Thinking About Violent Games Makes Men More Aggressive

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT
 

Thinking About Violent Games Makes Men More Aggressive

image

The secret to a peaceful life that is free of negative thoughts is apparently not thinking about God of War and its ilk.

It seems it's not just playing violent games that affects your behavior; psychologists have found that thinking about playing them can make you more aggressive as well. A study conducted by Dr. Bryan Gibson of Central Michigan University and Dr. Brad Bushman of Ohio State University showed that men who played violent games and then thought about them afterwards showed heightened levels of aggression as long as 24 hours later.

The researchers randomly sorted 126 college students, split roughly evenly into males and females, into six groups and had each group play a different game. Half of the games were violent, such as Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, and half were non-violent, like Guitar Hero. Each subject played his or her designated game for twenty minutes, and then half of the participants were asked to spend the next 24 hours thinking about the game and how they might improve the next time they played, while the other half were given no specific instructions.

The subjects returned the next day and took part in a competitive reaction test against an opponent of the same sex, were the winner was able to punish the loser with painfully loud sounds, ranging from 60 decibels to 105 decibels. The researchers also included a silent, non-aggressive option. The test showed that the men who had played the violent games and thought about them were more aggressive than those who hadn't been asked to think about the games, or had played non-violent games. Interestingly, women were not found to be more aggressive at all, regardless of which game they played or whether or not they thought about them.

The results are interesting, but it seems pretty likely you'd get similar results asking the subjects to think about a fight they had with a significant other, or the person who cut them off in traffic, or even a football game they'd watched. You can read more about the study here.

Source: Physorg via Kotaku

Permalink

Potenial flaw: You made them play Mortal Kombat vs. DC. The researchers are damn luck they didn't kill someone on sight after being forced to do that.

Hell, they could've just said: "Males are more aggressive after being tortured for 24-hours than non-tortured males."

Yay for yet another attempt at making video games look like devil spawn with a study that could just as easily be applied to every other form of entertainment we have.

I'd have thought the Guitar Hero group would be more aggressive from sheer frustration...

Yeah, I get fucking mad when I think about videogames. Because then I realize I'm wasting time doing stuff not equally important to making my gamerscore higher.

Hmm... I never get aggressive after playing/thinking about violent games... Am I normal?

I think the problem here may come from the fact that they got college students to do it... From my experience there are alot of guys in college to annoy/cause pain to other guys for a laugh (I was asleep for one hour and woke up with a mouth full of hotsauce the one time...)

Yeah I can agree with this, spending an hour constantly dying in Prototype only to have the game freeze when I finally d finish the level introduced near toxic levels of aggression into my system.

Thinking about violent games doesn't make me more aggressive.

Reading about some asshole's bullshit study does, though. Your sample size is only 126 people? Fuck off, that means nothing compared to the MILLIONS of people who play video games.

But no, you told people about this bullshit and now idiots like the State of California will use this garbage to tell the Supreme Court that video games are bad. Fuck you, Bryan Gibson and Brad Bushman.

Meh.. I don't take this hard, really.

I mean, if I had the chance to play competetively against a random dude, win, and then the opportunity to make him feel worse about it, I'd probably take it, but not too severely. A couple of beeps at the lowest setting maybe.

My point is; it's not that I've been thinking about game violence the past 24 hours, but rather the fact that I beat a peer and want to gloat a bit.

So, if I play a game where i kill things violently and brutally, i'm going to be acting more violent and brutal?

Wonderful news gentlemen.

Thinking about football, boxing, taxes, their boss and a billion other things also makes men more aggressive.

Point being?

The average male isn't exactly a shrinking violet.

lawnmooer:
Hmm... I never get aggressive after playing/thinking about violent games... Am I normal?

I think the problem here may come from the fact that they got college students to do it... From my experience there are alot of guys in college to annoy/cause pain to other guys for a laugh (I was asleep for one hour and woke up with a mouth full of hotsauce the one time...)

You do but you also happen to live in a world where you don't need to beat other members of your species to a pulp for the right to breed or control resources and territory. These tests are always so daft. They either have stupid/lacking controls or the data is just misrepresented. You can make men more aggressive by showing them a picture of a good looking woman for christ's sake.

i get violent thinking about reality tv and the crap fest it is. wish they would do a study on that. oh and country music makes me want to smash someones head in and pop music, and politicians, and purposely stupid people.

oddly i never get violent thinking about violent video games tho go figure.

