The Cooperation Lab at Boston College works directly with local schools to better understand the development of children’s behavior


What type of research do we do?

We are interested in children's behaviors. To understand how children behave we create games that cater to a specific question that we're interested in. For example, how do children share? We would use a game that asks children to divide resources.

Studies are designed to engage children so that they are having fun. We never ask children to do anything that they would not like to do. And if children don't wish to continue participating, they have every right to stop. 

How do we get parent permissions?

Because we work with children ages 4-12, we require parental consent, and assent for children ages 8-12. These forms describe what are lab is about, what the study involves, video recording permission, the costs and benefits of participation, voluntary participation and withdrawal, as well as contact information.  These forms are typically collected at the appointment, however, if this is in a school setting, we can send the forms in advance. 

What is the structure of the visit?

Typically on the date of the visit, a team of 1-2research assistants and the lab manager will come prepared with all the necessary study materials, a camcorder and tripod. If possible, we ask for a room or secluded area to do the study. Usually the school provided a table and chairs. If this is not possible, we can bring our own table and chairs. 

Depending on the study design and the child, the study session can take about 10-20 minutes. 

We believe that coming out to the school is a great opportunity for children to see behavioral science in action. Children typically  enjoy participating are curious about what we do. Our aim is that our research will provide insight to children's behaviors, which can be then useful to to the community as whole in understanding child development. We are also open to suggestions about giving back to the school community because we appreciate and value your participation. 

How does the school benefit?


Does your school want to begin a research collaboration with the Cooperation Lab?