Early Childhood Cognition Laboratory at Cornell University

 


Young children are naturally curious about cause and effect, and are naturally motivated to learn all about the “hows” and “whys” of the world.  In fact, children learn about cause and effect a lot like scientists do - by forming and testing hypotheses, gathering evidence, asking questions, and listening to trustworthy sources. In the Early Childhood Cognition Lab, we study the process by which children learn about cause and effect through all of these everyday experiences.  Some of the questions we are currently investigating include:


  1. 1.How do children use statistical evidence to learn about cause and effect?

  2. 2.How does children’s knowledge about people influence causal learning? Do children trust some people more than others for causal information?

  3. 3.Can children use statistical evidence to learn about people and the causes of human actions?

  4. 4.How do children’s own actions influence their causal learning? Do children learn differently from their own actions than from observing others?

  5. 5.What do children know about their own agency and limitations on their agency? What do children believe about their own free will? Do they understand how their actions can be constrained?


To figure out how children’s minds work, we have to play with them! So come along...the fun is just getting started!

How do children learn about cause and effect?