Institute of Education


New research project launch: measuring children's personalities

21 September 2016

young children

A new research project is being launched today to investigate how we can best measure personality in three, four and five-year-old children.

Dr Terry Ng-Knight and Professor Ingrid Schoon, from Quantitative Social Science, are seeking to discover whether there are social factors, such as family size and financial stress, which influence young children's personalities.

The first step towards this is examining whether shorter questionnaires can be used to accurately measure the emerging personality traits of young children.

Parents across the world are invited to participate in the 10 minute study by completing the survey at https://babylovesscience.com/landing/ucl.

One pound will be donated to the Save the Children for every survey completed.

The survey asks questions about various dimensions of personality, including emotions, behaviour and attention, e.g.: Does your child like to go high and fast when pushed on a swing? Does your child take a long time when approaching new situations?

Dr Ng-Knight said:

" "It is increasingly being recognised that the early behavioural styles young children display shape and develop their later personality traits.  

"These traits can have important implications for how well children pay attention at school, react to difficult situations, and approach new challenges."

"We hope that by understanding how these early personality traits can be measured, we will be able to move towards developing environments that nurture children's skills and strengths from a young age."


Media Contact

James Russell

Tel: +44 (0)203 108 8516
Email: james.russell(at)ucl.ac.uk