Psychology Study Blames Games for Aggressive Behavior

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Hmm... one thing that is constantly being lost here is that these studies never seem to make any effort to see if their subjects have a clear distinction between reality and fiction.

As it is... I only have myself to speak of as a case study.

See... when presented with a violent image of something I believe is fiction or somehow artificial, I don't usually have that much of a reaction to it.

But when presented with a violent image of something I'm convinced is real... or just hearing about real violence... and I'm absolutely horrified.

Why is this?
Its because I know the difference between reality and fiction.

Example: one time my granddad was telling me about a local cenagouge that had been bombed, and he was laughing his ass off about it because the investigators had bungled their jobs at first and had trouble deciding if it had been a bombing or not. (They eventually decided it was a bombing)

Now me... when I heard that... I was horrified, both at hearing about the bombing itself and my granddad's reaction to it.

I play a lot of violent videogames... my granddad doesn't.

Now which of us sounds more "desensitized?"

Also... isn't fiction where violence belongs?

Desensitisation =/= enhanced aggression.

Enhanced aggression =/= violent nature.

Just thought I'd point that out.

Desensitisation is a good thing. We shouldn't be shocked by the world. Games only desensitise people to unrealistic violence anyway.

This test is pretty much codswhollop.

the real problem with these studies is that there are two many variables to be able to say what is and what isnt, this is the real folly of psychology. without a truly "clean" control group it is impossible to really find any answers.

The most concerning thing in this video is how they talked about the increased rate of violence. In the U.S. the rate of violent crimes has been dropping for a while now.

This seems wholly disingenuous. I'm inclined to call bullshit on the entire experiment. They're just trying to confirm their bias it seems.

image

Why must I post this once again?

I do agree about desensitization, though, but not increased violent behavior.

Here's a thought: Maybe being desensitized to violence means you'll be more likely to make a clearheaded decision when in a stressful situation. It's not like being desensitized to something means you agree with it, I don't think people who play violent games are going to think that doing that to a random person in real life is okay. Real life and fantasy are two completely different things and people will do things in fantasy that they will NEVER do in real life. Here's another idea: Compare reactions to a picture of someone with a gun in their mouth to someone walking into the testing room and ACTUALLY sticking a gun in their mouth. Betcha you'll get a brainwave jump then.

OH! After someone murders a million players in call of duty show them the most horrifying, grotesque, and brutal image from the holocaust we have at our disposal. See if he is horrified, saddened or wants to commit genocide.

HUnh. I'll give a for instance that happened not that long ago.

Recently, the top news story was the anniversary of a gruesome murder in which someone from my area had stopped a family of five as they went into their house. The man then shot the father, raped the mother and two of her children in front of her, and then killed all of them. The fifth was a baby (age 7 months). The two children were ages 11 (boy) and 9 (girl). The murders were sadistic in nature, to the point where it looked like a scene from saw.

Now, this was on the news, and they had showed some after autopsy photos of the father, because the mother and two children were unrecognizable and the baby was well... a baby. My friends and I were hanging out at one of my friend's houses, and we had the tv on as background noise. We heard and said thats a shame (mainly cause it was rather common knowledge now), but my friends younger brother (12) cried his eyes out (partly cause he knew the family, and partly cause it was horrible). The paper ran a longer article on it, and with more images.

The News. The LOCAL News. That ANYONE of ANY AGE can watch, an a story like that. Meanwhile, the only games we could campare it to (manhunt or postal) were not (legally) accessible to such a young demographic.

While its nice to say that videogames can cause a violent turn (and you can say they do), and while he does acknowledge that other media can cause it, I dont htink Videogames are the worst we should worry about, since at least those are (attempted to be) enforced and kept out of the hands of minors and given to people who (should) have the mental capacity to not do something like that. How about instead of just launching this witchhunt against video games, we either go for all media, or no media.

EDIT:

And way to make that test one sided. You took a war game (the thing things like like Saving Private Ryan or Black Hawk Down are based on) and compared it to (i'm going to guess) a not war game. Gee, I wonder which will make someone feel more violent. Perhaps we should stop people after they walk out of the aforementioned movies and see how many people violent.

First off, the research seems to ignore one principle rule:
Correlation does not imply causation.

They've discovered a correlation, but I don't see any plausible causation. Why would being desensitized to violence make one more prone to violent or aggressive behaviour? At most they have less of an aversion to it, but that does not mean someone will be more aggressive.

What probably IS the cause of increased aggression is the nature of the games being played. Not because they're violent, but because they're competitive online games (Call of Duty definitely, Killzone... I think so; I don't play either, but FPS games are known for being both violent and very competitive when it comes to online play). Increased competitiveness would almost certainly increase one's aggression as well, because winning games (video games or sports) tends to favour those who are constantly pushing forward; patience is very seldom the reason one wins a match. Throw in online-gamings well-known lack of restraint, maturity, and sportsmanship, and you have a hyper-competitive environment where aggressive combat with a strong focus on killing eachother (particularly for something like an FPS) runs rampant.

