Our research is made possible by parents like you.

We hope that you and your family will join us in exploring how children think, learn, and grow.

Here’s what we are currently exploring.

Early Helping Behavior

Early Helping Behavior

24-month-old toddlers

This study explores when early helping behaviors develop and factors that relate to helping.

This study involves a single 60-minute visit to our research center. First, mothers and children are asked to play together as they would at home. Then, mothers complete questionnaires while their children take part in a number of activities designed to measure sharing, empathy, and helping behavior.

Children who participate receive a small prize as a token of our appreciation.

Understanding Categories

Understanding Categories

4- to 8-year-old kids

In this study, we are interested in children’s beliefs about categories. Do they expect individuals in the same category to be exactly the same, or do they expect individuals to vary in some ways? 

Participation involves a single 30-minute visit. Participants will be introduced to some new kinds of animals. They will learn about a key feature of an animal and will be asked to predict the degree to which that feature is true of the entire category.

Children who participate receive a small prize as a token of our appreciation.

Understanding Others

Understanding Others

4- to 8-year-old kids

How do kids think about the thoughts and feelings of others who are more or less similar to themselves?

This study involves a single 30-minute visit to our research center during which kids sort statements about internal mental experiences (e.g. “Feels a lot of different feelings”; “Plans things out before doing them”) into boxes marked with pictures of other children. 

Children who participate receive a small prize as a token of our appreciation.

Sympathy for Others

Sympathy for Others

6- to 8-year-old kids

In what ways do children experience and express sympathy for others who are different from themselves?

Participation for children involves a single 2-hour visit to our research center during which children and parents watch videos about bullying and discuss them. Participants will also be asked to fill out questionnaires, and children will also do a few activities involving sharing. 

Families who participate receive a $40 gift card as a token of our appreciation.

You’ve got questions. We’ve got answers.

If you are trying to decide whether or not you’d like to participate, you may be wondering: 

WHAT KIND OF RESEARCH TAKES PLACE AT THE CHILD DEVELOPMENT RESEARCH GROUP?
Here at the Child Development Research Group, we study how infants and children develop socially, emotionally, and cognitively. We are interested in how babies and children understand and reason about the world around them, and how close relationships with others foster children’s emotional and moral competence. For more information about what we study, please visit the individual lab pages for the Cognitive Development Lab and the Emotional Development Lab.

WHAT IS A TYPICAL VISIT WITH THE CHILD DEVELOPMENT RESEARCH GROUP LIKE?

We will meet you at a reserved parking space on the Lehigh University campus and bring you to our child-friendly lab space.  We have a waiting room with toys for your child (or children!) to play with while we explain the study, complete paperwork, and answer your questions.  We also take the time to play with your child so that he/she gets acquainted with us before the study. After we get to know you and your child, we have an adjacent room where we will complete the study. You will be with your child the entire time. After the study is over, we will give your child a small gift as compensation for participating and we will escort you back to your car. The length of the study depends on the project that your child is participating in. Some of our studies take as little as 15 minutes; others are approximately an hour long. Additionally, we like to schedule an extra 10 – 15 minutes into the visit so that we have time for your child to warm up before the study, and so that we can fully explain the study to you and answer any questions you might have.

WHAT WILL MY INFANT DO IN A TYPICAL STUDY?

In a typical study, your baby will play with toys or do simple activities (e.g., crawl, play games at a table), either with you or a member of our research team. Additionally, your baby will watch a short sequence of actions (for example, a person reaching for an object) while sitting on your lap or in a highchair. Using a computer program, we will measure where your infant is looking and how long he or she watches the actions. By examining what aspects of the video babies are watching, we can draw conclusions about how they are processing the actions on the screen. In addition, since babies typically look longer at things that they find new or surprising, we can make inferences about how they perceive and understand our displays by examining patterns of looking time. These data help us understand what infants think about people’s actions and mental states.

WHAT WILL MY CHILD DO IN A TYPICAL STUDY?

Studies for older toddlers, preschoolers, and elementary-aged children are usually more interactive. Some studies involve playing short games and reading stories with our researchers to determine how much children understand about other people’s mental states. In other studies, children will see pictures of familiar or novel animals or objects and hear sentences to describe them. Then children will be asked to answer simple questions about the pictures. Questions may require a yes/no answer or a short response.  All of the items children see are non-threatening and the tasks are designed to be fun and engaging.

ARE THERE ANY RISKS TO PARTICIPATING IN THESE STUDIES?
There are no risks to your child in participating in this research beyond those experienced in everyday life.

Will I receive any compensation for participating?

Children who participate always receive a prize as a thank you for helping us out. Additionally, some but not all of our studies include monetary compensation, typically in the form of an Amazon or Target gift card.

We will let you know what compensation is available when we first contact you about a study your child is eligible for. Compensation for current studies can also be found on our website here

WHEN ARE APPOINTMENTS SCHEDULED?

We schedule appointments at your convenience, usually on Monday through Friday from 9AM to 6PM.  We also offer weeknight and weekend hours, so if you are interested but cannot come during business hours, let us know!

