Understanding how children see complex event types

Ekaterina A. Khlystova, Principal Investigator (ekhlystova@g.ucla.edu) Dr. Laurel Perkins, Faculty Sponsor (perkinsl@ucla.edu)

This winter quarter, Ekaterina Khlystova, a Ph.D. student from the Department of Linguistics, will conduct a study with Early Childhood I students (3-5 years) that examines how young children perceive complex events like trades. This study looks at how children of this age see different events in the world around them, as they are learning words that describe those events. In order to determine how children match new verbs to events they see in the world, we need to know whether they see those events in the same way as adults do. We will interview children ages 3-5 (Early Childhood I Classroom) for 15-30 minutes. This study consists of a single session in which the child is introduced to a “very picky” puppet. The child will then watch pairs of silent videos, with one video showing a girl and a boy playing with some toys and another with a small change to the video. By asking your child to help the puppet sort the pairs into ones that “match” and ones that don’t, we can see whether changes to some parts of the event (for instance, how the toy moves, what the toy is, who is moving the toy) are more or less noticeable than other changes. We will video record the sessions. Our hope is to examine how children perceive complex social interactions like “trading”, especially as it relates to early verb learning. Participation in this study is voluntary and will remain confidential. If you have any questions, or wish to opt out of this study, please contact the principal investigator, Ekaterina Khlystova, at ekhlystova@g.ucla.edu.