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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)June 28, 2010

(MAHWAH, NJ) – Ramapo College of New Jersey’s School of Social Science and Human Services (SSHS) is seeking volunteers to participate in studies at its new Child Development Lab. Through the lab, faculty and students conduct research that explores how children solve problems, perceive actions, coordinate motor skills, interact with caregivers, and use objects, which furthers the understanding of children’s cognitive, perceptual, and motor skill development.

The lab opened in late 2009 and had approximately 70 participants. It is funded by the SSHS, the Ramapo College Foundation, a Teaching, Learning and Technology Roundtable grant from the Office of the Provost.

Currently, the lab is examining how children cope with “fitting tasks” to help understand the exploratory behaviors that children perform in fitting objects through small and large openings. Fitting is a multi-step process involving prospective planning, decision-making, and linking several small routines into a unified action. In a typical study session, children are presented with table-top games that require reaching, grasping and fitting. Children’s decisions are observed and compared to actual possibilities for action. Other methods such as parental reports, psychophysics and questionnaires are used to give researchers an in-depth understanding of what information children know and use to make decisions, and how caregivers can have a role in how children make decisions.

SSHS is currently conducting the studies with infants and children between 1 and 8 years of age. Studies last between 45 and 60 minutes and can be scheduled for day, evening, or weekend sessions. Both children and parents enjoy the experience and receive a small gift for participation. Any information collected is kept strictly confidential. If you are interested in participating with your child, please contact Assistant Professor of Psychology Shaziela Ishak at sishak@ramapo.edu or call (201) 684-7418 to set up an appointment.

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Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice, has been named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by CollegesofDistinction.com, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on Niche.com, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.

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