Gazette - April 29, 2010 issue (article page 9)
Psychology professor Valerie Kuhlmeier.
April 29, 2010
Researchers at Queen's have discovered that toddlers as young as 21 months appreciate good intentions, and will do their best to reward the efforts of people who try to help them.
Psychology professor Valerie Kuhlmeier and PhD student Kristen Dunfield found that toddlers are more likely to help someone who has made an effort to help them, even if that person was unable to accomplish the toddler's desired outcome.
"This is the first time anyone has demonstrated that children this young can be selective in their helping," says Ms Dunfield. "Before that, we just knew children helped, and that they helped a lot. In this case, the helpfulness didn't really change what changed was who the child was distributing that helpfulness to."
The researchers performed three experiments, each involving 16 infants and two actresses. In the first experiment, one actress was unwilling to give a toy to the infant, while the other actress was willing but unable to do so she offered the toy by placing it on the edge of a slanted table, and watched in surprise as it rolled away. When the infants were then given the chance to help the actresses, 75 per cent of them helped the one who had tried to help them, even though the toddlers did not receive a toy from either actress.
In the second experiment, both actresses tried to help the infants by giving them the toy. The infants were just as likely to help someone who had tried to give them a toy and failed as someone who was successful in giving them the toy.
Psychology professor Wendy Craig.
Jan 26 2010
An expert in childhood bullying and a world-renowned theoretical astrophysicist interested in the state of our solar system are the 2009 recipients of Queen's Prize for Excellence in Research.
Wendy Craig (Psychology) and Martin Duncan (Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy) won the award for their significant contributions to the university
through their research and scholarly work.
"The Prize for Excellence in Research is the university's highest form of recognition for research conducted at Queen's," says Vice-Principal (Research) Kerry Rowe. "These awards recognize the hard work and dedication of our faculty, and the far-reaching impact of their research."
In her 15 years as a professor at Queen's, Dr. Craig has developed a reputation as a world leader in research in bullying knowledge and prevention. Her research was the first in Canada to focus on bullying, revealing the complexity of children's interactions that are often hidden from adults.
"My work is focused on improving the lives of children and youth," says Dr. Craig. "I am proud that Queen's recognizes and values research aimed at bringing science into the everyday lives of Canadians and institutionally supports the role science plays in promoting healthy relationships and eliminating violence."
Dr. Craig and Dr. Duncan will present public lectures on their research
on Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 7 pm in Ellis Hall.
Dr. Craig's topic is Preventing bullying: Are we doing enough?