"Your baby, the physicist": Study overview

Eligibility criteria

For children between 4 and 12 months old at their first session

Duration 15 minutes

After each session, we'll email you a $5 Amazon.com gift card as a thank-you! (One gift card per child per session, up to 12 sessions; $5 bonus for 12th session. Child must be in the age range for the study and be visible in the consent video, so that we don't go broke paying random adults on the internet.)

Although every session helps, if you complete at least 12 sessions over the course of 2 months, we'll also be able to send you a personalized report about your child's looking patterns once video coding for the study is complete. (Sad note about how long careful science takes: this is likely to be in a few years.)

What happens

Your baby watches pairs of short videos of physical events. On one side, something pretty normal happens: e.g., a ball rolls off a table and falls to the ground. On the other side, something surprising happens: e.g., the ball rolls off a table and falls UP! To better understand individual children's responses, we especially need dedicated families to complete multiple experiment sessions.

What we're studying

Where your baby chooses to look can tell us about his or her expectations of how the physical world works. Although your baby isn't ready to study physics, he or she is already learning the basics: Should things fall up or down or not at all? Should they keep going once they start moving? We're trying to understand how these sorts of beliefs relate to each other, whether babies pass through discrete "stages" of understanding, and how much individual babies' moods and "looking personalities" affect their responses.

This study is conducted by Laura Schulz (lschulz@mit.edu)

Would you like to participate in this study?

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