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Study Suggests Violent Video Games May Make Teens Less Violent

Soulskill posted 1 year,19 days | from the rovio-cancels-development-on-melancholy-birds dept.

Games 120

barlevg writes "A new paper is out in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence which shows no positive correlation between playing violent video games and acts of aggression. The study of 377 children with attention deficit and depressive symptoms in fact showed a slight negative correlation between video game-playing and aggressive behavior such as bullying, which the researchers posit is due to the games awarding some measure of catharsis. The full paper is available online (PDF)."

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No relationship, not negative relationship (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44700835)

The stats in the study show no significant relationship, not a negative relationship. The regression coefficient happens to be negative, but the coefficient isn't significantly related to the dependent variable (bullying). You should change your headline.

Re:No relationship, not negative relationship (2)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44700927)

No significant relationship also bolsters the current position that catharsis is bullshit. If you're going to shoot someone in the face, you're going to do it whether you have taken your aggression out on a paper target or not.

Re:No relationship, not negative relationship (5, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | 1 year,19 days | (#44701065)

No significant relationship also bolsters the current position that catharsis is bullshit.

Catharsis is only one hypothesis for why video games reduce crime. A more plausible one is the "sucking up time" hypothesis. Every hour that kids spend playing games, is one less hour they are out on the street. When "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" was released, there was a noticeable drop in real world crime for several weeks. The most plausible explanation was that the potential criminals were at home playing.

Re:No relationship, not negative relationship (2, Funny)

vux984 (928602) | 1 year,19 days | (#44701169)

When "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" was released, there was a noticeable drop in real world crime for several weeks. The most plausible explanation was that the potential criminals were at home playing.

Followed by several weeks of elevated crime, as the potential criminals finished the game and were now inspired to shoot seagulls, dine and dash, rob hookers, then pimp them, then drive them across town at break neck speeds in stolen cars, and spray painting graffitti, all the while dealing with that annoying cousin who keeps phoning them with another job he should just do himself?

Oh, and Starbucks noted an increase in the sales of hot coffee. :p

Re:No relationship, not negative relationship (2)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | 1 year,19 days | (#44701353)

When "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" was released, there was a noticeable drop in real world crime for several weeks.

A quick google finds no mention of this theory. I'd like to see what you are basing that statement on.

Re:No relationship, not negative relationship (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44702019)

That's not a drone flying overhead, that's the joke that went so high up you missed the "WHOOSH!" sound

Re:No relationship, not negative relationship (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | 1 year,19 days | (#44702353)

> Woooosh!

Doubt it, the "sucking up time" hypothesis is well known. My issue is with there being such a narrowly defined example of it in action.

Training (1, Troll)

Roger W Moore (538166) | 1 year,19 days | (#44701455)

The most plausible explanation was that the potential criminals were at home playing.

I think the word you are looking for is training, not playing. ;-)

After school programs ... (1)

perpenso (1613749) | 1 year,19 days | (#44701563)

A more plausible one is the "sucking up time" hypothesis. Every hour that kids spend playing games, is one less hour they are out on the street.

There is probably some long term studies and or data regarding this hypothesis from the after school and summer recreation programs that various communities have offered over the years. Its not video game related but that seems to be your point.

Re:After school programs ... (2)

rahvin112 (446269) | 1 year,19 days | (#44702253)

Idle hands are the devils work.

This expression has been in existence in one form or another since before Shakespeare.

Maybe this is why vacation resort complexes ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44701765)

A more plausible one is the "sucking up time" hypothesis. Every hour that kids spend playing games, is one less hour they are out on the street.

A strange thought ....

I recently stayed at one of those mega-resort complexes in Hawaii. Not my sort of place but I was there for a wedding and the rest of the family was staying there. During checkin I was surprised when they told me about the PS3 in the room and the movie and video game "rental" boxes near the elevators. There was no rental charge, swipe this card and you get a movie/game, you can't get a second one until you return the first. It was fully automated, insert the first disc and now you are authorized to get another one. I was thinking WTF, why would I fly to Hawaii and sit in my hotel room playing video games?

Over 5 days I never noticed an adult using one of these machines, only kids. I now wonder if the resort complex is leveraging this "sucking up time" hypothesis to reduce the mischief the kids can get into. Going to Hawaii may not have been their choice, various interesting activities want you to be an adult so you can sign a liability waiver, plus the activities are expensive, etc. A PS3 in the room and a large library of video games available 24/7 may be a pretty good idea.

