View Full Version : New violence media "study"

11-29-2007, 10:49 AM
There is a new study that was recently published over at Journal of Adolescent Health about the impact of media violence (http://www.jahonline.org/article/PIIS1054139X07003916/fulltext). As usual, there are all kinds of problems with the study. I'm not going to cover all of them though, that would take forever. :)

The first major problem is that this study didn't actually bother to do any new research. It is a meta study - basically a study of other studies. A meta study isn't necessarily bad or anything, but considering I've never seen a well thought out study on the effects of media on violence, I would guess that most of these studies were probably flawed. A meta study based on other flawed studies doesn't really mean very much.

Second, it mostly focuses on children and says very little about adults except for the conclusions. Children are basically sponges. They absorb just about everything and will repeat just about anything until they learn better. Parents don't really need a study to figure this out. This is where responsible parenting comes in of course. Anyways, what does this have to do with adults? Adults actually have the capabilities to view or play something violent and not repeat it in the real world. Even if they were primed, aroused, and desensitized as the study suggests, the average adult is quite capable of making a choice not to be violent. This being a big difference between an adult and a child.

Third, them implying that media violence is the 2nd worst thing when it comes to public health is pretty flat out stupid. Let's see if I can think of something worse, how about overeating?

I'm still not buying this desensitization part anyways. I've played many violent video games, seen many violent movies and tv shows, and watched a lot of news. That doesn't really mean that I'm not going to be effected if I ever saw a real dead person. It sure doesn't mean I can kill someone without some major emotional response.

Personally, I think the people that did the study started out trying to prove that violent media is bad, not trying to do an objective study. There are just too many quotes from the study that are things like "playing video games, most of which contain violence". Really, where is the proof of this? Of course, I'm guilty of the opposite, but I didn't perform a study and submit a writeup to a scientific journal.