Project overview

Lookit is a platform for doing developmental research run by a small academic group at MIT. Our vision is of a collaborative online lab:

  • Large collaborative “online lab” run by group at MIT
  • Single participant interface; shared participant pool, servers; central & shared recruitment in addition to individual labs’ efforts
  • Lookit team provides training, IRB coordination, study implementation, design support, ongoing development, documentation
  • Researchers independent, but with centralized approval of studies (covering technical problems, basic compliance with ethical guidelines, and clarity for parents)
  • Support/incentives for best practices (e.g. preregistration, publishing materials and data, clearly demarcating pilot data)
  • Can be funded (at steady state) primarily by participating labs’ usage, although open to alternate models

Mission statement

Lower barriers to conducting and participating in rigorous, reproducible developmental research that advances the understanding of development and its implications for education, parenting, policy, and medicine.

We are committed to

  • Open source development
  • Encouraging data and protocol sharing
  • Encouraging best practices in experimental design
  • Advancing our understanding of methods
  • Recruiting a representative participant pool
  • Respecting participants’ time and parents as partners in discovery
  • Enabling non-traditional developmental researchers and supporting work that benefits children or families