Study finds that parents are dumb

Happy, dumb familySo, did we all know just how incompetent today’s parents are? If not, maybe the recent study conducted by Global Consulting firm User Centric can shed some light on the subject.

Using a sample of 20 parents and 20 children, the study examined the effectiveness of ratings-based parental controls on electronic media devices such as DVR,s cell phones, V-chip TVs, and unspecified videogame consoles.

The results? High failure rates, and general signs of mental vacancy.

From the report:

* Failure rates were high: 31% (DVR), 36% (mobile phone), 42% (V-Chip), and 47% (game console). Across all four devices, parents and children had similar failure rates when setting up parental controls. Participants who reported prior experience fared no better than those who had no experience.
* The relationship between ratings systems and their impact on parental controls was unclear to many participants. When using the V-chip, participants were often uncertain if selecting one rating would be sufficient for blocking the more severe ratings. When using the game console, participants were confused whether their selection represented the highest rating allowed or the lowest rating blocked (despite explanations displayed onscreen).
* One third of participants failed to set up parental controls across all the devices. This contrasted sharply with the high confidence ratings given by participant; many participants believed they had successfully activated parental controls when they actually had not.
* Several participants failed to set up parental controls because they were unaware that they had to perform an extra step to save and then activate their selection.

I think I’m confused by this story. I never knew how difficult it could be to read simple instructions and follow them correctly. I find these failure rates somewhat hard to believe, even. Did the participants screw things up ON PURPOSE, or could they really be that inept?


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Author: Eddie Inzauto View all posts by
Eddie has been writing about games on the interwebz for over ten years. You can find him Editor-in-Chiefing around these parts, or talking nonsense on Twitter @eddieinzauto.

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