New longitudinal study finds correlation between playing video games as children and aggressive/violent tendencies primarily caused by pre-existing aggressive cognitions

Posted under General Gaming, News
March 28, 2014 by (@NE_Austin)

A new study conducted in Singapore by Douglas A. Gentile, PhD; Dongdong Li, PhD; Angeline Khoo, PhD; Sara Prot, MA; and Craig A. Anderson, PhD; has found a fairly unmediated correlation between children playing video games and them having more aggressive tendencies 3-5 years down the line. Covering just over 3,000 children over a 3-year time period (73% male, 27% female), the study surveyed each child every year to try and gauge their game-playing habits and their susceptibility to aggression. The researches found that longitudinal latent growth curve modeling demonstrated a positive correlation between the consumption of violent games media and real-life aggressive tendencies, though they make particular note that this is primarily mediated by “aggressive cognitions”, rather than by the games themselves.

“Aggressive cognitions” appears to reference “normative beliefs about aggression, hostile attribution bias, aggressive fantasizing”, which effectively means that children’s thoughts on aggression and violence prior to playing games are the primary factor when determining the effect playing a violent game may have on them. Children who are more open to violence will see a stronger negative effect from playing video games, whereas kids who tend to be less open to or accepting of violence won’t see as strong an effect.

You can read the full study here if you like.

Via Gamespot

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  • PattonFiend

    Unfortunately, anyone with the name Dongdong is not credible… LOL.

  • Mr. Foogy

    I wonder what kinds of video games they played.

  • Rowdy

    Here we go again, another study about violence and video games. I feel like a lot of researchers want to find a correlation between videogames and violent behavior. However, it is interesting to see that this study found that the beliefs and ideas held by the child before he/she played violent videogames is a huge factor when it comes to determining whether or not he/she will be more accepting/prone to aggressive behavior.
    This makes sense: if you have somebody that is already prone to aggressive behavior and ideas, expose that person to violent images and situations (games are interactive), then that person will show an increase/reinforcement of violent tendencies. Whereas, somebody that is not prone to such behavior to start out with, will not see much change (increase/acceptance) in the attitude towards violence.

  • 3dchile

    They are probably considering kids playing like they are super heroes fighting in front of the TV as “agressive behaviour”

  • Tracy Bowersox

    Doesn’t even sound like they had a control group.

  • Skarnet

    everyone in their right mind already knew this. of course i’m not going to go uot and steal a car and shoot up a liqour store, because i did it in a game. You would have to be a psycho prior to playing to get those ideas… i’ve killed thousands of people, animals and so on in games, but i’ve never even been in a fight in real life…