Tell Me About It!

Tell Me About It!

Early Childhood Cognition Lab (Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT))

Who Can Participate

14 - 24 month old toddlers

What Happens

Your toddler will watch some short scenes (about 10 seconds long) and will be under the impression that you (the adult) missed some of that scene. Your child will then be asked to tell you what happened during the portion of the scene that you "missed".

What We're Studying

As adults, we communicate information selectively: We mostly tell people things they don’t already know, and we avoid referring to topics that are common knowledge. What about when children first learn to speak? Young toddlers start with very limited vocabularies. At first, they only produce one or two words in each utterance. Many things might affect what toddlers decide to say, including how familiar a word is, or how interested the child is in the topic. Still, we wondered if even toddlers just learning to talk might, like adults, try to communicate information their audience does not know.


15 minutes


After you finish the study, we will email you a $5 Amazon gift card per child within three days. To be eligible for the gift card (1) your child must be in the age range for this study, (2) you need to submit a valid consent statement, and (3) we need to see that there is a child with you. But we will send a gift card even if you do not finish the whole study or we are not able to use your child's data! There are no other direct benefits to you or your child from participating, but we hope you will enjoy the experience.

This study is conducted by Laura Schulz (

Would you like to participate in this study?