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Unformatted text preview: d sexual activity. Still other studies
have obtained correlations betweens music preferences and a variety of maladaptive behaviors. But
these studies have not specifically linked lyric preferences to those behaviors.
Summary of Studies of Exposure to Music Videos and Lyrics
The experimental studies provide substantial evidence that watching violent music videos
creates attitudes and beliefs that are relatively accepting of violence in young viewers, at least in
the short term. The cross-sectional studies also link violent music videos to more long-term
maladaptive attitudes and beliefs in youth, but provide no direct evidence on the reasons for this
connection. Studies of music lyrics without video show less consistency, perhaps because of the
methodological problems mentioned earlier. However, the better controlled experiments suggest
that understandable violent lyrics can increase aggressive thinking and affect. There are no
published longitudinal studies of the effects of violent music videos or violent lyrics without video.
Such studies are clearly needed before a definitive conclusion about long-term effects of exposure
to violent music videos and lyrics can be reached. Anderson, Berkowitz, Donnerstein, Huesmann, Johnson, Linz, Malamuth, & Wartella 34 Studies of Video Games
Violent video games have recently surpassed violent music videos and even violent TV as a
matter of concern to parents and policymakers. There are several reasons for this. First, children are
spending an increasingly large amount of time playing video games. Second, a large portion of
these games contain violence. Third, because the children playing these games are active
participants rather than observers, they may be at increased risk of becoming aggressive
themselves. The impact of exposure to violent video games has not been studied as extensively as
the impact of exposure to TV or movie violence; however, on the whole, the results reported for
video games to date are very similar to those obtained in the investigations of TV and movie
violence (Anderson & Bushman, 2001; Anderson et al., in press).
In several studies, children were randomly assigned to play violent or nonviolent video games
and then were observed when given an opportunity to be aggressive. Most of these studies found
that the violent game significantly increased youths’ aggressive behavior. For example, Irwin and
Gross (1995) assessed physical aggression (e.g., hitting, shoving, pinching, pulling at clothes or
hair, kicking) between boys who had just played either a violent or a nonviolent video game. Those
who had played the violent video game were more physically aggressive toward peers. The average
effect size (r) across six measures of physical aggression was .31. Also, several randomized
experiments measured college students’ propensity to be physically aggressive (by delivering a
mild shock or unpleasantly loud noise to someone who had provoked them) after they had played
(or not played) a violent video game. For example, Bartholow and Anderson (2002) found that
college students who had played a violent game subsequently delivered more than two and a half
times as many high-intensity punishments as those who played a nonviolent video game. The effect
of the violent game was significant for both women (r = .50) and men (r = .57).
A number of randomized experiments have examined the effects of violent video games on Media Violence 35 aggressive thoughts, emotions, and physiological arousal. For example, Calvert and Tan (1994) had
participants play the violent virtual reality game Dactyl Nightmare or engage in movements similar
to those of Dactyl Nightmare players, and then used a procedure in which participants listed their
thoughts to assess aggressive cognitions. The participants who had played the violent game
generated significantly more aggressive thoughts than those who had simply mimicked its
movements (r = .50). Other studies have found similar effects using a wide array of measures to
assess aggressive thinking, including time taken to read aggressive and nonaggressive words
(Anderson & Dill, 2000), aggressive content of written stories (Bushman & Anderson, 2002), and
hostile explanations for hypothetical unpleasant interpersonal events (Kirsh, 1998).
Several randomized experiments have tested the effects of video games specifically selected to
differ in violent content but not in arousal or affective properties. For example, Anderson et al. (in
press) tested the effects of 10 video games on physiological arousal and several affect-relevant
dimensions, including frustration, difficulty, and enjoyment (Experiment 1), and then selected two
games that were similar on these measures but different in violent content. In two subsequent
experiments, the violent game significantly increased aggressive behavior relative to the nonviolent
game (rs = .25 and .19), demonstrating that the effects of violent video games on aggression are
independent of the games' effects on arousal or affect.
Several survey studies...
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- Spring '13
- The Land