FAQs for Parents

What is the purpose of this research?

The purpose of our research is to learn more about the development of young infants and their early knowledge about the world. We are interested in how babies think and reason about their surrounding environment during their early months of life.

What is the research going to be used for?
Our studies will most likely be published in academic meetings and journals on child development. Since we are interested in the development of children in general, we do not compare one child’s performance to another’s. We look for common, innate (natural), or developmental (across time) patterns among a group of babies. No information about individual babies is released. All the data we collect in the centre is confidential, and only group results are published.

What does it mean if my baby doesn’t do what you’re expecting?
Not all babies perform in the same way — there are a lot of individual differences among babies and it is only when we study large groups of babies that we start seeing patterns emerging. We cannot draw meaningful conclusions by simply looking at the performance of one baby, as anything might cause a child to behave in a particular way on a particular day.

Are you sure the free parking spot will be available?
We have a big sign that is placed over the parking spot in the West Parkade on level 4 that indicates that the space is reserved for the Centre for Infant Cognition and that all unauthorized vehicles will be towed.  Sometimes an appointment before you might be running a bit late, although we do everything we can to ensure this does not happen and that you will find the parking spot available. If the parking spot is taken at your appointment time, please use any other spot in the parkade.  We will give you a parking pass no matter where you park.

Do you reimburse bus fare?
Yes. We will give you a bus ticket for the ride in to UBC and another to get you home.  Should you come with a child that is 5+ years-old, we will also give them bus tickets.

Can I bring other children with me?
We have a waiting area and will arrange to have someone here to play with them for the duration of the study. Please let us know if you will bringing young siblings so we can be sure to have someone on hand.

Can I stay with my baby during the course of the study?
Of course! Your child will be with you the entire visit.

How long will each visit be?
Each study takes about 15 minutes. However, in order to explain the study and familiarize your child to the environment, a visit to the centre usually takes about 30-40 minutes.

What if my baby gets fussy?
If your baby gets fussy during the experiment, we will stop and take a short break and then resume when your baby is more comfortable. We can also stop altogether at any time you like. Our intention is for babies to have as much fun as possible!

Do I have to come back for a follow-up visit?
If you choose to participate in a study, there is no obligation for you to come back for another study. Each study involves a specific age group and is a one-time visit. However, if you are interested in returning more than once, we can let you know when your child is in a the age-range required for another study.

Will we be paid for our participation?
Unfortunately, we cannot offer any monetary compensation. Your child will receive a certificate and a small thank-you present at each visit.

Who will see the video?
All video tapes are confidential, and will only be seen by members of our research team.

Can I get my baby’s results?
Actually, we do not give out results for individual babies, because as expressed above, findings are only meaningful at the group level. Every Fall, however, we post study results on our website’s UBC Baby newsletter.

I work. What are the centre’s hours?
The centre is generally open Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm, all year round, except over holidays. We also have some Saturday appointments available for working parents.

What should I do if I need to cancel?
If you need to cancel, please contact us by e-mail (ubcbaby@psych.ubc.ca) or call us at the Centre at 604-822-8780.

I am interested in participating in a study but, I am concerned about exposing my baby to screens.
Your child’s participation in one of our studies would require their exposure to screens for a total of about 10 to 15 min. We are not aware of any research suggesting harmful effects resulting from occasional, limited exposure of this nature. Research indicates that negative outcomes for children resulting from screen exposure occurs only with very high levels of screen time (see Fraser & Watkins, 2010). That being said, we have many studies that do not require any screen time.

See the links below for more information on exposure to screens:

Information from the British Psychological Society on child screen use:

American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines regarding children’s exposure to screen media:

Articles on screen time for young children published on Zero to Three website:

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