Frequently Asked Questions
What does participating in a study involve?
Our studies are all different because each one is designed to answer a different question with a different age group. Some studies are simple games where the child plays with the experimenter and we look at how children respond to questions or instructions from the experimenter. For example, the experimenter might hide a toy in one of several boxes and ask the child to find it, or the experimenter might perform a particular action and we look to see which kind of actions children choose to copy. In other studies, we employ eye-tracking or neuroimaging methods to look at how children process information. We might show them a short animation or video that we have designed to ask a particular question and we will look at where children choose to look, or which areas of their brain are responding. Prior to taking part in a study, you will be given detailed information about the particular study, and you will always be with your child.
How long do studies take?
Our studies usually only take between 5 and 10 minutes, but we book a one-hour slot in case your baby is sleeping when you arrive, or needs to be fed, and to allow us time to explain the study to you, and for you to ask questions. We have a cosy waiting room with lots of toys where we will spend some time talking to you about the study and playing with your child, before we begin the study.
How can I sign up?
The easiest way is to click on the ‘participate’ button on the right of the website, but you are also welcome to email or phone us to sign up. When your child reaches the appropriate age for one of our studies, we will get in touch with you to invite you participate. If you would like to participate, we will find a convenient day and time for your visit to our lab.
How many visits are involved?
Most of our studies are just a single visit, during which we might do one or two short studies, depending on the age of your child. In most cases, when your child is the right age for a study, we will call you and invite you to participate in a single session only. If your child happens to be the right age for another study later, we might call you again and invite you to participate again, but each study is independent and you can of course choose how many times you would like to participate. Occasionally, we might have a ‘longitudinal’ study where we are interested in following children over time to see how a particular cognitive ability develops, but we would tell you that at the beginning, and you could then decide if you would like to be involved in such a study.
How long are my child’s details stored?
We will keep your details until your child is 5 years old, but will delete them earlier at your request.
Can I bring a sibling to the visit?
Yes, of course! We ask you to let us know if you will be bringing a sibling along as well, and we will arrange for one of our team members to play with your other child during the study. We have a playroom just next door to our testing room.
What can we learn from this research?
The aims of our research studies are to understand generally the mental processes of young children at different ages. We only look at children as a group e.g. how do 6-month-olds or 3-year-olds process a certain kind of information? We do not look at children on an individual level and there are no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ or ‘good’ or ‘bad’ responses. Young children vary a lot in how they do things, and their stage of development and we are only interested in the average. When a study is finished, we will report the findings of the group to parents whose children participated.
How did you get my address?
Danish law permits us, as a research organization, to access the contact details of residents of Denmark. In order to access these details, we have to comply with data protection laws.
Is our research approved?
Yes, our research has been approved by the ethics board at the University of Copenhagen, and by the European Research Council.
Who conducts the studies?
The studies are carried out by PhD or post-doctoral researchers in our centre, assisted by a Danish-speaking research assistant. All researchers have been trained to carry out studies and all know how to entertain our child scientists! We are an international research centre and all of our staff speak English.
Where is the research centre?
The Centre for Early Childhood Cognition (ECC) is located on the 5th floor of the Department of Psychology on the corner of Øster Farimagsgade and Gothersgade. We are a 5-minute walk from Nørreport station. If you prefer to drive, we have free parking in front of the building. We have an elevator to the 5th floor so if your baby is sleeping when you arrive, you can bring them directly to our waiting room. A member of our team will meet you at the main entrance and bring you to the centre.