Re:No relationship, not negative relationship (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44702051)

or they're unrelated (or very weakly related). from Steven Pinker:

"Rates of violence respond to certain features of an environment, such as the incentives of an effective police and criminal justice system, and the surrounding norms of legitimate retaliation. They just don’t respond to video games"

he discusses the valve theory of violence early on in his recent book on the reduction of violence and makes it seem very unlikely based on data.

the theories why games could contribute to aggression and violence rest on an idea that exposure modifies behavioural scripts regulating acceptable behavior but aside from the lack of empirical evidence but dig a little deeper and there is an intuition of moral decline that video games are supposedly an exemplar of (moral panic) which doesn't fit at all the reasons he considers for the decline of violence which tracks various attitudes about social justice, human rights, what is right and wrong, and so on; which seems to suggest that regulative norms (including those passed on to children) are far more resistant negative influences predicted by those theories

Re:No relationship, not negative relationship (1)

Notabadguy (961343) | 1 year,19 days | (#44702431)

Seriously? Have you never had a four hour Halo/CoD/pick-your-pleasure "OMGWTFBBQPWNED HEADSHOT BITCH TEABAG TEABAG YOUR MAWM SUCKS MY BALLS LOLWUT ORLY YOU STUPID NOOB I JUST KILLED YOU" marathon and THEN tried to go perpetrate real world violence?

You're just too tired.

Re:No relationship, not negative relationship (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44701493)

This goes against the fisher interpretation of significance. How can you tell whether lack of significance was due to no relationship or too much noise in data?

Re:No relationship, not negative relationship (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44701801)

in the discussion they say they found a relationship between "trait aggression" (whatever that is) and exposure to violent games on the tendency to bully which isn't contrary to the "catharsis" hypothesis but they cautioned against over interpreting it because it was a small effect

Re:No relationship, not negative relationship (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44701469)

It appears we are starting to get some recognition of the massive false positive problem: "In keeping with the recommendations of Simmons et al. (2011), we certify that this analysis approach was selected in advance and was not altered to produce particular results."

Now it is time for some recognition of the issues put forward in eg:
Theory-Testing in Psychology and Physics: A Methodological Paradox
https://labs.psych.ucsb.edu/janusonis/skirmantas/meehl1967.pdf

The Problem Is Epistemology, Not Statistics: Replace Significance Tests by Confidence Intervals and Quantify Accuracy of Risky Numerical Predictions
http://www.tc.umn.edu/~pemeehl/169ProblemIsEpistemology.pdf

Re:No relationship, not negative relationship (1)

harlequinn (909271) | 1 year,19 days | (#44701481)

Good point.

We wouldn't want the truth to get in the way of a good story though!

Re:No relationship, not negative relationship (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44701543)

see table 4. Although, maybe all these pvalues need to be multiplied by 4 due to multiple comparisons?

An outlet (5, Interesting)

WarJolt (990309) | 1 year,19 days | (#44700843)

Games are a good outlet for stress and frustration. I'd argue a game is a constructive activity as there are things you can learn from video games.
Of course they make people less violent.

Re:An outlet (2)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | 1 year,19 days | (#44700873)

I guarantee you that violent video games are one of the main reasons I didn't snap in my early teen years and kill the people in school that tormented me.
If it were not for violent video games several people would have died, and I would be in prison right now. Thank you to all the video game writers out there.

Re:An outlet (5, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | 1 year,19 days | (#44700969)

Games are a good outlet for stress and frustration. I'd argue a game is a constructive activity as there are things you can learn from video games.
Of course they make people less violent.

?

I found many games to increase my stress level to the point I can actually hear red corpuscles whistling through the capillaries in my cranium.

and once I finished getting them unpackaged, installed and running my stress level went even higher

Re:An outlet (1)

avandesande (143899) | 1 year,19 days | (#44701655)

Then having your 12YO whip you soundly at the game.... luckily ps3 controllers are pretty tough.

Re:An outlet (2)

broken_chaos (1188549) | 1 year,19 days | (#44702927)

and once I finished getting them unpackaged

I sincerely hope you never meet a clamshell package.

Re:An outlet (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44702987)

PROTIP: Stop playing league of legends.

Re:An outlet (0)

geekoid (135745) | 1 year,19 days | (#44701029)

Or they take away motivation.
So Are teens who play video games more likely to get a job, more likely to not get a job even when its a detriment, no change.v

Re:An outlet (1)

ackthpt (218170) | 1 year,19 days | (#44701331)

Or they take away motivation.
So Are teens who play video games more likely to get a job, more likely to not get a job even when its a detriment, no change.v

Perhaps leave teens mentally exhausted unable to dream up ways of getting in trouble. Won't last - the amoral behaviour so necessary in playing many violent video games is training these people, establishing thought patterns. Curious how they will rationalize things when they get into their 30's and 40's.

i need a red sports car for my mid-life crisis -- so I can run people over with it

Re:An outlet (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44701461)

They also take male teens off the streets and put them in their parent's living room, they take their money that could be used for drugs, and they assure them that they have a reduced chance of meeting females who they otherwise may fight over. That's like a quadruple win.

