Gelman Picture Book Corpus

Gelman Corpus

Susan Gelman
University of Michigan


Participants: 46, 72, 72, and 36 mother-child dyads
Type of Study: tests
Location: USA
Media type: not available
DOI: doi:10.21415/T5X69X

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Citation information

Users of the data in the 1998-Books project should cite:

Users of the data in the 2004-Gender project should cite:

Project Description for 1998 Books Project

The are 3 separate samples:
  1. Picture book reading at 20 months - 16 mother-child dyads; average child age 1;8 (range: 1;6-1;11); conversations regarding researcher-created picturebooks (Animal Friends; Things in Our World)
  2. Picture book reading at 35 months - 16 mother-child dyads; average child age 2;11 (range 2;8-3;2); conversations regarding the same picturebooks as PB-20MO
  3. Reading books at 35 months - 14 mother-child dyads; average child age 2;11 (range 2;8-3;2); conversations regarding Helweg (1978) and McNaught (1978)
The pictures used in the picture book study are included in the folder with the transcripts. The SRCD Monograph provides further details regarding the methods, but I would be happy to answer any questions you might have. Thanks! - Susan

Project Description for 2004 Gender Project

All conversations were of mother-child dyads discussing a researcher-created picture book entitled, “Who Can...?”, designed to elicit conversations about gender. Each page of the 24-page book displayed a person engaged in a gender-stereotypical activity. On each page, the gender of the person in the book either matched or mismatched the stereotype (e.g., a male or a female firefighter; a boy or a girl playing with dolls). The text on each page asked who can engage in the activity (e.g., “Who can be a firefighter?”; “Who can play with dolls?”). Scans of the pages of the book are included in the folder with the transcripts.

Three age groups of children were included:

  1. 24 mother-child dyads; average child age 2;8 (range 2;5-2;11)
  2. 24 mother-child dyads; average child age 4;8 (range 4;0-5;0)
  3. 24 mother-child dyads; average child age 6;7 (range 6;0-7;0)

Notes: ‘Mm-hm’, ‘uh-huh’, and ‘&=nods’ indicate ‘yes’; ‘mm-mm’ indicates ‘no’.

Project Description for 2014 - Individual Differences Project

Participants were children, ranging in age from 3;9 to 4;11 (mean age 4;4) and their parents (N=72 children and N=72 parents). Parents and children were recorded interacting with one another, as well as each participant interacting with a researcher, at each of two lab visits, 3-4 weeks apart. Thus, each dyad contributed six interactions: Child-Parent-visit1 (C-P1), Child-Parent-visit2 (C-P2), Child-Researcher-visit1 (C_R1), Child-Researcher-visit2 (C-R2), Parent-Researcher-visit1 (P-R1), and Parent-Researcher-visit2 (P-R2). In each interaction, participants looked through a wordless 15-page picture book depicting equal numbers of animals, foods, and people. The four books are given here

Citation Information: Users of the data in the 2014-Individual Differences project should cite:

Gelman, S. A., Ware, E. A., Kleinberg, F., Manczak, E. M., & Stilwell, S. M. (2014). Individual differences in children's and parents' generic language. Child Development, 85(3), 924-940.

Project Description for 2016 Robodog Study

Participants: Thirty-six preschool-aged children participated in this study, including 20 3-year-olds (M = 38 months, range = 36–42 months, 9 girls, 11 boys), and 16 5-year-olds (M = 61 months, range = 55–67 months, 8 girls, 8 boys). One of each child’s parents also participated; all but one of the participating parents were mothers. The participants were predominantly European–American and from middle-income homes. Participants were recruited through an existing family participant database as well as local childcare centers in Ann Arbor, MI. Families participated voluntarily and received a children's book as a thank-you gift.

Task: Families explored each of the six items (robot dog [moved and made sounds autonomously], brittle starfish [in an aquarium], meerkat puppet, degu [in a cage], toy car (dune buggy), and computer box [lit up and made sounds in response to hand movements]) individually in 5-min intervals, in one of three pre-established random orders. We asked parent–child pairs to play with and/or talk about each item in whatever way seemed natural to them. The researcher then left the room for the duration of the parent–child session and video-recorded their interaction from an adjacent room. Please see published paper for more details on the procedure and items. Please refer to the photos document for close ups of the six items.

Citation Information: Jipson, J. L., Gülgöz, S., & Gelman, S. A. (2016). Parent–child conversations regarding the ontological status of a robotic dog. Cognitive Development, 39, 21-35.

Note: Most actions are in a comment line, rather than in the speaker line.