Let's Talk Emotions: Causes & Outcomes!

Let's Talk Emotions: Causes & Outcomes!

Interpersonal Development Lab (University of California, Merced)

Who Can Participate

6- to 9-year-olds

What Happens

This study will take place on Zoom, live with a researcher! Clicking on the “Participate Now!” button will send you to an online calendar where you can select a date and time that works for you.

Your child will be presented with short, animated stories of multiple characters doing everyday activities such as cleaning up a room or playing a game. Your child will match the stories they think the characters feel the same emotion at the end and will be asked some questions about their choices.

We will also ask you to fill out a brief questionnaire about your child’s emotion vocabulary and your emotion expressivity along with some demographic questions prior to our scheduled meeting.

What We're Studying

Past research on emotion understanding found that children initially tend to focus on the outcome of an event (e.g., whether the character’s goal was completed or not) as opposed to the reasons that caused the outcome (e.g., the effort of the character, or help of someone else). However, there is some research that suggests how the event is presented to children, and the kinds of questions asked about the event influence children’s ability to consider the causal factors in addition to the outcome of the event when deciding what the character is feeling following the event.

This study aims to investigate whether young children can simultaneously consider the causes and consequences when reasoning about other’s emotions if 1) the events are presented in an illustrated format, rather than as story scripts, and 2) children match the events that elicit the same emotion in the story characters rather than labeling what emotion the characters feel.


30-minute appointment which includes the setup before the study and wrap-up after. Your child will required to be present for no more than 20 - 25 minutes.


Your child will be compensated with a story book of your choosing. Prior to our meeting, we will send you a survey link that includes age-appropriate storybooks that you can select from.
After the Zoom session, we will send your selected book via postal mail to the address you provide in the survey within approximately 3-5 business days.
Note that, participants must be (1) within the specified age-range (between 4 and 9 years); (2), present and visible for the duration of the study, and (3) currently residing within the USA to receive compensation.
Each child is eligible to participate in the study and receive compensation once. We will send compensation even if you do not finish the whole study or we are not able to use your child's data.

This study is conducted by Eric A. Walle (contact: zozden@ucmerced.edu).

Would you like to participate in this study?