Matchbox Interaction Lab

Located in Coates B16 and B17, the Matchbox Interaction Lab can be used to videotape individuals, couples, and small groups of up to five people doing experiential activities, such as conversing or holding a mock job interview. Modeled after John Gottman’s “Love Lab” built at the University of Washington, the lab is conducive to communication because it is set up as a contemporary living room with comfortable seating, a computer, a coffee table, landscape paintings, plants, mirrors, and lamps. The lab contains nonverbal artifacts in the form of magazines and trinkets to distract someone if he or she wants to avoid communicating about a topic. Hence, participants have the opportunity to relieve anxiety by picking up selected artifacts. They are observed through an unobtrusive, revolving digital camera. Physiological data can be measured including heart-rate variability, beats per minutes, blood pressure, and somatic activity by wearing a comfortable wrist monitor.