Swedish Study Says Videogames Do Not Cause Aggression

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT
 

Swedish Study Says Videogames Do Not Cause Aggression

image

A study out of Sweden says that children who play violent videogames are more aggressive but there's no evidence that it's the videogames that actually cause the aggression.

If you've paid any attention at all to the back-and-forth debate about the connection between videogames and real-life violence, you've no doubt heard the phrase "correlation does not imply causation" at least once. And that is apparently the conclusion of the Swedish Media Council, which conducted a review of over 100 articles about violent videogames published in various "international scientific journals" over the past decade.

The council concluded that there is a "clear, statistically significant link" between violent videogames and aggressive behavior, but said that a great deal of the research "suffers from serious methodological deficiencies" and fails to establish a causal relationship between gaming and aggression. Furthermore, the few studies that considered other causes of aggression found underlying factors like poor health and family problems that could explain not only the violent behavior but also the great tendency toward playing violent videogames.

In other words, "There is no evidence that violent computer games cause aggressive behavior," the council said.

Studies indicate "beyond a reasonable doubt" that life issues like problems at home can drive kids to play more videogames and lead to heightened levels of aggression, researcher Ulf Dalquist said, but then all that business about correlation and causation gets in the way. "If research can't provide any simple answers about how games make children aggressive, perhaps we adults should stop judging the games children play based on whether they are violent or not," he said in a statement.

But even though games may not cause aggressive or violent behavior among children, parents should stay on top of what their kids are playing. "As parents, we can stand and freeze on the sidelines of a football pitch or listen to out of tune recorder concerts - but we can't engage in their computer gaming," Dalquist told Aftonbladet. "It may not be about how much violence a game contains, but rather what sort of values the game expresses."

Source: The Local

Permalink

This makes the most sense, if any of the other "studies" that said violent video games cause violence were true, the world would be in anarchy by now

image
Just revealed the truth.
Thank you so much! Another good reason to why you are a awesome neighbor.

Andy Chalk:
snip

Yep. People get so trapped around the idea that either a) aggression leads to playing violent games or b) playing violent games leads to aggression that they fail to even conceive of the possibility that c) both aggressive behavior and escapism (like playing video games, most of which are "violent") can both be caused by a third, outside set of factors. Like poor parenting, unhealthy home life, and the like.

That's right, parents. If something is that screwed-up about your kid, it's probably your fault. Something you're doing, something you're not doing... fact is, you get infinitely more time with your child than anyone else, so even when it's not your "fault," it's still your responsibility to fix it.

So quit blaming everyone else.

Jesus Christ, the world honestly needed the Swedish to step in and prove through scientific methods that video games are not the root of all evil? All you needed was to ask a rationally minded, un-biased person who has experience with video games and sociology, and they could have told you that exact same thing! Hell, I'm one of them! Video games aren't the root, they're simply an extension! God damn--okay Sweden, get that article out now. Put it in newspapers across theeeaaahahaha...okay, don't put it in newspapers, but do put it in [i]online news, and I'm talking top tier--get this out there and watch biased media organizations cringe and stumble trying to come up with their...their...

...oookay, I'm bored now. Think my coffee is ready anyhow.

People in the media need to learn that correlation =/= causation. Bidirectionality and 3rd variables make it impossible to tell what causes what.

"As parents, we can stand and freeze on the sidelines of a football pitch or listen to out of tune recorder concerts - but we can't engage in their computer gaming,"

I think what you mean to say is that you can't engage in their computer gaming. People engage in other people's gaming all the time. The fact that a larger gaming community exists is proof of this. So I find it hard to believe that a parent couldn't engage in their children's gaming experiences.

One could argue that it's competitiveness that's the cause of aggression. Games that have a competitive multiplayer component usually have a bunch of annoying and aggressive kids to go with it. That doesn't always have to be multiplayer games though. Fighting games and other games that are heavily skill based can cause aggression.

I never feel aggressive when playing games, they soothe me. Except for when I keep losing at texas hold 'em in Fallout: New Vegas because my Luck isn't high enough. Suprise... went back there with another character that has a really high Luck. And it's not even gambling anymore, it's stealing.

