In our lab, we use a variety of different behavioral measures to study children’s cognitive processes and how they make sense of different social situations. We study how, what, and why children learn from, help, and cooperate with other people using situations where they can take part in social interactions or imitate others’ behavior. We also study how children feel during emotionally-laden situations (e.g., being left alone by their mother) and we let children use dolls to demonstrate their own knowledge and feelings.
For school-aged children, we the behavioral tasks we use primarily measure children’s cognitive processes. We use both tasks from standardized test batteries as well as design our own tasks specifically for our research questions. An example of a cognitive task for assessing children’s memory is that an experimenter reads a short list of words (e.g., “horse”, “pen”, “car”) and then the child tries to repeat the words in the same order.