Where is the Ball?

Where is the Ball?

Early Learning and Cognition Lab (University of California, San Diego)

Who Can Participate

For kids between 3-and-a-half and their 4th birthday, who speak English.

What Happens

This study will take place on a video call, live with a researcher! Clicking on the "Participate Now!" button will send you to an online calendar where you can select a date and time that works for you. After scheduling, you will receive an email with a link to join a Zoom call with your child at the time you selected.

During the call, your child will watch a video of a woman who will say hello and invite them to play a game. She will bring out two boxes and pull four colored balls out of each box. Your child will be asked to ‘touch’ which box they think has a *new* ball hidden inside! (P.S. there is no wrong answer!)

What We're Studying

This study investigates whether young children use abstract properties (like 'sameness' and 'difference') to make guesses about things they haven’t seen before. We are interested in this because, if it is something people do from a young age, that might explain how we are able to learn general things about the world (e.g., that animals of the same kind make the same sounds) from the specific things that we see (e.g., dogs barking and cats meowing). We have investigated this question before, both in person and online. Now, we are interested in seeing how children reason about properties that are less immediately obvious (like, distinguishing "mostly-the-same" from "mostly-different" as opposed to "entirely-the-same" from "entirely-different").


8-10 minutes


We will email you a $3 Amazon gift card within a week. You are eligible for the gift card even if your child does not finish, or we can't use the data. Your child just needs to be in the age range for the study, not have participated in this task before, and you need to submit a valid consent form.

This study is conducted by Caren Walker (contact: carenwalker@ucsd.edu)

Would you like to participate in this study?