Simulating First-Time Parenthood Study – WHIRLab

Simulating First-Time Parenthood Study

The WHIRLab is trying to understand how couples navigate the transition to parenthood
by having couples who do not currently have children interact with life-like infant
simulators in the lab and at home. We are recruiting couples to take part in a multi-part
study for up to $125 per partner ($250 per couple).

The study will include two in-person lab sessions with a series of short surveys, tasks
such as interacting with the infant simulator, and the collection of physiological data
such as saliva samples and heart rate. Participants will then take the infant simulator
home with them and care for it over the weekend.

Read on below to find out about compensation and see if you’re eligible. You can also
scroll down to learn about our COVID-19 precautions.


More About the Study

Participating with your partner: We are interested in the experience of both members of romantic couples and would set up two times when you and your partner can come in to the lab together for no more than two hours. Most couples take about 1.5 hours.

For the weekend after your first lab session, we will ask you and your partner to care for an infant simulator as well as complete short surveys on our WHIRLab App (published by The University of Michigan) twice a day. These surveys will not take more than 5 minutes and will help us understand what your daily life looks like. Completion of all surveys will result in a compensation of $60 per partner ($10 for each nightly survey you complete). Payment will be provided as a check mailed to your address after your second lab session.

Your maximum possible compensation is $125.00 per partner, or $250.00 per couple. All couples who complete the initial in-person lab session are guaranteed $25.00 per partner, or $50.00 per couple. If you complete all components, you will receive a $15.00 completion bonus.

Study Structure and Payment Details

Privacy: Though we ask for your email in order to coordinate your presence in the lab, any information you provide during the session will not be associated with your identifying details. We will record audio and visual data if consent is given. De-identified data may be made available online to other researchers. Aggregated results may be posted online.
If you have questions, please contact us at

Eligibility: Participants for this study must be between 20 and 40 years old. Partners must live together and have been in a romantic relationship for at least one year. Neither partner can be pregnant, have children, have a diagnosed endocrine disorder, have a diagnosed sleep disorder, nor have hippocampal damage. Both partners must be able to attend a lab session together on the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor between the hours of 11:30 am and 6:30 pm.

COVID-19 precautions: The University of Michigan has strict guidelines for COVID-19 safety, and this study has been approved as presenting minimal exposure risk to participants and research staff. A researcher will meet you at the door to the building and lead you to the lab, maintaining six feet of distance, after which you and your partner will complete the tasks in your own room. You will communicate with the researcher electronically via a monitor system in the room. Researchers and participants will be required to wear appropriate face coverings at all times, except when isolated in their separate rooms. All equipment and rooms will be cleaned and sanitized between uses. Please feel free to contact us with any further concerns.


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