So thinking about violence leads to a burst of testosterone...? Or something?

When a game like God of War 3 lets you punch a god for a theoretically unlimited time in first person mode while blood fills the screen, and they think violent thoughts are the most dangerous thing to come out of games...

*twitch*

Sounds pretty Zen to me, and, makes sense...but, just because people are more aggresive, did they look at any other causes, perhaps?

Logan Westbrook:
<The results are interesting, but it seems pretty likely you'd get similar results asking the subjects to think about a fight they had with a significant other, or the person who cut them off in traffic, or even a football game they'd watched. You can read more about the study here.

That basically sums up what I was thinking. This test is hardly a study on violent videogames, but more broadly a study on the effect violence has in society.

Study proves what researchers thought it might prove. People in subject group agree/disagree. Here's Tom with the weather.

And boy...does that "competitive reaction test" stink. So a bloke beaten by a woman is going to be more aggressive than a woman beaten by a bloke? Damn...tough to work out that one.

Funny, they never tested a woman being beaten by another woman. THAT would have been interesting.

So they proved that aggressive thoughts make you aggressive huh? Did we really need proof of that?

Hi! 20 year old man here! After playing a very violent videogame, I do NOT get more aggressive.

Stop assuming these things.

Thank you

I'm sure that thinking of any violence would have a similar effect. Just because it's in a videogame does not make it any different, you could think of the very real horrors of war and be sent spiralling into depression, but there's nothing we can do about that so let's just say videogames make you angry.

in all technicality, they made them play games in which fighting is the objective i.e. MKvDC, How can you not expect them to feel slightly....violent? I bet the test candidates got bored half way and just lied to get out of it. Thus another fail in trying project games in the evil light. :P

What makes me aggressive is these statements. And the fact they're lies.

I don't know, men can get violent after doing/thinking about pretty much anything really.

Wallpapering the den? Violent.

Mowing the stupid, stupid lawn? Hell yeah violent.

Opening the credit card bill? Violence to a whole new level.

Of course you told them to think how they would beat a game next time its like having to remeber how many times you lose at a sport then told to think how not to suck at it.

How is not going to make people angry then we all knows what happens when most males start getting anger they start to hate things that quickly leads to the dark side and all that.

Well, if you ask someone the think violently for 24 hours, then give them an option to be violent or nonviolent (the test they did afterwards) they will pick the violent option. That is all this study says. It could have been violent movies they thought about and the result would be the same.

And why are the only surveys I come across here a bunch of BS?

violent thoughts cause violence! OH NO!!!

That's a pretty interesting research... thing. I just hope certain morons don't use it for an excuse to "support" that stupid californian law.

Paragon Fury:
Potenial flaw: You made them play Mortal Kombat vs. DC. The researchers are damn luck they didn't kill someone on sight after being forced to do that.

Hell, they could've just said: "Males are more aggressive after being tortured for 24-hours than non-tortured males."

Cain_Zeros:
I'd have thought the Guitar Hero group would be more aggressive from sheer frustration...

You two just summed up what I thought of saying. I was going to claim the study was flawed from the start since "Guitar Hero gets me a hell of a lot angrier than Mk vs DC ever could".

This article makes me want to move... knowing there is people that dumb in my own state... they couldn't even spring for just Mortal Kombat!

edit: Having actually read past that game listing, the study is even more BS than originally thought.

I always wanted to grab the heads of those Salarians. Rip them apart by grabbing those pointy bulges and tear them down. Hehehehe~

Really? I haven't noticed such things at all.

every one of these tests about how games affect people have no before and after or are just bad ways to test people why can't anyone find a good test. also how can you make sure that people think about the game.

I get angry thinking about MKvsDC too. Because it was awful. When I think about God of War I think about how much fun it is, and how it relieves all my stress.

I think the important question is, "How violent?" As everyone else has been saying, many things makes us that way, and judging from the number of us who have claimed not to be made more aggressive (assuming they aren't in denial), chances are the level of aggression is pretty small.

males are always aggressive, its just our nature

Man.

Flies zooming around my head make me violent.

We should like, totally ban flies.

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here