Visual Attention and Learning
The purpose of this study is to study visual attention and learning in infants. The child will be sitting on your lap, and we will show him still pictures and short clips on the screen. There will be certain rules that determines the relation between the different stimuli presented, and we would like to see whether your child picks up on these rules. We will be using an eye-tracker to measure where your child is looking, so we can find out if your child has learned the rules. We might be presenting certain interruptions during the test, and measure if and how that affects your child’s learning.
Age: 4 months and 7 months
Categories: Eye Tracking
We are interested in seeing how young infants learn about categories of objects and things they experience in the world — for example, what do all dogs have in common or what properties do cups generally possess? We are interested in looking at how babies use their language (based on what they hear in their environment) to help them learn more about these categories and concepts. In this study, the baby will be seated in front of a monitor and will see a series of make-believe animal pictures paired with some speech-like sounds. We measure where the baby looks to see what they have learned. This is a looking time study.
Age: 4 months and 7 months
A recent study suggests that referential cues are helpful for minimal-pair word-learning (e.g., “bin” and “din”). In this study, we are interested in finding out whether providing referential cues will help 9-month-olds discriminate tones. The baby will see familiar objects on a screen (e.g., car) while hearing the name of the associated object repeatedly (e.g., “Car. Car. Car.”). Afterwards, novel objects and words (i.e. Cantonese) will be presented in similar fashion. During the test trial, the baby will hear the novel words once again. The duration of the infant’s look on the screen will be assessed to find out whether referential cues help in this case.
Languages and Faces
In this study, we’re looking at what babies at a very young age know about how different languages correspond or relate to different groups of people. We know that very young babies prefer to listen to familiar languages and prefer to look at familiar sorts of people– but what we’re asking here is whether babies seem to have an idea that familiar language is associated with familiar looking or acting people. So what we’ll be doing is showing your baby pictures of people who look like him/her and people who don’t, as well as playing familiar language and unfamiliar language. We’re interested if babies will show a difference in attention when like-me faces are paired with familiar language versus unfamiliar faces and vice-versa. The study should take about 5-10 minutes.
Age: 8-11 months
In this study, we are interested in how infants and toddlers learn meanings for novel words and how they generalize the meaning to new contexts. The infant will be seated on your lap and get to see some line drawings of animals paired with words. We will be looking at what she is interested in, where she is looking, and how long she is looking.
Age: 17-18 months
Do babies distinguish nice guys from naughty guys?
Babies watch a short puppet show in which one character (animal puppet) has a goal (for instance, to open a box or retrieve a toy), and is helped to get his goal by one puppet and blocked from getting his goal by another puppet. We then see which puppet each baby prefers by letting him or her choose between the two puppets.
How do babies understand social relationships?
Babies see two individuals engaging in a positive act (helping each other). They then see the same individuals engaging in a different kind of act, that either stays positive (helping in a new way) or switches to negative (the two puppets now hinder each other). We examine whether infants find it surprising when the puppets’ relationship changes from positive to negative.
How do babies learn from different individuals?
Previous work has shown that infants prefer “nice” individuals. This study asks whether infants prefer to learn about the world from nice puppets over naughty puppets. We are examining preferences for toys and foods, as well as information about how stuff works and how to act.
Most of the studies at the Social Cognitive Development Lab are run in the Living Lab at Telus World of Science. Check out the link for more information!
The study examines how kids evaluate social sources of information and how they will incorporate it into their own learning experience. We are interested to see when presented with a difficult question, the kids will choose the confident person who has been previously inaccurate or the hesitant person who has been previously accurate. In this study, kids will watch videos and answer some questions. They will also be given a handout of information about the different animals they learned about at the end of the study. This study should take approximately 10 minutes.
Age: 3-8 years
This study examines how kids are influenced by cues of competence and how they learn from high status vis-a-vis low status teachers. We show kids videos of two adults using a device differently, and the present them with the same device. In this study, kids will answer some questions, watch videos, and try to open a device to obtain a toy inside as quickly as possible doing only the “necessary” steps. This study should take approximately 10 minutes.
In this study, we are interested in how infants first learn the words “Mommy” and “Daddy” and how they come to learn these as proper nouns for only their own parents. We are comparing this development to how they learn nouns for common objects such as “cup” and “ball”. Your child will be sitting on your lap and watching a short video clip on a TV screen featuring a series of objects and faces paired with their respective names. We will be videotaping your child to later determine where he/she was looking on the screen. This study takes approximately 5 minutes.
Age: 6 months old
We are interested in how young children differentiate between a kind and a brand of an object. In the study, children will be presented with unfamiliar objects by the researcher and a puppet, and will be asked to label these objects based on whether it is a kind of something or a brand of something. The goal of this study is to understand the different underlying mechanisms that influence how children understand the notion of brands. This study takes about 15-20 minutes to run.
Age: 3-5 years
The purpose of this study is to examine how children track the identity of objects. In this study, your child will be presented with objects which will be labelled and then undergo transformations. During this process, the experimenter will ask your child some simple questions designed to probe his or her understanding of the identity of these objects. We are interested in whether the label given to an object influences children’s judgements of identity. This study takes approximately 10 minutes.
Age: 7-8 years