A research tool for enhancing the statistical power of child language studies. Meta-analyses aggregate the data across numerous related studies to examine how strong the reported effects are. In addition, researchers can plan more rigorously how many participants they will need to produce findings with any real statistical authority. Metalab points the way to a statistically much more sophisticated future for child language research.
W.C. Fields in Pool Sharks (1915)
Search for this in YouTube and enjoy one of the comedy greats from more than 100 years ago. W.C. Fields was the man who first advised: ‘never work with children or animals.’ Child language researchers do both, of course. In any event, W.C. Fields broke his own rule on several occasions, including in the 1933 version of Alice in Wonderland (a poor quality version is available on YouTube). About 45 minutes into the movie, W.C. Fields appears as a querulous Humpty Dumpty, espousing some of Lewis Carroll’s observations on word meaning.
Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off (1937)
Search YouTube for Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off. You’ll find them tap dancing on roller skates to an old song by George and Ira Gershwin in the movie Shall We Dance (see Gershwin, 1959). If you know this song at all, you probably know the ‘punch line’: Let’s call the whole thing off. But actually, the real point of the song is expressed in this part of the lyric:
For we know we
Need each other, so we
Better call the calling off off.
When it comes to nature and nurture, this part of the lyric is much more appropriate. Often referred to misleadingly as the nature–nurture controversy, we all know that, in fact, nature and nurture were meant for each other.