Yes, Violent Video Games Trigger Aggression, but Debate Lingers - Scientific American
Moral panics over the potentially damaging effects of media violence on Koop implicated violent video games as a leading cause of family violence, news a consistent relationship between video game violence and real-life violence. Playing violent video games doesn't make kids more aggressive. to support these claims that violent media and real-world violence are connected. clear connection between violent video games and aggressive behavior. Do violent video games contribute to youth violence? claiming a causal link between video game violence and real life violence are flawed.
Violent Video Games and Aggression | National Center for Health Research
Hull and colleagues pooled data from 24 studies that had been selected to avoid some of the criticisms leveled at earlier work. They only included research that measured the relationship between violent video game use and overt physical aggression. They also limited their analysis to studies that statistically controlled for several factors that could influence the relationship between gaming and subsequent behavior, such as age and baseline aggressive behavior.
Even with these constraints, their analysis found kids who played violent video games did become more aggressive over time. But the changes in behavior were not big.
Yes, Violent Video Games Trigger Aggression, but Debate Lingers
After statistically controlling for several other factors, the meta-analysis reported an effect size of 0. It may instead be that the relationship between gaming and aggression is a statistical artifact caused by lingering flaws in study design, Ferguson says.
For one thing, studies vary in terms of the criteria they use to determine if a video game is violent or not. By some measures, the Super Mario Bros. Studies, too, often rely on subjects self-reporting their own aggressive acts, and they may not do so accurately. An analysis of one of his earlier studies, which reported a similar estimated effect size of 0. Hull theorizes violent games help kids become more comfortable with taking risks and engaging in abnormal behavior. More recent research suggests that the releases of highly popular violent video games are associated with immediate declines in violent crime, hinting that the releases may cause the drop-off.
The role of professional groups With so little evidence, why are people like Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin still trying to blame violent video games for mass shootings by young men?
Can groups like the National Rifle Association seriously blame imaginary guns for gun violence? A key element of that problem is the willingness of professional guild organizations such as the APA to promote false beliefs about violent video games.
These groups mainly exist to promote a profession among news media, the public and policymakers, influencing licensing and insurance laws. They also make it easier to get grants and newspaper headlines.
Psychologists and psychology researchers like myself pay them yearly dues to increase the public profile of psychology.
But there is a risk the general public may mistake promotional positions for objective science. In the APA released its first policy statement linking violent video games to aggression.
However, my recent analysis of internal APA documents with criminologist Allen Copenhaver found that the APA ignored inconsistencies and methodological problems in the research data.
Do video games lead to violence?
The APA updated its statement inbut that sparked controversy immediately: More than scholars wrote to the group asking it to stop releasing policy statements altogether. I and others objected to perceived conflicts of interest and lack of transparency tainting the process. The resulting misunderstandings delay efforts to address mental illness and other issues that are actually related to gun violence.