Violent media and real-world behavior: Historical data and recent trends By Devon Maylie The relationship between violent media and real-world violence has been the subject of extensive debate and considerable academic researchyet the core question is far from answered. Do violent games and movies encourage more violence, less, or is there no effect? Complicating matters is what seems like a simultaneous rise in onscreen mayhem and the number of bloody events in our streets — according to a report from the FBI, between and there were an average of
Olson suggests that the deliberately outrageous nature of violent games, though disturbing, makes them easily discernible from real life and suggests that the interactivity could potentially make such games less harmful. She raises the question of how these two behaviors can be linked if youth violence has declined over the last several years while violent video game playing has increased significantly during the same period.
This analysis ignores the fact that such variation may be explained by factors other than the link between the two. A spurious variable—a third variable that explains the relationship between two other variables—may explain the negative correlation of video game playing and violent behavior. As one example, socioeconomic status may explain both a decline in violent behavior and an increase in video game playing.
More affluent youth have the means and time to buy and play video games, which keeps them safely inside while avoiding potentially violent interactions on the street. Olsen also cites several studies that have failed to show a connection between violent video game playing and violent behavior among youth.
This conclusion, however, may not be as clear cut as it appears. Youth violence remains a significant public health issue The decline of youth violence notwithstanding, it remains a significant public health issue that requires attention.
Youth homicide remains the number one cause of death for African-American youth between 14 and 24 years old, and the number two cause for all children in this age group. Furthermore, the proportion of youth admitting to having committed various violent acts within the previous 12 months has remained steady or even increased somewhat in recent years http: Although the Columbine tragedy and others like it make the headlines, youth are killed everyday by the hands of another.
A more critical analysis of the link between video game playing and violence is necessary for fully understanding a complex problem like youth violent behavior that has many causes and correlates.
Studies support a link between violent video games and aggressive behavior Researchers have reported experimental evidence linking violent video games to more aggressive behavior, particularly as it relates to children who are at more sensitive stages in their socialization.
These effects have been found to be particularly profound in the case of child-initiated virtual violence. In one study, 9- to year olds and college students were randomly assigned to play either a violent or nonviolent video game.
The participants subsequently played another computer game in which they set punishment levels to be delivered to another person participating in the study they were not actually administered. The authors reported three main findings: The second study was a cross-sectional correlational study of media habits, aggression-related individual difference variables, and aggressive behaviors of an adolescent population.
After statistically controlling for sex, total screen time and aggressive beliefs and attitudes, the authors found that playing violent video games predicted heightened physically aggressive behavior and violent behavior in the real world in a long-term context.
In a third study, Anderson et al. Surveys were given to third, fourth, and fifth graders, their peers, and their teachers at two times during a school year. The survey assessed both media habits and their attitudes about violence.
Results indicated that children who played more violent video games early in a school year changed to see the world in a more aggressive way and also changed to become more verbally and physically aggressive later in the school year.
Changes in attitude were noticed by both peers and teachers. Bushman and Huesmann, in a Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine articleexamined effect size estimates using meta-analysis to look at the short- and long-term effects of violent media on aggression in children and adults.
They reported a positive relationship between exposure to media violence and subsequent aggressive behavior, aggressive ideas, arousal, and anger across the studies they examined. Consistent with the theory that long-term effects require the learning of beliefs and that young minds can easier encode new scripts via observational learning, they found that the long-term effects were greater for children.
In a more recent review, Anderson et al. These included experimental laboratory work, cross-sectional surveys and longitudinal studies. Overall, they found consistent associations between playing violent video games and many measures of aggression, including self, teacher and parent reports of aggressive behavior.
Violent video games may increase precursors to violent behavior, such as bullying Although playing violent video games may not necessarily determine violent or aggressive behavior, it may increase precursors to violent behavior.
Olson points out that violent video games may be related to bullying, which researchers have found to be a risk factor for more serious violent behavior.video games on aggression in youth, including the violence and lethal behaviors of young school shooters: (1) a review of journal data bases, including PSYCHINFO, and PubMed, to retrieve articles from through using the following keywords: Violent video games, aggressive.
Violent video games are associated with antisociality even in a clinical sample, and these effects withstand the robust influences of multiple correlates of juvenile delinquency and youth violence most notably psychopathy.
The Effect of Online Violent Video Games on Levels of Aggression. Jack Hollingdale, identified that video games that portray human violence were associated with increases in levels of aggression Anderson CA, Shook JJ () Violent video games, delinquency, and youth violence: New evidence.
Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice "The present data show that playing violent video games and/or having a preference for violent video games is correlated with delinquency and violence even when considering the effects of a battery of correlates of delinquency including psychopathy.
Youth violence has declined to year lows during the video-game epoch, and countries that consume as much violent media as we do, such as Canada, the Netherlands, and South Korea, have much less. What the Research Says About Violent Video Games.
Violence in video games has been a hotly debated topic since modern gaming was invented, and the research into its effects is mixed.