babysitter test

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English[edit]

Noun[edit]

babysitter test (plural babysitter tests)

  1. (idiomatic, social sciences, law, public policy) An informal method for assessing the maturity, reliability, or probity of a person, inviting one to judge whether one would entrust this person with the care of one's own children.
    • 1993, Gideon Koren et al., "Maturity of Children to Consent to Medical Research: The Babysitter Test," Journal of Medical Ethics, vol. 19, no. 3, p. 146:
      The babysitter, presumably between the ages of ten and 15, is quite explicitly expected to function in a way usually expected of mature individuals.
    • 2001, Michael L. Radelet and Hugo Bedau, "Erroneous Convictions and the Death Penalty," in Wrongly Convicted: Perspectives on Failed Justice, Saundra Westervelt and John A. Humphrey eds., ISBN 9780813529523, p. 274:
      To highlight the inadequacy of such evidence, we propose what we call “the babysitter test” for future prosecution witnesses in death penalty cases. We suggest that, to send someone to the gurney or the electric chair on the word of one witness, the prosecutor must agree to hire that witness as a babysitter for her or his kids for one evening.
    • 2008, Emily Baltz, "U.S. Ambassador Calls On Jewish Voters To Drop Republican Support, Back Obama," cbsnews.com, 25 Oct. (retrieved 25 Aug. 2010):
      I use a babysitter test when it comes to Israel, Indyk said. Do I trust this man or woman with my child? Will he or she be in the trenches when it really counts? Obama would.
  2. (idiomatic, manufacturing, marketing) A test for the ease of use of household appliances.
    • 2006, "At last, new remotes that are 'universal'," Baltimore Sun, 29 June, p. 5D (retrieved 25 Aug. 2010):
      "We set out to create a remote that passes the babysitter test," says Klarke, director of marketing and development for Harmony remotes.
    • 2006, Jim Louderback, "Does the PC Belong in the Living Room?," PC Magazine, 1 Nov. (retrieved 25 Aug. 2010):
      I call it the babysitter test. Can I give a remote control to a 15-year-old, gum-snapping Valley Girl and explain, clearly and succinctly in less than 3 minutes, how she can watch TV? Without getting a panicked call when American Idol begins? TiVo passes the test.
    • 2010, Matt Warman, "Bose bids to simplify home cinema," telegraph.co.uk, 25 May (retrieved 25 Aug. 2010):
      At the devices’ launch, the company claimed this ease of use would pass “the babysitter test” of making TVs and DVD players intuitive to use.