HOW MANY TIMES WILL I BE ASKED TO PARTICIPATE?
This depends on the study. Some studies require two visits to the lab, typically a few months apart. Most studies require a single visit and do not commit you to any other visits. Although it is not required, many families enjoy returning to participate in different studies as their children grow!

If you have signed up to participate or already scheduled an appointment, you might like to know more about: 

HOW DO I GET THE LAB? IS PARKING AVAILABLE?

You can find directions to our lab here. We provide free parking for parents and will meet you in the parking lot to escort you and your child to the lab.

CAN I BRING MY OTHER CHILDREN?

Yes! We have a playroom where your other children can stay and play with one of our researchers while you and your child are in the study room. Just please give us a heads up that you plan on bringing other children so that we can make sure that we have enough research staff on hand that day.

Do I need to bring anything with me to our appointment?
Unless otherwise specified in our correspondence with you, there’s nothing special that you need to bring with you to your appointment.
Can both my partner and I participate in the study with our child?

If the study requires parent involvement, we generally require that only one caregiver participates with their child, unless otherwise specified. That being said, both parents are welcome to come! We have a space where one parent can observe while the other parent and child participate. 

My partner/the child's grandparent would like to watch my child participate. Can they come, too?

Yes! We can generally accommodate requests for others to watch as you and your child participate. We have a separate space where others can observe that doesn’t disrupt the study.   

If you have already participated, you may have questions about: 

HOW CAN I FIND OUT ABOUT THE RESULTS OF THE STUDY? WILL I RECEIVE AN EVALUATION OR ADVICE ABOUT MY CHILD'S DEVELOPMENT?

Because we are not pediatricians or clinicians, we cannot evaluate or offer individually tailored advice about your child’s development. However, we are excited to share with you the overall results of the studies we have going on in the lab. Approximately once a year we send out (and post here on our website) a newsletter explaining our findings. We also share findings of other recent research on our Facebook page.

I've signed up before but need to update my information. How do I do that?

You can update your information here

Can I share your information with other families I know who may be interested in participating?

Absolutely! We are always looking for more families who may be interested in participating. Feel free to direct them to our website. 
We can also provide print materials (small postcards or flyers) if you would like to post them at a business or share with an organization you are affiliated with. 

Have you decided to participate? We’re so glad you did. 

Signing up is simple. Enter your name, your child’s name and age, and the best way to contact you into our secure database, and we’ll let you know when there is a study available for you and your child to participate in. 

By joining our database, you are not obligating yourself to participate in any future studies. Life gets busy—we get it—so we understand if you choose to decline a future invitation to participate. And, of course, we promise not to share your information. 

Here’s how to find us. 

Using Google Maps

Navigate to Chandler-Ullmann Driveway, Bethlehem, PA 18015, and follow the road to the Chandler-Ullmann parking lot. Park in either spot labeled for infant and child studies. 

Using other GPS (Not Google Maps)

Navigate to 621 Taylor St., Bethlehem, PA 18015. From there, you’ll see three signs (a yellow one, a blue one, and a white one) on your right (when facing south). Follow the white sign that reads “To Chandler-Ullmann parking lot” onto the small road. Continue up the road past the bend to the parking lot (our building is the one with the 30+ chimneys on top). Park in either spot labeled for infant and child studies. 

Without GPS: FROM ROUTE I-78 EAST OR WEST

Take the Hellertown/Bethlehem exit 67. From east or west, turn right onto PA-412 N. Continue on PA-412 N/Hellertown Road. This turns into East 4th St. Keep left at the light to stay on East 4th St. In ~1 mile, turn left onto Taylor St. Keep going for .2 miles. Just after passing E Packer Ave., you’ll find our driveway on the right, marked by several signs (a yellow one, a blue one, and a white one). Follow the white sign that reads “To Chandler-Ullmann parking lot” onto the small road. Continue up the road past the bend to the parking lot (our building is the one with the 30+ chimneys on top). Park in either spot labeled for infant and child studies. 

Without GPS: FROM ROUTE 22 EAST OR WEST

From Route 22 East or West, take the Route 378 exit in Bethlehem. Route 378 heads only south; continue for 3.6 miles and when you cross the bridge over the Lehigh River, stay in the left-turn lane, marked “Third Street.” Bear left at the traffic light for Third Street at the south end of the bridge; continue one block to the traffic light at Brodhead Avenue, and turn right. At a four-way stop, turn left at the Packer Avenue intersection. Continue driving down Packer Avenue until you stop at another four-way stop at the intersection of Packer Avenue and Taylor Street. Turn right onto Taylor St from Packer Ave. Immediately on the right side, you’ll find our driveway, marked by several signs (a yellow one, a blue one, and a white one). Follow the white sign that reads “To Chandler-Ullmann parking lot” onto the small road. Continue up the road past the bend to the parking lot (our building is the one with the 30+ chimneys on top). Park in either spot labeled for infant and child studies. 

Our Research Center

Free parking is available by our research center.

Having trouble finding us? Give us a call at (610)758-3794, and we’ll get you there.