Last updated on: 10/6/2014 | Author: ProCon.org

Christopher Ferguson, PhD Biography

Title:
Associate Professor and Chair of Psychology at Stetson University
Position:
Con to the question "Do Violent Video Games Contribute to Youth Violence?"
Reasoning:

“Quite simply, the research just hasn’t panned out. For one thing, even while video game sales have skyrocketed, youth violence plummeted to its lowest levels in 40 years according to government statistics. Secondly, it has been increasingly recognized that much of the early research on violent video games linking them to increased aggression was problematic: most studies used outcome measures that had nothing to do with real-life aggression and failed to control carefully for other important variables, such as family violence, mental health issues or even gender in many studies (boys both play more violent video games and are more aggressive). More recent research has not found that children who play violent video games are more violent than other kids, nor harmed in any other identifiable fashion. A recent longitudinal study of my own, following 165 10- to 14-year-old boys and girls over a three-year period, now in press with Journal of Psychiatric Research, finds no long-term link between violent video games and youth aggression or dating violence.”

“Video Games Don’t Make Kids Violent,” TIME, Dec. 7, 2011

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:
  • Associate Professor and Chair of Psychology, Stetson University, 2013-present
  • Associate Professor, Psychology, Texas A&M International University, Aug. 2005-2013
  • Assistant Professor, Psychology, University of Wisconsin
  • Recipient, Scholar of the Year award, Texas A&M International University, 2008-2009
  • Trained at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston
  • Education:
  • PhD, Clinical Psychology, University of Central Florida, 2004
  • MS, Developmental Psychology, Florida International University
  • BA, Stetson University, 1993
  • Other:
  • Author of the novel Suicide Kings
  • Recipient, Distinguished Early Career Professional Award, Media Psychology and Technology Division of the American Psychological Association, 2013
  • Interviewed by ABC News in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting, Dec. 2012
  • Quoted in:
    Pro & Con Quotes: Do Violent Video Games Contribute to Youth Violence?