Research Opportunities at the Thomas Lab

Fall 2024

We are looking for part-time research assistants at the Thomas Lab! You can join our lab for course credit (PSY 2220R – Laboratory on Social Cognitive Development).

This laboratory methods course provides students with hands-on experience. Students will engage in all aspects of the scientific process and work on topics including experimental design, data collection, and analysis. Most of the projects will involve conducting online experiments with infants, children and their parents. Participants will work closely with a mentor in the lab and will participate in meetings where key questions and findings in the field are discussed.

Please note that you must be able to work in-person and be available for 10-15 hours a week, preferably for 2 semesters. The course syllabus for Fall 2024 can be found on Canvas and also here. Check out the FAQ section below for more information on how to apply.

To express interest in joining the lab or ask additional questions, please contact the lab managers:

Denisse Lopez

[email protected]

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Who can apply to join the course?
    • Undergraduate and graduate students are welcome to apply for course credit.
      • We are not currently taking applications for volunteers.
    • An interest in developmental psychology and/or cognitive science is preferred.
  • How do I join the course?
    • Email Denisse & Emma to express interest in the course
    • Fill out our application form by April 8th
    • Petition for PSY 2220R on by Wednesday, April 17th
    • We will invite you for an interview if you are a good fit for our lab on a rolling basis until April 15th
      • If you are selected, we will approve your course registration by April 17th
  • What does the lab study?
    • We study how infants and children understand many different aspects of the social world, including social relationships, groups, and communication.
  • What projects will I work on?
    • The project(s) you work on depend on which mentor you are paired with. To learn more about our senior lab members’ research interests, please check out the Thomas Lab Members page.
    • Some of the projects we are working on right now ask:
      • How do infants think about the minds of people they know compared to people they don’t know?
      • Do children think that people who are close understand one another’s minds better?
      • What do children think about groups with and without leaders?
      • Do infants use the words that people use when they talk together to make inferences about social relationships?
      • How does race influence children’s and infants’ ideas about who is close?
      • How do infants understand caregiving relationships, for example, between a parent and child?
      • Do babies individuate their parents and guardians more strongly than they do strangers?
      • Do babies expect people with similar accents to be closer?