Causal or spurious: Using propensity score matching to detangle the relationship between violent video games and violent behavior

Whitney D. Gunter, Kevin Daly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 15 Citations

Abstract

Throughout the past decade, numerous states have passed legislation to prohibit the sale of violent video games to children, usually in conjunction with an argument that exposure to violent media increases violent behavior. However, the link between video games and violence is not yet fully understood. This study uses propensity score matching as a method to more adequately address the underlying issue of causality. Using a sample of 6567 8th grade students, these analyses test whether there is a causal link between playing violent video games and violence, non-violent deviance and substance use. Results indicate a substantial decrease in the relationship between video games and these outcomes when a matched sample is used. This suggests that the strength of evidence supporting a relationship has likely been overestimated using other methodologies. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1348-1355
Number of pages8
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume28
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2012

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Video games
Video Games
Causal
Violence
Sales
Students
Deviance
Causality
Substance use
Methodology
Propensity score
Legislation
Propensity Score

Keywords

  • Media violence
  • Propensity score matching
  • Video games
  • Violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Psychology(all)
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

Cite this

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