ABC News Polling Guru Slams NIMF Game Addiction Data

April 22, 2009 -

On Monday Prof. Douglas Gentile of Iowa State University in conjunction with the National Institute on Media and the Family released the results of a new study which suggested that one in twelve 8-18 year-olds displayed symptoms of video game addiction.

As GamePolitics reported, the methodology behind the ISA/NIMF research was almost immediately called into question by Harvard's Dr. Cheryl Olson, co-author of Grand Theft Childhood and Oregon psychiatrist Dr. Jerald Block, an expert of the topic of video game addiction.

A report today by ABC News polling director Gary Langer (left) goes a step further, questioning Gentile's study for its claim of being "nationally representative within 3% [margin of error]."

Writing for his The Numbers blog, Langer explains:

The problem: This study was conducted among members of an opt-in online panel – individuals who sign up to click through questionnaires on the internet in exchange for points redeemable for cash and gifts. There are multiple methodological challenges with these things... but the most basic – and I think least arguable – is that they’re based on a self-selected “convenience sample,” rather than a probability sample. And you need a probability sample to compute sampling error...

This is far from an inconsequential issue. The public discourse is well-informed by quality data; it can be misinformed or even disinformed by other data. It is challenging – but essential – for us to differentiate.

Langer also heard from the study's author who admitted the mistake in calculating a margin of error:

Prof. Gentile got back to me... He said he was unaware the data in his study came from a convenience sample... and that, relying on his own background in market research, he’d gone ahead and calculated an error margin for it. “I missed that when I was writing this up. That is an error then on my part.”


Comments

Re: ABC News Polling Guru Slams NIMF Game Addiction Data

 It seems to me that more and more these "studies" that are conducted about video games are so rushed or poorly executed. I mean almost every video game study I have read about is called out on for some procedural error or even just for being completely biased. I am all for testing for this particular thing and if there is an issue to find regarding video games, so be it. But trying to bust my hobby so hard that you start grasping for evidence is getting a bit annoying. I mean really, "This study was conducted among members of an opt-in online panel – individuals who sign up to click through questionnaires on the internet in exchange for points redeemable for cash and gifts." I am no psychologist but this seems like one of the most unreliable sources for information one could find.

As I said, if there is a real problem to be found in gaming that is fine by me. But it is just insulting for gaming to be considered bad on the grounds of some half-assed test that proves next to nothing.  

Re: ABC News Polling Guru Slams NIMF Game Addiction Data

Wow...I wish that there was someone who would call out Dr Phill for his mistakes, like he is a TV Psychologist and every person on that show in the audience looks like they completely believe what Dr Phill is saying even if he is BSing.

 

If only we had people on Fox News asking the crew if their information was correct for every sensationalist news report.

 

But sadly that does not happen on TV because the people behind the camera manipulate things if they are pre-recorded, so therefore the people behind the camera can eddit the things that may doubt their credability.

 

But it is nice to see someone from the ABC news calling out the study for it's flaws. People need to hear two sides of the story including with someone neutral who has a close examine of the data and information and seeing how they both contradict against eachother.

 

TBoneTony

Re: ABC News Polling Guru Slams NIMF Game Addiction Data

Yeah, I'm sure he was "unaware" except that I'm pretty sure I remember him pulling the same crap in the past.

Re: ABC News Polling Guru Slams NIMF Game Addiction Data

 

 

He said he was unaware the data in his study came from a convenience sample...

What kind of a professor that doesn't know where the data come from.  Somebody revoked his license to be a professor.  He just violated his ethics.  Also NIMF should be arrested for false information (if that is a criminal offense).

The problem: This study was conducted among members of an opt-in online panel – individuals who sign up to click through questionnaires on the internet in exchange for points redeemable for cash and gifts.

Nice for this guy to point out.  Oh we should add Bribery on NIMF's crimes along with false information.  Answer the questionnaires and get points for cash and gifts.  You know, I bet the questionaires had if you answer and get the right answers you'll get money and you can spend it all.  Yeah, that's bribery.

 

I'm glad Langer managed to answer those question.  Now we can get true justice for gamers everywhere.

