How are these aliens different?

How are these aliens different?

Rutgers Laboratory for Developmental Language Studies (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - New Brunswick)

Who Can Participate

For 4- to 6-year-olds

What Happens

This study will take place on a video call, live with a researcher! Clicking on the “Schedule a time to participate” button will send you to an online calendar where you can select a date and time that works for you. During the zoom session, your child will interact with a live researcher and watch some videos featuring a friendly alien named Weepo, who would like to teach your child new words to describe his alien friends. We'll ask your child to listen carefully, because they will hear some new words. When it's time, Weepo will ask your child to choose between two screens with pictures of aliens, based on what they saw and heard! Along the way, as your child participates, your child will also see some fun things Weepo can do with the stars he brought.

What We're Studying

In this study, we’re interested in how the language a child already knows can help them learn brand-new words. We’re especially interested in words like adjectives, which can describe concrete aspects like color, size, or shape, or abstract properties like emotions--being happy, sad, or angry. We're especially interested in how the language surrounding these adjectives might be able to point to which of these object properties it picks out. In some sentences, the adjective could mean any of these properties, and in some sentences, you might have a much better idea of which property! The more we know about how information supports learning adjectives, the more we understand about what supports language development.


15 minutes


$5 gift card. After you finish the study, we will email you an Amazon gift card within 1 week. To be eligible for compensation, the following criteria must be met: (1) your child must be in the age range for this study and must not have previously done this study; (2) You must have provided informed consent; and (3) your child must be visible during the video.

This study is conducted by Dr. Kristen Syrett (contact:

Would you like to participate in this study?