Effect of computer games on aggression


AO1 - experimental study

One experimental study was used to study the effects of computer games on aggression by Bushman & Anderson: 

M: 224 PPTS split into 2 groups - 112 played a violent video game & the other 112 played a nonviolent video game, then read an ambiguous story & were asked what the main character will do/say/think. 

R: people who played a violent video game described the main character as behaving more aggressively, thinking more aggressive thoughts, and feeling angrier than did people who played a nonviolent video game.

C: violent video games can increase an individual's aggression.

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AO3 - high generalisability & low ecological valid

High generalisability:  large sample was used that consisted of 224 participants - males & females. 112 played a violent video game for 4-5 hours & 112 played a non-violent video game for 4-5 hours. This is important when studying aggression as it’s easier to generalise the findings (people playing violent video games tend to have more aggressive thoughts & behaviours)  of the study to a wider population, especially those who do play & engage with violent video games.

Low ecological validity:  the method only asked people what characters should say/do, meaning that the study did not test if people would actually carry out an aggressive act in real life. The consequence of this is that experiments such as these do not conclusively show how computer games cause real-life aggression

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AO1 - Craig Anderson (meta-analysis)

Craig Anderson et al performed a meta-analysis of 136 studies which included experimental studies, correlational studies and longitudinal studies.

They found that exposure to violent computer games was associated with increased aggressive behaviours, thoughts and feelings.

This finding was true for both males and females and across collectivist &  individualistic cultures. The researchers claim that the effect of violent games on aggressive behaviour is greater than the effect of second-hand smoke on cancer.

The analysis showed no indication that publication bias influences the results.

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AO3 - high concurrent validity

One strength of this meta-analysis is that it has high concurrent validityThis is because different methods such as experiments, correlation & longitudinal studies were used and they all give the same conclusions. Therefore, is conclusive that there's a strong link between computer games and aggression.

Although the original experiment discussed had high generalisability, a meta-analysis like this surpasses experiments on this standard.

This is because it isn't limited by cultural relativism (the idea that norms & values, including ethics & moral standards, can only be meaningful & understood within specific social & cultural contexts.) because the findings (exposure to violent computer games was associated with increased aggressive behaviours, thoughts and feelings) were true across both individualist cultures and collectivist cultures.

Therefore, this means that the meta-analysis is strengthened due to universality as the findings can be applied to everyone regardless of culture.

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Thanks for info



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