The child as a test person

Date of publication: August 1, 1969

Author: Kurt Rippel

Abstract:

Investigations based on the testing of children involve special problems. It is, however, often necessary in practice to ask the child about its opinions, tastes and preferences; this is particularly true in cases where products are planned for children whose opinions may play a major role in determining repeat purchases. Parents are frequently complaining that they cannot buy again some product of good quality because the child strictly refuses to use it or consume it. Parental authority does not help much in this case. During the last decades the child has attained increasing importance in the social setting of the family and received a kind of emancipation however grotesque that may sound. This applies especially to considerations of its personality and its will which may not be fully developed yet but is often a factor determining purchases. The child has ceased to be simply the recipient of the educational efforts by its parents and has become a member of the family, and is not infrequently asked for its opinions. One could almost say that the child has become "more mature" or is being treated as more mature than it possibly is and to some extent it has outgrown the traditional tutelage by the parents.

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