Who is the Caregiver?

Who is the Caregiver?

Harvard Lab for Developmental Studies (Thomas) (Harvard University)

Who Can Participate

For 8-10 month olds who are based in the U.S.

What Happens

This study will take place on a video call, 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. In this Zoom-based study, your baby will watch videos of animated characters who interact with each other (e.g., asking for food and crying). We'll examine how your baby attends to the videos.

What We're Studying

Despite the centrality of caregiving relationships in the lives of infants and children, little is known about whether and how infants represent these relationships when they are not involved in them. Caregiving relationships are characterized by strong attachment and an imbalance of skills and obligations. Previous studies suggest that infants use size differences to represent caregiving relationships. In the present study, we want to know if infants will think a character will comfort another character in distress because of its size.


15-20 minutes


Children will receive a $5 online gift card and a certificate of participation, within 48 hours of participating over Zoom. To receive the gift card and certificate, the child must be within the age range for our study. Each child will only receive one gift card. We can compensate participants with an Amazon US gift card, or with an alternative online gift card (e.g., Target, gift cards in other currencies if desired, etc.). We'll ask you about what gift cards work for your family, and we'll work with our lab manager to get you a suitable gift card.

This study is conducted by Ashley Thomas (contact: thomasbabylab@gmail.com)

Would you like to participate in this study?