Anderson & Bushman (2002) define aggression as anyviolent behaviour that is directed towards another individual at a proximallevel with an intent to cause harm.
While there are many aggression theories,this report will focus on Anderson & Bushman’s (2002) general aggression model(GAM) as according to Anderson and Bushman (2001), this model better explained aggressionbased on ‘multiple motives’ such as affect-based and instrumental aggression. According toAnderson & Bushman’s (2002) GAM, an individuals present state is influencedby the situation they are in, such as, watching violent media or engaging in apeaceful act. When exposed to short-term violent media, an individual’sgalvanic skin response and blood pressure arouses, thereby causing an effect offrustration and anger on the individual’s present state.
Short term exposure toviolent media may lead the individual to develop primed aggressive cognitions, resultingin individuals conforming to the negative situation they are in for example, ifan individual is watching a violent shooting movie, then they may imitate whatthey have seen as found by Olson, Kutner & Warner (2008).Previous research on violent mediaand aggression has primarily focused on the impacts of aggression throughviolent video games. With regards to short-term effects of violent video games,Hummer et al. (2010) found that playing violent video games can modulateprefrontal activity during cognitive inhibition compared to nonviolent games,thereby supporting Anderson & Bushman’s (2002) GAM model. Anderson (2001) suggested that violent content and media was linked to thecognitive route of the GAM. Fleming & Rick (2001) suggest that even competitivenonviolent violent video games can cause aggressive effects on an individualpresent state due to the game being appealing to certain individuals.Therefore, different situational variables can have various impacts on an individual’spersonal internal state but Anderson and Bushman (2001) primarily suggest that consistentexposure to violent media would lead to the formation of primed aggressive cognitionssuch as scripts and schemas.
Cummins, Wise & Nutting’s (2012) report on theexcitation theory suggests that individuals may exhibit anger and hostilitythrough excitement as appose to violent media.The purpose of the current experimentis to replicate findings carried out by Anderson & Bushman (2002) throughthe use of their general aggression model. Barlett & Rodeheffer (2009) suggestthat more modern and realistic video games have a higher activation of physiologicalarousal and aggressive cognitions when compared to fantasy-violent andrealistic-violent media. The realistic violent clip and the fantasy violentclip both contain violence, however the nature of the violent content for bothdiffers as one is realistic as appose to the other.