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Advocates condemn psych techniques used to keep kids online

August 8, 2018

CHICAGO (AP) — Children’s advocates want the American Psychological Association to condemn the tech industry’s practice of using persuasive psychological techniques to keep kids glued to their screens.

They say it’s unethical for psychologists to be involved in tactics that risk harming kids’ well-being. They cite research linking excessive use of social media and video games with depression and academic troubles.

Sixty U.S. psychologists, researchers and children’s advocates raised concerns in a letter Wednesday to the American Psychological Association. It coincides with the association’s annual meeting in San Francisco.

Skeptics say that research is inconclusive and note that psychologists have been long been involved in other industry marketing.

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