The Effects of Violent Video Games on Aggressive Behavior

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In recent years, technological advances have introduced many new forms of entertainment, one of the most popular being video games. Since their introduction, professionals and parents have become concerned with the addictive power that video games can have on people, particularly children and adolescents. Today, concern has shifted from the addictive effects of video game playing to the possible effects that they have on players’ aggression levels. As defining aggression as any thoughts or behaviors related with the intention to cause harm. Many scholars have been researching videogames' effects on children. The most popular aspect of videogame research is whether or not games increase aggression.

There are many views as to whether video game violence causes children to behave violently or aggressively. Many children play violent games because that is what most people are playing and they feel that they need to do so as well. Violence is not only in video games but also in all other forms of media. Yet, television and film studies show that aggressive adolescents are more susceptible to media violence than are non-aggressive adolescents (page 1039). However, some who play video games are entranced by the violent aggressive behaviors demonstrated in the games and may even act out behaviors learned from playing them. Now the question being the correlation between violent video games and violent aggressive behavior demonstrated by those who play these games a coincidence or do these games actually enhance these antisocial behaviors?

The study, “Violent Video Games and Hostile Expectations: A Test of the General Aggression Model.” Bushman et al (2002). Has conducted a true experimental design. The goal of this study was to design a General Aggression Model which is the social knowledge structures develop over time in learn processes, such as learning how to perceive, interpret and respond to event in physical and social environment. This model will help to determine whether exposure to media violence, in the form of video games, can temporarily create or increase aggressive behaviors. The participants were 224 undergraduate students (112 men and 112 women) enrolled in introductory psychology courses. They were randomly assigned to play either a violent or a nonviolent game for 20 minutes. After the task, the participant completed “three ambiguous story stems” (page 1681). Each of these story stems ends with the question “What happens next?” This will measure the participant expectations about the main character aggressive behavior, thoughts and feelings according to the video game. The result of this study showed that violent video game participants expected more aggressive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors from the main characters in the stories. This result supported the researchers hypothesis. One limitation was that the sample groups were only focused on undergraduate students in introductory psychology courses, there could be many confounding factor why most psychology student responded to the experiment. Another limitation of the study was that “students received course credit in exchange for their voluntary participation” (page 1681) and there could be a responders’ bias in the sample. A third weak point was “General Aggression Model” in needs of additional research to proved its validity of the design. The strongest aspect of the study was that although the General Aggression Model is difficult to qualified and analysis due to various related research groups but they did used careful measurement for the aggressive responses. Moreover, another study similar to the previous study, which also uses General Aggression Model, except Carnagey et al’s used three experiments to examined the effects of rewarding, punishing violent action in video games on aggression variables. The First experiment was to examine the effects of reward and punishment in violent video game. The second experiment was to determine whether...
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