Depends, and it depends (1)

s.petry (762400) | 1 year,19 days | (#44702015)

The first "Depends" is that if parents are supervising, and teaching morals I agree. If nobody is around to teach morals, then I believe that games can have a desensitizing effect on more natural morals.

After reading what I just wrote, I think it important that I point out that the majority of the responsibility of raising the child is with the parents and not a video game maker. The video games play a role, but are not of course the ultimate issue.

The second "depends" is that games are not designed for learning. More often than not, games are designed to induce psychological addiction similar to gambling (not the same mind you, but games can use similar tactics to lure people in). Here is a reference. [restokin.com]

While one may conceivably argue that WoW, or Team Fortress are not "violent", in that would not be true.

As with most things dealing with psychology, there is no absolute formula to make a claim that "games are not harmful". At the same time there is no absolute formula to make the claim "games are harmful". While you may not have been impacted, a child in a parent absent environment playing GTA may be impacted.

Re:Depends, and it depends (1)

lgw (121541) | 1 year,19 days | (#44703177)

Hmm, which leisure-time activity is more constructive for an unsupervised teen: (a) playing violent video games without "s.petry-approved moral instruction" - the horrors, or (b) boosting a car for quick cash for meth, then unprotected sex with the girlfriend.

People who say that games are violent have no experience with real violence. People who say that games are addictive have no experience with real addiction.

Re:Depends, and it depends (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44704001)

... boosting a car for quick cash for meth, then unprotected sex with the girlfriend ...

If you're going to steal and take narcotics, then being responsible for contraception is obviously not happening. Not that it matters: teenagers aren't taught the necessity of carrying a condom; because pregnancy is someone else's problem.

.. games are addictive ...

You are essentially saying that people cannot abuse their friends, skip work, avoid personal hygiene, or misspend money simply so they can spend more time playing 'Grand theft auto'. With (purely) emotional addition, by-standers (mistakenly) empower the addict by providing food, shelter and computer. Saying a person not lying in the gutter with self-inflected injuries, cannot be an addict denies that obsessive behaviour can destroy the player's mental, physical and social health. Just like an addiction that is both physical and emotional.

Re:Depends, and it depends (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | 1 year,19 days | (#44704067)

If nobody is around to teach morals, then I believe that games can have a desensitizing effect on more natural morals.

I highly doubt that that happens in more than a minuscule number of cases, if at all.

let's compare, shall we? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44702601)

if violent video games translates to less violent individuals.... does a large and varied pr0n collection make one less sexually aggressive and less likely to do naughty things IRL?

Never agreed... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44700853)

Never agreed that violent video games make a person more violent. I've been playing FPS since I was a child with my first being Wolfenstein 3D right when it came out. I also listen to heavy metal. For me it's actually relaxing. Nothing I like more after a stressful day than sitting down and shooting someone in the face.

Re:Never agreed... (4, Interesting)

Synerg1y (2169962) | 1 year,19 days | (#44701043)

People react differently to different things. This shouldn't come as a surprise. For some people violent video games increase stress, for some they lower it. Some people find driving stressful, others find it relaxing. Applying the video game debate to driving: because some drivers have had road rage and have caused accidents as a result some of which led to fatalities, we should ban driving in favor of catching carts driven by those who want to ban violent video games. Any volunteers? (We'd also be contributing to fixing the obesity plague)

Re:Never agreed... (3, Interesting)

dragon-file (2241656) | 1 year,19 days | (#44701359)

This also caries over into music. I've found that when depressed, depressing music actually makes me feel better, which, according to friends and coworkers, is counter intuitive. Apparently they listen to upbeat music when they're down. What's up with that?

Re:Never agreed... (1)

William-Ely (875237) | 1 year,19 days | (#44702477)

I do the same thing.
I think it's a matter of putting your situation into perspective like "yeah things suck but they could be worse" or "hey there's someone out there that feels like I do".

I've been toying around with making an alarm clock that uses the same idea.
It cusses you out Full Metal Jacket R Lee Ermey style (hitting the snooze button only intensifies the cursing) instead of the usual chimes.
This way there is a good possibility your day will only get better!

Re:Never agreed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44702065)

The correlation may move negative, but the deviation might be greater. Fewer subjects may exhibit violent behavior, but those who do may be more violent than before.

Re:Never agreed... (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | 1 year,19 days | (#44702151)

I agree. FPS are not my favourite genre, but sometimes I just have to shoot someone in the face, repeatedly.

My anus hole is so god dang itchy an soar! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44700879)

I have a terrible itchy an soar anus hole. It all started this smornin. I took a pretty big poop before school an by third period it was really itchin so I went to the boys bathroom an took a ruler with me an scratched it pretty good. It felt good but a LOT of poop came out on the ruler an I thought that maybe I just needed to wipe moar. So I took toilet paper an wiped my anus hole really good.

