The lab is child friendly—we have a waiting room with games, toys, and books for children and siblings. Before the session starts an assistant will go over the study and answer your questions. Hundreds of local families have participated in our studies and most children find them fun and engaging. Below are some frequently asked questions about what to expect during your visit.
Will I be with my child during the study?
Parents are usually not with their child during the study. When parents are present it can complicate the study in a number of ways. For example, children may be distracted and pay less attention to the events they will later be asked about. Also, when parents are present during the interview, children sometimes look to their parents when they don’t know the answer. This can interfere with the study’s results. But parents can help bring their child to the event and interview rooms and they can sit close by while the study is going on.
Why do you videotape the session? How will the video be used?
The main reason we videotape is so we have a complete record of what transpired. Because we study memory, we often look back at the video to see if what children remember is accurate. Also, we cannot possibly write down everything children say as we go along. With videotaping we can later transcribe what they say word for word. All video is stored on a secure server operated by Montclair State University. Video will never be distributed and will never be used in research presentations without your permission.
Will I see the results from the study?
Yes. After the study is finished and we compile the results we will send you a summary. We do not conduct clinical research, meaning that your child will not be evaluated, assessed, or diagnosed. In other words, they will not receive a test score. Rather, we compare children's memory performance across age groups to spot age related patterns.
What if we get there and my child doesn't want to be in the study?
If you arrive and your child does not want to be in the study it's okay; you can leave at any time without penalty. If the study involves monetary compensation you will still be paid for your time. Most children find our studies fun and engaging and have no problem being separated from their parents for a short period.
Can I observe from another room?
We do not have an observation room for parents to watch the session (one-way glass). However, we videotape all sessions and parents are free to make an appointment to view the video at a later time.
Can I have more than one of my children in the study?
We can only enroll one child per household in the study. If you have another child who wants to participate we'll add his or her name to the list for future projects.