ISU Researchers Find Evidence Media Violence Affects Aggressive Behavior Across Cultures

Apr 12, 2017

Media violence researchers at Iowa State University published a study this month that finds media violence affects aggressive behaviors across a variety of cultures. 

More than 2,100 participants from Australia, China, Croatia, Germany, Japan, Romania and the U.S. named three of their most frequently-watched or played TV shows, movies or video games, and then rated how often they used each title. Then researchers evaluated the violence level of the media, and contrasted that data with survey answers that looked at behaviors like physical aggression or arguing. 

ISU Distinguished Professor of Psychology Craig Anderson says the findings show exposure to violent media is associated with aggressive behavior. 

"Although there have been studies of media violence finding similar affects in multiple countries," says Anderson, "there haven’t been any large-scale studies that use the same measures of media violence exposure and the same measures of aggressive behavior in all the different counties all at the same time." 

Criticism of the study takes issue with the method researchers used to rate violence and aggression levels.