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Politicized research can 'compromise' the scientific process, APA reports

A report examining the risks of politicized research on video game and the "junk science" created by national panics was recently published by the American Psychological Association.

Christopher Ferguson, who holds a Ph.D at Texas A&M International University, researched and authored the report. Ferguson writes about the Brown vs. EMA Supreme Court Case, which supported the striking down of a California law intended to ban the sale of certain violent video games to children who did not have parental supervision. The court ruled that video games were protected with other forms of media as free speech under the First Amendment.

"Although video game violence research has always been inconsistent and often limited by significant flaws," Ferguson writes in a press release, "this report notes how moral panics regarding mass homicides and historical patterns of culture war drove politicians, activists and some scholars to make extreme statements about the 'harmfulness' of violent games that could not be supported by the actual data."

Ferguson said that though his report was written before the Sandy Hook shootings, his work still "highlights the risks" of politicizing research, which can lead to "possible compromising in the scientific process."

Ferguson's full report is available here. Following the Sandy Hook shootings, Ferguson warned against the dangers of game burning in response to the tragedy.

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