Learning to solve problems in new environments.

INFORMATION SHEET FOR: Learning to solve problems in new environments.

Before you decide for your child to take part in this study, it is important for you to understand why the research is being done and what it will involve. Please take the time to read the following information carefully. A member of the research team (contact details below) can be contacted if there is anything that is not clear or if you would like more information. Take time to decide whether or not you wish your child to take part.

What is this research project about and who can participate?
This research project looks at humans’ ability to plan their actions in new environments and how they can solve problems that involve using tools to achieve goals. We are particularly interested to identify practices that enhance humans’ learning of how to use tools and plan their actions. This study will be completed by August 2022.

Your child has been chosen to participate in this study because s/he is the right age for our research. In this study, your child will perform a series of planning and reasoning challenges. You child will be presented with different virtual environments with the aim of putting a red object into a green area while overcoming obstacles. We will track your child’s actions in each attempt and whether your child achieved the goal successfully. This study will take place online. There are no known risks or disadvantages as this study is only play a game online and from the comfort of your home.

We kindly ask you not to give cues or help your child during the games. Previous research has shown that children from 6-year-old can play these online games independently, using simple functionalities such as button pressing, clicking on objects, and moving them on the screen.

During the games, your child will get scores for success and failures. These scores will change from one participant to another – some participants will get more points for success, some will get more points for failure, some won’t get any score. You will be told how many points for success and failures your child will get.

The results of this project will be written up for a master dissertation or publication and disseminated at conferences. All data will be anonymised instantly, and it will be presented at the group and not individual level. Your child’s involvement in the study will remain confidential except in the highly unlikely event that the researcher has a serious concern regarding a child protection issue.

You and/or your child have the right to withdraw participation at any point up until the point that the anonymised data can no longer be identified. In this study, as soon as your child has finished the tasks, the data will be uploaded in an anonymous way and we will no longer be able to identify which data was from your child.

The project has received ethical approval from the Department of Psychological Sciences Research Ethics Committee of Birkbeck University of London.

Primary investigators contact details: Dr Ori Ossmy (ori.ossmy@bbk.ac.uk)
Co-applicant contact details: Hélène Grandchamp des Raux (hgrand01@student.bbk.ac.uk)

For information about Birkbeck’s data protection policy please visit:

If you have concerns about this study, please contact the School’s Ethics Officer at:

School Research Officer
School of Science, Department of Psychological Sciences
Birkbeck, University of London

You also have the right to submit a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office