Losing, smugness and aggressive people can cause aggression. It's not the games, it's these elements which can be part of some games. But these things are also part of many sports and other activities that are completely unrelated to games.

One of these days I'm gonna make a compilation of every article I've read on this site that says "Study says games are bad/good for us". Seriously, will any study change anyone's (both supporters and detractors of games) mind at this point?

Andy Chalk:
Furthermore, the few studies that considered other causes of aggression found underlying factors like poor health and family problems that could explain not only the violent behavior but also the great tendency toward playing violent videogames...

Studies indicate "beyond a reasonable doubt" that life issues like problems at home can drive kids to play more videogames and lead to heightened levels of aggression,

You mean, kids who play violent videogames might ALREADY have aggressive tendencies due to shitty parenting?

"You know how old people always write letters to Dear Abby, complaining that their kids never write, call or visit? Those letters really crack me up."

THANK YOU.

Well, I once punched my brother into the ground when he unplugged my old NES when I was REALLY close to beating Mike Tyson Punchout, I think it is clear that videogames are the cause of rapists, murderers and ice-cream thieves.

Andy Chalk:
Swedish Study Says Videogames Do Not Cause Aggression

image

A study out of Sweden says that children who play violent videogames are more aggressive but there's no evidence that it's the videogames that actually cause the aggression.

If you've paid any attention at all to the back-and-forth debate about the connection between videogames and real-life violence, you've no doubt heard the phrase "correlation does not imply causation" at least once. And that is apparently the conclusion of the Swedish Media Council, which conducted a review of over 100 articles about violent videogames published in various "international scientific journals" over the past decade.

The council concluded that there is a "clear, statistically significant link" between violent videogames and aggressive behavior, but said that a great deal of the research "suffers from serious methodological deficiencies" and fails to establish a causal relationship between gaming and aggression. Furthermore, the few studies that considered other causes of aggression found underlying factors like poor health and family problems that could explain not only the violent behavior but also the great tendency toward playing violent videogames.

In other words, "There is no evidence that violent computer games cause aggressive behavior," the council said.

Well...yeah. But isn't it unnecessary to make rebuttals to 'The Daily Mail' and other such groups that try and argue the contrary? The moment you start arguing with them, you're giving them some measure of validity.

Andy Chalk:
Studies indicate "beyond a reasonable doubt" that life issues like problems at home can drive kids to play more videogames and lead to heightened levels of aggression, researcher Ulf Dalquist said, but then all that business about correlation and causation gets in the way. "If research can't provide any simple answers about how games make children aggressive, perhaps we adults should stop judging the games children play based on whether they are violent or not," he said in a statement.

Arguing that violent video games lead to real-world violence uses the same logic as arguing that elevated ice cream sales lead to shark attacks.

Andy Chalk:
But even though games may not cause aggressive or violent behavior among children, parents should stay on top of what their kids are playing. "As parents, we can stand and freeze on the sidelines of a football pitch or listen to out of tune recorder concerts - but we can't engage in their computer gaming," Dalquist told Aftonbladet. "It may not be about how much violence a game contains, but rather what sort of values the game expresses."

I never really understood that contrast. Going to your kid's sporting event requires time, money, etc, and if it's rugby/American football, you're likely shouting encouragement to your kid to maim the other team as well as possible.

But if you see your kid playing a video game at home? Egad! Heaven forbid they spend time causing virtual violence after two hours of vaguely-organized brawling.

Finally, a study from an actual socialist country that don't have corrupt suit-monkeys paying it off to make "item X" look bad.

Well... that is weird... then why did i just killed a hooker for the money, by bashing her head with a crowbar?

Now what should i blame in case i go to court?

Repeat after me: Correlation, not Causation.

Up yours Australian Shrinks.

Good old Swedes, bringing us Minecraft, and now a gaming-related study that isn't retarded.

So what they are saying is that nobody knows what the hell is actually causing these kids to be agressive just that they are.

I love these articles.

Video games cause violence? "DOWN WITH THE ARTICLE, IT'S BIASED".

Video games don't? "UNBIASED ARTICLE PEOPLE! HELL YEAH".

But yeah, at this point nobody's mind is going to be changed. There's been so many studies well, yeah, at this point you'd expect everyone to have their minds made up.

Sorry Sweedes but the people still crying foul are not going. Mainly because they aren't the type to "believe" in science as anything other than liberal/nazi/progressive/communist plots to steal innocence of children.

This article has misrepresented the truth slightly. Bad journalism! The title is awful it's should say 'Swedish Study Says Videogames Haven't Been Proved to Cause Aggression' to be anything like close to the truth. That's what the quote means, you've just truncated the 'there is no evidence' bit, which actually has an important meaning.

Please don't do a Fox

Satsuki666:
So what they are saying is that nobody knows what the hell is actually causing these kids to be agressive just that they are.

No it's not saying that. It's saying one of two things are true. Either a) Videogames make children more violent, or b) Violent children are more likely to play videogames

This study has proved a link, we just don't know the direction yet. It's not saying that there is a scrap of evidence suggesting videogames don't lead to violence, just that all things can go two ways.

Which in itself is not surprising, proving a causal relationship in _anything_ is really hard. Especially if you want long term affects, because then you can't even mess around with the variables in an experiment.

For instance, I could take constant surveys of people who've just been in the sea and what I could show is that there's a relationship between swimming in the sea and being wet. What this study is pointing out is that doesn't prove it's necessarily the case. Maybe the only people who want to go swimming are people who are wet. Maybe being wet causes swimming.

The only way to prove the truth is to take surveys of people before and after they swim. So we need children who aren't violent and have never played videogames and then many years later having started playing games, they are now violent. It takes time and a lot of good data because many things can change in a child as they, you know, grow up.

Andy Chalk:
In other words, "There is no evidence that violent computer games cause aggressive behavior," the council said.

It took one blink of an eye to invent this whole fairy tale with games and aggression.
Years later and tenths of serious studies proving otherwise there are still some that don't and probably won't ever believe it.

We're very strange species... :)

AugustFall:
People in the media need to learn that correlation =/= causation. Bidirectionality and 3rd variables make it impossible to tell what causes what.

Firstly, I agree with you and have absolutely no quarrel with this article, but you raised an interesting question in me that I thought might be worth sharing. Is it the medias responsibility to learn that, or is the onus with the individual reading any given piece to apply such filters?

Because Sweden is among the enlightened god tier countries, I expect nothing less than solid truth from their scientists.

Today, I got that.

cynicalsaint1:

"As parents, we can stand and freeze on the sidelines of a football pitch or listen to out of tune recorder concerts - but we can't engage in their computer gaming,"

I think what you mean to say is that you can't engage in their computer gaming. People engage in other people's gaming all the time. The fact that a larger gaming community exists is proof of this. So I find it hard to believe that a parent couldn't engage in their children's gaming experiences.

I believe that was meant to be a question.
"but we can't engage in their computer gaming?"
Asking why parents don't, rather than say they can't.

BrotherRool:

No it's not saying that. It's saying one of two things are true. Either a) Videogames make children more violent, or b) Violent children are more likely to play videogames

That actually was the point I was actually trying to get across. Except I decided to use a little more swearing and a little less coherent.

JesterRaiin:

Andy Chalk:
In other words, "There is no evidence that violent computer games cause aggressive behavior," the council said.

It took one blink of an eye to onvent this whole fairy tale with games and aggression.
Years later and tenths of serious studies proving otherwise there are still some that don't ant probably won't ever believe it.

We're very strange species... :)

You haven't understood the meaning properly!!!!

They have said there is clear evidence that people who play videogames are more violent. What they are saying is there's no evidence that it's just that violent people are the sort of people who play videogames and non-violent people have other hobbies.

So it's not a 'fairytale' this scientific study said there is no evidence of a causal relationship but strong strong evidence of correlation. They haven't just haven't proven it either way yet. What would confirm your view is if they said 'There is evidence to suggest that there is a causal relationship between violent behaviour and playing videogames'

Or 'There is evidence to suggest there is no relationship between violence and videogames'

'There is no evidence to suggest a causal relationship between videogames and violent behaviour' is something completely different.

:D Science phrases things oddly, we're just falling into the natural trap that people fall into when they harp on about the word 'theory'

I stopped caring about these studies a long time ago.

Satsuki666:

BrotherRool:

No it's not saying that. It's saying one of two things are true. Either a) Videogames make children more violent, or b) Violent children are more likely to play videogames

That actually was the point I was actually trying to get across. Except I decided to use a little more swearing and a little less coherent.

I'm so sorry, I missed two very important words in your sentence that changed the meaning completely :D 'they are'

I apologise for trying to lecture you, most of the people in this thread (and the article :( ) seemed to have missed the difference between the two things

Tin Man:

AugustFall:
People in the media need to learn that correlation =/= causation. Bidirectionality and 3rd variables make it impossible to tell what causes what.

Firstly, I agree with you and have absolutely no quarrel with this article, but you raised an interesting question in me that I thought might be worth sharing. Is it the medias responsibility to learn that, or is the onus with the individual reading any given piece to apply such filters?

That is a good point. I would say since the titles of the headlines take scientific research that shows a correlation and package it as scientific fact that "this causes or does not cause this" it is the media's responsibility.
Incorrectly stating facts that cannot be derived from the research you are citing is terrible journalism. If you do not understand what you are writing about then do not write about it.
There is some onus on the reader I suppose to understand that if they want information they should look for scientific journals. However these are not welcoming if you are not versed in the vocabulary used as with many scholarly journals and publications.
People are taught to look to the media to filter out the uninteresting stuff and explain things. That is their job in my opinion.

image

That sums up what i have to say about that :).

Metalhandkerchief:
Finally, a study from an actual socialist country that don't have corrupt suit-monkeys paying it off to make "item X" look bad.

Sadly we aren't socialists anymore. We have a right-wing goverment since 2006 and they have done a good jobb of screwing our country up in a short amount of time.

Sorry, offtopic I know. But I couldn't care less about this. I have never belived that games make people violent and I will never belive it, but it's always fun when our small nation in the periphery gets mentioned.

dogstile:
I love these articles.

Video games cause violence? "DOWN WITH THE ARTICLE, IT'S BIASED".

Video games don't? "UNBIASED ARTICLE PEOPLE! HELL YEAH".

But yeah, at this point nobody's mind is going to be changed. There's been so many studies well, yeah, at this point you'd expect everyone to have their minds made up.

That is because this is one of the few articles that actually states that there's no proof between violence and playing video games. That better parenting is probably the key to prevent violent behaviour. Because other articles contains scientists that say something along the lines "We see brainwaves from x spiking as they x in the game indicating that they react in x way to violence in a virtual world" leads to headlines "Videogames will cause you to murder someone!".
This article doesn't dismiss the claim completely. It is simply saying we don't have any clear connection that says games -> aggression.
In simple terms this is a better article because it doesn't say anything conclusive because there's no conclusive answer to this. Games is one factor of our lives, but our lives are more than games.

TheCruxis:

Metalhandkerchief:
Finally, a study from an actual socialist country that don't have corrupt suit-monkeys paying it off to make "item X" look bad.

Sadly we aren't socialists anymore. We have a right-wing goverment since 2006 and they have done a good jobb of screwing our country up in a short amount of time.

Sorry, offtopic I know. But I couldn't care less about this. I have never belived that games make people violent and I will never belive it, but it's always fun when our small nation in the periphery gets mentioned.

I agree, a right wing goverment in Sweden is a bad idea.

But honestly, I canīt blame people for voting on the Moderates. I mean, the Social democrats are falling apart, especially since they hired a goddamn tax cheater for their leader. The left need to make a full revamp, because right now thereīs a good chance the moderates will win pretty much all elections withing the next two decades. And none of us want that.

OT: This is why I love my country, despite itīs faults. Ever the realist, arenīt you, Sweden?

I'm still gonna go with the studies that say they do cause aggression, just in such small amounts that they have absolutely no real effect unless you're naturally an aggressive person.

Because that way both sides can stop caring.

 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