notes from 4-25-16
notes from 4-25-16 CDAE 127
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This 14 page Class Notes was uploaded by kaswimmer on Monday April 25, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CDAE 127 at University of Vermont taught by Sun Tao in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 17 views. For similar materials see Consumer Policy in Business at University of Vermont.
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Date Created: 04/25/16
iClicker Question In the Supreme Court decision, Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association, the Court struck down the law in California on the grounds of: A. First Amendment Protection of violent speech B. The unpersuasive psychological research on violent video games C. Both of the above In June 2011 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that video games enjoy full free speech protections and that the regulation of violent game sales to minors is unconstitutional. Freedom of speech video games as “unpersuasive” and noted that such research containst many methodological flaws. Unconvincing evidence that wasn’t causal Given past statements by the American Psychological Association linking video game and media violence with aggression, the Supreme Court ruling, particularly its critique of the science, is likely to be shocking and disappointing to some psychologists. Unconvincing Many commentators expressed concern about a potential epidemic of youth “superpredators” (Muschert, 2007, 2008). Some advocates promoted the idea that video games were training children to become murderers (Grossman, 1996) and began using polemical language such as “murder simulators” or, in Germany, killerspiele (killer games). …studies further suggest that videogames influence the learning processes in many ways more than in passively observing TV… In each of these cases, the legislation was struck down on constitutional grounds, with the courts noting in several cases that the psychological research was unable to demonstrate a cause and effect relationship between video game violence and aggression in youth. IF its not causal then you cant ask to eliminate the freedom of speech on a whim Thus the court raised the issue of scientific credibility, that not only the legislature but some scholars were selectively excluding research data that didn’t confirm their hypotheses. Despite claims from some scholars that violent media might explain as much as 30% of societal violence (Strasburger, 2007), some scholars began to note that the video game era saw approximately a two-thirds reduction in youth violence, not an increase, which appeared to conflict with some of the statements of harm (Olson, 2004), at least on the societal level. The reviews cited above generally concluded that claims of causal certainty or unequivocal findings in the literature greatly exceeded the available data, that methodological problems are common in the field, particularly pertaining to careful controls in experiments and poor aggression measures in all studies, and that ideological biases were damaging scientific credibility. Measuring aggression in an unreliable way often. Ideologically bias. The Australian government specifically criticized comments such as those involving comparisons with medical effects, noting that “as the definitions and measurements and VVGs (violent video games) are contested, comparing VVG effects with correlations between two easily defined variables (i.e. “smoking” and “lung cancer”) is more likely to mislead readers than to inform them” (Australian Government, Attorney General’s Department, 2010, p. 32). Relates to an iclicker question ** about effect size in media for the medical literature to find and measure lung cancer, but its very hard to measure aggression or exposure to media • The State’s evidence is not compelling. California relies primarily on the research of Dr. Anderson and a few other research psychologists whose studies purport to show a connection between exposure to violent video games and harmful effects on children. These studies have been rejected by every court to consider them, and with good reason: They do not prove that violent video games cause minors to act aggressively (which would at least be a beginning). Instead, “[n]early all of the research is based on correlation, not evidence of causation, and most of the studies suffer from significant, admitted flaws in methodology. • Generally speaking, the effects of video game violence on violent criminal acts appear to be minimal (Ferguson & Kilburn, 2009; see also Doug Gentile’s comments in Bavelier et al., 2011), whereas stronger effects are seen for milder measures of aggression, particularly those used in the lab. • Don’t measure criminal violent acts, just minor acts (hitting, swearing, hitting keyboard angrily) difficult to measure in the lab with ethics (cant just let people hit each other or make them hirt people) • Arguably some of this problem may come from the veneration of experimental methods in which the distinction between what can occur in the lab and what actually does occur in the natural environment is often lost (McCall, 1977). • Artificial lab studies that aren’t as effective cause they cant be generalized as well and aggression is less significant. Unnatural environment. • Close associations with advocacy groups, particularly via research funding, may further reinforce ideological values and remove the scholars further from objective science. • It’s a criticism of the psychological committee. Maybe its offensive to some researchers to think that they are raising their kids to be violent. Maybe this influences their agenda. Moral panics are commonly understood as the manufacture of exaggerated fears toward a “folk devil” against which there is moral repugnance (Ben-Yehuda, 2009). Like media violence, pornography (deviant things) if you think its not right you’ll have more fear about it Yet society itself may amplify this process through media outlets choosing to publicize only research that promotes the panic (Thompson, 2008) and government and advocacy granting agencies choosing to select which research to fund. In this article I have argued that the process by which the APA and other professional organizations became involved in the video game debate and ensuing attempts at legislation was often fraught and commingled with ideology, politics, and advocacy rather than the maintenance of a purely objective scientific stance.
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