"Find the cause!": Study overview

Eligibility criteria

For babies ages 15 to 19 months of age.

Duration 15 minutes
What happens

In this study, your child will be shown short videos, where some objects make a machine light up and play music, and others do not. Then the objects are sorted into different boxes based on whether they made the machine work. At the end of the study, your baby will see some new objects and we will measure where on the screen they look. We are interested in whether babies predict which box the new objects will be sorted in.

What we're studying

We are studying causal reasoning in babies and toddlers. Searching for explanations of events that we observe, and deliberate discovering of how things work, is possibly something only humans do. This curiosity is the foundation of all science and crucial for learning about the complex world that we interact with in everyday life. We want to find out how and at what age babies start reasoning about causes and effects. Specifically, this study investigates whether babies realise when the information that they are observing is confounded (not sufficient to make conclusions) or not, and whether they make the correct predictions based on such observations. Because babies aren't yet able to do much on their own, recognising opportunities for learning, when observing others, is a crucial element of their developing causal reasoning skills.

This study is conducted by Elizabeth Bonawitz & Katarina Begus (contact: katarina.begus@gmail.com )

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