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Current Studies

The Emergence of Children’s Collaboration

Between 2 and 3 years of age, there is a shift in the way in which children collaborate with one another. This study is interested in age differences in children’s collaboration in groups of 2’s and 3’s. In this study, children will work together in order to achieve a common goal. 

This study is conducted in-person.

We are currently recruiting children of the following ages to participate in this study: 2.5 years-old & 3.5 year-olds! Please use those links to sign your child up for a day of summer fun!

 

Do You Promise?

The phrase “pinky promise” is highly common among young children, but it begs the question: under what conditions do children keep their promises? We are especially interested if the nature of the activity and whether the child is working with someone or parallel to someone has an effect on children’s promise keeping.

This study is conducted in-person.

We are currently recruiting children of the following ages to participate in this study: 3 year-olds & 5 year-olds!

 

Does Hearsay Influence Children’s Beliefs?

Much of children’s understanding and beliefs about the world comes from adult testimony and hearsay. But just how much sway does hearsay have in persuading children to revise their beliefs? In this study, children will form both factual and magical beliefs, and whether these beliefs change after listening to different types of hearsay.

This study is conducted in-person.

We are currently recruiting children of the following ages to participate in this study: 4 year-olds!

 

Have My Favorite

In this study, we are exploring whether reciprocity in children is sensitive to the cost a benefactor incurred to share. More specifically, we are curious whether children perceive an obligation to reward those who give up a highly-valued vs. lesser valued resource. And critically, the ‘value’ in this study is subjective, one puppet says that a sticker he shares with the child was “his very favorite”, and the other puppet says, “I like this sticker, but it’s not my favorite.” Will children prefer to reward the puppet who gave up something he valued? And if so, will this behavior vary across ages?

This study is conducted in-person.

We are currently recruiting children of the following ages to participate in this study: 4 and 6 year olds

 

Cooperation vs. Competence

In this study, we are asking whether children are willing to pay a high cost to engage in self-promotion. In the study, children first choose three dog stickers that they like, and the stickers are kept in a bag for them. Children then engage in an animal sorting task and are praised for being either helpful or smart. Afterwards, children are shown a white and black stick figure sticker that supposedly is either a “smartie” or “helper sticker.” As a measure of children’s ‘willingness-to-pay’ for self-promotion, children are given an opportunity to trade in 2/3 dog stickers for either the “smartie” or “helper sticker”. Our goal with this study is to learn more about costly reputation management across development.

This study is conducted in-person.

We are currently recruiting children of the following ages to participate in this study: 4 and 6 year olds