Mizzou Finds Violent Video Games Reduce Brain Response to Violence and Increase Aggressive Behavior


Does playing violent video games causes gamers to become more aggressive? This debate has raged on for decades and is back in the news thanks to a study done by the University of Missouri (MU). Mizzou thinks that they do after the findings of a new study that provide one explanation for why this occurs: the brains of violent video game players become less responsive to violence, and this diminished brain response predicts an increase in aggression. The interesting thing about this survey is that is was done with a small test group of just 70 people and they played a nonviolent or a violent video game for 25 minutes. You be the judge of it!

During the study, 70 young adult participants were randomly assigned to play either a nonviolent or a violent video game for 25 minutes. Immediately afterwards, the researchers measured brain responses as participants viewed a series of neutral photos, such as a man on a bike, and violent photos, such as a man holding a gun in another mans mouth. Finally, participants competed against an opponent in a task that allowed them to give their opponent a controllable blast of loud noise. The level of noise blast the participants set for their opponent was the measure of aggression. The researchers found that participants who played one of several popular violent games, such as Call of Duty, Hitman, Killzone and Grand Theft Auto, set louder noise blasts for their opponents during the competitive task that is, they were more aggressive than participants who played a nonviolent game.

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