Bushman, B.J., & Anderson, C.A. (1998). 

Methodology in the study of aggression: Integrating experimental and nonexperimental findings. 

Chapter in R. Geen & E. Donnerstein (Eds.) Human aggression: Theories, research and implications for policy. (pp. 23-48). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.


This chapter examines the major research paradigms used to study aggression in laboratory and field settings. Internal and external validity issues are examined. Past views that have emphasized internal validity as generalizability of relations among conceptual variables are reviewed and affirmed. Typical challenges to the external validity of laboratory research on aggression are examined. If laboratory research is low in external validity, then laboratory studies should fail to detect relations among variables that are correlated with aggression in "real world" studies. Meta-analysis was used to examine several key situational variables (e.g., provocation, violent media, alcohol, anonymity, hot temperature) and individual difference variables (e.g., sex, Type A personality, trait aggressivenss) in "real world" and laboratory aggression studies. Results yielded strong support for the external validity of "trivial" laboratory studies. 

For a pdf version of the chapter, click here.

© 1997 by Craig A. Anderson.