Mary Gates Research Scholar, Winter 2021
Research Project: Sibs and Bibs – Older siblings and infant vocabulary development
Project Description: This research project analyzes a previously recorded longitudinal dataset of linguistic input heard by infants throughout their days at various ages. The goal of my analysis is to determine the effects of older sibling presence and input on their infant siblings’ language acquisition and vocabulary development.
What have you learned throughout your research project?
Regarding my project in particular, I have found that the presence of older siblings greatly alters the linguistic input that infants receive from their parents. Additionally, the conversational interactions that these infants have with their parents are significantly dissimilar to those experienced by infants without older siblings. In terms of more widely applicable skills, I have learned how to effectively analyze a great deal of data and present it clearly to both general audiences and audiences well versed in my field.
What piece of advice do you have for future applicants?
My greatest piece of advice for Mary Gates Research applicants is to consider how your research applies to and will help you achiever your career and life goals. I was told that many applicants drop the ball regarding this portion, and I believe my focus on the effect that my project would have on my future helped my application to stand out.