Psychology Study Blames Games for Aggressive Behavior

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I'm going to punch ever MU grad I know till I prove this study wrong.

the problem no psychologist would like to admit: Human are not like physical particles and therefore can not be experimented on in the same way. testing a hypothesis on any number of humans cannot be re-purposed to the whole. Every single human being on this planet is different (not special but that's a different discussion). Every single human will have a slightly different reaction. To be a proper study we would all have to be the same, same exact political, scientific and religious beliefs. and if that were the case then the experiments wouldn't be needed.

Of course another far worse factor is, all other media! = \
Honestly it's easier to get a taste for violence by reading a book.

Whether the good professor can prove a correlation or not is irrelevant, he's forgetting the golden rule of statistics, Correlation does not equal Causation. Anyone who's taken a simple economics 101 or statistics class can tell you how important that rule is.

Enough exposure to ANYTHING, whether it be sex, violence, and even actual pain, will desensitize an individual to that given thing. "Tolerance" is built up. Movies, television, and the internet do the same things video games do. They are just trying to prove common sense.

A desensitization to violence does not mean tendency for violence.
(but I wouldn't be surprised if there was a positive correlation between the two, regardless of how small or large it may be)

Someone dares to threaten the sanctity of video game psychology, cue sensationalist, knee jerk defensive posturing.

Seriously, as much as this site harps on, say, Fox News, I would expect better handling of this sort of thing.

MasterOfWorlds:
Yeah, as a former psych major, I'm calling BS on this one. Unless you show real violence happening to real people, and their reaction is the same to videogames, I'm not buying that it's a direct coorelation.

Sure, it does desensitize to violence to a certain degree, but I don't really think it'd be any more so than movies would. I'm not even sure that the fact that you're the one dishing out the pain in videogames has any more effect that watching a movie. I find it amusing that some people say, "They're disassociating themselves from people by playing as this character." and some of the same people turn around and say, "They're becoming more violent because they play these games." People need to make up their minds.

This test is BS, the results are BS, and this is exactly why I want to do sociology and social psychology, so that I'll be able to come up with better and more comprehensive tests than these. Ever think about looking into someone's background before allowing them to participate in the tests? For instance, someone that came from an abusive household might internalize it more than someone that comes from a "normal" family? There are so many outside variable here that it sickens me that this was allowed to be published.

^ This. This. This.
As a current Psych major, I agree with everything you just said.
While you beat to most of my points, mainly on how isolating certain variables and using those to form conclusions is completely bogus. Their are way too many variables to take into account. Such as environmental, cultural, social, family history, psychological dispositions, medical history of the person, individual age and maturity factors that come into play, the list goes on.

Frankly, I find it very irritating when other "psychologist's" belittle the psychological profession with lazy "studies" like this. This makes it increasingly difficult for genuine reputable and future psychologist's to be taken seriously. We already have enough negative stigma attached to our profession already, that we definitely do not need something like this.

I think that I shouldn't say anything because I didn't read the article or any post in here but lookie ok it seems ok no I not no, ye I also thin at same times at the experiments or results were not fake or anything but I don't agree with their conclusionIdon't think being less sensitive to realistic yet fictional violence makes uMoar_violent.irokno irl and cause also that winner gets to loud the sound experiment was.. she- shortish, it.. even if ok did they compare the sound volume to how £violenceto|erant they were??

MasterOfWorlds:
(...)I find it amusing that some people say, "They're disassociating themselves from people by playing as this character." and some of the same people turn around and say, "They're becoming more violent because they play these games." People need to make up their minds.(...)

I don't get it, how have those people not made up their minds? Both quotes suggest that people got more violent from playing violent video games, right?
To me the first one is like an argument for the second.
Please explain if yo u feel like it and.

Glad to see some folks familiar with experimental psychology responding here. Desensitization to violence following exposure to media with violent imagery is a well observed phenomenon. The literature on the subject dates back to the 60s, with results replicated in literally hundreds of studies under varying conditions. As someone remarked earlier, it's hardly surprising, given that the military has used training techniques that rely upon desensitization literally since the dawn of time.

Articles like this just make the gaming community look silly. Attacking research as flawed based on the writer's experience of watching CSI is a non-starter. Making snide comments about how he needs to "keep working at it" and emphasizing that he's an Associate Professor (what, you need tenure before you're allowed to do research?) moves into the realm of unprofessional writing. Fine for a blog somewhere, or perhaps the latest Jimquisition screed, but out of place in an online magazine that usually adheres to a higher standard of industry analysis.

Bottom line, there are a lot of good questions we could be asking about the relationship between games and subsequent reactions to violence. For example, does the interactive nature of games enhance desensitization? A bigger question, not just related to games, is whether desenstization has a significant impact on subsequent behavior. Truthfully, that's still hotly debated, although it's hardly as dismissable a conjecture as some posters seem to think.

Intelligent debate and an understanding of the actual research out there is needed in the face of the hysterical Fox News "Do videogames make your children rape puppies?" articles, not simple "is not!" counterarguments.

