My main research interests are in social and personality psychology, with a strong dose of cognitive psychology. My early research focussed on attribution theory (including attributional style), human inference, and social judgment processes. Most of my current research focuses on aggression, especially on the potentially harmful effects of exposure to violent entertainment media. Other aggression research under way in my lab includes work on jealousy, aggressive personality, desensitization, the weapons effect, and public policy issues regarding violent media. In addition, my students and other colleagues and I have been working on the General Aggression Model, designed to integrate aggression and violence findings from a variety of research paradigms. The model includes individual difference and situational input variables. It includes a developmental component as well.
In related work (some published, some in progress), we have been trying to more clearly identify components of Aggressive Personality. We have shown, for instance, that aggressive people have two different hostility-related biases: they expect other people to behave more aggressively than do non-aggressive people; they "see" more aggression in on-going dyadic interactions than do non-aggressive people. Current work includes research on the relations among various trait aggressiveness factors, attitudes towards aggression, and the Big Five personality structure.
A recent research interest of mine concerns the external validity of laboratory paradigms. My colleagues and I have compared effect sizes obtained in lab versus field settings, and have found considerable convergence, both within the aggression domain, and across a wide variety of psychological research domains.
We have also begun exploring the relation between the scientific state of knowledge about media violence effects and news reports about such effects. Specifically, we have examined shifts across time as the research evidence accumulated. We found that as the research evidence of a link between exposure to violent media and subsequent aggression grew stronger, the news reports got systematically weaker.
In all of these research interests, my main focus has been on studying basic psychological processes underlying significant human problems. Thus, even though most of my research is not strictly "applied" psychology, all of it has important implications for improving the human condition in contemporary society. Indeed, the potential applicability of research findings is what largely determines my choice of research topics.
- Aggression, Conflict, Peace
- Applied Social Psychology
- Causal Attribution
- Personality, Individual Differences
- Research Methods, Assessment
- Social Cognition
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- Anderson, C. A., Gentile, D. A., & Buckley, K. E. (2007). Violent video game effects on children and adolescents: Theory, research, and public policy. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Anderson, C. A. (2001). Heat and violence. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 10, 33-38.
- Anderson, C. A., Benjamin, A. J., Wood, P. K., & Bonacci, A. M. (2006). Development and testing of the Velicer Attitudes Toward Violence Scale: Evidence for a four-factor model. Aggressive Behavior, 32, 122-136.
- Anderson, C. A., Berkowitz, L., Donnerstein, E., Huesmann, L. R., Johnson, J., Linz, D., Malamuth, N., & Wartella, E. (2003). The influence of media violence on youth. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 4, 81-110.
- Anderson, C. A., Carnagey, N. L., & Eubanks, J. (2003). Exposure to violent media: The effects of songs with violent lyrics on aggressive thoughts and feelings. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 960-971.
- Bartholow, B. D., Anderson, C. A., Carnagey, N. L., & Benjamin, A. J. (2005). Interactive effects of life experience and situational cues on aggression: The weapons priming effect in hunters and nonhunters. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 41, 48-60.
- Bushman, B. J., & Anderson, C. A. (2001). Media violence and the American public: Scientific facts versus media misinformation. American Psychologist, 56, 477-489.
- Carnagey, N. L., & Anderson, C. A. (2007). Changes in attitudes towards war and violence after September 11, 2001. Aggressive Behavior, 33, 118-129.
- Carnagey, N. L., & Anderson, C. A. (2005). The effects of reward and punishment in violent video games on aggressive affect, cognition, and behavior. Psychological Science, 16, 882-889.
- Carnagey, N. L., Anderson, C. A., & Bartholow, B. D. (2007). Media violence and social neuroscience: New questions and new opportunities. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 16, 178-182.
- Carnagey, N. L., Anderson, C. A., & Bushman, B. J. (2007). The effect of video game violence on physiological desensitization to real-life violence. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 43, 489-496.
- Anderson, C. A., & Bushman, B. J. (2002). Human aggression. Annual Review of Psychology, 53, 27-51.
- Anderson, C. A., & Carnagey, N. L. (2004). Violent evil and the general aggression model. In A. Miller (Ed.), The social psychology of good and evil (pp. 168-192). New York: Guilford Publications.
- Anderson, C. A., Carnagey, N. L., Flanagan, M., Benjamin, A. J., Eubanks, J., & Valentine, J. C. (2004). Violent video games: Specific effects of violent content on aggressive thoughts and behavior. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 36, 199-249.
- Gentile, D. A., & Anderson, C. A. (2006). Violent video games: The effects on youth, and public policy implications. In N. Dowd, D. G. Singer, & R. F. Wilson (Eds.), Handbook of children, culture, and violence (pp. 225-246). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
- Advanced Psychological Statistics I
- Experimental Social Psychology
- Human Aggression-Graduate Seminar
- Human Aggression-Writing Intensive
- Theories of Social Psychology-Graduate Seminar
Craig A. Anderson
Department of Psychology
W112 Lagomarcino Hall
Iowa State University
Ames, Iowa 50011-3180
- Phone: (515) 294-3118
- Fax: (515) 294-6424