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Many of the research projects we conduct focus on child and teenage development.

To conduct this research, we depend on the participation of families like yours!

Before you and your child decide whether or not you want to take part in one of our research studies, it is important for you to know why the research is being done and what it will involve.

Below are the answers to common questions regarding our research studies. If you have any more questions, please contact us.

WHAT ARE WE INTERESTED IN?
We are interested in how emotions and behaviours change across childhood, adolescence and adulthood.

IS MY CHILD ABLE TO TAKE PART?
Probably, but it depends on the particular research study. All participants need to be healthy, with normal hearing and normal, or corrected-to-normal, vision.

WHAT WILL MY CHILD BE ASKED TO DO?
Each research study is different, but we will ask your child to do one or more of the following:

  • Answer some questions about their thoughts, feelings, family and friends.
  • Look at different pictures or words on a computer screen, and press buttons to make decisions about them.
  • Have their heart rate and skin conductance responses (how much you sweat) measured using small electrodes placed on their fingers.
  • Have the electrical activity of their brain measured using electroencephalography (EEG). You can find out more about EEG studies here.
  • Have their brain scanned using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). You can find out more about fMRI studies here.

WHAT ARE EEG AND FMRI STUDIES?
You can find out about EEG and fMRI studies on our Brain Imaging page.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF TAKING PART IN ONE OF YOUR STUDIES?
Your child will be paid for taking part. Many children and teenagers find it rewarding to participate in EEG and fMRI studies; they get to see their own brain activity!

WHAT WILL THE INFORMATION YOU COLLECT BE USED FOR?
All information collected from our studies is kept confidential. We make sure the information is kept confidential by using identification numbers in place of your child’s name. This ensures that their name will not be associate with, or traceable to, any of the collected data. The results from our studies may be presented anonymously at scientific conferences or written up in scientific journals.

WHAT HAPPENS IF MY CHILD DOESN’T WANT TO COMPLETE THE STUDY?
Your child can decide to stop the study anytime they wish, without penalty and without giving us a reason.

WHERE DO YOUR RESEARCH STUDIES TAKE PLACE?
All our research studies take place at the Department of Psychology, University of Sheffield. The address and directions are on our contact us page.

DO I HAVE TO COME WITH MY CHILD TO THE STUDY?
We would prefer you to accompany your child to the study so you can provide informed consent. However, if you are unable to come, you will be able to provide informed consent via email or telephone.

HOW LONG DO YOUR RESEARCH STUDIES TAKE?
Since all of our research studies are different, they take different amounts of time. Studies not involving EEG or fMRI usually last between 30 minutes to an hour. EEG and fMRI studies will last between 2 and 3 hours.

HOW DOES MY CHILD GET INVOLVED?
If your child is interested in taking part in one of our research studies, please send us an email or complete this form. We will then ask you to answer some questions on behalf of your child to make sure that they are able to take part.

I’VE STILL GOT SOME QUESTIONS.
If you have any more questions or would like some more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.