Excess Correlation Linked To Claims Of Causation Without Proof
from the correlation-and-causation dept
Over on Dr. Sanjay Gupta's CNN blog, there's a report claiming that excess gaming is linked to depression and bad grades, with the report clearly suggesting that those "addicted" to gaming get depressed and do poorly. It even trots out the old silly argument about making "video game addiction" an official disorder. But, of course, the study is really only showing a correlation between these things, rather than any sort of causal relationship. One could just as plausibly argue that depressed kids choose to deal with or mask their depression by playing more video games. But, I guess headlines that say "depression causes kids to play more video games" isn't as catchy as assuming it's the other way around. Those who have worked with compulsive video gamers have found that there's almost always a separate cause, and treating the problem as "video game addiction," rather than figuring out why the person wants to play so much, tends not to work.