Study 2: Correlational Study With
High School Students
Study 2 was a cross-section correlational study of media habits, aggressionrelated individual difference variables, and aggressive behaviors on an adolescent population. As noted earlier, there is very little research on the effects of habitual video game violence exposure with this population. One of the individual difference variables was a newly developed scale designed to measure aggressive normative beliefs. The primary goals of this study were (a) to test the hypothesis that habitual exposure to violent video games is associated with higher levels of physical aggression and violence, (b) to examine the strength of that association by statistically controlling for several key competing predictor variables, and (c) to test the General Aggression Model–based hypothesis that habitual exposure to violent video games is associated with certain types of attitudes toward violence and with aggressive normative beliefs. Specifically, we expected that video game violence would correlate most strongly with attitudes toward war, and least with attitudes toward corporal punishment of children. Violent video games often involve war themes, including re-creations of old, recent, and current wars; Special Forces, anti-terrorist actions, and hostage rescue; and futuristic fights against alien invaders or conquerors. Few games (if any) model and reward violence against children. We also expected video game violence to correlate positively with beliefs that aggression in normal family and social situations is relatively common. However, because most violent video games involve war-like contexts, we did not expect this correlation to be large.
Two less central hypotheses were also addressed. First, we included a recently developed measure of trait forgiveness because of its theoretical