Youth Violence And Media Violence Article Reviews Examples
1 – Analysis – Research Method
The article and study chosen, Media Violence and Youth Violence by Werner H. Hopf, Gunter L., and Rudolf H. Weiß, described the results of a 2-Year Longitudinal Study. Based on existing and previous studies, the authors aimed to find empirical evidence that violent media exposure leads to youth violence. Specifically, the study tested these three hypotheses: (1) Early exposure to media violence (total score) is the strongest predictor of later exposure to media violence, violence beliefs, violence of students, and delinquency; (2) Early use of violent electronic games is the strongest factor in causing violence of students and violent delinquency 2 years later; and (3) Early exposure to media violence (total score) directly causes violence beliefs, violence of students and violent delinquency 2 years later.
Given these hypotheses, which look into the causes and effects of particular drivers or stimuli (media violence for this case) to a set of individuals, it was only best to use a longitudinal study. According to Cherry, longitudinal studies allow researchers to study various changes over time. This type of research method, therefore, is most useful when studying lifespan and developmental issues, as was the case with this specific research. Longitudinal studies allow researchers to prove or disprove how certain sets of factors may or may not affect the beliefs and behaviors of the same set of individual samples across a number of years. For this specific study, the researchers looked into the effects of media violence on youth violence across a span of two years.
2 – Analysis – Research Method – Possible Alternative
Given the study’s requirements, a longitudinal study would have been appropriate, especially that the researchers wanted to see the effects of media violence on youth violence on the same set of students. However, a cross-sectional study would have also been applicable. A cross-sectional study picks out a representative set of data, or a subset, from an entire population at one specific point in time, and analyzes this data to try to prove or disprove the hypotheses.
The researchers, given the hypotheses spelled out previously, could look into using a cross-sectional study instead. The study might need some tweaking in this scenario. For instance, instead of looking into how the same set of kids turn out after monitoring their media violence exposure previously, a cross-sectional study might look into a set of individuals who already have documented violent tendencies (like school or police records), and give them questionnaires that delv on the subject matter more deepky and documenting their exposure to media violence when they were younger. This method can also be utilized if the researchers want to compare results across geographies or countries, but on the same specific point in time. A cross-sectional study would have presented a slightly different result given the difference in the method of research.
1 – Connection – Theories
The study had presented several interesting ideas and concepts that can be further explored and discussed. The occurrence of cause and effect has been highly exploited throughout the study. The study has proven that exposure to media violence (cause) often leads to youth violence (effect). This has always been a powerful concept in scientific studies as this phenomenon leads us to an understanding of how things work around us. This lets us understand why things happen as they do. It is powerful especially if we grasp what it implies – that we can actually influence the cause to get to our desired effect.
Another concept further exploited throughout the study is how other factors can affect the whole event. The study has repeatedly cited previous similar studies throughout the entire paper, and this can only mean that these factors had already been studied on. So what can be the added-value from this paper? Aside from being a longitudinal study, the paper explored several factors that affect youth violence such as the presence of aggressive emotions about the same time a child is exposed to violence in the media. This could further accelerate the effects.
Finally, a third concept presented in the study is how empirical evidence such as this article can be used as an argument to propose laws. As data never lie, we can argue that having proven exposure to violence in the media leads to youth violence. In this regard, we can go to Congress and propose a law that censors violence in various forms of media. This is an interesting concept, particularly on how science can be utilized in the real world.
2 – Connection – Application to the real world
The 2-year longitudinal study has further established that indeed, media violence promotes youth violence. Media violence in the study combined these three – TV, film, and electronic games. One of the more significant findings of the study came about during a path analysis of the effects of the combined types of media and various kinds of media. It was learned that aggressive emotions like rage and hate further associated with emotions of dominance and power while being exposed to violence in the media affects actual life violence in peer groups or between them (Werner, Huber and Weiß, 2008). Currently, there are reminders on television, which classify the media content as being violent, but there are practically non-existent regulations on managing and filtering the amount of violence we expose our children to in the media. The current set up leaves this responsibility to parents and homes in a very micro manner, and may not always be the best case, given that a number of parents go to work and cannot entirely monitor their children’s activities. Knowing what we know from the study presented, how can this be relevant to our times? As the study provided empirical evidence that exposure to media leads to youth violence, it might be worthy to pursue the debate on regulating the amount of violence we produce via the three channels studied – tv, film, and electronic games. We can continue to argue that this can be managed by the parent’s discretion. However, it is only by changing the system that we can see real change happening. Because if we continue to supply violent media content to our households, there will be always be children who would get hold of such violent materials.
However, it can also be anticipated that applying censors to various media can also open up to another set of argument on the freedom of speech. This is altogether on a different level, but at the very least, hopefully the study would open the debate for responsible censorship. As the study recounted, “As long as no effective political steps are initiated and responsibility remains just with the parent and schools, psychological and social damage to children caused by exposure to media violence represents a serious threat to society.” (Werner, Huber and Weiß 93).
2 – Reflection – Areas of interest
The paper had given rich and more than a sufficient background as to how the whole study was conducted – the methodology and the statistical results. It also cited previous similar studies on the topic. There is, however, some areas, which could have been further explained in the paper. One of the areas is how it would have been very interesting to take into account the manner by which the questions used for gathering data were formulated. It is very probable that how questions were phrased or arranged in the questionnaires would have affected how the respondents answered, and ultimately, it would have affected how the results turned out. Formulating an unbiased set of questions is a crucial part of the study that can often be missed out. It is often looked over as it is in the initial stages or in the background. It is not as hyped as the results part of the study, but ensuring that the questions were phrased correctly would provide credibility and data integrity to the whole study.
It would have been really interesting to read through the questions presented to the participants, and perused through each one of them. Dissecting the questionnaires would have also been a healthy exercise in critical thinking and in predicting how the respondents would answer. As well, it would have been interesting to see if the questionnaires actually implied one favored result or not. It would probably be better if the questionnaires used in the study were attached to the article so that interested parties could go through them. This is to further establish the credibility of the study presented.
2 – Reflection
Reading through the whole article at the start was very tedious for me. The study cited study after study, in every other sentence. As such, it was difficult for meto follow through the sentences’ logic. I had to repeatedly read the paragraphs to understand what they were saying. However, I soon understood the value of citing the studies and the researchers, and how each added value to what we currently know in that area of study.
Reading through the statistical results, along with their charts and tables, was also cumbersome at the start. But as I went reading along, I realized that it was important to have a basic knowledge of these statistical results in order to lend credibility to the whole study. This is because data never lie. Numbers will tell the story as it is and is unbiased. We cannot manipulate data to tell another story, as it will tell only what it has, and it is important to understand it in this sense.
Finally, the idea of exposure to media violence leading to youth violence seems to have an intuitive feel to it, and before reading the study, I would have readily agreed to it. Dissecting and digesting the study, however, gave me a new set of eyes on the whole matter. After reading through it, I can say with a new sense of appreciation, and a conviction backed up by numbers and empirical evidence, that, indeed, exposure to media violence leads to youth violence, and therefore, we should be doing something about it before it is too late.
Cherry, Kendra. “What is Longitudinal Research?” about.com. About.com, 2015. Web. 23 Jan
Hopf, Werner H., Huber, Gunter L. and Weiß, Rudolf H. “Media Violence and Youth Violence:
A 2-Year Longitudinal Study.” Journal of Media Psychology 20.3 (2008): 79-96. Print.
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