Abstraction for babies

Abstraction for babies

Harvard Lab for Developmental Studies (Harvard University)

Who Can Participate

For 15- to 18-month-old babies

What Happens

In this study, which you are free complete at any time, we first ask you to fill out a short vocabulary survey (about 5 minutes). Then, your baby will watch a video, in which an experimenter will show some shapes and pictures and explain the relation among them (e.g., 'same', 'three', etc.). This part will last for about 15 minutes.

What We're Studying

We want to understand if teaching babies words for abstract relations helps them better understand such relations and recognize them later. For example, we already know that babies notice when things are same and when they are different. But we don't know if they can think in such terms and if teaching them words can help form a more adult-like understanding of abstract ideas.


20 minutes


The compensation for the study is $5 dollars. We will send a $5 Amazon.com gift card within 2 weeks after the study is complete. To be eligible for compensation, the following criteria must be met: (1) your child must be in the age range for this study and be learning English as their first language; (2) you need to submit a valid video consent statement; (3) we need to see that there is a child with you in the study participation video. One child can only participate in the study once.

This study is conducted by Elena Luchkina (contact: elenaluchkina@fas.harvard.edu).

Would you like to participate in this study?