Joseph Campos, Professor

Open (1) Activity and Psychological Development

Open. Apprentices needed for the fall semester. Please do NOT contact faculty before September 11th (the start of the 4th week of classes)! Enter your application on the web beginning August 16th. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, August 29th at 8 AM.

There has been converging evidence that crawling results in a breadth of psychological changes from perception, attention to socio-emotional development. This project aims to investigate what components of crawling contribute to these changes using an intervention approach. We're studying infants between the ages of 7 and 9 months who are not yet crawling to see whether controlling a toy train, watching a toy train, or playing with a toy train (and pieces of the train set) has an effect on the development of 4 different spatial skills. This study looks at whether components of crawling lead to an improvement in infants' spatial cognition, such as the ability to locate hidden objects. The study involves 3 lab visits and 15 home-based training sessions spread over a total of 33 days.


Students will be involved in recruitment of participating families, helping conduct the lab-based studies after learning the experimental roles, data coding and entry. Also, students will be involved in literature discussions and lab meetings.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Minxuan He, Staff Researcher

Qualifications: Applicants must be responsible and detail-oriented (e.g. taking good notes), have experience interacting with infants or young children. Classes in developmental psychology, previous research experience and video editing skill are required. Some experience in research method and stats and commitment to beyond one semester is strongly desired. Please include the following in your application: a) One paragraph on why you want to work on the project; b) Description of relevant experience in research and interaction with babies; c) List of psychology courses taken and the grades received; d) Information about your other skills.

Weekly Hours: 9-12 hrs

Related website: http://babycenter.berkeley.edu

Closed (2) Infant Responding to Discrete Emotions

Closed. This professor is continuing with Spring 2017 apprentices on this project; no new apprentices needed for Fall 2017.

This study is investigating how 15-30-month-old infants respond to different emotional messages given by an adult. In each experiment a researcher will display a specific emotion (i.e., fear, anger, sadness, disgust, joy), which the infant will be given the opportunity to respond to. Prior research has focused on assessments of discrimination of emotion displays; the present work stresses differential regulation of behavior by such displays (e.g., helping a sad adult; avoiding a disgusting toy).


Research assistants will be involved in conducting the experiments involved with this study. Tasks include interacting with infants and parents, performing various tasks during experiments (including acting!), and coding video recordings from the lab and home observation studies. Research assistants may also be involved in recruitment of participants and in discussions of relevant literature.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project:

Qualifications: Applicants must be responsible and detail-oriented, have experience interacting with young children and be interested in early socio-emotional development. Previous research experience and ability to commit beyond one semester are preferred, but not required. Please include the following in your application: a) a paragraph on why you want to work on the project. b) description of relevant experience c) list of psychology courses taken and the grades received d) days & times you are likely to have available to conduct research e) days & times you are available to meet to discuss a research assistant position

Weekly Hours: 9-12 hrs

Related website: http://babycenter.berkeley.edu

Open (3) Infant walking and language development

Open. Apprentices needed for the fall semester. Please do NOT contact faculty before September 11th (the start of the 4th week of classes)! Enter your application on the web beginning August 16th. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, August 29th at 8 AM.

This research project probes the underlying mechanisms of a new discovery: a link between upright locomotion, aka walking, and language acquisition!

Previous studies from our laboratory have discovered that independent walking precedes an increase in both receptive and productive vocabularies. However, walking per se should not affect talking, there must be some mediators. This project aims to develop creative and objective assessment of infant language skills and to investigate several possible candidates that are likely to explain this walking-talking link.

Research assistants will play an active role in recruitment, testing of infants, as well as data coding and entry. Motivated assistants are invited to participate the set up of new paradigms. There is also opportunity to involve in cross-linguistic comparison.


Research assistants will be involved in conducting the experiments involved with this study. Tasks include interacting with infants and parents, performing various tasks during experiments (including acting!), and coding video recordings from the lab and collaborative site. Research assistants may also be involved in recruitment of participants and in discussions of relevant literature.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Minxuan He, Staff Researcher

Qualifications: Applicants must be responsible, detail-oriented, communicative and good at organization. Previous research experience and interaction with infants is required. Ability to commit beyond one semester is desirable but not required. The project also looks for a research assistant who is fluent with the dialect of Shanghainese for data transcription. Senior research assistants are also expected to participate in oral and written summaries and reports. Please include the following in your application: a) a paragraph on why you want to work on the project. b) description of relevant experience c) list of psychology courses taken and the grades received d) days and times you are likely to have available to conduct research

Weekly Hours: 9-12 hrs

Related website: http://babycenter.berkeley.edu

Closed (4) Interest: an important (but largely forgotten) emotion in infancy

Closed. This professor is continuing with Spring 2017 apprentices on this project; no new apprentices needed for Fall 2017.

The emotion of INTEREST is the orphan child of the list of basic emotions postulated by several theoreticians on emotion, including Izard. Orphan or not, interest is very important in the regulation of behavior, especially in infancy, where the communication of that emotion can result in exploration, handling, and explanation of an object's functioning. The research program for which we are encouraging research participation is the continuation of an integrated series of studies on the value of the communication of interest to an infant, and how that value changes across development. Furthermore, this line of work represents a return to the concept of social referencing first elaborated in this lab, and touches on theoretical debates about the distinctions that can be made between social referencing and social appraisal, and between ostensive and non-ostensive communication between babies and their care-givers.

Analysis of our most recent study has come up with a surprising result: when presented with two objects, one of which has previously been looked at with interest and the other with disinterest, 12 month old infants significantly prefer to touch the 'interesting' object, while 15 month old infants significantly prefer to touch the 'disinteresting' object. Why should this be the case?

The project is under the supervision of Visiting Graduate Student Daniel Dukes (Swiss Center of Affective Science, Geneva, Switzerland and Neuch√Ętel University, Switzerland), with the involvement for the discussions and planning of Professor Joseph Campos of the UCB Psychology Department.

As part of a small team, you will be asked to participate in the full research process: looking for clues in the analysis and videos of the recent study to generate hypotheses to explain the results, build (a)new experimental paradigm(s) to test those hypotheses, recruit infant participants, test the paradigm with the help of the infants, meet the parents and analyse the new results. You will also be invited to a regular discussion seminar to help attain the goals of the project. The seminar will involve readings on topics related to the emotion of interest, and its developmental consequences.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Daniel Dukes, Ph.D. candidate

Qualifications: While this experience could be rewarding in itself, it also has the potential to be developed into an honors thesis. Please include the following in your application: a) a paragraph on why you want to work on the project. b) description of relevant experience c) list of psychology courses taken and the grades received d) days and times you are likely to have available to conduct research

Weekly Hours: 9-12 hrs

Related website: http://babycenter.berkeley.edu
Related website: http://dukes.space