Last updated on: 4/28/2016 | Author:

Ed Donnerstein, PhD Biography

Professor and Dean Emeritus of Communication at the University of Arizona
Pro to the question "Do Violent Video Games Contribute to Youth Violence?"

“[E]ffects from playing violent video games have been shown for (a) increased aggressive behavior, (b) hostile affect, (c) physiological arousal, (d) aggressive cognitions, and (e) reductions in prosocial behavior, possibly from desensitization… In video games, the process of identification with the aggressor, active participation, repetitive actions, a hostile virtual reality, and reinforcement for aggressive actions are all strong mechanisms for the learning and retention of aggressive behaviors and attitudes.”

Cowritten with Victor Strasburger, “The New Media of Violent Video Games: Yet Same Old Media Problems?,” Clinical Pediatrics, Aug. 22, 2013

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Professor and Dean Emeritus, Communication, University of Arizona
  • Dean, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of Arizona, Sep. 1, 2002-July 1, 2009
  • Former Visiting Professor, University of Lethbridge (Canada)
  • Former Visiting Professor, Beijing University (China)
  • Dean, Social Sciences, University of California at Santa Barbara, 1997-2002
  • Professor, University of California at Santa Barbara, 1986-2002
  • Member, American Psychological Association Commission on Violence and Youth, 1991-1993
  • Member, American Psychological Association Task Force on Television and Society, 1992
  • Former President, International Society for Research on Aggression
  • Former Primary Research Site Director of the National Cable Television Association’s $3.5 million project on TV violence
  • Education:
  • PhD, Psychology, Florida State University, 1972
  • BA, Psychology, University of Florida, 1967
  • Other:
  • Published over 240 scientific articles in mass-media violence and mass media policy
  • Testified at numerous governmental hearings both in the United States and abroad regarding the effects and policy implications surrounding mass media violence and pornography, including testimony before the US Senate on TV violence
  • Served as a member of the United States Surgeon Generals Panel on Pornography and the National Academy of Sciences Subpanel on Child Pornography and Child Abuse
  • Served on the Surgeon General’s panel on youth violence as well as on the Advisory Council of the American Medical Association Alliances violence prevention program
  • Recipient, American Psychological Association Div 46 Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Media Psychology, 2008