Parental Lying makes headlines at BBC World News and Channel News Asia!

Dr. Peipei Setoh discusses the paper’s findings with Rico Hizon at BBC World News TV studio. She details how children, who are told lies by their parents, tell more lies as adults.

Melanie Oliverio and Lance Alexander from CNA938 live radio interviews Dr. Peipei Setoh on the lab’s recent work on parent’s lying behavior and its influence on children’s adulthood lying behavior and maladjustment problems.


The Nanyang Research Award (Young Investigator) goes to …

Dr. Setoh!! Dr. Setoh is recognized for her significant research contributions and achievements with the prestigious Nanyang Research Award (Young Investigator). Congratulations, Dr. Setoh!

Convocation 2019 – Our graduates

Our very competent and awesome Honors students from Class of 2019. Congratulations Samantha, Venice, Heather, and Jessica on your graduation! Thank you for your contributions to our lab for the past 3 years. We wish you all the best in your future endeavours!

MFS Learning & Sharing Festival 2019

We had an enriching weekend at My First Skool’s Learning and Sharing festival.

We dressed up as Superheroes to reflect the festival’s “Flourishing” theme, to reflect our aspirations to inspire children and parents to be super. We had a great time sharing about our research projects with parents and educators, and giving out stickers and t-shirts to children.

Many festival-goers were very excited to meet our superheroes and our superheroes had just as much fun!

NTUC First Campus General Manager Ms Thian Ai Ling, Minister Desmond Lee, Batman, Prof. Setoh Peipei, Hulk, Superman, and NTUC First Campus CEO Mr. Chan Tee Seng (L-R).



Here are some of the musings of our students after completing the URECA programme…

Choosing to take on URECA is definitely one of my best choices during university. It is a one of a kind experience that is unlike other. My mentors have always given me their support and guidance, and helped me to improve my writing and statistical software skills. It is really eye-opening to be part of a research project where I got to brainstorm for the project’s methodology, participate in data collection and coding, create a poster, and write a research paper for my project. I would definitely recommend my juniors to take on URECA to learn more about research and benefit from URECA. –Rachel Chan Si Hui

I am happy to say that my journey through URECA has provided insight into what the life of a researcher really entails. When I first began my journey, I did not know what to expect as I have never done proper research from scratch – from the collection of data, to the analysis of the collected data, to writing a whole research paper on the topic. URECA also allowed me to apply the psychological theories that I learned and ultimately helped me better understand these theories. –Darren Sim Kah Ho

What made URECA an enriching experience was the mentorship that was provided to us. Our mentors were well-versed and had loads of experience in this field and provided a great deal of support and guidance throughout the research process, allowing me to learn the ropes of research with greater ease. Being a part of the lab also allowed me to get to know individuals who are passionate about a similar topic as I am, making this experience much more enjoyable as well. All in all, I feel that URECA is an experience I would recommend to any aspiring researcher as it has provided me with great opportunities to hone the skillsets of a researcher and to experience the demands of the role as a researcher. –Chua Pei Fen Athena

Engaging in URECA extends much further than just being a research assistant. In addition to participant recruitment, conducting surveys and testing, data entry and analysis, we were also given the opportunity to summarise our research findings into a poster, to present our results to other URECA students and professors, and to write a research report that is a culmination of our semester’s worth of research efforts. –Lin Xiao Wen

Right at the start, I remembered how difficult it was to understand the literature and the statistical analysis used. I became anxious when I needed to submit the pre-registration form and present the pilot study results in a poster format. Also, I came to realise that careful thought is required especially when preparing the stimuli or designing the procedure. For instance, I did not expect the task of creating a set of standardised dance moves to be so tricky. Yet, over time, I started to enjoy the problem-solving process and I learnt to see things beyond the surface level. –Ng Wan Zhyi

My first URECA experience was useful in giving me a head start in gaining experience on the writing and time management skills that would eventually be needed for my FYP. From this opportunity, I gained a better understanding of my FYP topic earlier than my peers who did not take up URECA. Overall, I really enjoyed my time with ECL. I think the lab is organised in a way such that there are structures and resources (e.g., research procedure guides for each projects, observation periods) available to supports students who may be new to research. –Ng Chen Ying Heather

