Study Examines Effect of Ruminating over Violent Games

September 20, 2010 -

Results from a recent study appear to indicate that playing violent videogames could increase aggression a full day later, but only when certain conditions were instituted.

“Violent Video Games Cause an Increase in Aggression Long After the Game Has Been Turned Off” (link) was authored by Brad Bushman and Bryan Gibson, the former a professor at Ohio State University and Amsterdam’s VU University and the latter a professor at Central Michigan University. The study was conducted on 126 college students.

The flip of a coin decided whether participants would play a violent or nonviolent game for 20 minutes. The violent games were Mortal Kombat: vs. DC Universe, Resistance: Fall of Man, and Resident Evil 5, while Guitar Hero, Gran Turismo 5, and Shaun White Snowboarding made up the nonviolent entries.

The study randomly assigned some students to the “rumination condition,” and instructed  them “In the next 24 hours, think about your play of the game, and try to identify ways your game play could improve when you play again.’’

Researchers then used a ploy, setting up a reaction game between participants and an “ostensible partner,” in which the winner could blast the loser with noise ranging from 60 decibels to 105 decibels (an option that used 0 decibels was provided as well).

Using results from the reaction game as a measure, it was reported that:

Men who played a violent game for just 20 min and then ruminated about it were more aggressive 24 hr later. Thus, violent video game effects can cause an increase in aggression at least 24 hr after the game has been turned off, at least among men who ruminate about the game.

The present laboratory experiment shows that the aggression stimulating effects of a violent video game can persist long after the game has been turned off, if people ruminate about the violent content in the game.


Thanks Adam!


Comments

Re: Study Examines Effect of Ruminating over Violent Games

This reminds me of a famous psychological study done several decades ago.  In it, one volunteer test subject was given some questions to ask another volunteer test subject.  However, the one answering the questions was really a lab assistant.  There was a barrier between them, so the real test subject couldn't see the other guy.  Whenever the other guy got an answer wrong, the one asking the questions was to push a button that they were told would send an increasingly strong shock to the other guy (the button actually played a recording of increasingly painful cries and screams).

All the while, a man with a lab coat and a clipboard would authoratively tell the test subject to continue, that it was all part of the experiment.  Prodded by someone of authority, the test subjects kept causing what they thought was physical pain, listening to the screams and the crying from the other side of the barrier.  Even when they were clearly uncomfortable with what they thought they were doing, they kept doing it anyway.

Of course, in that example, they thought they were causing real, seriously injury to the other person.  An airhorn, while mildly painful to the ears, is really just annoying and pranksterous.  Someone blowing an airhorn at the loser is kinda harmless.  As such, it's hard to take it seriously as an example of "agression."  I've heard of other "studies" where some participants were asked to put hot sauce in someone's drink after some competition, to test agression.  Same meaningless BS.  Another one where participants were asked to hit each other with pillows, however hard they want, based on certain conditions.  Again, no true harm, thus not a good measurement of agression or violence.

Re: Study Examines Effect of Ruminating over Violent Games

Re: Study Examines Effect of Ruminating over Violent Games

Just another bullshit study from Bushman, who seems to have an uncanny talent for always confirming his claim that violent video games promote aggressive behavior.

Re: Study Examines Effect of Ruminating over Violent Games

All i needed to read was "Brad Bushman"... ya the author of many other incredibly flawed studies concerning violent media and aggression. Honestly at this point it's become clear that instead of looking for the complicated truth, he's looking for a quick answer that proves him right. He's essentially become too bias to conduct a proper study. 

Where to begin with the possible flaws. For one, they only conducted the sound test AFTER gameplay but not before, and thus you can't actually prove that the people who were more "aggressive" were that way by default or if they became that way during the course of the game play. 

 

The sound test itself seems like a flawed method for testing aggression. trying to look it up, while 105 is about where pain begins there are much louder things that people deal with; such as a very loud car stereo (120-130)... I don't think, you can really call it a test of "aggression" unless the participant enacting the aggression actually recognizes it as seriously painful... frankly i know plenty of college students who might view such a thing as harmless fun... Hell if their opponents did not hit them with the 105 decibals, they may not even realize what it feels like and thus would not think twice about it. on the otherhand, if they did get hit with that much and found it painful, they might want to deliver a little pay back if they got the chance (in other words the sound test ITSELF is making them act more aggressive)...

honestly, just another study destined to be debunked

Re: Study Examines Effect of Ruminating over Violent Games

On screen action=excitement=energy=excitement="aggression"!


