tear down a recent study claiming that 8.5% of children are addicted to video games, the Entertainment Software Association is joining in to lob a few PR bombs of its own. According to Gamasutra, ESA CEO Michael Gallagher responded in a letter to the Psychological Science journal, in which the study is expected to be published. Gallagher takes the same essential exception as Langer, specifically the study's claim of a 3% margin of error.
Like Langer, Gallagher points out that the sampling used was not random, but rather based on an opt-in panel that gives rewards to participants. Writes Gallagher, "such a sample is not truly representative of a national population group," adding,"Thus the results cannot be projected onto the broader population of children in this country." He notes further that the 3% margin of error is "meaningless."
Prof. Douglas Gentile has since admitted he was unaware of the sampling methodology used in the study, a fact that Gallagher says the ESA accepts at "face value." He states, "The admission is "especially ironic considering that the first words of the abstract in the article went out of its way to note the shortcomings of previous convenience studies"
Gallagher concludes by asking Psychological Science editor Dr. Robert V. Kail to make sure that any reference to Gentile's study notes its "methodological flaws," saying, "It would be unfair and misleading for a respected publication to leave on the record such knowingly mistaken information."