For Parents: FAQ

What are the visits like?

Our lab is on the Williams College campus just off of Rt 2. You can park across the street and take the elevator up to the third floor to our child-friendly lab.

All of our studies are designed to be fun and engaging for the children. Most of the studies last about 10 to 15 minutes, and the whole visit will last about 30 minutes. At the end of the visit, your child will receive a small toy as a thank-you, and we’ll compensate you for travel.

Here is an example of a study we’re currently running:

One of the studies we’re running for toddlers is a game on an iPad!

crop-file0001389399799We know that when adults are told to quickly find a particular item on a screen, they’re able to do so more quickly depending on the other items on the screen. For example, if you’re looking for a dog, you’ll be able to find it more quickly when it’s surrounded by things like household items than when it’s surrounded by pictures of other animals. In other words, because the target is so different from the items around it, we can find it really fast.

We’re using an iPad game to see if the same is true for young children, who have less familiarity with certain categories and items. In each trial, children have to find a target that’s either similar to or different from the items around it. The iPad measures reaction times during the game, so we can tell how quickly children can find the target items.

crop-file0001168551853Can I bring siblings along?

Of course! We have a child-friendly waiting room where one of our research assistants can play with siblings while others participate.

How many visits will there be?

Each study is a one-time commitment, although many families do come in for multiple visits over time!

crop-file0001767711477Can I be with my child during the study?


Can I find out how my child did?

Our studies are designed to examine cognitive development at the group level (e.g., 4-year-olds in general), and so we don’t have the ability to look at individual performance. However, if you’re interested in finding out more about the study, you can look for our annual newsletter or see some of our recent publications here.

When are the appointments scheduled?

The lab is open Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm. We do sometimes schedule evening or Saturday appointments, so do let us know if you’re interested, but can only make it on evenings or weekends.

If you are interested in participating, please click here to fill out our online form, or contact us at ecclab@williams.edu, or (413) 597-2468.