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Unformatted text preview: en playing violent video games and increased likelihood of engaging
in aggression. The experimental studies demonstrate that in the short term, violent video games Anderson, Berkowitz, Donnerstein, Huesmann, Johnson, Linz, Malamuth, & Wartella 38 cause increases in aggressive thoughts, affect, and behavior; increases in physiological arousal; and
decreases in helpful behavior. The cross-sectional studies link repeated exposure to violent video
games wotj aggressive and violent behavior in the real world. The longitudinal studies further
suggest long-term effects of repeated exposure to violent video games on aggression and violence.
Studies of Internet Participation
The basic theoretical principles concerning the effects of exposure to media violence should be
applicable to Internet media. To date, there are no published studies that address how exposure to
Web-based media violence affects aggressive and violent behavior, attitudes, beliefs, and emotions.
However, because of the visual and interactive nature of Web material, we expect the effects to be
very similar to those of other visual and interactive media. The Web materials with violence tend to
be video games, film clips, and music videos, and there is no reason to believe that delivering these
materials into the home via the Internet, rather than through other media, would reduce their
Meta-Analyses Combined Across Media Type
Five major meta-analyses of general effects of media violence have been published in the past
20 years (Anderson & Bushman, 2002c; Bushman & Anderson, 2001; Hearold, 1986; Paik &
Comstock, 1994; Wood et al., 1991). The most recent one (Anderson & Bushman, 2002c, based on
data collected and reported in Bushman & Anderson, 2001) examined all published reports of
effects of media violence on aggression through the year 2000. A restrictive definition of
aggression (i.e., behavior intended to harm another person) was used to ensure the validity and
integrity of the results. The studies included in the analysis covered all types of media: television,
movies, comic books, music, and video games. By far the most frequent type of media violence
investigated was the violence in TV and movies, although the growing video-game literature
contributed a fair number of tests as well. More modern meta-analytic procedures were used than in
some earlier meta-analyses of media-violence effects, such as averaging multiple effect sizes when Media Violence 39 a study reported effects for more than one measure of aggression, so that each group of participants
was represented in the meta-analysis only once. These modifications resulted in somewhat lower
numbers of “studies” of media-violence effects than reported by Paik and Comstock, but the basic
conclusions of all of these meta-analyses are essentially the same.
Figure 2 presents Anderson and Bushman's (2003c) results broken down into four separate
categories: cross-sectional studies, longitudinal studies, field experiments, and laboratory
experiments. The figure shows considerable convergence in results across methods: All four kinds
of studies demonstrate highly reliable effects of media violence on aggression. The average effect
sizes obtained were .17 for 42 longitudinal studies involving 4,975 participants, .18 for 86 crosssectional studies involving 37,341 participants, .19 for 28 field experiments involving 1,976
participants, and .23 for 124 laboratory experiments involving 7,305 participants. These results
differ substantially from Paik and Comstock's (1994) results primarily in that the average effect
size for experiments is considerably lower in the more recent analysis (.23 compared with .38),
perhaps because of the more conservative methodology employed in the later analysis.
Summary of Empirical Research
As this review of the empirical research has shown, exposure to media violence has a
statistically significant association with aggression and violence among youth. The findings are
generally consistent across media type and research methodology. The experimental research
clearly demonstrates that exposure to media violence heightens the chances that a youth will
behave aggressively and have aggressive thoughts in the short run. The cross-sectional surveys
consistently indicate that the more frequently youth are exposed to media violence, the greater is
the likelihood they will behave aggressively and have aggressive thoughts. The longitudinal
research consistently shows that exposure to media violence in childhood is a predictor of
subsequent aggression in adolescence and young adulthood even when many other possible
influences are statistically controlled. Furthermore, there is evidence that habitual exposure even in Anderson, Berkowitz, Donnerstein, Huesmann, Johnson, Linz, Malamuth, & Wartella 40 late adolescence and early adulthood produces similar increases in aggression and violence in later
years. Although the sizes of these effects are in the range that statisticians call small to medium, the
effects are generally of the same magnitude as many other effects that are considered important
public-health threats (e.g., cigarette smoking, exposure to asbestos; Bushman & Huesmann, 2001).
One reason these empirical results have been increasingly accepted by the scientific community
over the 30 years since the first Surgeon General's report on media violence is the growing
understanding of th...
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This note was uploaded on 04/14/2013 for the course ELECTRICAL 205 taught by Professor Tom during the Spring '13 term at American University in Cairo.
- Spring '13
- The Land