A story in this month's New York Times summarizes a bunch of studies that address the question of whether video games cause violent behavior. Read the story here.
Here's one study described in the article :
In one recent study, Christopher Barlett, a psychologist at Iowa State University, led a research team that had 47 undergraduates play “Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance” for 15 minutes. Afterward, the team took various measures of arousal, both physical and psychological. It also tested whether the students would behave more aggressively, by having them dole out hot sauce to a fellow student who, they were told, did not like spicy food but had to swallow the sauce.
Sure enough, compared with a group who had played a nonviolent video game, those who had been engaged in “Mortal Kombat” were more aggressive across the board. They gave their fellow students significantly bigger portions of the hot sauce.
a) What kind of study is this--an experiment, a quasi-experiment, or a correlational study? Give the most precise answer you can.
Here is another study described in the article:
Dr. Ward and two colleagues examined week-by-week sales data for violent video games, across a wide range of communities. Violence rates are seasonal, generally higher in summer than in winter; so are video game sales, which peak during the holidays. The researchers controlled for those trends and analyzed crime rates in the month or so after surges in sales, in communities with a high concentrations of young people, like college towns.
“We found that higher rates of violent video game sales related to a decrease in crimes, and especially violent crimes,” said Dr. Ward, whose co-authors were A. Scott Cunningham of Baylor University and Benjamin Engelstätter of the Center for European Economic Research in Mannheim, Germany.
b) What kind of study is this--an experiment, a quasi-experiment, or a correlational study? Give the most precise answer you can.
Finally, here's one more statement:
Some studies in schools have found that over time digital warriors get into increasing numbers of scrapes with peers — fights in the schoolyard, for example. In a report published last summer, psychologists at Brock University in Ontario found that longer periods of violent video game playing among high school students predicted a slightly higher number of such incidents over time.
c) What kind of study is this--an experiment, a quasi-experiment, or a correlational study? Give the most precise answer you can.
Interestingly, the journalists includes this statement in his piece:
[none of the scientists] interviewed in this article, receive money from the gaming industry.
d) Why might funding of the research be important?
e) How might we reconcile the results of these three studies, which seem to draw opposite conclusions?