How long has this kind of research been going on?
The director of the lab, Dr Jeanne Shinskey, has been working with infants in these kinds of
studies since 1993.
How many times would we need to come in?
If you are interested and would like to participate, you would come to the lab for a one-time visit. If you would like to stay in our database after that visit, we might contact you in the future for a different study in your baby's age range. At that time we would explain the new study and ask if you would like to come in for one more visit.
What kinds of things would we do?
You and your baby would participate in a study designed to be a fun game for that age group. It depends on the particular study, but for one example, we sometimes hide toys in different
locations and watch where infants look and reach.
Would I be with my baby at all times?
Yes. We never ask parents to separate from their babies.
Would you hook my baby up to anything or use invasive procedures?
No. Our studies merely involve presenting babies with interesting events or toys and then videotaping their behaviour. The studies are designed to be activites enjoyable to babies.
What happens with the data you collect?
We present the results in articles, books, and talks for psychology audiences.
Who looks at the video records?
Select videotapes are sometimes used for demonstration purposes either in a classroom setting or at a professional or scientific meeting.
We only show videos with your consent.
What do you do with the video records when you're done with them?
We keep the video records in the lab, which is a locked facility accessible only to current lab
members. We destroy videos after 10 years.
Will you be able to tell me how my baby is developing?
Our studies examine babies as a group. We cannot identify where individual babies are developmentally based on this kind of work. To draw conclusions about an individual, we would need to do a lot more assessment to check the reliability of the behaviours, and this is not the kind of work we do because we are interested in overall patterns.
Is my baby supposed to display a particular behaviour in your study?
Our projects are not designed to examine particular behaviours, so there is no "right" or "wrong" behaviour. Babies usually show a range of behaviours in our studies, all of which are informative.
What about the differences in babies' cognitive development?
Although babies do differ in their rate of development, we do not study individual results, only the average of a group of babies.
Doesn't that skew your study?
No. We study enough babies that we can get a representative sample of general patterns in their behaviour, even when there is variability in their development.
What can I do to improve my baby's cognitive development?
Our research focuses on natural patterns of development, so we do not have results that address how to improve babies’ cognitive development.
What about my other children? Are there studies for them too?
At this time, we are focusing on infants between the ages of about 5 to 28 months. But if we design future studies for older children, we can certainly keep your information in our database to contact you then.