Sunday, November 1, 2009

Einstein Smart - Disney Dumb

I was always a bit suspicious about the Disney’s “Baby Einstein” product pitch -- that you could jump start your precious little drooler’s IQ by planting he/she in front of the TV running these supposed “child development” DVDs. Now the jury (figuratively) has come in on this issue: Baby Einstein flunks miserably.

The “Einstein” part of this equation really goes to the marketing gurus at Disney who knew that parents could easily be parted from their money by simply appealing to their egos that THEIR kid is surely the stuff of which genius is made.

Unfortunately you baby likely fits within snugly the bell curve of statistical probability that they are, like most, average; no DVD marketed under the name of “Einstein” or “Mozart” or anything else is going to change that. Despite Disney’s claim, research actually revealed that preschoolers plopped in front of the TV actually showed a measurable LOSS in cognitive ability. The TV is a one-eyed baby sitter, and not much good at that, even.

Disney isn’t feeling so smart now; they are offering refunds for people who purchased Baby Einstein DVD thinking they would somehow boost their kid’s intelligence while they took a shower.

You can read the full article here in the NY Times.


kara said...

they didn't even start those videos. some homeschooling mother in texas or something did. when is it EVER a good idea to listen to someone like that?

Charlie said...

Great photo, anyway.

Mary Witzl said...

Our kids almost never watched TV. Remind me to tell them about this when they start whining about how deprived and out of it they felt around their friends.

Robert the Skeptic said...

Kara: Mother in Texas or Disney, no difference... the Einstein moniker was designed to appeal to the "My baby is a genius" sensibility to open their wallets.

Charlie: I can take no credit for the photo, Google Images saved me on this one.

mary: I confess I have fallen back on the one-eyed-babysitter on occasion when I have run out of ways to entertain the energetic grandkids.