Halfway Through: Fun-Filled Summer Psychology Research

Halfway Through: Fun-Filled Summer Psychology Research

Posted by: on July 14, 2017   |Comments (0)|Student Engagement

Hi friends!

We are officially halfway through our summer research! We have been having a lot of fun in the lab working with kindergarteners. Our study focuses on early science learning, and how best to teach it. Specifically, we are concentrating on light. We are having a blast shining flashlights under tables, looking into dark boxes for toys, and playing with lasers and baking soda (there may or may not be baking soda permanently mashed into the carpet). The kids have a great time, and the parents are happy for the free babysitting for half an hour.

Along with all the fun aspects of conducting research, we have also learned a lot about the behind-the-scenes work of what actually goes on. In Developmental Psychology research it is difficult to recruit participants, so we have been sending many emails, creating ads, and maintaining social media accounts (shameless plug: if you know any five year olds, please send them our way!). On days we don’t have children coming in, we are entering data into the computer, transferring videos, and coming up with new ways to test our hypothesis. One thing we have really learned is the importance of trial and error. At the moment, we are redesigning the study to better manipulate our intended variables.

In addition to our regular day to day work, last week we had the opportunity to do an Instagram takeover for the Friargram account. We were able to show people our lab, our favorite spots to eat lunch, and even a trip to Home Depot to buy supplies. It was a great way to show people what it is that we do, and hopefully show future student researchers what a fantastic opportunity it is.

For the upcoming weeks, we have several things to look forward to. Soon we will be bringing our study into a preschool! This will allow us to collect a lot of data in a short amount of time. However, it will also be difficult, and we need to make some modifications to the study to make sure it’s applicable (we have nightmares of five year olds running around shining lasers in each other’s eyes).  Also, we are looking forward to the Annual RI SURF Conference. SURF, or the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program, is a place where students can come together with other researchers and guests to share their summer work. We are excited to present what we are doing, and also see what other students are up to. Being involved in the sciences is a great way to learn through community.

Until next time!

The Kid Think Team

Hi friends! We are officially halfway through our summer research! We have been having a lot of fun in the lab working with kindergarteners. Our study focuses on early science learning, and how best to teach it. Specifically, we are concentrating on light. We are having a blast shining flashlights under tables, looking into dark […]MORE

Kicking Off the Summer in the Kid Think Lab

Posted by: on June 16, 2017   |Comments (0)|Student Engagement

Hello!

We are just beginning week third of our summer research. This summer we have three research assistants working in the lab.

Danielle, a Rhode Island native, is a rising senior psychology major and also earning a business studies certificate. She hopes to become a school psychologist. Last summer, she worked at a daycare as a kindergarten teaching assistant and is excited to work in the lab this summer doing a study with kindergarteners!

Emily is a rising senior psychology major with a history minor. She is from Massachusetts and hopes to one day become a speech and language pathologist. She worked this past semester as an intern at the Groden Center, which is a school for children with autism. She looks forward to this summer in the lab and starting her own research project in the fall.

Caitlin is a rising senior psychology major with a French minor in the Liberal Arts Honors Program. She is from New York and loves working with children – having spent time as a nanny and summer camp counselor. She enjoyed taking “Experimental Developmental Psychology” with Dr. Van Reet this past spring and is delighted to work in the lab for the summer doing research.

This summer we look forward to continuing the Caplan study that we have been working on this year. This study is a joint research project with Dr. Van Reet of the psychology department and Dr. Zhang of the education department. The study focuses on investigating the effectiveness of play and guidance in early science learning. We are looking forward to finding new fun ways to recruit participants for our study and can’t wait to have more kindergarteners come in and participate!

We are so excited for the summer in the Kid Think Lab!

-The Kid Think Team

Hello! We are just beginning week third of our summer research. This summer we have three research assistants working in the lab. Danielle, a Rhode Island native, is a rising senior psychology major and also earning a business studies certificate. She hopes to become a school psychologist. Last summer, she worked at a daycare as […]MORE

Summer of fun: When research becomes play

Posted by: on June 18, 2015   |Comments (0)|Undergraduate Research

kt1Hey Friends!

It’s week three here at Kid Think, and we are getting settled in the lab! There are three research assistants working here for 10 weeks this summer. Emma is a rising senior psychology student with a business minor. Mikaila is a double psychology and history major. And lastly, Jamie is a psychology major and business minor. We enjoy studying psychology and all hope to continue our studies in psychology after we graduate from Providence College.

During the 10 weeks, we will be running two studies. The first study is titled “Factors Influencing Children’s Causal Learning” and tests children three to five years of age. This study examines whether or not children can learn through pretend play. Children are presented with a pretend machine and are given the chance to apply the information they learn from that pretend machine to real life afterward. The second study is funded through a program at URI. This study, Comprehension of Pretense, or the “Toddler Study,” as we call it, is made up of games for 18-24 months old–testing their understanding of pretend play and their self-control.  The kids are all so cute to work with, and we love having them come in for appointments!

On Thursday mornings we go to the Providence Children’s Museum and run their “Mind Lab.” From 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. we walk around the museum and invite families into the lab. If children are eligible to participate in our studies, we play the games with them and, afterward, they get to pick out a prize! We love going to the museum to see a new set of children every week! We also enjoy playing with the toys there just like the kids.

We are looking forward to a summer filled with play!

Over and out,

The Kid Think Team

Hey Friends! It’s week three here at Kid Think, and we are getting settled in the lab! There are three research assistants working here for 10 weeks this summer. Emma is a rising senior psychology student with a business minor. Mikaila is a double psychology and history major. And lastly, Jamie is a psychology major […]MORE