Sunday, August 28, 2005

Video Games Proven to increase aggression

Going back a few weeks to Video games...
A 20 year research project aimed at finding the effects of video games on individuals was released yesterday, and the results somewhat challange what most of us believe in terms of video games triggering aggression.The results claim that interactive media of a violent nature will infact increase aggression in children and adolescents. The american study concluded also that this is most likely to occur in boys, rather than girls. Mood assesment tests were used to anaylse children playing a violent game for less than 10 minutes, results showing that agressive traits were more common in these children than the children who had not been playing. The children were also more likley to be more hostile than others and argue with figures holding authority.

The results have prompted the American Psychological Association to adopt a resolution, recommending that violence generally be reduced in all interactive media marketed at youth.

I think its would be fair to say that if this resolution is actually implemented, it would spark a much greater global debate which already exists on the impacts of violence in interactive media. Thought it was interesting to share as im sure some of us have conflicting views with the results of this study!


At 8:16 PM, Blogger Kevin said...

I'd be really interested to see that study and any potential howling-great biases it may present.

Of course, I am biased, and anyone attempting to specifically limit any form of media expression is going to wind up crossed off my christmas list.

At 9:37 AM, Blogger Luke said...

Interesting post, Jules. I'm deeply sceptical whenever I read of media effects research that claims to "prove" a behavioural causal link. Usually, these studies hit the headlines and the many, many more that shed doubt on such findings never get aired because they don't have the same "news value". And as a parent of small kids who mix with lots of other small kids who are too small to play violent video games yet, I can present the findings of my own research: boys are generally a lot more aggressive than girls with or without video games! (Perhaps something to do with the high levels of testosterone relative to body mass, I was reading recently.) I'm also intrigued to read that this research was carried out over 20 years. This would suggest a longitudinal study that investigated the long-term impact of exposure to video games, and yet you mention that it was based only on 10 minute bursts of exposure. So I guess I'm saying that, like Kevin, I would really like a link to the research if you have it.

At 10:42 PM, Blogger jules said...

In response to Luke - found the article in The Herald, 26/08/05 ( i think!) The article didnt give me a direct link to the research but after looking up the American Psychological Association web site, i found it to be quite interesting. Look up video games under the search option and it will give you relevant documents.

At 2:46 PM, Blogger Luke said...

Thanks. Here's the press release the article was presumably based on. And here (below) is an article from the NY Times today:

The Claim: Violent Video Games Make Young People Aggressive

Published: August 30, 2005

THE FACTS Republicans and Democrats alike screamed government waste last March when a group of senators suggested spending $90 million to study how video games "and other electronic media" influenced children's behavior. Surely an important question, critics of the plan said, but $90 million?

Some believe that, in any case, the verdict is already in. This month, the American Psychological Association called for a reduction of violence in all video games, saying the evidence from 20 years of research on the subject was clear. They based their conclusion largely on the work of Kevin M. Kieffer, a psychologist at St. Leo University near Tampa, Fla., who prepared an analysis of dozens of relevant studies.

He found that, in general, children exposed to virtual bloodshed showed greater "short-term" increases in hostility toward peers and authority figures than those exposed to more benign games. And many of the studies included in the analysis were randomized, rebutting the notion that aggressive people are simply drawn to violent games, Dr. Kieffer found.

But a separate study, also published this month, concluded that violent video games have no "long-term," or permanent, effects on aggressive behavior. The study, by a researcher at the University of Illinois, was among the first of its kind to follow two groups of people for a month, some randomly assigned to play violent video games and some not.

In the end, the study's findings may be more in line with public opinion. On the day its findings were announced, a jury in Alabama reached a guilty verdict in the case of Devin Moore, who killed three people when he was 18 and as his defense blamed the video game "Grand Theft Auto."

THE BOTTOM LINE Studies generally show that violent video games can have short-term, or momentary, effects on children, but there is little evidence of long-term changes.

At 11:57 AM, Blogger Andrew Cozens said...

That story ^^ backs up what Kevin has been saying about games improving the ability to multi-task, hand-eye coordination and attention span.


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