August 10, 2022
Does playing violent video games affect behavior?  Here’s what the latest study has to say

Many people believe that playing violent video games is a bad idea because they fear it will lead to an increase in aggressive behavior. As these sports become increasingly popular, some academics have expressed their concern. However, according to a new study, concerns about the psychological effects of violent video games may be unfounded. According to the longitudinal study, participants’ hostility and prosocial behavior were largely unaffected by playing a violent video game every day for two months—a type of research that involves making repeated observations of the same variables over time.

Most studies done to understand the effects of violent video games on players have so far been inconclusive. Some have said that violent video games promote aggression, while others have failed to find any such effect.

the study, published In the journal Molecular Psychiatry by Nature Publishing Group, previous research focused on the short-term consequences of violent gaming play, but these effects were “primarily the product of priming”. An increase in hostility after an hour of playing a violent video game is an example of such an effect. This means that violent play made aggressive thoughts more accessible.

For the study, flyers and Internet advertisements were used to recruit 90 healthy individuals. The participants included both college students and the general public. The advertisement stated that participants were being recruited for a video game longitudinal study and that a written agreement was obtained after a complete explanation of the study. The participants, who ranged in age from 18 to 45, spent two months playing the ‘violent video game’ Grand Theft Auto V, the nonviolent video game The Sims 3, or no games at all. Before and after the two-month game, their social behavior was assessed using questionnaires, behavioral measures of aggression, sexist thoughts, empathy and interpersonal competencies, impulsivity-related constructs, mental health, and executive control tasks.

“No significant changes were observed, neither the violent video game play group compared to the nonviolent game play group nor the passive control group,” the authors concluded in the study.

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