Monday, January 26, 2009

Does Personality Influence Parenting Style?

/PRNewswire/ -- Mindset Media (, an ad-technology company that enables brand advertisers to reach millions of people with the personality traits that fit their brands, released today a Mindset Profile(TM) of parents, which the company generated from a recent study conducted using Nielsen's Online panel (

Is it safe to let your kids go online? Will their brains rot if you let them play video games? How much TV is too much? When it comes to managing the amount and type of media your children consume, it can sure be a minefield. For some parents, media and video games are a bad thing that need to be restricted. For others, it's just part of the fabric of life, and they're much more permissive. It turns out that how you answer those thorny questions may have a lot to do with how you are wired: your particular personality traits.

Mindset Media recently conducted a study of 10,000 parents with children under the age of 18 using the Nielsen Online panel. They found that parents who restrict or ban their children from certain forms of media, such as television, video games, and the internet, have a distinctly different Mindset Profile, or set of psychographic traits, than parents who tend to be more permissive.

According to the study, three personality traits, or Mindsets, over-index for restrictive parents:

-- Parents who ban their children from watching movies and videos are 78
percent more likely to be very diligent, or Diligence 5s, in Mindset
Media parlance. Diligence 5s are remarkably goal-oriented types who
work intensely and systematically until they have achieved what they
set out to accomplish.
-- Parents who restrict their children from listening to certain types of
music are 43 percent more likely to be very dogmatic, or Dogmatism 5s.
This group of people honors tradition, accepts authority, and is
generally conservative in all things.
-- Parents who ban the internet are 30 percent more likely to be very
pugnacious, or Pugnaciousness 5s. Highly pugnacious types are
unafraid to tell others what they think of them: good, bad or
indifferent. They value honesty and bluntness over maintaining social
equilibrium and tiptoeing around feelings.

Permissive parents, on the other hand, over-index on three very different three personality traits:

-- Parents who never restrict their children's use of the internet are 39
percent more likely to be very low on the dogmatism scale, or
Dogmatism 1s. They are generally socially liberal types who disdain
so-called moral authorities, especially the conservative kind. They
think kids should be exposed to moral questions and allowed to draw
their own conclusions.
-- Parents who allow their kids to play video games are 24 percent more
likely to be highly altruistic, or Altruism 5s. They think of
themselves as giving and warm. They believe others see those
qualities in you and appreciate and like you for them.
-- Parents who allow their children to watch as much television as they
please are 27 percent more likely to be a full of bravado, or Bravado
5s. They are wide-open to new challenges, even dangerous ones. At
the same time they push themselves, they tend to be accepting of
others and easy to get along with.

"It's always fascinating to see how personality traits shape our choices, from the things we buy to how we parent," said Sarah Welch COO and Co-Founder of Mindset Media. "And marketers can use this kind of data not only to get a richer understanding of their target, but also to reach the parents with the Mindsets to be more receptive to what they have to sell through the Mindset Media ad targeting capability," continued Welch.

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