"Using words to learn more words!": Study overview

Eligibility criteria

For babies aged 14 to 16 months who learn English as their first language

Duration 15 minutes
Compensation

$5 electronic payment card provided by Northwestern University. After you finish the study, we will email you a virtual payment card within 2-3 weeks. To be eligible for compensation, the following criteria must be met: (1) your child must be in the age range for this study and be learning English as his/her first language; (2) you need to submit a valid video consent statement; (3) we need to see that there is a child with you in the study participation video;

What happens

In this study, babies watch short videos of a woman pointing to and naming a few familiar objects (“Look at the apple!” or "Do you see the banana?”). She then introduces a new word (“Dax”), but the object is hidden. Babies then see a pair of unfamiliar objects (e.g., a mango and an ottoman), and we record where they look when they hear that word ("Dax"). We ask parents to fill out a questionnaire at the beginning of the study.

What we're studying

We want to understand if babies at 14-16 months can learn new word meanings without seeing the objects they stand for. If three familiar objects shown are fruits, can babies infer that the hidden object is also a fruit and learn its name? This will tell us whether these babies understand that words can be linked to mental representations of real-world objects and used to communicate about them, even when those objects are not in view.

This study is conducted by Elena Luchkina (elena.luchkina@northwestern.edu)

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