Stavanger Baby and Child Lab

At the Stavanger Baby and Child Lab, within the Department of Social Studies at UiS, we investigate how infants and toddlers develop their understanding of the (social) world.

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Stavanger Baby and Child Lab.

What is our general aim?

We study how children in the first two years of life develop their cognitive competences and their social understanding. We aim to unveil the most fundamental and basic representations that infants use to start navigating the social world and to learn from experience how to adapt to the social norms prevailing in their cultural context.


We have several ongoing projects, and we are always looking for new participants.

  • Little leaders project: Here we study what expectations infants have about how a leader (an agent who displays social power based on respect) would behave toward its followers. See an example of prior research here.
  • Equality project: Here we study how infants intuitively expect resources to be divided within a group and among agents of different rank and status. See an example of prior research here.

Participate in our research

You are very welcome to participate with your child (0-2 years). Our studies are conducted physically in the lab (UiS campus) or they are done online, via the UiS secure Zoom platform.

The studies are short and fun! They usually take between 15 and 30 minutes.

We will show your child (who will be with you all the time) a set of short, animated videos appropriate to their age and depicting simple social interactions between agents (e.g., a division of resources). We will analyze what aspects of the scenarios and which interactions are most surprising for the participating children, to deduce what their expectations are and what their intuitive understanding is.

Here you can see a presentation of the method we employ.

If you would like to be contacted when we have a study that suits your child’s age, please contact us via email or register here.


Most of our studies are conducted physically in the lab, for parents and children who live in the Stavanger region. Some studies are conducted online.

The research in the media:

Lab Coordinator

Francesco Margoni

Sign up to participate

Register here

Main external collaborators

Lotte Thomsen (Oslo, Norway)

Renée Baillargeon (Illinois, US)

Luca Surian (Trento, Italy)

Elena Nava (Milan, Italy)

Shoji Itakura (Kyoto, Japan)

Liqi Zhu (Beijing, China)