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mediaviolencefactsheet - Copy - Copy (2)

The overall correlation between exposure to violent

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Unformatted text preview: have measured the correlation between time spent playing violent video games and aggression. For example, Anderson and Dill (2000) created a composite measure of recent exposure to violent video games, and correlated it with college students’ self-reported acts of aggressive delinquent behavior in the past year (e.g., hitting or threatening other students, attacking someone with the idea of seriously hurting or killing him or her, participating in gang fights, throwing objects at other people). The overall correlation between exposure to violent video games and violent behavior was significant (r = .46, p < .05). The magnitude of the association decreased Anderson, Berkowitz, Donnerstein, Huesmann, Johnson, Linz, Malamuth, & Wartella 36 but remained significant when analyses controlled for antisocial personality, gender, and total time spent playing any type of video game. Similarly, Gentile, Lynch, Linder, and Walsh (in press) obtained a significant correlation between time playing violent video games and physical fights among eighth and ninth graders (r = .32). Longitudinal Surveys There are no published longitudinal surveys specifically focusing on effects of violent video games on aggression. However, two recent longitudinal studies have linked such games to increases in aggression. Slater, Henry, Swaim, and Anderson (in press) surveyed sixth- and seventh-grade students from 20 middle schools across the United States on four occasions over a 2year period. The media-violence measure included three items assessing the frequency of watching action movies, playing video games involving firing a weapon, and visiting Internet sites that describe or recommend violence. The aggressiveness measure included aggressive cognitions, values, and behavior, and thus is not a pure aggression measure. Control variables included gender, sensation seeking (a personality trait), general use of the Internet, and age. The main result was that media-violence exposure at one point in time was positively (and statistically significantly) related to aggressiveness at a later point in time even after statistically controlling for earlier aggressiveness and various other aggression-related variables. Interestingly, the longitudinal effect of aggressiveness on later use of violent media was not statistically significant. Both of these findings are similar to the longitudinal effects reported in the earlier section on television violence (i.e., the effect of exposure to violent television on later aggression is larger than the effect of early aggression on later exposure to violent television). The second longitudinal study was reported by Ihori, Sakamoto, Kobayashi, and Kimura (2003). They studied Japanese fifth and sixth graders at two points in time separated by 4 to 5 months, measuring overall video-game exposure rather than exposure to violent video games. They reported that amount of exposure to video games was positively (and significantly) related to later Media Violence 37 levels of violent physical behavior after controlling for earlier violent behavior. Neither of these two longitudinal studies has all of the desired features needed to draw strong longitudinal conclusions about effects of violent video games on aggression. Nonetheless, both are strongly suggestive. Video-Game Violence: Meta-Analysis and Summary The findings of the first comprehensive meta-analysis of violent-video-game effects (Anderson & Bushman, 2001) have recently been corroborated in a new analysis (Anderson et al., in press) that examined methodological features of the studies in greater detail. In the latest analysis, studies were divided into two categories—those without any of 10 potential methodological problems (the best-practices studies) and those that had at least one of these problems. For each of five outcome variables examined, the best-practices studies yielded a significant effect of exposure to violent video games, as can be seen in Figure 1. Specifically, such exposure was related to increases in aggressive behavior (r = .27), aggressive affect (r =.19), aggressive cognitions (i.e., aggressive thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes), (r =.27), and physiological arousal (r = .22) and was related to decreases in prosocial (helping) behavior (r = -.27). Furthermore, the best studies yielded larger effect sizes than the not-best studies, contradicting claims by representatives of the video-game industry and other critics of the video-game research literature. Finally, experimental and crosssectional studies yielded essentially similar effect sizes for all five outcome variables with one exception—there were no best-practices cross-sectional studies of arousal to compare with bestpractices experimental studies of arousal. Though the number of studies investigating the impact of violent video games is small relative to the number of television and film violence studies, there are sufficient studies with sufficient consistency (as shown by the meta-analysis results) to draw some conclusions. These studies offer support for a connection betwe...
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