Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Postscript to the preceding

I wish to repeat something I said earlier:

Really the upshot to me is that if this line of research is worth bringing back, it needs to be done by individuals who are truly independent of Anderson, Bushman, and that particular cohort of aggression researchers. Nothing personal, but this is a badly politicized area of research and we need investigators who can view this work from a fresh perspective as they design experiments. I also hope that some large sample and multi-lab experiments are run in an attempt to replicate the old Berkowitz and LePage experiment, even if the replications are more of a conceptual nature. Those findings will be what guide me as an educator going forward. If those findings conclude that there really is not an effect, then I think we can pretty well abandon this notion once and for all. If on the other hand the findings appear to show that the weapons effect is viable, we can face another set of questions - including how meaningful that body of research is in everyday life. One conclusion I can already anticipate is that any behavioral outcomes used are mild in comparison to everyday aggression, and more importantly to violent behavior. I would not take any positive findings and recommend jumping to conclusions regarding the risk of gun violence, for example - and that jumping to such conclusions would needlessly politicize the research. That would turn me off further.

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