When adults were asked what emotions they felt when trying to fix broken technology, more than seven-in-ten said they were “confident” that they were on the right path during the course of trying to solve the problem. Fewer had negative reactions: about half (48%) were “discouraged” and 40% were “confused” about their problems. People were about equally likely to feel confident in their fix-it capability regardless of whether their problem was with computers, cell phones, iPods or internet connections. Although young adults are no more likely to be able fix devices on their own, they were significantly more likely to be confident that they were on the right path to fixing it. However, if a gadget broke more than once, respondents were more likely to report being impatient or discouraged. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.