causative links between popular culture and harmful cognition/behaviour
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[archiving a member's comments from FB]

on the subject of studies showing causative links between popular culture and harmful cognition/behaviour. One thing to note is that psychology does not easily lend itself to empiricism. These posts and videos at the Modern Psychologist blog explain it better than I can:
http://modernpsychologist.ca/psychologys...hilosophy/
http://modernpsychologist.ca/psychology-...-thinking/

So the use of REASON is critical in psychology, and personally I think it is reasonable to assume that popular culture has a causative effect in shaping our brains in harmful ways. (There does seem to be empirical research also - e.g. this well-cited meta-analysis on videogames violence:
http://pss.sagepub.com/content/12/5/353.short.)

Also worth reading is this page on embodied/embedded cognition - "a growing research program in cognitive science that emphasizes the formative role the environment plays in the development of cognitive processes. The general theory contends that cognitive processes develop when a tightly coupled system emerges from real-time, goal-directed interactions between organisms and their environment; the nature of these interactions influences the formation and further specifies the nature of the developing cognitive capacities." We're used to thinking of our brains as isolated and innate and inevitable; we don't stop to consider that our environment *itself* can wire our cognition.

http://www.iep.utm.edu/embodcog/
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