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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ConsterDon't 'beauty rags' already get plenty of criticism?02/27/2015 - 9:02am
ZippyDSMleeEh still rather subjective… the haters would be better off going after teen and beauty rags and magazines than fiction, fiction follows reality and going after fiction tends to turn into a bullying fest’s… plus its fiction its unrealistic to start with….02/27/2015 - 1:10am
MechaTama31That's a pretty difficult anatomy to break.02/26/2015 - 11:09pm
MechaTama31"the way her animations repeatedly break her anatomy" <-- I'm sorry, but we are talking here about the woman who can roll up into a little ball and live to tell the tale, yes? ;)02/26/2015 - 11:09pm
Andrew EisenAs far as examples that could be culled from female game characters though, that one's pretty mild.02/26/2015 - 9:11pm
Andrew EisenNot as much the heels or the suit in and of themselves but certainly the way her animations repeatedly break her anatomy to show off her lady bits.02/26/2015 - 9:10pm
E. Zachary KnightWell, Samus's heels are certainly impracticable, but I wouldn't really call her Zero suit objectified. I don't really feel that the new Lara Croft is objectified either, but that is my subjective opinion.02/26/2015 - 9:08pm
Andrew EisenTomb Raider: No but we haven't seen much of anything yet. Samus: Yes.02/26/2015 - 9:07pm
ZippyDSMleeWould you call the new tomb raider objectified? WOuld Samus Aran from the new Smash bros be objectified?02/26/2015 - 9:02pm
WonderkarpI'm hoping they put the rest of the comic book ghostbusters in there. Ortiz and Rookie(From GB the game)02/26/2015 - 8:38pm
Wonderkarpghostbusters board game is doing great. getting close too a 3rd extra playable Character. Ron Alexander.02/26/2015 - 8:37pm
Andrew EisenSmurfette is not subjective. If there's more than one female character, it's not Smurfette. Anyway, as with everything on the list, Smurfette is, in and of itself, not necessarily a bad thing.02/26/2015 - 8:32pm
Andrew EisenI think there's 5 women (out of 15, I think) but other than one being a bit more "hippy" than the others, they pretty much all have the same body type. Especially when compaired to the huge variety of male body types.02/26/2015 - 8:31pm
Wonderkarpso I dont see Smurfette as a bad thing. Unless like all your female characters are Smurfette. remember the Smurfs also had Sassette02/26/2015 - 8:29pm
E. Zachary KnightOne good example of the larger issues is one Anita used in the presentation, Blizzard's Overwatch game. There are a dozen men in the game with a dozen body types. But there are only 4 women with 2 body types, but 3 of them have the same one.02/26/2015 - 8:28pm
Wonderkarpthe smurfette thing is subjective to how many female characters you have. Take Sonic for example. You have Amy, who is obvious smurfette, but there's several other female characters now without that. Including the original animated seriescomics with Sally02/26/2015 - 8:28pm
E. Zachary KnightAE. Very true. I think that is where I was going, but it didn't come out right. Jack Harkness is sexy but not objectified. Whereas, a women would have to be objectified in order to be "sexy" in most games.02/26/2015 - 8:26pm
E. Zachary KnightAnd as Andrew pointed out, there is a big difference between a sexualized man, and an idealized man. But for some reason, there is no distinction between women in games. For the most part.02/26/2015 - 8:25pm
Andrew EisenI think one of the issues we run into repeatedly with these conversations is the confusion over "sexy" and "sexually objectified."02/26/2015 - 8:24pm
E. Zachary KnightYet, for some reason, in orde rto have a sexualized women, she must be wearing lingerie or a bikini. Can't women be sexual and still dress for the job at hand?02/26/2015 - 8:24pm
 

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