Violent Video Games
The studies I have found that are not inconclusive, I find to have unanswered questions and missing variables. Multiple professors have studied the effects of video games in the last few years. While researching this subject, I came across two separate groups of researchers time after time. The first group consists of Craig A. Anderson and Brad J. Bushman with other professors input throughout the study. Anderson and Bushman insist that violent video games lead to violent and aggressive behavior in youth (Bushman & Anderson, 2002. ) The opposing group of Christopher J.
Ferguson and Cheryl K. Olson, again with input from other professors in the study, argues that video games are not the cause of delinquency in youth (Ferguson et al. 2010. ) Anderson and Bushman have worked together on several studies and clam that violent behavior and violent video games go hand in hand. In the first article I read, “Violent Video Games and Hostile Expectations: A Test of the General Aggression Model” by Brad J.
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Bushman and Craig A. Anderson. This study was conducted by having college students from a psychology course play the violent video games for twenty minutes.
Once the twenty minutes of play concluded, the students were asked to complete an essay about “What Happens Next? ” The participants were instructed to list 20 possibilities of what happened next to the main character in the story (Bushman & Anderson, 2002. ) Bushman and Anderson then measured the participant’s responses for aggression using the essays they finished (2002). I have a problem with this theory of measurement because there are too many variables. Did Anderson and Bushman only choose the aggressive answers to help prove their hypothesis? Why not have two or three possibilities?
Given so many possibilities to end a story line, people are likely to randomly write anything down. Did the students become bored with the story line? These are all questions that need to be answered before I can agree with the way they measured this study. Anderson and Bushman then concluded that people who play video games are generally aggressive after exposure to violent video games (Bushman & Anderson, 2002. ) Another issue I have with this study is how the participants were chosen. In this study, they gave participants extra credit in the psychology course for their participation in the study (Bushman & Anderson, 2002. I believe the act of giving extra credit for participation in a study of college students causes the study to be questioned for completeness and honesty. As a college student myself, I would participate in just about anything to get extra credit. In addition, there was no test preformed on the students prior to playing the violent video games to see if the students were already aggressive. There is no background information on the students in this study. The fact that there are many unknown variables in this study leads me to disagree with their findings. On the other side of the spectrum Christopher J Ferguson, Cheryl K.
Olson, Lawrence A. Kutner, and Dorothy E. Warner argue that it is not violent video games alone that cause aggression and delinquent behavior in youth (Ferguson, et al. 2010) In the study “Violent Video Games Catharsis Seeking, Bullying, and Delinquency: A Multivariate Analysis of Effects”, they set out to prove that relevant third variables: family environment, stress, extracurricular activities, and perceived support from peers and family and trait aggression, coupled with violent video games has a larger effect on aggression than just video games alone (Ferguson, et al. 2010. Ferguson used students from two middle schools in mid-Atlantic region of the United States (Ferguson, et al. 2010. ) All students in the seventh- and eighth-grade where invited to participate, excluding the children that had cognitive impairments and English-language difficulties (Ferguson, et al. 2010. ) They gave the children surveys to obtain the information for this study. The surveys asked about trait aggression, parental involvement, support from others, stress, extracurricular activity involvement, video game violence exposure, delinquency, bullying, aggression when angry, and catharsis.
Teacher and parents were not involved in the survey process of this study (Ferguson et al. 2010. ) From my point of view, this method helped to take out a number of variables such as unknown preexisting conditions, discrimination, and they did not receive “extra credit” for participating in this study. After putting, all the data together Ferguson and associates concluded that the hypotheses made is supported. Video game violence had no effect on delinquency and physical aggression (Ferguson, et al. 010. ) The only things that predicted delinquency were trait aggression and the amount of stress the children had experienced recently (Ferguson, et al. 20101. ) “Results of the present study do not support the common social belief that violent video game exposure constitutes a significant health risk for the general population of minors” (Ferguson, et al. 2010. ) I support this study because it does not leave many variables to question.
Therefore, my belief is that violent video games alone do not cause violent and aggressive behaviors in the majority of minors. The games may affect a small number of children but at large, they have little to no real-life effects on the youth of America. So many other factors need to go along with violent video games to say definitely, if the game is the only object to blame. Many studies have been performed with the out-come of inconstant results. It is my belief that it video games affect each person differently and should be treated as such.