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Transformative Consumer Research


The Effects of Dark Design on Children’s Digital Well-Being and Its Implications for Sharenting


Laurel Cook, Alexa Fox, Lin Ong, Claire Bessant, Pingping Gan, Mariea Grubbs Hoy, Emma Nottingham, Beatriz Pereira, Stacey Barell Steinberg

Award Amount


Online decisions of children and their parents may be influenced by intentionally deceptive user interfaces known as dark design. The attention, time, and information of children garnered by such design practices often go undetected or are discounted by parents and caregivers. Effects on a child’s well-being and safety appear obvious but are not yet understood and empirically tested. Using a multimethod approach, the current research concerns dark design’s influence (1) across mediums (e.g., apps, video games, social media platforms, websites), (2) across age groups for children, and (3) on parents’ sharenting choices, decision-making, and behaviors.


Digital, Privacy, Vulnerable Population

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