Information on research topics
and research ressources at the LFE

Ethical Guidelines

(based on the ethical standards of the German Psychological Society)

1. Participation

In order to explore the linguistic, emotional and cognitive development of children, we rely on regular participation in our studies.
We are aware of the special responsibility that comes with carrying out research with children and therefore give priority to the child during all of our work.
Our studies are always designed as games and playful scenarios that children usually enjoy.
The child, mother and father can decide whether or not they would like to be part of the study at any time..

2. Agreement

Written consent from the legal guardian forms the basis for implementing the studies.. Before signing consent on behalf of your child you will receive all the important information regarding the research in written or oral form. This includes:

  • purpose of research, duration and method of study
  • your right to opt out of participation, even if the study has already started
  • expected findings
  • guarantee of confidentiality and anonymity (see 3.)
  • the bonus for participation
  • a contact person in case of questions
  • the option to withdraw consent (see 4.)

3. Confidentiality and anonymity

We guarantee that your child’s data will be handled confidentially and anonymously. Every audio or video-recording, questionnaire or interview will be processed anonymously without any opportunity for gathering information about personal data. Only researchers involved in the project have access to the research data which is stored in a safe place.
The consent for participating in the study includes the agreement that video and audio-recordings (in an anonymous way) can be used as scientific contributions to lectures or information events.
If you so wish, this agreement can be canceled separately.
If a researcher observes an interaction with potential negative consequences for the children’s well-being, she is committed to go into the matter and – if required – initiate further steps.

4. Withdrawal of the agreement

You may take back/withdraw your agreement anytime without providing reasons. There will be no disadvantages for you or your child as a consequence of doing so.

5. Responsibility during comparison between cultures and species
(based on the ethical principles of the German Anthropological Association)

Much of our scientific knowledge is based on the diversity of cultures.
We implement our studies not only in modern societies similar to ours, but also in further countries with different attitudes and ways of life. We see diversity as an enrichment for us and our work and try to behave respectfully and responsibly.
We are careful not to view our own personal social influences, cultural identities and values as the norm for evaluation and assessment.
We try to include the society as a whole of the explored culture. The human being comes first after science.

Since our insights come from the comparison between species as well, some of our researchers dedicate their work to our closest living relatives, the nonhuman primates.
Through pure observation of behavior in situations close to the natural behavior of primates, we try to gather information about their habits, social structures and cognition.
The situations are designed to guarantee the well being of the primates whilst participating.
The studies are always in line with the regional animal welfare act.
We are currently working in two locations, the Wolfgang-Köhler-Primate-Research-Centre in the Zoo of Leipzig and the Chimfunshi Shimpanse Sanctuary in Sambia.
In both of the locations, the primates live under semi-natural conditions.
Big indoor and outdoor areas make sure that they can follow their compulsion to move and they are fed regularly and plentifully.

Dipl. Päd. Katja Kirsche
Phone +49 (0) 341 97 31 873