 

mikedo2007

Re: ABC News Polling Guru Slams NIMF Game Addiction Data

It's not a "legal" matter you can arrest someone for (and folks aren't licensed to be a professor).  I'd guess this is a mistake, not a deliberate malfeasance...more boneheadedness.  Still I'm curious if anyone is going to inform the editor of the journal, Psychological Science.  It WOULD be ethical for them to make some kind of correction at the very least.  I think that's the only real fix needed...but yes, leaving it as is, deliberately, with false information could certainly be construed as unethical.

Re: ABC News Polling Guru Slams NIMF Game Addiction Data

Hang on, am I misunderstanding this or is a psychological study being conducted by someone who does market research??

How are these things connected? One calls for in depth examination of human responses to stimuli and the other counts how many bars of soap were sold after they changed the logo.

What am I missing?

Re: ABC News Polling Guru Slams NIMF Game Addiction Data

John Watson the founder of Behaviorism psychology went into advertisement after he left acadamics.  Alot of the the principles of psychology can be applied to marketing.

Re: ABC News Polling Guru Slams NIMF Game Addiction Data

Geezus...this kind of crap is just embarassing for social scientists...what is sad is that this is probably very common, not just in video game research, but in social science research everywhere.  He got called out on it, but I wonder how many articles slip by, remain influential, without ever being corrected.  I wonder even if this one will be corrected or if it will be allowed to be published as is with the claims that it is a "nationally representative" sample.

Re: ABC News Polling Guru Slams NIMF Game Addiction Data

Won't someone please think of the children!

Re: ABC News Polling Guru Slams NIMF Game Addiction Data

What I don't get is why the ISA and NIMF feels the need to be so deceptive. I mean, on paper, their goals are actually pretty noble... I mean the NIMF is supposed to be a parental advisory for cripes sake...

So why the blown studies? Why the villifications? Are they just lazy, or are they actually trying to slander an entire medium?

Re: ABC News Polling Guru Slams NIMF Game Addiction Data

 At least he admitted a mistake. 

Re: ABC News Polling Guru Slams NIMF Game Addiction Data

AFTER being called out on it.

--------------------------------------------------

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: ABC News Polling Guru Slams NIMF Game Addiction Data

 It's a start. 

Re: ABC News Polling Guru Slams NIMF Game Addiction Data

Well...he admitted it on some reasonably obscure blog (with no offense intended) which will be quickly forgotten.  My question is whether he'll correct it as an addendum in the actual publication...if not generations of psychologists reading this will believe, incorrectly, that this was a "nationally representitive sample" when it is not. 

Re: ABC News Polling Guru Slams NIMF Game Addiction Data

Finally someone the news media calling bullshit on a bs game study.

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: ABC News Polling Guru Slams NIMF Game Addiction Data

Liberal/non-american media seems to be on video games side sometimes. We will never see this on a program like Fox News.

Re: ABC News Polling Guru Slams NIMF Game Addiction Data

Political/ideological leanings aside I wouldn't expect much from Fox anyway. Didn't they fire two reporters from one of their local stations for refusing to include false information in a report about RBGH?
---
I'm not under the affluence of incohol as some thinkle peep I am. I'm not half as thunk as you might drink. I fool so feelish I don't know who is me, and the drunker I stand here, the longer I get.


---
I'm not under the affluence of incohol as some thinkle peep I am. I'm not half as thunk as you might drink. I fool so feelish I don't know who is me, and the drunker I stand here, the longer I get.

Re: ABC News Polling Guru Slams NIMF Game Addiction Data

Wow, they're catching hell left and right for this. Nice to see such people being called out on it for a change.

Re: ABC News Polling Guru Slams NIMF Game Addiction Data

At least it was pointed out. Gamers are getting the benefit of the doubt, which is nice really. Sometimes I see the headlines on GP and forget what that's like. =P

Re: ABC News Polling Guru Slams NIMF Game Addiction Data

"he was unaware the data in his study came from a convenience sample"

How could he not ****ing know? How can you conduct a study and not know where your data is coming from?

Re: ABC News Polling Guru Slams NIMF Game Addiction Data

He wasn't 'unaware'.  It's likely that he was contracted to do this research by NIMF, and then told what result they wanted.  He then went and obtained it, and now he's trying to cover his ass.

This smacks of a lack of professionalism and makes us all look bad.

Re: ABC News Polling Guru Slams NIMF Game Addiction Data

Exactly.  The guy is a shill.

Re: ABC News Polling Guru Slams NIMF Game Addiction Data

According to the guy's website, he is planning to publish this increasingly smelly pile of expletive.  I worry about any journal that would carry this 'study'....

