Current Studies

Please note: Due to current concerns about COVID-19, all in-person research participation has ceased until further notice. However, some of our studies have been formatted to allow for remote participation. Please contact us by email at for more information. You can also sign up using our online participant form.

 Accent Study 

The Accent Study explores how children decide if a statement is believable. Children actively engage in a puppet show, in which the puppets make statements about pictures of familiar and unfamiliar objects (e.g., statements about what kind of food an animal eats). Children are asked to indicate which puppet’s statement is most likely to be accurate. By recording which puppet is selected, we will learn about the factors that children use in evaluating sources of information.  The study takes about 20-30 minutes. Participating children receive a toy as compensation.

Age Ranges: 4- to 6-year-olds

Agent Study (Currently inactive due to COVID)

This study focuses on how children associate words with parts of events. During the study, children see a video depicting unfamiliar creatures interacting with each other. They hear the event described with a sentence that contains novel words (e.g., “mek”). We assess how children are interpreting the novel words by asking them to identify the creature to which it refers. Children receive a toy as a gift for participating. 

Age Ranges: 3- to 4-year-olds

Labeling Study

We are interested in how children aged 5 to 7 years decide from whom to learn new words. Our procedure involves two puppets that teach the participant names for unfamiliar objects. The child then has an opportunity to select which puppet he/she wants to learn from. The study takes about 15 minutes in total.

Age Ranges: 5- to 7-year-olds

Parent Study

The objective of the study is to learn more about how parents communicate with their infants around the beginning of language development, and how those communications change as children transition into language. In this study, we conduct appointments at a location of that family’s choice (e.g., home, lab, community center). We compensate parents for their time and effort with a gift card (e.g., Target or HEB) at each visit.

Age Ranges: Longitudinal study with a total of three visits, when children are 9 months, 13 months, and 18 months

Play Study (Currently inactive due to COVID)

In this study, your child will be in a room with a researcher who will present and label unfamiliar toys while playing with your child. Following introduction to the new toys, your child will be asked to match the new labels with the toys presented. You will be able to watch through a one-way mirror or remain in the room with your child. We then ask you to come back to the lab 5 to 7 days later to repeat the same test. This study requires two visits within 5-7 days of each other.

Age Ranges: 3 year olds

Trust Study (Currently inactive due to COVID)

In this study, we explore the relationship between Latino children’s attitudes about race/ethnicity and their development of trust in others. The study can take place at a local after school program or at the Children’s Research Center. Children complete a task in which they decide whether or not to trust protagonists from a variety of stories. In a second visit on a separate day, children complete a series of questionnaires used to assess their racial/ethnic attitudes, such as how strongly they identify as Latino. Each visit takes approximately 20-30 minutes and children receive a small prize from a prize box as a gift for participating.

Age Ranges: 9-11 year olds