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Your visit to the labs

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you perform formal developmental psychological assessments?
The ECDC is a non-clinical research centre; we are neither trained nor licenced to clinically assess children. We are, however, happy to refer you to qualified clinical psychologists who can.

How long does a typical session take?
The length of each study varies, but typically a single session takes between 30 and 40 minutes. The experimenter running the study you sign up for will inform you how of your session duration.

What will my child do when we visit the centre? 
Our first priority is to make sure all children who visit us at the ECDC feel comfortable and safe. Before each session begins, we sit down in our warm-up room and play a few games to build rapport and trust. After that, you and your child will accompany the experimenter to one of our testing rooms where the experiment will begin. Most studies involve playing games or reading stories, but the nature of each experiment varies and full details will be explained to you prior to your visit. While at the Centre, at no time are parents separated from their children.

Who runs the studies?
Fully trained research assistants or postgraduate students run our studies, under the supervision of the Centre’s principal researchers who all hold doctorates in developmental psychology.

Do parents participate?
Usually no — but sometimes parents are asked to take part in the activities or to fill out brief questionnaires. It depends on the particulars of the study.

What happens if my child gets fussy?
At the first signs of distress or discomfort the experiment is stopped. If this happens you and the experimenter can discuss if you want to take a break, reschedule the visit for another day, or alternatively withdraw from the experiment. It is important to note that there is absolutely no pressure to try again or to return at a later date.

Do I have to come in more than once?
Participation usually requires just one visit and does not commit you to any further visits. 

Will my child’s results be confidential?
All written and videotaped data is stored independently of personal information and kept on our secure ECDC backup storage site.

Can I get copies of the results?
We send a yearly research results newsletter to all visitors of the ECDC to keep them up to date on the activities over the last 12 months. We provide an archive of newsletters online, and respond to all written requests for further information. Often the difference in time between a testing sessions\ and academic publication can be many months (or even years).

Is parking available?
Yes, we provide free parking in the Psychology building carpark.

Where are you located?
We are on the 4th floor of the McElwain Psychology building (#24A)

Is there any compensation for participation?
All infant and child participants receive a certificate and a small gift every time they take part in one of our studies.

What if I need to bring other children with me?
Siblings are welcome to come along; you can bring someone to look after them in our playroom or they can join you during the testing session.

What do we do with the results?
We present our findings at scientific conferences and publish them in academic journals. You can find a list of our recent publications here.