Wednesday, 24 August 2011

My Son, the Test Subject

Yesterday we got all packed up and ready and headed off to the university for my son to be experimented on!
No, he wasn't being filled with drugs or anything like that, it was a psychological experiment to see how the minds of eight month old babies work. No, it wasn't the Stanford Prison experiment but with tots!
Apparently babies of his age make a common mistake. They get used to where a certain object is hidden and then even when they've seen it be put somewhere else they try to find it where they're used to finding it. The researcher wanted to know if this still applied if you used a toy that the baby was familiar with rather than just toys provided by the researcher.
Joseph didn't want to to start with and just tried to chew the covers that were being used to hide the toys. He did that a lot. We even tried sat on the floor so he could crawl around as he was getting a little fussy, but all he wanted to do was try and crawl under the swivel chair in the corner of the room.
Eventually he did decide to play along and I hope they got the data needed and that Joseph hasn't managed to screw up someones phd too badly. The researcher did get a cuddle off him at the end, which was quite surprising as he's been a bit fussy with that for a while. He's been ok when people he doesn't know are around (as long as Mummy or Daddy are close) but can't be handed to them or he screams. Perhaps it was because we spend an hour in a small room and he felt a bit more familiarised. Also, she did keep handing him toys which must have helped!
It was an interesting experience and I'll be happy to do others if they come up. I quite like the possibility that my son will contribute to psychological science, even if that is simply by dribbling on it a bit!

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