My FYP-URECA experience has been unlike any other! It gave me a unique platform to develop my research interests and allowed me to pick up skills in project management. In the past year, I learnt a lot from coordinating with research partners, developing tools and conducting analyses on findings. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the classroom with the student participants. Overall, the FYP-URECA experience helped grow in my confidence and capabilities as a researcher. –Ng Kai Lun Jessica


Each year, as part of the URECA program, the Early Cognition Lab accepts undergraduate students who are passionate about research to take on an independent research project. This year, 7 students joined us and we had a great time exploring diverse research topics. We are very proud to share that 2 of our students, Athena and Jessica, won prizes at the URECA poster competition for their outstanding research performance. We speak to them about their URECA journey.

What was your project about?

Jessica: My project was about the relationship between bilingualism and executive functioning in Singaporean pre-schoolers. I am deeply interested in early cognitive and language development, and working with this lab allowed me the rare opportunity of conducting studies directly with young children.

Athena: My project examined the biases that Chinese and Malay children in Singapore might have about intelligence. I felt that how children and their parents think about intelligence is very significant because children’s self-concepts can affect how they make decisions about their pursuits later on in life. It was also a bonus that the children whom I worked with were very endearing and it was a joy to be able to interact with them!


Why did you choose to do a URECA Final Year Project?

Jessica: I had wanted to participate in the URECA poster conference to meet other student researchers who are passionate about research in diverse fields. Hearing from them about their research projects pushed me to think beyond the scope of what I know and opened my eyes to new perspectives concerning childhood language and cognitive development.


What was your experience during the course of this project?

Athena: I had a fruitful experience getting involved in each stage of a research project, from recruitment to testing to drawing findings from the data obtained. We learn about various psychology testing methods in class but it is a little harder to grasp how these methods can be applied. It really was a unique experience to formulate experiments to test out theories and obtain the results first-hand. On its own, research could be a very daunting task but I was fortunate to receive close mentorship from the lab members and I learnt a great deal from them.


What was your biggest takeaway from pursuing the URECA project?

Athena: Choosing a URECA project based on a topic that I was interested in definitely made this research process a very enriching experience. The biggest takeaway was for me to conduct and see through a research project from start to finish. It is not always a smooth-sailing process but working through the little obstacles made the overall experience very worthwhile at the end of the day.

Jessica: I thoroughly enjoyed my time doing this project and I was very glad to do something so closely aligned to my interests, being in the classroom with the young students. I think that URECA is a great platform for honing your research skills and pursuing this project certainly grew my confidence and capabilities as a researcher.

SRCD Conference 2019: Baltimore, USA

This March, the lab was off to take part in the biennial meeting hosted by Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD). We were able to learn about trending developmental research projects, catch up with our international collaborators, and share findings from four of our lab’s research projects.


How would you describe this year’s conference?
Michelle: Like other years, the research presented at this year’s biennial meeting for Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) was diverse and inspiring! All I can say is conference high, conference high!

Kristy: Falling into a rut is all too familiar to most academics, and it is sometimes possible to become less cognizant of the novel, interesting aspects of the research. An overseas conference provides the opportunity to refresh the mind and rejuvenate the senses. Conference aside, going abroad broadens your perspective because of the diversity of people, experiences and culture that you would not experience in your restricted social circle back home.

Siqi: I encountered several presentations that made me think, “This is marvellous. I wish I could construct a study like this in the future!” Listening to presentations of these studies truly provided me with fresh perspectives on how to design studies that are as innovative and insightful.


Why is the conference experience so valuable?
Michelle: Being able to discuss potential research projects with current and potential collaborators and presenting the Early Cognition Lab’s research on maternal mental-state-talk in Singaporean bilinguals at this premier conference allowed me to grow professionally by expanding my current knowledge and gaining new knowledge.


What was it like presenting your research to other researchers?
Kristy: When presenting my posters, having a third-person perspective from people who do not know about my project was truly valuable. I greatly appreciated their affirmation of my research’s significance, which helped greatly to quash doubts that I had about the meaningfulness of what I have been doing in the past year.

