Study links time spent playing violent video games with aggressive behavior

Researchers have identified a link between playing violent video games and exhibiting aggressive behavior, according to a study published online in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

In "The more you play, the more aggressive you become: A long-term experimental study of cumulative violent video game effects on hostile expectations and aggressive behavior," universities in the U.S., France, Germany and the Netherlands collaborated to study the long-term effects of playing violent video games.

Asserting that it is "well established that violent video games increase aggression," the researchers had two groups of participants play video games for 20 minutes a day over three consecutive days. One group played violent video games — Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Condemned 2: Bloodshot and The Club — while the other played three non-violent video games — S3K Superbike, Dirt 2 and Pure.

'Playing video games could be compared to smoking cigarettes. A single cigarette won't cause lung cancer, but smoking over weeks or months or years greatly increases the risk."

After playing, participants were given the opportunity to "blast a confederate with loud unpleasant noise through headphones," which researchers called "the aggression measure." To measure "hostile expectations," participants read "ambiguous story stems about potential interpersonal conflicts" and were asked what they thought the characters "would do or say, think, and feel as the story continued."

According to the study's abstract, "aggressive behavior and hostile expectations" increased for those who played violent video games but not for those who played non-violent games.

"Playing video games could be compared to smoking cigarettes," Brad Bushman, a co-author and professor of communication and psychology at Ohio State University, said in a press release announcing the study's publication. "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."

More from Polygon

Hearthstone: Naxxramas Overview

  • Oddworld: New 'N' Tasty - Overview video

  • Destiny's beta comparison video: PS4 versus Xbox One

  • The Crew closed beta - Overview video

  • Polygon goes to Poland

Latest Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.
Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_5353_tracker