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Demonstrate your ability to explain a theory, find relevant empirical research, critically evaluate evidence and formulate a convincing argument.

Topic: As a strategy to attract young people a local public library has decided to host a video game tournament featuring first-person shooter games. The library has placed age-restrictions on entry consistent with the games’ ratings but has nevertheless been heavily criticised by politicians and interest groups who argue that in organising the tournament the library is endorsing violence and may be actively encouraging young people to engage in aggressive behaviour. You are contacted by Australian Psychologist and asked to write an essay outlining your views of the tournament. You can choose to argue that violent video games do or do not lead to aggressive and violent behaviour (or that there is insufficient evidence to support either contrasting view), but regardless of the stance you take you must rely on empirical evidence to support your argument.

Description: The purpose of this piece of assessment is to allow you to demonstrate your ability to explain a theory, find relevant empirical research, critically evaluate evidence and formulate a convincing argument. You will have already had lecture and tutorial content related to violent video games. In this essay, you must introduce two empirical studies in detail, one that supports your position, and one that does not support it. You will then incorporate additional studies to support the arguments of each side. Finally, you will discuss your own conclusion – supported by the evidence you presented – about whether you agree with the statement in the prompt.
The essay is to be written in APA format with a word length of 2000 words excluding references. You must include a title and a reference list with all (and only) cited references noted. No abstract is required. Although this assessment piece will be discussed in general terms in your practical classes, the essay assesses your ability to work independently. Thus, you should use your library skills to locate relevant material independently. There are many different approaches possible and you will need to research some possible angles and then narrow your focus. Studies that are mentioned in the lecture on Media and Development will be a good starting point, but keep in mind that you cannot use the articles provided as starter readings on Blackboard as your main research articles. To ensure that you do not go overboard with reading, you must limit your reference list to a maximum of 10-12 references. It is better to have a thorough discussion of a few major issues than to include too many different issues and end up with a superficial discussion. Your understanding, critical thinking, and ability to communicate key issues will be assessed, as well as your integration of the literature. General essay marking criteria and guidelines are below. The guidelines will be discussed extensively in several of your tutorials.
Useful References
American Psychological Association (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association. (6th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Peterson, C. (2014). Looking forward through the lifespan. (6th ed.). Sydney, Australia: Pearson Education.

You may find references using PsycINFO.
You’ll need to think carefully about how to limit this search. Once you have found some good papers, browse/read them, and seek some key references from there. Be prepared to skim papers that you don’t actually use in your essay. Don’t let your answer be skewed by largely irrelevant sections of papers that you may have located. Focus on relevant material from high quality sources. Older material may be included where it has had a major impact or is of very high quality but be sure to examine the latest findings. If you find that the statistics reported in empirical papers are too advanced for you to follow, focus primarily on the introduction, key aspects of the method, and the discussion, taking the statistical analyses as valid. And, always remember, just because an author interprets their data as supporting or failing to support a particular idea, doesn’t mean you have to agree with them! You are welcome to interpret their data in any way you see fit, as long as you can justify your interpretation.

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