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March 24, 2010

Lab Rat

As a mom I am drawn to the research that is published in magazines and newspapers about child development. I love reading about the studies that are being done to learn more about infants and children--I think that it's fascinating.

I decided to bring my son to one study at U of T just for fun and found it to be an easy and enjoyable experience. Since then, I have brought him two other times and have enjoyed our experience.

The part I like the most? Learning about the studies and gaining some insight into my son's perspective on the world around him is pretty great but I also like that the researchers appreciate our participation and even though the time we put into the study is minimal we are contributing greatly to their work. (I have a weakness for students)

What to expect:
From my limited experience, the researchers have all been very caring and offer quite a lot of information about the study. They don't mind if you need a break and try to keep everything short for the baby's sake.
They typically do offer some sort of incentive, whether it be a certificate, money, t-shirt, bag, bib, photo... you get the idea. (So find out what it will be ahead of time).

Things to Note:
Typically the centre should be flexible around your schedule.
Make sure it is a reputable company or institution.

Every study is different--so know what you are getting into. Questions you should ask include: Is it a large commitment or a one time thing? What will my child be doing? (always have them explain this thoroughly and ask questions if you don't understand) How long is the session? Is this sponsored by a company or is this for academic research?

I have had a positive experience at U of T, so here are some links if you are interested in signing up for a study at an academic institution.


1 comment:

  1. great post! we have had numerous great experiences participating in studies at U of O with the kids, too. they were very patient, respectful, and appreciative of our time. i learned a lot, too, the kids learn that their input is important and they received some cute toys to take home!