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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Andrew EisenOkay, so I guess I'm not making sense of #notyourshield because it doesn't make any sense.09/18/2014 - 5:28pm
Andrew EisenI'd really only count three as being "death of gamer" articles and only one as arguably going a bit far with "gamers are young white dudes" stuff.09/18/2014 - 5:17pm
Andrew EisenMost are really just a look at the crap that happened the previous day when Sarkeesian's new video came out and almost all are exceedingly clear that they're talking about the specific gamers who are being obnoxious.09/18/2014 - 5:17pm
Andrew EisenKrono - Yep, I had only seen two. I looked at the 12 you sent and while I had seen a few of them, I didn't think to count them. Some aren't about gamers at all. One's just highlighting two others. One is a Gamasutra community member blog post.09/18/2014 - 5:15pm
Michael Chandrawould clearly not apply, since they weren't used as shield. It's more "hey, just because I don't agree with you doesn't mean I'm CISWASP."09/18/2014 - 5:08pm
Michael ChandraIn comparison though, the more extreme views would be fairly countered with "you don't speak for me". But the batshit crazy people tend not to even use others as the shield to defend their batshit crazy ideas and insults, so at that point #notyourshield09/18/2014 - 5:06pm
Michael ChandraWhich is of course real silly because when there are so many horrible stories and statistics too, it's utterly irrelevant whether some don't mind.09/18/2014 - 5:00pm
Michael ChandraIn this context it would be women claiming they don't see a problem with the stuff, so stop claiming women don't like it!09/18/2014 - 5:00pm
Michael Chandra"You don't speak for me. I am not your shield. You cannot use me to defend your own opinion."09/18/2014 - 4:59pm
Michael ChandraAE, if we leave aside the falsehoods some use with the term, the idea is regarding minorities and such.09/18/2014 - 4:58pm
Michael ChandraKrono did just a bit earlier in the shoutbox prh99.09/18/2014 - 4:56pm
Andrew EisenI still don't get the what #notyourshield is supposed to mean. Who is unfairly using who as a shield for what?09/18/2014 - 4:43pm
prh99Didn't said anything about #notyourshield or it's origins. Assuming your comment was directed at me.09/18/2014 - 4:28pm
prh99Leigh Alexander is right though, no one has to cater to them (trolls). I think a lot of them would likely continue playing even if scantily clad women were omitted or protagonist was female.09/18/2014 - 4:21pm
Michael ChandraSo no, normal gamers feeling attacked was not what sparked #notyourshield and only a fool would suggest otherwise.09/18/2014 - 4:21pm
Michael Chandra#NotYourShield was kickstarted by 4chan people, so don't go and make nonsense claims about that.09/18/2014 - 4:20pm
prh99those toxic individuals conduct their trolling under. It could have easily been under the Men Rights banner etc, they are just generally unpleasant and angry people who can't stand people disagreeing with them. 09/18/2014 - 4:00pm
prh99The whole gamer identity is the scapegoat some have latched onto in the wake of gamergate. I am sure it will fade, only to be replaced with the next thing, it always is. I am not so sure removal of identity will fix the problem, it's just the banner..09/18/2014 - 3:55pm
E. Zachary KnightAs for the whole "death of gamer" thing, I am personally patiently waiting for the day when being a person who plays games is as much of an identity as a person who reads books, watches tv/movie, listens to music. It will happen.09/18/2014 - 2:42pm
E. Zachary KnightThought I would share this io9 article as a bit of a rebuttal to the earlier Spider-man/Spider-woman comparison: http://io9.com/10-stupid-arguments-people-use-to-defend-comic-book-sex-163638182409/18/2014 - 2:41pm
 

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