The researchers should come up with a good explanation for their correlation, not one which overlooks many key details.

image

I'm going to be much more desensitized to violence in games, not in reality (although that execution with the parents and child in the opening of Homefront was pretty shocking). Chainsaw a man in front of me in Gears of War and I'll be cheering you on. Take me outside and do the same think and I guarantee I'll shit myself.

Counterpoint,herr doktor.

Fictional media only negatively effects those who are suceptible to thinking such overt displays of violence/debauchery/whatever is morally/legally correct. Any rational individual who has enough mental electricity to ponder legal and moral right and wrong would be able to effortlessly discern right from wrong in fictional media. Most of the time. Wipe out Geth Heretics in a genocidal remode delivered EMP virus,or brainwash them? Evil choice,either way.

Daystar Clarion:

9Darksoul6:
Why is it so hard for you (common gamers) to believe that seeing violent imagery in motion affects you senisitivity towards violence? Even more if you're actively causing it ("playing")...
Be rational. How could your subconscious possibly know the difference between real-life violence from virtual violence? Is it really that hard to admit? I also play violent videogames, and it doesn't bother me.

Because my brain knows the difference between fictional violence and real violence.

The other day, I was chopping mutated humans into little pieces in Dead Space 2 without blinking an eye.

The other week, I saw a man with a broken leg, the bone sticking out of the skin and I almost threw up.

It's all about context.

I don't think it is.

The important questions here are: would your reaction to that man's broken leg be worse if you weren't exposed to fictional violence (at all)? And if so, how worse?
You have no conceivable way test that through experience alone; "reason", on the other hand, makes strong points...

Unprofessional article is...well...unprofessional.
It's not the games that make people violent, is a violent person who commits violent crimes then
some sort of 'omnivorous mammal belonging to the Canidae family' NEWS uses it just to sound relevant and rant about something they have no idea of.

9Darksoul6:

Daystar Clarion:

9Darksoul6:
Why is it so hard for you (common gamers) to believe that seeing violent imagery in motion affects you senisitivity towards violence? Even more if you're actively causing it ("playing")...
Be rational. How could your subconscious possibly know the difference between real-life violence from virtual violence? Is it really that hard to admit? I also play violent videogames, and it doesn't bother me.

Because my brain knows the difference between fictional violence and real violence.

The other day, I was chopping mutated humans into little pieces in Dead Space 2 without blinking an eye.

The other week, I saw a man with a broken leg, the bone sticking out of the skin and I almost threw up.

It's all about context.

I don't think it is.

The important questions here are: would your reaction to that man's broken leg be worse if you weren't exposed to fictional violence (at all)? And if so, how worse?
You have no conceivable way test that through experience alone; "reason", on the other hand, makes strong points...

It's a good job that I don't have to prove it then.

The burden of proof is on the one making the claims.

All I know is that I make the distinction between fiction and reality. If I am desensitised to real world violence, then it's at such an insignificant level that it's hardly worth noting.

This just in: Study finds that microwave ovens cause increased aggression in hamsters.

Try exposing them to Fox news and see what happens. My theory: Testsubject went on rampage due to stupidity. Anyone? no?... aaaw

Violent video games make aggressive behaviour? maybe if the retards from last generation would stop trolling us then that would help. and want some REAL violence? watch the news!

Daystar Clarion:

9Darksoul6:

Daystar Clarion:

Because my brain knows the difference between fictional violence and real violence.

The other day, I was chopping mutated humans into little pieces in Dead Space 2 without blinking an eye.

The other week, I saw a man with a broken leg, the bone sticking out of the skin and I almost threw up.

It's all about context.

I don't think it is.

The important questions here are: would your reaction to that man's broken leg be worse if you weren't exposed to fictional violence (at all)? And if so, how worse?
You have no conceivable way test that through experience alone; "reason", on the other hand, makes strong points...

It's a good job that I don't have to prove it then.

The burden of proof is on the one making the claims.

All I know is that I make the distinction between fiction and reality. If I am desensitised to real world violence, then it's at such an insignificant level that it's hardly worth noting.

I would go with Daystar on this... context means alot more than what playing violent videogames does to dezensitise you. You do as have basic instincts telling you what's bad and whats not. Seeing someone injured in a virtual world where your mind is set to knowing that no person is harmed in real life you kinda "meh" at it. And so forth you get dezensitised to pictures of violence in a test ince you in your brain think that the pictures are manufactured. I mean if you got a news shot of a dead and mauled man you would be more appaled then a "artsy" picture of a man with a gun to his head. Just saying. Seeing blood splatter is alot more that seeing a gun pointed somwhere.

The_root_of_all_evil:

9Darksoul6:

How could your subconscious possibly know the difference real-life violence from virtual violence?

Simple. They're not real. Your brain has had millenia of practice working out that little nugget rationally.

I'm amazed by how the greatest minds in science and philosophy still try to establish what "reality" is, while you believe a mecanism (your brain is not a person, therefore it is not rational; nor is your subconscious) simply "worked it out".

Hey, you know who else are desensitized?

Surgeons.

