Current Projects

Parents and their children can participate in any of the below studies currently running at ECDC.  These are just a few of the studies that are currently underway in our labs.

Our research would not be possible without the generous support of parents with children and students who take part in our projects. If you are interested in participating with your child in our upcoming studies, please enter your details below, and we will be in touch with you when a study becomes available within the age of your child.

Interested in participating, but cannot find a suitable study? Register your interest to be contacted for future research studies. 

(4 to 5 years) Children’s prosocial behaviour in the face of inequality

Name of Researcher: Kelly Kirkland
 
Age range of infants required for your study: 4 to 5 year olds
 
Description of study: Young children are often influenced by what is occurring in their surrounding environment when choosing to engage in prosocial behaviours. By age four, children can recognise when resources are unequal and react accordingly. Recent research has shown that factors such as economic inequality and socioeconomic status can change prosocial behaviours in adults. This study involves presenting your child with a competition where they will have a number of opportunities to receive prizes. This is done in a fun and interactive way alongside several puppet competitors. We are primarily interested in how your child may behave depending on the number of prizes they receive and the division of prizes amongst the puppet competitors. After this competition, your child will engage in a prosocial task, as well as tasks to better understand how your child makes sense of the world around them in response to this competition. The results of this research will further our understanding of the impact that everyday societal inequalities can have on the wider community. This study is specifically designed to be ethical, fun and child-friendly.
 
Additional information: This experiment takes 30-45 minutes to complete. You will be in the same room as your child at all times – but we do ask that you don’t help or encourage your child throughout! We are interested in how children behave on their own terms. If you have any further questions about this study, please call our office on 3365 6323 or send me an email (kelly.kirkland@uqconnect.edu.au).

(4 to 5 years) Does behaving generously affect children’s future behaviour?

Name of Reseacher:  Sophie Cameron

(4-5 years) Does behaving generously affect children’s future behaviour?

 

Age of children required: 4 to 5 year olds

Description of Study: It’s well established that adult’s previous behaviour can affect their future behaviour. Sometimes good deeds prompt future similar acts, other times they license misbehaviour as they are thought to ‘balance out’. We are investigating whether this also occurs in children.

Children play a series of games with a puppet, during which they may have the opportunity to help the puppet finish the game. We then play a second game in the next room. We are interested to see if their behaviour on this game changes based on the circumstances of the first half of the study.

Additional Information: The experiment takes 20-30 minutes. For the second half of the study the child must be in the room alone, but you can still observe through the use of a one-way mirror! If there are any further questions about this study please email Sophie Cameron (sophie.cameron@uq.edu.au)

 

(6-11 years) Children’s judgements of other’s misbehaviour

Name of Researcher:  Sophie Cameron

Age of children required: 6 to 11 year olds

Description of Study: Adults judgements of the behaviour of other’s is often affected by that person’s previous behaviour. This is highlighted in the fact that in criminal cases someone with a criminal history is often given a harsher punishment then a first-time offender. Studies have also shown that adults rate every day offences as worse when they’re performed by someone with a history of distasteful behaviour, compared to someone with a more moral history. What is unknown, is when children begin to think like this.To investigate this, children are told stories about a series of characters. Some are described as always good, some are always bad, and some are in between. Each character then does something wrong, like not sharing fairly. We then ask the children to rate the ‘badness’ of the act. We are interested in when children begin to make a similar judgement pattern to adults, by rating the acts performed by the ‘bad’ children as worse.

Additional Information: The experiment takes no more than 10 minutes, and you will never be separated from your child.  If there are any further questions about this study please email Sophie Cameron (sophie.cameron@uq.edu.au)