Last updated on: 1/20/2010 | Author: ProCon.org

Cheryl K. Olson, ScD Biography

Title:
Co-director of the Harvard Medical School Center for Mental Health and Media
Position:
Con to the question "Do Violent Video Games Contribute to Youth Violence?"
Reasoning:

“It’s clear that the ‘big fears’ bandied about in the press – that violent video games make children significantly more violent in the real world; that children engage in the illegal, immoral, sexist and violent acts they see in some of these games – are not supported by the current research, at least in such a simplistic form. That should make sense to anyone who thinks about it. After all, millions of children and adults play these games, yet the world has not been reduced to chaos and anarchy.”

Cowritten with Lawrence Kutner, PhD, Grand Theft Childhood: The Surprising Truth about Violent Video Games, Apr. 15, 2008

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
Experts
Individuals with PhDs, MDs, or equivalent advanced degrees in fields relevant to violence and video games. Also top-level government officials (such as foreign leaders, US presidents, Founding Fathers, Supreme Court Justices, members of legislative bodies, cabinet members, military leaders, etc.) with positions relevant to media violence and related issues.
Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Co-director, Harvard Medical School Center for Mental Health and Media
  • Vice President, Health Communication Consultants, Inc.
  • Faculty, Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
  • Assistant Clinical Professor, Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Consultant, Hoffmann-La Roche
  • Ghostwritter of two New York Times best-selling health books
  • Award-winning video producer
  • Led a two-year, $1.5 million research project to study teens and video and computer games that was funded by the US Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
  • Columnist, Parents magazine
Education:
  • Postdoctoral European Certificate, Pharmaceutical Medicine, University of Basel (Switzerland)
  • ScD (Doctor of Science), Harvard School of Public Health, 1995
  • MPH, Community Health Education, University of Minnesota, 1986
  • BA, Communications, University of Minnesota
Other:
  • Has a teenage son who plays video games
  • Married to co-author Lawrence Kutner, PhD
Quoted in:
Pro & Con Quotes: Do Violent Video Games Contribute to Youth Violence?