Increased violence in society? Look at the Roman empire.. look at the Vikings.. look at decades of slavery.. look at American civil war.. look at Spanish civil war.. look at the world wars.. look at the Mafia in the 50's... Its like saying ''The youth today has no respect'', which Sokrates(?) also did 2500 years ago.

All I have to say to these kinds of topics is ''Bleh''.

I'm not sure why it's controversial to say that video games increase aggressive behaviour. Video games are challenging, which entails them being sometimes frustrating, which in turn breeds aggression. Added to the fact that in multiplayer games you are actively challenging/frustrating another person I'd say it would be only natural to be more aggressive than if you were reading a book or watching a film, which are generally passive experiences.

The trick, I think, is to manage the frustration. To do well at a game you can't always lose your composure, and those that do will often do worse than those who don't.

Games do, and should, be frustrating at times, and challenging most of the time, and so will naturally cause people to be more aggressive. But being able to mediate that aggression is an important life skill, so any game that teaches that should be praised.

I think over a 100 million people play some kind of violent video game everyday, the world didn't explode so wtf r we talking about? I love it how researchers think they need to do a bunch of experiments to come to conclusions that you could've figured using common sense and then blowing it out of proportion. How is that person a college graduate?

Not this again...

If video games make people violent, is the fault of the person, not the fault of the video game. If you can't handle it, don't play it. The same logic applies to roller-coasters. If you get sick from it, you shouldn't be in one.

If one kid unloads a gun at a school after playing Call of Duty (or whatever) that doesn't mean Call of Duty caused it. But all the parents and government and whatnot suddenly make it a hot topic again.

*sigh* It's always the people who don't understand games that make a fuzz about it.

PS. And then there is the fact that a kid shouldn't have a gun to begin with, but that's a whole other topic.

First off all they never told you how many they have made this study on.
Second why is there even money put into this? Humans adapt to what we experience, but playing teken for 25 minutes won't make me go and molest children.

Well it's true... how many people have repeatedly died on a game and gone, "Oh, for FUCKS sake! I'll kill you all!" *revvs up chainsaw*
As for people reacting differently... everyone does that. I'm squeamish but my boyfriend isn't. People at my work don't like touching the eggs, but I don't mind.

Lets make up some bullshit so the Daily Fail can use us in their reportings!

Sigh. This makes me embarrassed for my own state...

A new one of these studies comes out every other week "proving" one side or the other. With it constantly shifting back and forth, I can't believe any of them.

As much as most people won't like to admit it the study they are doing is correct. It's simple Pavlovian theory. The military uses the same methods every day on new recruits to turn normal people into obedient killing machines. They show you and glorify violence and reward you when you display aggressive violent behavior... video games do this in a neatly consolidated package... it makes killing a game.

Violent experiences of any kind be it imagery simulation etc desensitizes to some degree... is it as bad as being in the front lines in Afghanistan? Heck no... but it still does have an effect.

To say that has absolutely no effect on society is just simply naive... our experiences in life shape us, affect us and influence us in subtle ways to make us who we are today... and video games, like it or not, are immersive experiences.

Yet another completely unbiased, objective, and professional news report by the Escapist....

...I thought this discussion was put to rest some time ago. *sigh* Why can't these "scientists" spend their time researching something useful to humanity. I don't know, maybe advance medical science some more, or find a way to get to and terraform Mars, something useful. Oh wait, I forgot, political agendas.

Yeah I'll play along. Violence has been easier to swallow after all my years of video games. That is, fictional violence. If I see moderate violence in the real world right near me I still freak right the heck out, such as a nasty lump of roadkill on the road. Showing someone an image of something violent or disturbing is not the same as seeing it in front of you in real life.

Shorter Greg Tito: "[Ad hominem, blatant misunderstanding of science, I like games so I know better.]"

Shorter greater Escapist community: "[Knee-jerk, anecdote, ad hominem, blatant misunderstanding of science, hyperbole, knee-jerk, we should cut funding, other studies have shown the opposite, so obvious as to be trivial.]"

Shorter Engelhardt, Bartholow, Kerr & Bushman : "[28 references, 70 test subjects]; In summary, the present research is the first to demonstrate that acute desensitization to violence can account for the causal effect of violent video game exposure on aggression. In short, these data indicate that a brain on media violence provides one important pathway for increased aggression."

This is what often disgusts me about this site. You say that videogames aren't the second coming of Christ? Big mistake. A whole bunch of people will curse your name until their blood settles and they forget who you are. Are you a professional psychologist, working with a team of professional psychologists from two universities? No matter. You are "pop-pyschologists who want to play the aggression card and pass that off as encouraging violence. [You] sound like disgruntled parents who have never had fun playing games, and feel compelled to prove that their kids play them too damn much." And that is written and published in "The News Room."

A final word to Greg Tito: names of journals are italicised, like this:

Journal of Experimental Social Psychology

Names of articles are placed in quotation marks, like this:

"This Is Your Brain on Violent Video Games: Neural Desensitization to Violence Predicts Increased Aggression Following Violent Video Game Exposure"

Incidentally, that is the name of the article which you should have read before you wrote this piece. I'm sure you or someone else with a library subscription could have grabbed it of Google Scholar, and saved yourself from this kind of embarrassment.

isnt the noise blasting more of a competitiveness thing?
being a great big dick when you win (you know the type, jumps on couch yelling BO-YA and dancing) doesnt make you aggressive, just a great big dick.

So people who are presented with violence in a screen aren't that impressed when seeing a "representation" of violence on a piece of paper... Could it be that they are more aware it's fake? *gasp* I bet any amount of money that if they had been subjected to a real demonstration of violence (say, pointing a real gun at them), every single one would react in the same intensity. If all, the one's playing violent games would probably run instead of get frozen, but still...

A doctor doesn't mind seeing a corpse and probably has seen people dying more than once. He's probably used to it. Doesn't mean he doesn't get affected, doesn't mean that death means nothing to him, he's just used to seeing it therefore his immediate reactions aren't all that scandalous.

Well at least the scientist stated that it's not the main cause of violence within society.. but still, that isn't good enough. If you do the same thing for someone watching perhaps a violent movie that isn't even Rated R then you would get the same results. Plus, videogames are for entertainment purposes that lets the player relieve stress from their daily lives (well least it does for me) So yea..

I really must apologize for the idiots in the far conservative midwest. Some of these people I'd really not mind clubbing WITH a baby seal. These are the same people that still insist investing in AIG is a good idea and vote against their interests every other year. If evolution exists, why isn't this guy smarter? I don't find videogames disturbing in the least. I learned what's on the TV is fake when I was 5. it's not desensitization. It's the realization that what's put in front of me is not real! In contrast, probably the most disturbing thing I've heard in a while was when a local news reporter mentioned that the rain will help find bodies in Joplin because fluids will leak out from under the houses. Just, ewwwww.

WELP, there goes the neighborhood.

Given the abundance of comments directly relating to the article that have taken up every possible point of argument that I could ever come up with, I will ask a question on a related issue.

Why is there a picture of a stereotypical Native American right next to this article on the front page? Because that just seems like its coming out of left field. Is this happening for anyone else?

9Darksoul6:

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".

The_root_of_all_evil:

You might also want to look up "mechanism", "rational" and the difference between a mind and a brain.

You do realize that difference is my whole point... right?

Science actually has worked it out. I'd suggest looking up the "uncanny valley" when you've finished being condescending.

Would you care to explain me how is it you think the uncanny valley theory is related to the process of distinguishing reality from fiction, or defining what "reality" is.

Quite simply, nature trumps science because it's been around for longer.

Nature is indeed a smart dude. One of the greatest minds of its time.
(Sentences like these prevent me from not being condescending. Sorry.)

-----
Returning to the topic: if you accepted this argument, would you come to the same conclusions as me?

MasterOfWorlds:

4173:

MasterOfWorlds:

This test is BS, the results are BS, and this is exactly why I want to do sociology and social psychology, so that I'll be able to come up with better and more comprehensive tests than these. Ever think about looking into someone's background before allowing them to participate in the tests? For instance, someone that came from an abusive household might internalize it more than someone that comes from a "normal" family? There are so many outside variable here that it sickens me that this was allowed to be published.

If the test is on the general population*, picking people out because of their background is terrible, terrible science. Random sampling and assignment are less likely to bias the outcome.

*If a different population is the focus of the study, then sure, screening is necessary.

I'm not saying to study only people who might lean towards violence, but you should certainly see if your subjects have a tendency towards it before assuming that the general population would react the same way. That may have just been poor wording on my part, but that's what I meant. I don't care that he took a random sample, I do care that they don't seem to take into account that outside factors may have contributed to the increased aggression that they had studied.

A friend of mine is just about the perfect example. Most of the time, he's pretty relaxed, but if he starts getting stressed out, he becomes irritated, and much more aggressive. I've played games with him, and he's almost hit me because I made a crack about something. One time, we were playing Nazi Zombies, and he went to the random weapon box. I said that he'd probably get the Panzershrek because he wanted the laser, and lo and behold, Panzershrek. I laughed, because I had no idea that I'd be right. He paused the game, took a step towards me with a raised fist, and I got ready to take him down. Luckily, his reason kicked in, and he only kicked me out of his house.

Some people just have a short fuse. Some people are just more prone to violence. Taking in people's background would probably not be a bad idea when doing a test like this.

Research of this nature generally goes from the general to the specific. What you suggest is the sort of thing that MAY show in the data, and then become the focus of a new study.

By definition, if he took a random sample correctly, he took into account outside factors that may have contributed to aggression.

bdcjacko:
I'm going to punch ever MU grad I know till I prove this study wrong.

Wouldn't that just prove them right? ;P

Just saying...

Savber:

bdcjacko:
I'm going to punch ever MU grad I know till I prove this study wrong.

Wouldn't that just prove them right? ;P

Just saying...

Idk, it would make me feel better.

I personally play violent video games to relieve stress that I get in real life.I can say that playing extensively this types of games hasn't affected me in the slightest how I react outside them.

Tell me something new, possibly something I haven't heard yet. This is just getting fucking stupid.

Returning to the topic: if you accepted this argument, would you come to the same conclusions as me?

Which argument and which conclusions? So far you've given three.

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