Meta-analysis of media violence as a public health risk (Ferguson & Kilburn, 2009)

a PHD comic about the scientific method

a PHD comic about the scientific method

Via gamepolitics, Christopher Ferguson and John Kilburn has a publication coming up at the Journal of Pediatrics. Since Dr. Ferguson contacted gamepolitics and basically wrote the essential stuff. I opted just to dump this post and go on doing something else. I’m currently doing a lot of stuff and if anyone saw a poster about a movie and DVD features study, please participate and have your friends participate as well. I mean it.

I guess the comic fits well with Ferguson and Kilburn’s message about media violence research.



To conduct a meta-analytic review of studies that examine the impact of violent media on aggressive behavior and to determine whether this effect could be explained through methodological problems inherent in this research field.

Study design

A detailed literature search identified peer-reviewed articles addressing media violence effects. Effect sizes were calculated for all studies. Effect sizes were adjusted for observed publication bias.


Publication bias was a problem for studies of aggressive behavior, and methodological problems such as the use of poor aggression measures inflated effect size. Once corrected for publication bias, studies of media violence effects provided little support for the hypothesis that media violence is associated with higher aggression. The corrected overall effect size for all studies was r = .08.


Results from the current analysis do not support the conclusion that media violence leads to aggressive behavior. It cannot be concluded at this time that media violence presents a significant public health risk.

Well there are few things to mention, the paper is five pages long. Here’s the university press release. So I’ll just skim it, when done I’ll go to bed and wish for a deathnote (those who know what I’m currently doing should understand).

Here’s the gist of what they’ve done. They set up criteria for what constitutes a media violence study, they’ve set up specific search terms in the database to gather their studies. For example, they included video, computer, arcade, comic, television, music, movie, etc. and violence, aggression, fight, etc. along with all the variations of the words. Studies must be published in peer-reviewed academic journals; articles published between 1998 and 2008, the older studies have lots of methodological flaws, including those that did not find any correlations between media violence and aggression. There are few more things, but I’ll pass. In the end, they gathered a total of 25 studies.

The rest, a lot of statistical jargon that instantly put anyone to a coma when they’re talking about their statistical methods and results, the discussion section is pretty much summarized at gamepolitics.

Ferguson, C. J., & Kilburn, J. (2009). The public health risks of media violence: A meta-analytic review. The Journal of Pediatrics, 154 (5), 759-763.


One thought on “Meta-analysis of media violence as a public health risk (Ferguson & Kilburn, 2009)

  1. Pingback: Understanding Psychology Lady In Red Linda - Ashworth College Psychology Program on Flickr … «

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s