PSY 102 03-26-2008
Leticia Perez Wilson Acevedo
A Careful Analysis of a Research Study: Dr. Andersen's Hypothesis
The purpose of this paper is to provide a critical review of a recent study examining the effects of violent video games on aggressive behavior in young children. Let me first provide a brief summary of the study. (A) The hypothesis that was tested in this study was that violent video games promote aggression in young children. (B) Dr. Andersen targeted children of 10 years old as his population. (C) Since Dr. Andersen chose a random sample from his own 10-year-olds students. Then, from this sample he chose 30 volunteer students, ...view middle of the document...
The second extraneous variable was the time that the sample was exposed to video games. If Dr. Andersen wouldn't have assigned specifically one hour of video games to the experimental and control group, then the experiment would have failed. The experiment would have failed, because one can argue that the experimental group presented aggressively behavior, because they were exposed 2 or maybe 3 hours more of violent video games than the control group did when they were exposed to nonviolent video games or vice versa. Therefore, to prevent these types of questions, Dr. Andersen assigned specifically one hour for each group. Finally, Dr. Andersen also controlled and specifically assigned the time frame for which the experimental and control group were going to be exposed to video games. For this type of study, if different time frames are chosen for both groups, then that could altered the outcome, because it may be possible for the control group to become more aggressively than the experimental group, if they are exposed to nonviolent video games for 6 months, instead of three. So, for these reasons Dr. Andersen assigned specifically three months to each group.
Unfortunately, the investigator failed to control for several important variables, potentially jeopardizing his interpretation of the results. (A) In this experiment, Dr. Andersen failed to control variables such as cultural background, gender, mood, and the environment. (B) In the case of cultural background, it needed to be controlled, because it is impossible to determine whether a group scored higher in the standardized test for aggression, not because the sample was exposed to violent or nonviolent video games, but because the group's culture may have trends that are more aggressively characterized. By not controlling the cultural background of the groups, Andersen's findings can be erroneous, because if someone else tries to replicate the experiment, they would probably have a sample with different cultural background, which means a different outcome. In addition, the gender of both groups wasn't control in the experiment. Since males tends to behave more aggressively than females; if gender isn't control than there wouldn't be any way of determine whether the groups behave aggressively because of the video games or just for the fact that they are males or females. For this reason Andersen's results can be affected and the experiment will not be replicate. Mood is a crucial variable for this type of study, especially at the time that the standardized test is being taken. Even though the control group was never exposed to violent video games, they could score higher than the experimental group, if the control group was in an anger mood at that time; meaning that Andersen's results can be alter. Finally, the last uncontrollable variable was the environment to which every individual of each group can be involve with. For instance, if each individual...