Kids and Research at UC Berkeley

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I’ve always thought research was fascinating. I worked in childhood vaccines at Novartis for many years and left to raise my girls.  I’m lucky enough to still work in research very part time from home with a beloved colleague, now through a non-profit, MAPS, who works in research in PTSD through MDMA assisted psychotherapy.  Research is fascinating, but you need people to study!

This leads me to this post.  Maisy and Maren have been the subject of research studies ever since Maisy was only about 6 months old.  She’ll be five soon.  I joke with the researchers that all their data is coming from the same two kids!  It’s interesting to be on the subject side of research and it’s intriguing to know what is being studied and why.

Maisy went to UCB Infant cognition lab last week to participate in three studies. 

Maisy trying to decide what treat was better based on what she "heard" the dolls say.

Maisy trying to decide what treat was better based on what she "heard" the dolls say.

The first study was researching whether a child can tell from first hand or second hand knowledge about what a person might prefer.

The researcher watches as Maisy plays with the boxes of balls to see what she's most interested in after outcomes are not as expected.

The researcher watches as Maisy plays with the boxes of balls to see what she's most interested in after outcomes are not as expected.

The second was about probability and how a child responds when things don’t turn out like they might assume they would.

Which bucket should she choose from?

Which bucket should she choose from?

The third was about guessing the likelihood that a child could get what they wanted by choosing the bucket that had a better ratio of their wanted item.

Maisy shows off her doggy toy and her diploma in the parking garage as her sister flashes the high beams from the driver's seat of our car.

Maisy shows off her doggy toy and her diploma in the parking garage as her sister flashes the high beams from the driver's seat of our car.

The girls love feeling special and playing games with the researchers.  They get to pick a toy and they get a diploma every time they go.  I attend all study sessions and they have care givers to watch my other daughter while we are in the study sessions.   

We always love touring the UCB campus after our studies. I love getting to show them all about my alma mater, exposing them to college and to research.

Mostly, I like that we are contributing to a better understanding and growth in humans.  It’s what I like most about research no matter what side I’m on.

So if it interests you too, check out your local university and see if they have any fun studies going on.   Who knows what you might discover?

If you are in or near Berkeley, check out these studies that are open at UCB!

Berkeley Early Learning Lab

More on our past UCB Studies:

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2 Comments

becky

I'm a part-time work from home, full time stay at home mom to two daughters and an Australian Labradoodle puppy. We are enjoying our last year before big girl school, playing with friends, swapping childcare to get the job done and getting crafty when we can fit it in. We live together in a wonderful community that we are truly thankful for and proud to be a part of. It takes a village and this is ours.