"Do Violent Video Games Make People More Violent?"
On January 4, IPR statistician and education researcher Larry Hedges spoke about his experiences as one of seven members of an American Psychological Association (APA) task force from 2013–15 that was assembled to review the organization’s 2005 resolution on violence and violent video games. Hedges spoke about the process of reviewing the research, including the results from the task force's several reviews of more recent studies, which found exposure to violent video games leads to adverse effects for aggressive behavior, aggressive cognition, and aggressive affect, among others. However, the task force did not find enough evidence to link violent video game use to serious forms of violence. Hedges also discussed some of the important questions left unanswered by research on the topic and efforts to influence the process of adopting the 2015 resolution. Readers can find the task force's report and the adopted 2015 resolution, along with the organization's press release, here.

Beyond College Access to Success for Low-Income Students
Though more students than ever are enrolling in college, only 20 percent of those who enroll in community college manage to get a bachelor's degree. These students have options beyond traditional bachelor's programs, such as certificate and associate's degree programs, noted IPR education researcher James Rosenbaum and project coordinator Caitlin Ahearn at a recent IPR colloquium.

Government's Public Policy Iceberg
“Political scientists think of the government’s role in public policy as like an iceberg,” explained political scientist and IPR associate Chloe Thurston. “There’s the tip of the iceberg, which everyone can see—that’s Social Security, for example. Beneath the surface, though, there are a lot of public policies that are administered to citizens very indirectly,” through avenues like tax and employer incentives. When citizens are unaware of these indirect policies, they might not realize they are being excluded from them. This is where citizens' advocacy groups come in.

Online Privacy? Beware of Posts Made from Your Home Computer
In 2015, 85 percent of Facebook users accessed the social media site at least sometimes from a mobile device. As mobile devices become more pervasive, the sheer amount of personal information that people share online is also skyrocketing. Yet little is known about what this might mean for a person’s online privacy. IPR associate and communication studies researcher Eszter Hargittai and her co-author Jennifer Jiyoung Suh of the University of California, Santa Barbara address this gap in the research by investigating how a person’s privacy might be affected by the device they use for a Facebook post and the location from which they make the post. 

Infographic: Can Stricter State Penalties Reduce Underpayment of Employees?
While the debate over raising the minimum wage continues across the United States, there has been little discussion about wage theft—when employers pay their employees below the minimum wage. In a recent IPR working paper, IPR political scientist Daniel Galvin conducts a state-by-state analysis of policies surrounding wage theft, finding that stricter policies could play a role in enforcing state and federal minimum wages.

Why Do So Few Women Hold Positions of Power?
Only 19 percent of U.S. congressional members, less than 5 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs, and only two out of the current crop of 17 U.S. presidential candidates are women. Clearly, “women are profoundly underrepresented in the United States in truly high-powered roles,” said IPR psychologist Alice Eagly at a December 4 IPR policy research briefing in Chicago. Before nearly 90 attendees, Eagly, IPR economist Lori Beaman, and Brigham Young political scientist Christopher Karpowitz dove into an interdisciplinary discussion of this issue and what might be possible to ensure that more women attain—and maintain—positions of power.

For 2015 news, visit: