Christopher J. Ferguson

Christopher J. Ferguson is a professor of psychology at Stetson University. His work has spanned topics related to violent video game effects, social media and youth mental health, and race, policing and violent crime. Many of his research projects have examined evidence for and against societal moral panics.

Chris is perhaps best known for his work on video game effects, most of which have called into question whether video game playing has any influence on violence in society or mental health. He has testified on this issue several times at the national level for panels under the Obama and Trump administrations. This work has, more recently, extended to concerns regarding social media. Once again, evidence to connect social media to issues such as teen suicide appears to be thin, whereas teen suicide appears to be part of a larger phenomenon of adult suicide and general pessimism and polarization in society.

Following the protests and riots over George Floyd's murder in 2020, Chris began investigating data related to race, policing, and violent crime. His research has indicated that, contrary to many popular beliefs, class and mental health issues, not race, predict both police misconduct and violent crime. Similarly, sentencing of offenders in the criminal justice system in the US appears to be more racially egalitarian than many people believe.

Chris has published several books related to psychology including Moral Combat: Why the War on Violent Video Games is Wrong; How Madness Shaped History and Catastrophe! The Psychology of how Good People Make Bad Situations Worse. He also has several novels including the mystery novel Suicide Kings and the fantasy novel Fury. His work has also been published in outlets ranging from the New York Times to Newsweek to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Engagement as an HxA Member:
Presented at HxA Virtual Event, Summit, or Conference
Published on HxA: The Blog
Guest on HxA Podcast
HxA Writers Group Member or Veteran
Active Member of an HxCommunity
Active Member of an HxA Campus Community
Faculty Fellow at HxA Center for Academic Pluralism
Speaker's Title and Institutional/Organizational Affiliation: Professor of Psychology/Stetson University
Event Type :
Fireside Chat
Book Talk
Constitution Day Event
Classroom Visit
Debate, Forum, or HxConversation
Speaking Topics - List up to 5 specific topics or titles, each separated by a semicolon: Free speech; Video games; Social Media; Race and Policing; Violent Crime
Blackout Dates (Dates speaker is unavailable, Date/Month/Year): variable
Distance Willing to Travel: Any/No Limits to Travel Radius
Scholarly Area: Social Sciences
Modality of Event : In Person and/or Virtual
Willingness to be recorded: Willing
Speaking Fee (Not including travel/lodging expenses): $0-$5,000 USD
Recent Appearance (1 of 5) -title, host institution, year: "Who Wants to Bully Others Online?" FIRE Academic Conference, 2023
Recent Appearance (2 of 5) -title, host institution, year: "Lies My Intro Psychology Textbook Told Me: Why Much That We Learn About Psychology is Wrong" Valencia College, 2023
Recent Appearance (3 of 5) -title, host institution, year: "Video Gaming, Violence and Addiction: A Research Update" Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy
Recent Appearance (4 of 5) -title, host institution, year: "Is Social Media Destroying the World?!!!" TedX, 2023
Recent Appearance (5 of 5) -title, host institution, year: "Are Orcs Racist? Fostering Dialogue on Representation in Fantasy Without Creating Another Moral Panic" Megacon, 2023
Link to Speaker's Professional Website (to include sample writings and more extensive bio):