Researcher: Violent Content Alone Does Not Increase Aggression

October 27, 2010 -

A psychology student at Canada’s Brock University has undertaken a study on the relation between videogames and aggression, but his research seeks to examine whether other elements of games, rather than violence only, can lead to increased hostility.

26-year old Paul Adachi, as part of his push for a PhD, has already experimented on 50 students between the ages of 17 and 19. His plan, as detailed by the Standard, involves having subjects play two games—one non-violent (the racing game Fuel) and one violent (the action-adventure title Conan)—while attempting to determine if a game’s level of competiveness, difficulty and pace of play contributed to a rising level of aggression.

Adachi measured subjects by checking out their heart rate and blood pressure after they played a game for 15 minutes.  The two games were similar in their competitiveness, difficulty and pacing, and Adachi also randomized the trial in order to take into consideration “people who are more aggressive by nature.”

The PhD candidate reported that both games produced equal levels of aggressive behavior, causing the student to state, “It appears violent content alone is not sufficient to increase aggressive behaviours.”

Adachi isn’t done with his testing just yet though. Next, he plans to attempt to isolate competiveness separately, before expanding the test to 80 participants and four videogames, “Two that are equal in violence, pace and difficulty. And two that are equal in nonviolence, pace and difficulty.”


Comments

Re: Researcher: Violent Content Alone Does Not Increase ...

I'm still wondering what the big deal over increased aggression is in the first place.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Researcher: Violent Content Alone Does Not Increase ...

People in general seem to equate it with increased violence.

They also seem to think that we are having huge issues with youth violence... after all there are so many more violent crimes nowadays than when we were young'ns :P

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Chris Kimberley

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Chris Kimberley

Re: Researcher: Violent Content Alone Does Not Increase ...

Well that's just silly.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Researcher: Violent Content Alone Does Not Increase ...

Finally someone is doing a study in a manner that i have requested for some time. I hope that he continues and that his results are more scientific than anything that the anti game crowd is using.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Researcher: Violent Content Alone Does Not Increase ...

I've always thought that competition was more of a factor than violence -- some of the biggest gaming-related shouting matches I've ever had were over Worms.

Re: Researcher: Violent Content Alone Does Not Increase ...

I agree, you only have to listen to the 'flaming' over Modern Warfare 2 or similar;

Case A: you win the round and get the high score, or

Case B: you constantly get killed by better (or more underhand) players and get frustrated

Which of these scenarios is more conducive to aggression?

Also, frustration over single-player challenges could contribute to aggression. The gang wars in GTA: San Andreas (with their unrealistically high body count) had no effect on my aggression, but the flight school missions sure as hell did!

 
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Andrew EisenHence the "Uh, yeah. Obviously."09/02/2014 - 12:53am
SleakerI think Nintendo has proven over the last 2 years that it doesn't.09/02/2014 - 12:31am
Andrew EisenSleaker - Uh, yeah. Obviously.09/01/2014 - 8:20pm
Sleaker@AE - exclusives do not a console business make.09/01/2014 - 8:03pm
Papa MidnightI find it disappointing that, despite the presence of a snopes article and multiple articles countering it, people are still spreading a fake news story about a "SWATter" being sentenced to X (because the number seems to keep changing) years in prison.09/01/2014 - 5:08pm
Papa MidnightAnd resulting in PC gaming continuing to be held back by developer habits09/01/2014 - 5:07pm
Papa MidnightI find it disappointing that the current gen of consoles is representative of 2009-2010 in PC gaming, and will be the bar by which games are released over the next 8 years - resulting in more years of poor PC ports (if they're ever ported)09/01/2014 - 5:06pm
Andrew EisenMeanwhile, 6 of Wii U's top 12 are exclusive: Mario 3D World, Nintendo Land, Pikmin 3, Mario Kart 8, Wonderful 101, and ZombiU. (Wind Waker HD is on the list too but I didn't count it.)09/01/2014 - 4:36pm
Andrew EisenLikewise, only two of Xbox One's top 12 are exclusive: Dead Rising 3 and Ryse: Son of Rome (if you ignore a PC release later this year).09/01/2014 - 4:34pm
Andrew EisenNot to disrespect the current gen of consoles but I find it telling that of the "12 Best Games For The PS4" (per Kotaku), only two are exclusive to the system: Infamous: Second Son and Resogun.09/01/2014 - 4:30pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/09/01/beyond-two-souls-ps4-trophies-emerge-directors-cut-reported/ MMM MMM, nothing quire like reheated last gen games to make you appreciate the 400 bucks you spent on a new console.09/01/2014 - 4:24pm
Andrew EisenThat's actually a super depressing thought, that a bunch of retweeters are taking that pic as an illustration of the actual issue instead of an example of a complete misunderstanding of it.09/01/2014 - 4:20pm
Andrew EisenObviously, the picture was created by someone who doesn't understand what the issue actually is (or, possibly, someone trying to satire said misunderstanding).09/01/2014 - 4:10pm
Papa MidnightPeople fear and attack what they do not understand.09/01/2014 - 4:04pm
Papa MidnightWell, let's not forget. Someone held their hand in a peace sign a few weeks ago and people started claiming it was a gang sign. Or a police chief displayed the hand signal of their fraternity and was accused of the same.09/01/2014 - 4:04pm
SleakerEither people don't understand that what the picture is saying is true, or the picture was created out of a misunderstanding of what sexism is.09/01/2014 - 3:52pm
Sleaker@AE ok yah that's where the kind of confusion I'm getting. Your tweet can be taken to mean two different things.09/01/2014 - 3:51pm
Andrew EisenSleaker - No. No, not even remotely. The pic attached to my tweet was not made by me; it's not a statement I'm making. It's an illustration of the complete misunderstanding of the issue my tweet is referring to.09/01/2014 - 3:13pm
Papa MidnightIn other news, Netflix states why it paid Comcast: http://money.cnn.com/2014/08/29/technology/netflix-comcast/index.html?hpt=hp_t209/01/2014 - 3:10pm
Papa MidnightAndrew Eisen: Sites like Tumblr make things seem much bigger than they are. A vocal extreme minority start complaining and things go as they do.09/01/2014 - 3:09pm
 

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