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Re: Study Examines Effect of Ruminating over Violent Games

Yes, it's "aggression" just like this study is "science"

Re: Study Examines Effect of Ruminating over Violent Games

Well excitement=something, god forbid its just excitement...


I have a dream, break the chains of copy right oppression! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/cigital-disobedience/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Study Examines Effect of Ruminating over Violent Games

The games here are also very poorly matched...highly sophisticated plot-heavy violent games with sophisticated controls matched against plot-light (or absent) non-violent games with relatively easy controls.

This has been a consistent problem as well, and other scholars Prysbylksi (spelling?) Ryan and Rigby have found that issues like control complexity are regularly confounded with violent content in these studies. 

Re: Study Examines Effect of Ruminating over Violent Games

Wait.. wasn't the airhorn test of aggression discreted already?  Last I heard it was generally not considered an acceptable measure of aggression.

Re: Study Examines Effect of Ruminating over Violent Games

It has indeed been discredited.  Read Ferguson and Rueda (2009).  Journal of Experimental Criminology.  Not valid. 

Re: Study Examines Effect of Ruminating over Violent Games

 ya, taking a quick overlook of bushman's study he does try to claim that the sound test is a valid test based off of some work that was done in 1995... though just because it was ok back then doesn't mean it's still ok today as further testing can disprove past studies. Which is what assume the study you mention pretty much does. If Bushman wants his study to be taken seriously he would have to first prove Ferguson and Rueda wrong and prove the sound study is valid. 

Re: Study Examines Effect of Ruminating over Violent Games

Yeah I was going to say, this one literally shows up in a text book one of my college friends got this year for her Crime and Deviance class.

 
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james_fudgeQuiknkold: Let me ask you- how many of those 'gamers are dead' articles did you see here? Because apparently i'm part of some vast conspiracy.09/18/2014 - 5:18am
NeenekoAh, that old straw man. That is one of the ironies about the discussion, the whole point is showing how good people can still have problems with sexism and not realize it.09/17/2014 - 9:11pm
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TechnogeekIf you want to make the stereotype of gamers less painful, try calling people out when they do bad shit rather than handwave it away as "not all gamers". Even if it is a few bad apples, that'll still more than enough to spoil the barrel.09/17/2014 - 8:53pm
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quiknkoldpeople should not be harrassed and punished for the actions of a few. I've always welcomed and accepted everybody who wanted to join in. Who wanted to make them, or play them. I love good strong female protagonists, and want more.09/17/2014 - 7:35pm
quiknkoldOne of the tennants of Gamergate is to stand up against Harrassment. That Gamers arent like those assholes. We can argue for days if the Sexism or Antifeminism or corruption is there or not, But the one thing I believe in and wear on my sleave is that09/17/2014 - 7:35pm
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quiknkoldManchildren who are awful people and that the Identity of the Gamer should die. This hurt me personally. I've always identified as a Gamer. Even in my childhood years, I was a Gamer. All my friends are Gamers. Its one of the core parts of my identity.09/17/2014 - 7:34pm
quiknkoldUltimately, With the whole Gamergate thing, I jumped on it due to the harassment. A small number of assholes harrass Anita and Zoe, and then all the publications lumped together Gamers as this collective of Sexist White Bigoted Basement Dwelling09/17/2014 - 7:34pm
quiknkoldEZacharyKnight : Lemme ask you a question. We have people who cling to walls, people who fire lasers from their eyes, people who can shapeshift....and yet fabric needs to be upheld to RL physics?09/17/2014 - 6:54pm
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E. Zachary Knightquiknkold, I stand corrected on the buttcrack thing. Still, I know of no fabric that actually does that.09/17/2014 - 5:05pm
Andrew EisenSo... it's unethical to discuss the ethics surrounding public interest vs. personal privacy?09/17/2014 - 4:45pm
prh99The source for the game was just released not long ago, it's at https://github.com/keendreams/keen09/17/2014 - 4:43pm
prh99An Indiegogo champagin bought the rights to the early 90's game Keen Dreams to make it open source and release it on GOG etc. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/let-s-get-keen-dreams-re-released-legally09/17/2014 - 4:42pm
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Andrew EisenYeah, I can imagine Spiderwoman posed like in your second link.09/17/2014 - 4:00pm
 

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