Re: ABC News Polling Guru Slams NIMF Game Addiction Data

Apparently he never took a 'Research Methods' class?

Re: ABC News Polling Guru Slams NIMF Game Addiction Data

That was my thought exactly. Either he knew where the data came from and he went ahead and did his thing knowing that it was inaccurate, or he was given just the data and did his thing without questioning the source of the data.

Bad either way.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: ABC News Polling Guru Slams NIMF Game Addiction Data

So, he's either a deceiptful ass, or an incompitent one. What a reliable source of information.

Re: ABC News Polling Guru Slams NIMF Game Addiction Data

FOOOOOX NEEEEWSSS

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Poll

Will the FCC preempt state laws that limit municipal broadband services?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
PHX CorpI'm going to do a test stream later today, if anyone is intrested07/31/2014 - 2:40pm
Andrew EisenYes, I'm such a big Nintendo dork that I read Nintendo's quarterly financial reports.07/31/2014 - 2:09pm
Andrew EisenCool tidbit - Mario Kart 8 sales account for more than half of total Wii U software sales for the last quarter even though it was only available for the last third.07/31/2014 - 2:09pm
Andrew EisenStill a pretty cool promotion. Unfortunately for me, I'm not interested in purchasing Mario Kart 8 and I already owned or didn't want any of the free games on offer.07/31/2014 - 1:43pm
Andrew EisenInteresting that EU had 10 games to choose from while North America only had four.07/31/2014 - 1:41pm
MaskedPixelanteIt certainly worked, I probably would never have bought Mario Kart 8 if it didn't come with a free copy of Wind Waker HD.07/31/2014 - 1:14pm
Andrew EisenI imagine will see similar promotions like "Buy Mario Kart 8 get a download code for one of these specific games" but almost certainly not for all of its (however you would define) biggest releases.07/31/2014 - 11:24am
MaskedPixelanteI wonder if Nintendo is going to be doing "buy one get one free" promos for all their biggest releases going forward.07/31/2014 - 10:48am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/special-report-retail-revolt-over-pc-code-strippers/013614007/31/2014 - 8:27am
ZippyDSMleeWouldn't they be able to afford and get done in a timely manner a general gba emluator for the 3DS? It seems to me if they want to make money off sales they need to do it.07/31/2014 - 7:25am
Sora-ChanAmbassador program, that's what I was looking for. Anyway the other games that have been made no longer exclusive to the early adopters got updates in their software. It'll only be a matter of time more than likely for the GBA to get the same treatment.07/31/2014 - 5:35am
Sora-ChanI might be naming it incorrectly when I say "founder" i mean the program for earlier adopters.07/31/2014 - 5:34am
Sora-Chanthe 3DS's GBA emulator was a rush job due to the founder program. No other GBA titles have been released on the 3DS yet. If/When they do get around to it, they'll more than likely update the emulation software.07/31/2014 - 5:32am
Zenemulator...it's not just a slap job that makes "some" work..they do it for each which is why they work so well. I would rather have the quality over just a slap job.07/30/2014 - 5:48pm
ZenMatthew there is a difference between "worked" and "accurate". You play the Nintendo VC titles they play as damn close to the original as possible. The PSP would just run them as best they could, issues and all. And Masked...EACH VC title has their own07/30/2014 - 5:48pm
MaskedPixelanteOnce again, the 3DS already HAS a GBA emulator, it just can't run at the same time as the 3DS OS.07/30/2014 - 4:54pm
Matthew Wilsonyou cant street pass in ds mode ether, and if moders can make a gba emulator that runs very well on the psp as I understand it. you are telling me that Nintendo devs are not as good as moders?07/30/2014 - 4:49pm
Zenperformance. Halo 1 and 2 worked great because they actually did custom work on each of them...just like Nintendo does now lol07/30/2014 - 4:08pm
Zenexisting hardware while the GBA has to be emulated completely. Same reason the 360 couldn't run most Original Xbox games correctly, or had issues because they just did "blanket approach" for their emulation which led to game killing bugs or horrible07/30/2014 - 4:07pm
ZenSora/Matthew: It's not just Miiverse, but the whole idea of streetpass and things like that would be affected if the OS is not running. And just because a 3DS game can be downloaded and run does not mean that GBA can as easily. Those 3DS games use the07/30/2014 - 4:06pm
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician