Friday, January 11, 2013

A Dangerous Mindset

From the New York Times:

“I don’t let games like Call of Duty in my house,” Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey said this week on MSNBC. “You cannot tell me that a kid sitting in a basement for hours playing Call of Duty and killing people over and over and over again does not desensitize that child to the real-life effects of violence.”

Well, technically Governor, I could tell you that...

...but apparently you wouldn't be able to listen.

Does observing and participating in virtual acts of violence make one more likely to participate in real acts of violence?

This is a scientifically tractable question, one that has indeed seen its fair share of research (wikipedia).  And therefore, I'd hope that the Governor, any of our elected officials, and all the rest of us would therefore be able to examine that research on its merits and let its findings influence our opinions.

Instead, Governor Christie is succumbing to a dangerous mindset:  I-feel-something-is-true-therefore-you-can't-convince-me-otherwise!

Let's hope most people don't think this way.

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