Those creeps aren't only desensitized from seeing all the wounds and corpses everyday, but they also cut people up on a regular basis. So instead of paying 'em annual six figure sums, why not lock 'em? You know, just in case? Or at least take away their surgical tools?

Multiple posts fuuuu-

-uuuuuuuuuu-

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-uuuuuuuck you stupid browser!

Anyone who actually thinks that violent imagery, including video games, doesn't desensitize us to violence lacks common sense.

This is really just affirming the obvious.

Greg Tito:
I suggest that Associate Professor Bartholow keeps working on it.

Permalink

I think you're right, but I think you're coming at this defense from the wrong angle.

He is demonstrating that exposure to violence in video games can desensitize a person to the idea of violence. Not only does he appear to demonstrate this in the brain, it also makes sense--the more you see anything, the less shocking/surprising/novel it will be.

He then claims that subjects behaved "more aggressively" when asked to "blast an opponent" with a loud noise. And that this means the desensitization is encourage, or even prompting, this aggressive behavior. Don't we think, perhaps, the fact that you told them to do it is what led to this behavior?

So, it seems that the desensitization elevated their willingness to engage, but it didn't cause aggressive behavior. You could say it elevated it when already present or cued.

Furthermore, could that also just be because subjects engaged in a competitive game are encouraged to be more "aggressive" in order to win? See, "aggression" and "violence" are not the same thing. Violent videogames, however, pit human against human(oid) in competition, which may stimulate our basic hypothalamus "fight or flight" response in a mild way. That could make us more likely to react more strongly in perceived competition.

In order for this study to hold any real water, we'll need to know:

1. What were the "non-violent" games being played?
2. Were any of these games competitive non-violent games?
3. If not, what effect do competitive non-violent games have on the "sound blasting" choices?
4. If some of them were, was there any "statistically significant" difference between those and the non-competitive non-violent games?
5 Do other competitive endeavors outside of video games have any similar impact? (Sports, martial arts, really any competitive activity)

We have to be extremely careful how we define things like "aggressive" and "violent," and be careful not to conflate them with traits like being "competitive" or just "in an excited state."

Raiyan 1.0:
Hey, you know who else are desensitized?

Surgeons.

Those creeps aren't only desensitized from seeing all the wounds and corpses everyday, but they also cut people up on a regular basis. So instead of paying 'em annual six figure sums, why not lock 'em? You know, just in case? Or at least take away their surgical tools?

Sextouple post detected. You might want to fix that.

what else is new?

What Bull**** mother@#|@~~|piece of~#@@~|@#son of|@|#|#@#|@@|

On all seriousness i think it's a load of BS

Yes this has been highly debated on both sides, some say it's reduces stress others say it builds agression. I can't really use myself as an example because I do play violent games and I'm not agressive in my social life, but I am agressive because I play rugby. So... yea there's that.

OH JOY......................... it's THIS again /sarcasm/

Having worked long and hard to become desensitized to violence I can tell everyone that having achieved that lofty and exalted status, it is wonderful. Not being a coward is a good thing. It is also not the same as performing acts of random violence on other people.

In fact, if you are a person with an anxiety disorder I suggest that you get desensitized to violence as soon as possible for your mental health, so potentially video games desensitizing you to violence is very helpful.

The Abhorrent:
First off, the research seems to ignore one principle rule:
Correlation does not imply causation.

They've discovered a correlation, but I don't see any plausible causation. Why would being desensitized to violence make one more prone to violent or aggressive behaviour? At most they have less of an aversion to it, but that does not mean someone will be more aggressive.

What probably IS the cause of increased aggression is the nature of the games being played. Not because they're violent, but because they're competitive online games (Call of Duty definitely, Killzone... I think so; I don't play either, but FPS games are known for being both violent and very competitive when it comes to online play). Increased competitiveness would almost certainly increase one's aggression as well, because winning games (video games or sports) tends to favour those who are constantly pushing forward; patience is very seldom the reason one wins a match. Throw in online-gamings well-known lack of restraint, maturity, and sportsmanship, and you have a hyper-competitive environment where aggressive combat with a strong focus on killing eachother (particularly for something like an FPS) runs rampant.

The researchers should come up with a good explanation for their correlation, not one which overlooks many key details.

Complete agreement on the latter portion, especially.

As I said in my post above, I'd like them to include more information about what types of "non-violent" game were used. I'd also like to see them run similar comparisons with competitive and non-competitive non-violent games, and see if any significant results pop up.

The idea that "blasting louder sounds" necessarily means someone is "more aggressive" is a potential problem, too. It could just be that a person playing a violent game is in a somewhat more "excited" state, making them prone to react more strongly to requests or challenges (like, say, telling them to attack with sound). It could also be that the competitive nature of these games is what leads to that behavioral change, not the violent nature itself*.

*Though I would allow that violence, particularly when it includes a humanoid surrogate meant to be "us," has a more primal connection to our basic competitive drive. But so does football, so what's new?

So this proves that people won't care about yet another 'violent' image after playing mortal kombat for 25 minutes, WOW! This video made me wanna punch someone more than playing games ever will.

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