Monthly Archives: March 2018

Violent Video Games and Real-World Behavior

Much has been written about violent video games and a number of studies claim to find a link between people who play them and subsequent incidents of acting out (e.g. the current coverage of the Florida school shootings). While it is quite true that laboratory studies demonstrate an increase in aggressive thought and behavior among violent video game players, those studies fail to find a causal link to subsequent real-world behaviors. Inferences are speculative.

But now a new German study by the Max Planck Institute finds that “two months of daily GTA [Grand Theft Auto] causes ‘no significant changes’ in behavior.”

The study was published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry. An article from the March 15th online issue of Ars Technica reviews the study and the research.

Here’s the link

Smart Phones Make People Dumber

I just became aware of an excellent Wall Street Journal article, published on October 6, 2017, about the negative effects of smart phones on our ability to think. The article cites a number of peer-reviewed research studies that seem to leave little doubt about how smart phones invade our non conscious selves to such a degree that they actively inhibit our ability to remember, to reason, to create social ties. Author Nicholas Carr is to be commended for this contribution to the literature.

Here’s the link:

Kids and Social Media

There is a truly outstanding article about why children (pre-teens and teens) should not be allowed to engage with social media. It’s written by a mom whose child wanted to be allowed to sign up for a supposedly innocent social site that would let her create and upload lip-sync videos to popular songs. Mom went to the site and checked it out for herself, then wrote the article (after deleting her account).

After reading this article, my own position, if I had any children under the age of 18, would be to never allow them to use social media at all, period. Read this piece and see if you don’t agree by the time you’re done.

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