Corona is currently changing working life everywhere – including the scientific community. Studies that use observations, eye tracking or similar research methods, are essential for new insights in developmental psychology. But distance regulations and contact restrictions currently make it massively more difficult to conduct studies in research centers. After the proband research nearly four months long rested, the researchers began in July with first studies. For the realizstion of the studies a strict hygiene concept was compiled and between July and October several studies could be accomplished locally and partly also already online, like Katja Kirsche, the research coordinator of the Leipzig research center for early child development, reports: “We started again very ambitiously and were very sad, when the proband tests were again suspended due to the new regulations since at the beginning of November. Since it is currently difficult to predict when we will be allowed to test again, we are now increasingly switching to online studies”, she says.
To solve this problem, many research institutions in Germany, Austria and Switzerland have joined forces to create a platform for online studies – “Kinder Schaffen Wissen”. The Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, the University of Vienna and the Leipzig Research Center for Early Childhood Development are among the participating institutions.
Instead of coming to our research center, for example, parents and their children can register on the platform and then participate in various studies from home. For each study, they are given extensive insight into the purpose of the research and the process so that they can decide whether they want to participate with their children. The studies offered on the portal all comply with the ethical guidelines of the German Psychological Association (DGPs).
The research projects are entirely different. For example, they address language comprehension, social learning, social attention etc. Depending on the project, the parents can for example Fill out questionnaires or start tasks flexibly with your child. At Some projects are scheduled for separate meetings with employees employees in the study. The length of the studies varies between 15 and 45 minutes. Apart from sufficient time, all that is needed is a laptop or computer with a camera and microphone.
Employees of the Leipzig Research Center for Early Childhood Development will also place a study on the platform to reach more parents and children for studies. Katja Kirsche explains, what the project is about: “At the end of November, we will start an online interview study with children aged 5 – 15 years. In the project we want to find out more about how children and young people experience inequalities, for example unfair distribution of resources in their everyday lives.” The project will focus on the children’s stories about their own experiences of inequality and their observations of how they see other children experiencing inequalities. “The first step is really to find out what children perceive as inequalities or unfairness. We expect that the stories will be different for the younger children than for the older ones. For their participation in the study, the children and young people will receive a small gift from us,” reports Katja Kirsche.
If you are interested in participating with your child in this or other studies, you can find more information here: https://kinderschaffenwissen.eva.mpg.de