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Young Children's Future Thinking Study


"The teddy train game" 

A study of children's future thinking


Picture 1 Pat Burns

Background to our study

In a recent study in our lab we found that children from 4 years of age were able to imagine the contents of a future visual experience they will have. In this latest study we will build on this finding to examine how children manage when they have to predict the future visual experience of another individual (in this case 2 teddy bears). We also want to see how children get on when the event they have to reason about does not have a clear before-after structure.

The teddy train gamePicture 2   Pat Burns

Children are introduced to two teddy bears, one wearing red tinted glasses and one wearing blue tinted glasses. The bears are positioned at either end of a long straight piece of train track. A slow-moving toy train moves along the track from end to the other. Children are asked to predict what each bear will see when the train completes its journey. The will do so by selecting from four photos depicting a possible point of view of each bear: a red train in the foreground, a blue train in the foreground, a red train in the distance and a blue train in the distance.

We will also play a couple of additional games: one in which children have to think about the order of events from descriptions of those events and another which tests children’s ability to mentally rotate objects. Finally, we include a test of children’s vocabulary.

Study details

  • We are looking for children between 3.5 and 6.5 years of age to help.
  • The study requires a single visit to our playroom lasting around 1hr (weekdays or weekends are fine).
  • We will give you £8 for your expenses and children will receive a Cambridge Developing Cognition Lab t-shirt.
Picture 3 Pat Burns

Our address:

The Craik-Marshall Building

The Downing Site

Downing Street

Cambridge CB2 3EB

Tel: 01223 764413


 Click here for map of the Downing Site.


 Picture 4 Pat Burns thanks

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