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Violent Video Games Build Aggression

Thursday, 13 December 2012 05:12 PM

For the first time, psychological researchers have found playing violent video games over long periods of time can increase aggressive behavior and hostility.
The Ohio State University study, published online in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, found the negative effects of playing violent video games accumulate over time.
"Playing video games could be compared to smoking cigarettes,” said Brad Bushman, co-author of the study and an OSU professor of communication and psychology. “A single cigarette won't cause lung cancer, but smoking over weeks or months or years greatly increases the risk. In the same way, repeated exposure to violent video games may have a cumulative effect on aggression.
"It's important to know the long-term causal effects of violent video games, because so many young people regularly play these games.”
Bushman conducted the study with colleagues from the University Pierre Mendès-France and the University of Hohenheim in Germany. The researchers enrolled 70 French university students to participate in what they were told was a three-day study of the effects of brightness of video games on visual perception. On three consecutive days, the students were assigned to play a violent game (Condemned 2, Call of Duty 4, and The Club) or nonviolent video game (S3K Superbike, Dirt2, and Pure).
After playing each day, participants took part in an exercise designed to measure hostility. The results showed that those who played the violent games had a significant increase in their hostile expectations, unlike those who played nonviolent games.
"People who have a steady diet of playing these violent games may come to see the world as a hostile and violent place," Bushman said. "These results suggest there could be a cumulative effect."
"Hostile expectations are probably not the only reason that players of violent games are more aggressive, but our study suggests it is certainly one important factor."

© HealthDay

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Playing violent video games over long periods of time can increase aggressive behavior, researchers find.
Thursday, 13 December 2012 05:12 PM
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