to reproduce, in a laboratory, situations involving decisions about consumption or management in order to understand what drives these decision processes.
  •  An incentive method illustrated by tests on participants who are paid according to their responses and performance.
  • An implicative method that makes it possible to eliminate declarative bias; the participants are immersed in the experiment and reveal their true preferences by their behaviour.
  • A predictive method that produces numerical data for acceptance to pay for goods or for variables that are difficult to quantify, such as envy, motivation, stress, confidence, and so on. 

The strengths of our laboratory

  • A team of expert researchers
  • A permanently present technical team
  • A experimental platform of 80 booths, the largest in Europe
  • Collaboration with the Vitagora competitivity pole, the University of Bourgogne and INRA (the National Institute for Agronomic Research)
  • Collaboration with several Chairs in areas such as micro finance and corporate social responsibility, and with health and agri-food companies.
  • The expertise of the Wine Management Institute
  • Complete Continuing Education Courses to meet partners' needs

Ongoing research projects

EXPALIM, a project accredited by Vitagora, in partnership with the CESG (European Centre for the Sciences of Taste), CERMAB (Burgundy Centre for Research in Marketing) and CenNutriment (company specializing in health foods). The project aims to ensure the success in the marketing of new innovative food products. Our experimental methods highlight different aspects of consumer consent (to pay, to accept, to exchange, to believe, to feel) for foodstuffs that carry a message of belief (health, pleasure, tradition). The impact, in terms of social position (envy, comparison with a reference group) and perception of the distribution of innovative products are also measured.

The ECONET project (funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs). In collaboration with the universities of Pitesti and Craiova (Romania), and the Academy of Economic Sciences of Chisinau (Moldova), this project focuses on the effects of envy and social comparison. It explores envy, mainly in terms of "positive" or "destructive" action induced by comparative assessment of the rewards given to different agents. Four elements make this project original: the study of envy; the interdisciplinary approach, the application of this concept to consumer behaviour with regard to food products with belief attributes, and international comparisons.

The EXPADEC project (funded by the Regional Council of Burgundy). Developed in association with Bourgogne Entreprendre, this project focuses on the concept of proximity as the decisive criterion of small business management. Our experimental approach attempts to demonstrate that the choices of all contractors that aim for performance and a reduction in uncertainty are consistent with the perception of proximity and the definition of associated elements: reconciliation of personal and professional life, the perception of incentives to set up a business in Burgundy, the choice of local financing, motivation to be part of a network and work with others in such a structure.