Study: Violent Video Games Desensitize Players, Cause Heightened Aggression
May 26, 2011 11:00 AM
Violent video games like "Call of Duty" may cause players to be more aggressive
Those who normally didn't play violent video games before the study, had decreased brain response to violent photos
Researchers at the
University of Missouri (MU)
may have found an explanation as to why violent video games cause some players to be more aggressive.
Bruce Bartholow, study leader and associate professor of psychology in the MU College of Arts and Science, along with Christopher Engelhardt, graduate student in the MU Department of Psychological Sciences, and researchers from The Ohio State University and VU University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, have found that the brain becomes less responsive to violence after excessive and short exposure.
Previous studies have shown that violent video games encourage aggressive behavior in players, but until now, no one has
really known why
The MU researchers theorize that the brains of gamers become less responsive to violence, which leads to an increase in aggression as the line between appropriate behavior and
Researchers came to this conclusion after gathering 70 young adult volunteers that were asked to play video games for 25 minutes. Some were randomly assigned to
violent video games
while others were assigned to nonviolent video games.
After 25 minutes of gaming, the volunteers were asked to view a series of neutral photos, such as a man on a bike, as well as violent photos, such as a man holding a gun to another man's mouth. While viewing the photos, volunteers' brain responses were measured by researchers.
In the final part of the study, volunteers were asked to participate in a one-on-one match with other volunteers in a video game that allows each player to choose a level of noise that would blast the other opponent. The level of noise chosen determined the player's amount of aggression.
According to the results, players who participated in violent video games like "Grand Theft Auto" and "Call of Duty" set louder noise blasts on their opponents than those who played nonviolent video games. They also found that those who normally didn't play violent video games before the study, but did during the study, had decreased brain response to the violent photos. Those who did play violent video games before the study had "small" brain response to the violent photos no matter which game they played during the study. The amount of aggression was measured in "small" and large" amounts, where both excessive violent and nonviolent players both measured small brain responses to violent photos after playing violent video games.
"The fact that video game exposure did not affect the brain activity for participants who already had been highly exposed to violent games is interesting and suggests a number of possibilities," said Bartholow. "It could be that those individuals are already so desensitized to violence from habitually playing violent video games that an additional exposure in the lab has very little effect on their brain responses. There also could be an unmeasured factor that causes both a preference for violent video games and smaller brain response to violence. In either case, there are additional measures to consider."
The next step in the study is to find ways to "moderate media violence effects" since the average child in elementary school spends 40 hours per week playing video games.
"More than any other media, these video games encourage
active participation in violence
," said Bartholow. "From a psychological perspective, video games are excellent
because they reward players for engaging in certain types of behavior. Unfortunately, in many popular video games, the behavior is violence.
"Many researchers have believed that becoming desensitized to violence leads to increased human aggression. Until our study, however, this causal association had never been demonstrated experimentally."
This study will be published in an upcoming edition of
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
"Game reviewers fought each other to write the most glowing coverage possible for the powerhouse Sony, MS systems. Reviewers flipped coins to see who would review the Nintendo Wii. The losers got stuck with the job." -- Andy Marken
"Duke Nukem Forever" Goes Gold, Nears Release Date
May 24, 2011, 1:34 PM
Apocalyptic Video Games Delayed/Cancelled Due to Japan's Disastrous Events
March 15, 2011, 12:16 PM
"Call of Juarez: The Cartel" Angers Critics, May be Banned in Mexico
February 22, 2011, 10:01 AM
Study Shows Certain Video Games Improve Decision-Making
February 4, 2011, 8:02 AM
WhatsUp with WhatsApp?
August 29, 2016, 5:23 AM
Fuchsia – Google’s New Open Source Operating System
August 17, 2016, 6:30 AM
Windows 10: End of an Era & A New Beginning
August 1, 2016, 9:59 AM
Free Windows 10 offer ends July 29th, 2016: 10 Reasons to Upgrade Immediately
July 22, 2016, 9:19 PM
Quick Note: Whoops, Microsoft Pushed Unwanted Windows 10 to Some Users
October 15, 2015, 9:04 PM
Quick Note: Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 10565 Fixes Boot Camp 6.0 Issues
October 13, 2015, 11:39 AM
Most Popular Articles
Super Hi- Vision Will Amaze the World
January 16, 2017, 9:53 AM
Samsung Chromebook Plus – Coming in February 2017
January 17, 2017, 12:01 AM
Samsung 2017 Handset’s Updates
January 17, 2017, 12:01 AM
Comparison – Surface Pro VS Tbook X5 Pro
January 21, 2017, 7:00 AM
Comparison – iPad Mini Vs Huawei MediaPad M3
January 19, 2017, 2:08 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Jan 24, 2017, 6:51 AM
Some new News
Jan 23, 2017, 8:59 AM
What is new?
Jan 22, 2017, 7:00 AM
Nintendo signals end for Wii U
Jan 21, 2017, 7:00 AM
Jan 20, 2017, 7:00 AM
News of the World
Jan 19, 2017, 7:00 AM
News of the Day Wednesday 1/18/2017
Jan 18, 2017, 12:01 AM
Jan 17, 2017, 12:16 AM
News of the Day
Jan 16, 2017, 12:10 PM
News and Technology Advancement
Jan 16, 2017, 7:58 AM
Jan 15, 2017, 12:32 AM
Here is Some News
Jan 14, 2017, 12:39 AM
News: Improved and New products
Jan 13, 2017, 12:01 AM
News around the world
Jan 12, 2017, 12:01 AM
Rumors and Announcements
Jan 11, 2017, 12:01 AM
This year CES and ridiculous gadgets
Jan 10, 2017, 12:01 AM
Nokia Android phone spurns the west.
Jan 9, 2017, 12:08 AM
New at CES 2017 - Changhong 8K Super Slim TV 65ZHQ3R
Jan 8, 2017, 1:07 AM
Debuted at CES 2017 - Vuzix Blade 3000 Smart Sunglasses
Jan 8, 2017, 12:39 AM
Some news of Day
Jan 7, 2017, 12:01 AM
News 2017 CES
Jan 6, 2017, 12:01 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2017 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information