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We are currently inviting families with children between the ages of 3 and 14 to join our research family! For more information, please contact us by email at [email protected] or by phone at (972) 883-6075. You can also stay up-to-date with new volunteer opportunities and news in child development by following our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/UTDthinklab


At the Think Lab at the University of Texas at Dallas, we seek to discover knowledge that will contribute to the healthy cognitive and emotional development of our children, and we are looking for parents and children to take part in important and fun research studies on child development.

We study many questions related to child development. For example, we are interested in how children make sense of different sources of information; how they decide what another person might think or feel in a different situation; how they put together different kinds of “clues” to figure out what happens in the stories they hear; and how they decide what makes a decision “fair” or “unfair.” We believe that this research can help educators, families, and scientists understand important aspects of how children think, learn, and develop.

You can find out more about our lab by reading our past newsletters located on the "Our Research" page. You can also stay up to date with our lab activities and other child development news by following our Think Lab Facebook page


How can my child participate in research at your lab?

If you have a child between 3 and 14 years of age, and you are interested in finding out more about our research, you can contact us at (972) 883-6075, or by e-mail at [email protected]

I have received an invitation from my child's school. How does this work?

We often work with local schools and daycares on our projects. For most schools, our research team actually goes to the school ourselves to do our project and works with the children whose parents gave permission.

When we visit the school, if your child is interested in participating that day, he or she will answer some questions or play games designed to measure how children think about the world in age-appropriate ways. Each session takes about 10 to 20 minutes. Thus, it's incredibly easy to participate: just sign the form and we'll come to where your child is! We also send a newsletter out about our projects after the projects are completed or the school year is over to update families about our findings.

How long will participating in the study take?

The research in our lab takes approximately 10-20 minutes with each child. Your entire visit should last from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how many children you have who are participating.

When are appointments scheduled?

Most studies involve a one-time session that lasts between 15 and 60 minutes, depending on the study, and we do our best to schedule appointments at your convenience. Most appointments are sometime Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. We do sometimes schedule appointments on Saturdays. We want to make it as easy as possible for you to work with our lab! These sessions take place at our lab at Green Hall on UTD's campus, where convenient free parking is provided.

Can I bring along other children?

Sure! There are several other laboratories in the psychology department doing projects with children, so it may be possible for all of your children to participate in several studies! We also can arrange to have a trained research assistant on hand to look after your child during your visit. If possible, let us know in advance if you will be bringing other children, and we will be happy to make appropriate arrangements.

What happens during a visit?

Before the study begins we will have you fill out an informed consent form, which tells you about the study.  We will also answer any questions you may have.

Your child will then be taken into our experiment room where your child will answer some questions with a member of our research team. Find out more about the research currently going on in our laboratory here. If you would like, you can watch the experiment from the observation room.

What do we get for our participation?

Most studies also involve a small toy or gift for your child as a thank you for participating, and parents receive helpful information about child development. For some of our studies, as compensation for their time and travel, parents also receive a $10 gift card to Target. In addition, our families tell us that the experience is enjoyable and interesting for both children and parents.

What will we do with the results?

Once we have finished working with a group of children, we will code each child’s responses to the questions and enter the data into a spreadsheet.  We use statistical analyses to examine patterns of responses across development and sometimes between individuals, but the specific findings are never linked to a specific child. The analyses allow us to gain insight into how children think about different things, like how they determine what makes a fair judgment, or how they decide which of two experts will provide a more helpful answer. After we have completed a study, we present the findings at professional conferences (like for the Society for Research in Child Development) and in scientific journals. We also update our website periodically with a summary of our finding and our past newsletters, so that you can have access to the information about our findings. Finally, we share our findings more broadly to the public through news releases and public presentations.

Are there any risks involved in participation?

There are no risks involved in participation.  No names or identifying information will be used.  We will be reading to your child, showing them drawings, playing simple games, and/or asking them questions. Children are encouraged throughout the process and can take a break or stop if they get tired. Most children have a lot of fun in our studies!



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School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences
The University of Texas at Dallas
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