Criticle Article Review: Violent Video Games

Topics: Video game controversy, Media violence research, Video game Pages: 5 (1433 words) Published: October 11, 2013

Critical Article Review
Psychology 475
Liberty University

The aim of this paper is to provide a critical review of the article The Effect of Video Game Violence on Physiological Desensitization to Real-life Violence by Nicholas L. Carnagey, Craig A. Anderson, and Brad J. Bushman (2007). In this article Carnagey, Ander and Bushman experimentally examine the effects that violent video games have on those playing them, specifically in the area of physiological desensitization. It is the goal of this review to provide readers with an overall summary and critique of the article. This review will describe, discuss, and evaluate the key points of Carnagey, Anderson, and Bushman’s article and assess the methodology, results, and conclusions of the article. Keywords: physiological desensitization, research, violent, video games

In the introduction Carnagey, Ander and Bushman (2007) address the hot debate that’s developed over the years concerning the impact of video games, particularly violent video games within our society. The article assesses some different reasons that this debate has become so hearted, for instance over 85 percent of video games contain some level of violence currently. Sadly many of these games, even the violent ones, are actually marketed toward children. The article also attributes much of the debate’s escalation to the vast amount of research available that demonstrates a rise in aggression and other negative affects in children exposed to violent media. After addressing the abudance of research concerning negative affects the article points out the shortcomings of that research concerning the impact violent video games have on desensitization. This insight leads into the body of the article and further information on the topic of desensitization. In the next section, Carnagey, Ander and Bushman (2007) discuss the overtly broad definition of desensitization to violence as used within our society and provides what they feel is a more clear definition for desensitization of violence. “A reduction in emotion-related physiological reactivity to real violence” (Carnagey, Ander and Bushman, p.2) is the definition that they feel best aligns with the abundant research on this topic. In this section of the article a more in depth discussion on previous some specific research done in the past concerning the desensitization to violence that occurs when a person is subjected to violent media. While the authors share their opinion that the research discussed was important they also point at that these studies merely studied the fact that watching violent media desensitized the participants to other violent media. The section titled GAM, desensitization, and sequela gives a brief overview of the General Aggression Model or GAM. In the article and experiment the General Aggression Model is used to provide a framework for understanding the process of desensitization through a social cognitive perspective. Carnagey, Ander and Bushman (2007) use the GAM to determine that following desensitization it is inevitable that decisions and behavior will be affected, thus pointing toward a desensitization not only to other violent media but real life violent situations.

Following the clarification on the General Aggression Model the article begins to provide an overview and the specific components of Carnagey, Ander and Bushman’s (2007) study. The study involved 257 college age students who were all tested individually. They were informed the study was on certain types of media. Participants were subjected to a pre exam of sorts to figure out their baseline statistics for HR and GSR as well as a 9 question questionnaire on their likelihood toward physical aggression. Subjects were then exposed to 20 minutes of violent video game time followed by a 10 minute video of real life violence. The researchers did the same process with 20 minutes...

References: Carnagey, N. L., Anderson, C. A., & Bushman, B. J. (2007). The effect of video game violence on physiological. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 43, 489-496. Retrieved from
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