Craig Anderson and Karen Dill wanted to see if people who played violent video games became aggressive themselves.
210 psychology students were split into 2 groups, then were asked to play either a violent video game (Wolfenstien 3D) or nonviolent video game (Myst) for 30 minutes. They were placed in a cubicle and told to play a video game against an opponent in a separate cubicle when in fact it was empty.
After 15 minutes, they were asked to play a competitive game involving a reaction test. The person who pressed the button fastest could blast their opponent with a loud noise. The winner could pick the duration of the noise and how loud it was.
The longest and loudest blasts of noise were from participants who played the violent video game. Surprisingly, women gave harsher punishments than men.
Anderson and Dill concluded that playing the violent video game increased the level of aggression in participants. They also believed that it could make them think aggressively, and that long-term exposure to these games could result in permanently aggressive thoughts and behaviour.
Pros: • The researchers had a lot of control over the participant and their experiences, making the results reliable. • The findings can be applied to real life. Cons: • Particpants could have guessed the aim of the study. • The participantsmay not have acted naturally, as they knew they were being watched. • The study violated several ethical guidelines.