Siqi: I felt slightly nervous presenting my poster at as it was my first time presenting my project to others outside of the lab. I was both happy and surprised to find that visitors to my poster showed a great deal of interest about implicit gender bias. Researchers who were parents themselves were intrigued to see that their own implicit biases were related with that of their children’s.


What did you take away from attending other talks or poster exhibitions?

Siqi: I saw many novel graphics used to present data at talks. I developed a newfound appreciation for how good visualization of results can make a huge difference to the audience and to readers, ultimately increasing the quality of delivery.

Kristy: I was able to regain a sense of wonder in the field of child development. I really looked forward to attending talks every day, observing researchers from international labs (and drawing comparisons to local researchers), and soaking in the concentrate of ideas and possibilities at the conference.

SRCD Conference 2018: Philadelphia, USA

From October 18, 2018 to October 20, 2018, the Society for Research in Child Development, a premier child development research organization, hosted a special topic meeting on character strengths titled, “Promoting Character Development Among Diverse Children and Adolescents: The Roles of Families, Schools, and Out-Of-School-Time Youth Development Programs.”

The Early Cognition Lab’s very own Assistant Professor Setoh Peipei and Postdoctoral Research Fellow Cheng Michelle attended the special topics meeting held in Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A. to present the lab’s research on the relationship between Singaporeans’ character strengths and prosocial behavior. In addition to presenting research on Singaporean character, Drs. Setoh and Cheng attended workshops on the latest developments on measuring character strengths and the factors that contribute to effective character education. They also engaged in discussions with prolific researchers in character development and education such as Dr. Marc Bornstein and Dr. Marvin Berkowitz.

MFS Learning & Sharing Festival 2018

We took part in the My First Skool (MFS) Learning & Sharing Festival held on 21st September 2018 at the Singapore Expo. At the festival, some 3200 educators and partners of MFS gathered to showcase and share classroom experiences and materials.

The Guest-of-Honour was Minister for Education, Mr Ong Ye Kung. Prof. Setoh received a token of appreciation for Early Cognition Lab’s partnership with My First Skool, alongside other partners of MFS.

At our booth, we displayed our current research projects and had the opportunity to discuss our research with many interested attendees, who provided us with great suggestions and insight to further our research.

Participants also got to try out the eye-tracker, an apparatus that we use at our lab to track participants’ eye movements and gaze.


Thank you My First Skool for organizing a wonderful event again, where we had an enriching experience and a great time!

The Ureca Experience

Each year, many students join the Early Cognition Lab for the URECA programme. Our students pursue an exciting variety of projects uncovering the socio-cognition of children from their pre-school to primary school years. We are proud to announce that one of our URECA research students, Wendi, clinched the first prize for the URECA AY17/18 poster competition! We spoke to Wendi about her project and her experience.

What was your URECA project about? My research project is on children’s concept of justice and specifically on children’s resource distribution in a third party moral transgression.

Why did you choose to do this project and to work in this lab? I decided to work in this lab to gain experience working with children as I haven’t had the opportunity to do so despite my interest. I chose this research project as it focused on children’s ability to punish antisocial adults, which was not something we got to learn in class. I was also keen to explore the use of implicit measures, where instead of relying on children’s verbal testimony, children’s behaviour could be measured based on their responses in a resource distribution task.

What was your experience through the course of this project? Being new to research, fulfilling the URECA programme deliverables seemed intimidating at first but they turned out to be manageable thanks to the close guidance given in the lab and from Kristy, a doctoral student and my research team leader. Being part of a close-knit research team also provided a sense of comradery, which made the experience fun and less daunting.

Do you have any words of encouragement for people who want to pursue a URECA project? Pursuing a URECA project requires commitment but it gave me a huge sense of accomplishment, being able to do a research project independently. It also provides a sneak preview to what the Final Year Project would be like and builds the foundation for research report writing. It can be challenging but it is a great opportunity for anyone interested in research because you get a first-hand experience here!