Lookit is growing! We are now showing links to outside studies along with those happening here on Lookit. Use the tabs above to see activities you can do right now, or scheduled activities you can sign up for.
Please note you'll need a laptop or desktop computer (not a mobile device) running Chrome or Firefox to participate, unless a specific study says otherwise.
Children's Understanding of Emotions - How Would Someone Feel?
Child Emotion Lab (University of Wisconsin - Madison)
For 12- and 13-year-olds who speak English
In this study, your child will be shown pictures of emotional scenes. For each picture, your child will be asked how they think someone would feel if they saw that scene in real life.
This study will help us assess pictures for a project investigating how children and adolescents use information from the world around them when thinking about other people's emotions. This will in turn help us understand what parents and teachers can do to support their children's developing emotional intelligence.
Who is this?
Infant and Child Development Center (Northwestern University)
For babies aged 11.5 to 12.5 months who learn English as their first language and who reside in the United States
In this study, your baby will watch a short video filled with cute, stuffed animals and hear names for these animals (like "dax"). Your baby will later see these named animals next to new animals that haven't been named. We will then check which animal your baby chooses to look at more.
We are interested in how well babies remember which objects they have seen, and whether they remember better if the object (like a particular dog) was given its own name. Babies pay close attention to what we say to them even before they can produce their own words, and this tells us that how we name objects for them can already guide how they think about these objects.
Using words to learn more words!
Infant and Child Development Center (Northwestern University)
For babies aged 14 to 16 months who learn English as their first language
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.
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.
How am I feeling?
Essex Babylab (University of Essex)
For 6- to 8-month-olds
In this study, we are looking at how caregivers and their babies interact. First, you will be asked to read a book with your baby. Please have a short book, that your baby is already familiar with, ready for this. Next, you will be asked just to play with your baby for a few minutes. These tasks will be recorded, so please plan a space down on the floor and position your laptop/webcam so that you can both be seen. Finally, we will ask you to complete a questionnaire about your body, your mood and your baby. At the end of the questionnaire, you will find a special certificate for your baby!
We are interested in how babies learn to interpret their own feelings. We know from previous research that interactions early in life are important in how this develops. In this study, we are specifically interested in how caregivers' interpretations of their own feelings relate to early interactive behaviours.
Listen up! Learning words in background noise
Little Lab (Smith College)
For toddlers between 2 and 3 years old who hear English at home.
First, your child will watch short videos that introduce them to new, fake words created from sounds in the English language. In these videos, they will hear the words spoken and see objects that correspond to the words, while also hearing background conversation sounds. Next, they will be asked where one of the objects is located on the screen while your webcam records their looking pattern. By recording the direction of their looking during these videos, we will be able to determine if they learned the new, fake words.
From fans blowing to people talking, children live in homes that are filled with noise. Previous studies of children's language learning have focused on how they learn words in unnaturally quiet environments that do not reflect the real world. This study examines how children handle different levels of background noise when learning words which allows us to test how the types of environments children experience every day may directly affect their vocabulary development. This study will help guide future research into language development and develop interventions to support children as they learn new words.
Awesome Animal Videos
Developing Minds Lab (Yeshiva University, Stern College for Women)
For 5- to 7-year-olds
Your child will be assigned to one of two made-up groups of people, and will be given some fun videos that they can either keep for themselves to watch, or give away to someone else. They will also answer some additional questions about the two groups.
In this study, we're interested in how young children act toward ingroup members, outgroup members, and people whose group membership is ambiguous. To test this question, we put children into a made up group of people, and then give them an opportunity to share something with someone who is either in the ingroup, the outgroup, or neither. Do children share more with ingroup members than with outgroup members? What about when it's not clear if the other person is an ingroup member or an outgroup member? Your child's responses can teach scientists about how group-based biases develop across childhood. This information can help us develop ways of encouraging children to be nice to others, no matter who they are.
Little Language Detective: Hearing and Seeing Spoken Words
MARCS BabyLab (Western Sydney University)
This study is for babies 4 to 5 months old. Babies must be from monolingual English language background.
Your baby will sit on your lap facing your computer screen and watch a 6-minute series of cartoon animals paired with made up words. Sometimes they will hear the words, but other times, they will see a woman say the words silently. We are testing our prediction that your baby will learn which words go with which animal pictures regardless of whether they hear the words or see them silently mouthed.
When doing this study, it is best to be in a quiet room with no other people or pets present so your baby is not distracted. Please get a hat with visor (such as a baseball cap) and a music player (such as a phone) with earbuds or headphones so that you won’t be able to influence your baby’s reaction to the words and pictures.
Children rapidly learn their native language(s). Here, we are studying the very building blocks of this ability: how very young babies listen to and watch people talking, using that experience to learn how spoken words work. This study will also help us understand how this early knowledge underpins later language development.
Little Drummers - Exploring toddlers sense of rhythm
Goldsmiths InfantLab (Goldsmiths, University of London)
For 2- to 2.5-year old children.
To measure their sense of rhythm toddlers will be asked to bang on a flat surface with and without a musical accompaniment (takes 3 minutes). We will then ask you to complete an online survey, which includes some fun interactive games to try with your little one (this can be done at a later time).
We are interested in how people develop their sense of rhythm. We believe toddlers' ability to move in time with the beat of music may be related to their general ability to monitor and adapt to the environment around them. We expect that children who are most flexible in changing their drumming speed will also do well in the games in our survey.
Scene and Heard!
Lab for the Developing Mind (New York University)
For babies ages 11.5 to 13.5 months. Because the study has a language component, there should be a native English speaker in the home.
In this study, your child will watch several videos of one kind of scene (like an indoor scene) labeled with a made-up word. Then, another example of that type of scene will be presented side-by-side with a new kind of scene (like a field). Your child might also see scrambled scenes. We use these to see how much a scene’s structure — versus its colors and textures alone — might help babies to categorize it.
We’re interested in whether language draws babies’ attention to the information that differs between different kinds of scenes. Babies tend to look longer at things they find interesting, so we will measure how long your child looks at each scene to see if they find one more interesting than the other.
From very early on, we start naming different kinds of objects for our children, like spoons, bottles, or chairs. Naming different examples of the same kind of object with the same word can help children form categories of objects that all have the same shape or function. Can naming the different kinds of scenes that we encounter in everyday life also help babies learn about scene categories? This study aims to address this question.
Help Lulu Learn about Us!
CALC (Rutgers University - New Brunswick)
For 6- and 8-year-olds. Each child may only participate in this study once.
Your child will help an alien friend, Lulu, in learning about Earth. They will see different amounts of blueberries; sometimes, they will be asked to pick the bowl that has more berries, other times they will predict which bowl someone else will choose.
Children have an intuitive sense of number, for example, when they see 10 vs. 5 blueberries, they can tell which has more without counting. But what do they think about other people's and animals' ability to estimate quantities? To find out, we ask children to guess whether or not different humans and animals are able to distinguish different amounts of blueberries. This study will help us understand how children intuitively reason about others' abilities, and will more generally help us better understand where our thoughts about all kinds of creatures come from.