Video games and aggression


Video games and aggression

Research studies


Gentile & Anderson (2003): Meta-analysis found a consistent link between violent game play and aggressive behaviour. This link was true for children and adults and was stronger in more recent studies with newer (and so more violent) games.

Experimental studies

Gentile & Stone (2005): Short-term increases in physiological arousal, hostile feelings and behaviour following violent game play compared to non-violent game play.

Longitudinal studies

Ihori et al. (2003): Children with high exposure to violent game play became more verbally and physically aggressive AND showed less prosocial behaviour over the course of a school year compared to their peers.

Correlational studies

Gentile & Anderson (2003): Time spent playing violent video games was positively correlated with aggressive feelings and behaviour, even for those with lower levels of trait hostility.

Bi-directional model (Gentile & Anderson, 2003)

Playing violent video games may cause increase in aggressive behaviour, but also possible that people with aggressive personality traits seek out violent video games for recreation.

Desensitisation (Funk, 1993)

People who are repeatedly exposed to violent video games become desensitised toward violence and so less likely to show aversive response (e.g. disgust) to violence in real life.

Interactive versus passive games

Porter & Starcevic (2007): Interactive violence in video games exert more influence than passive TV violence, as




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