Social Psychology Network

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Craig A. Anderson

Craig A. Anderson

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.

Primary Interests:

  • Aggression, Conflict, Peace
  • Applied Social Psychology
  • Causal Attribution
  • Personality, Individual Differences
  • Research Methods, Assessment
  • Social Cognition

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Journal Articles:

Other Publications:

Courses Taught:

  • 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
United States

  • Phone: (515) 294-3118
  • Fax: (515) 294-6424

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