The American Psychological Association Keeps Getting the Science of Video Games Wrong

In 2013, the APA announced it was putting together a task force to update its existing policies on aggressive video games. Scholars were concerned. Video game research had been contentious for decades and the APA had a history of overstating the evidence for effects. Although the APA ostensibly wanted open-minded scholars, a majority of task force members had already staked out public positions demonizing games. Despite the APA’s apparent intention to appear neutral, one member had previously published studies critiquing games, of which the task force chair appeared unaware. No task force members had publicly defended games prior to this appointment.
Given how many APA members had never taken a position on games, a task force this clearly biased was statistically implausible as a random outcome. In response, 230 scholars wrote an open letter in 2013 calling on the APA to refrain from releasing declarative statements on how games affect aggression. The APA task force didn’t even acknowledge this letter in their final report.
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