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Violent Video Games Effects on Aggression

Autor:   •  March 18, 2011  •  Essay  •  579 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,687 Views

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The research literature on violent video games is considerably smaller than the literature on

violent television and movies, in part because such games are a relatively recent phenomenon but

also because there has been little government funding for such research (none in the US, to date).

But as this special issue demonstrates, the pace of high quality research on violent video games is

increasing, and there is a sufficiently large research base for some clear answers to basic questions.

The first comprehensive narrative review of violent video game research found evidence that

emerging concerns were well founded, but that there were many unanswered questions (Dill &

Dill, 1998).

The first comprehensive meta-analytic review found considerably clearer support for those

concerns.Specifically, Anderson and Bushman (2001) used modern meta-analytic techniques to

combine the results of empirical studies of violent video game effects on five types of outcome

variables: aggressive behaviour, aggressive cognition, aggressive affect, helping behaviour, and

physiological arousal.They found significant effects of violent video games on each of these five

variables.Exposure to violent video games increases aggressive thoughts, feelings, and

behaviours, increases arousal, and decreases helping behaviour.There was no evidence of

moderator effects.That is, these effects appeared to be about the same for males and females, for

youths less than 18 years as well as older participants, and for experimental and correlational


One meta-analysis cannot resolve all relevant issues, of course, especially when conducted on a

relatively small and somewhat new research domain.Furthermore, the usual meta-analytic

procedure is to include every relevant study that can be found, even those with serious

methodological shortcomings.Using all studies contributes to one strength of meta-analysis,

specifically, that the results do not depend on the arbitrary (and potentially biased) decisions of

the reviewer concerning which studies to include and weight heavily (because of their



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