By period five it was itchin again an I borrowed a pare of scicors from my friend Steven an a few minutes later I went to the bathroom. I pushed the scisors a little way into my anus hole an scratched a little bit an it felt SUPER GOOD an when I pulled out the scisors they was covered in poop again even though I had just wiped my anus hole really good a couple of hours before.

By six period it was worst! Their is like a big swollen ball in my anus hole an I don't no what it is but it is really botherin me especialy when I sit down. I keep scratchin my anus hole real good, an it feels good when I scratch, but the swollen part is SOAR. I took mom's hare brush an really scratched it super good a few minutes ago an it felt good but the sweled part is still soar.

What is gone on an what can I do to make it stop itchin an make it not be so soar where it sweled?

Yup... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44700889)

Almost every studies ever show that violent video games don't make kids into homicidal maniac.. yet the media are alway oh so quick to blame video games when something happen.

Re:Yup... (3, Interesting)

jonwil (467024) | 1 year,19 days | (#44703031)

For most of the 20th century, every new form of entertainment/recreation/young people hangout was blamed for the ills of society by the older generation.

I bet the same people blaming violent video games for today's problems probably grew up in an era where their parents and grandparents were rallying against Rock Music and Pinball Parlors and such.

Re:Yup... (4, Interesting)

lgw (121541) | 1 year,19 days | (#44703215)

To steal a quote from Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] about my favorite Moral Panic:

In the 1771 German novel Geschichte des Frauleins von Sternheim by Sophie von La Roche, a high-minded character complains about the newly introduced waltz among aristocrats thus: "But when he put his arm around her, pressed her to his breast, cavorted with her in the shameless, indecent whirling-dance of the Germans and engaged in a familiarity that broke all the bounds of good breeding - then my silent misery turned into burning rage."

.

This just in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44700895)

Study shows what every sane gamer already knows to be true. Film at 11.

Re:This just in... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44700973)

So true. Anyone with a brain has known for years that there is at worst no connection at all between violent games and actual acts of violence.

Amazing! (5, Insightful)

onyxruby (118189) | 1 year,19 days | (#44700929)

Who would have thought that giving kids a safe environment to get their aggression out would have beneficial side effects? The said thing is that this study ever had to be conducted in the first place.

I remember when D&D was blamed for suicides, goths were blamed for school shootings, movies were blamed for just about everything and so on. At some point the idiot brigade needs to quit blaming everyone else and go back to being parents instead of outsourcing the job to the media. /rant off

Re:Amazing! (1)

alvinrod (889928) | 1 year,19 days | (#44702625)

The said thing is that this study ever had to be conducted in the first place.

I wouldn't call it sad. There's a lot of "common knowledge" that has turned out to be bullshit.

I think it's a good thing that this study was conducted. It shows that someone was willing to approach the problem from a scientific perspective rather than to either blame or sanctify video games based on an emotional response. This isn't the first study to suggest that video games do not result in violent behavior, but part of science is also replicating results.

To make that study outcome (0)

ackthpt (218170) | 1 year,19 days | (#44700935)

the researchers were set upon and beaten with an inch of their lives by video game company executives, reviewers, players and given severe noogies and wedgies by Gabe and Tycho.

Re:To make that study outcome (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44700967)

Tune in tomorrow for the next study that suggests a definite link between video games and teen violence! And then the cycle repeats.

Makes many less violent, and some more violent (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44700965)

The games' beneficial effect on the majority of the population isn't as important as whether or not it increases the violence of a tiny minority to the point that they kill people.

Re:Makes many less violent, and some more violent (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | 1 year,19 days | (#44701011)

Why is that not as important? This is a non-problem; only a minuscule amount of people, if anyone, die due to some rabid, crazy video game player.

Re:Makes many less violent, and some more violent (2)

dragon-file (2241656) | 1 year,19 days | (#44701519)

See, you'd think that, but then look at some of the fire arm stats: http://www.factcheck.org/2012/12/gun-rhetoric-vs-gun-facts/ [factcheck.org]

Basicly it shows that firearm sales went up and the number of firearm related murders, assaults and robberies went down.

Then look at the number of deaths in other categories such as drunk driving or just driving in general: http://danieljmitchell.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/causes-of-death-cartoon.jpg [wordpress.com]

Long story short (too late), people like to focus on the little things and blow them out of proportion while completely ignoring the larger issues or ignoring the fact that the majority of people get along just fine.

Re:Makes many less violent, and some more violent (1)

GoogleShill (2732413) | 1 year,19 days | (#44702381)

Your rhetoric is flawed because it only includes gun crimes, not total gun deaths, and the idiotic cartoon associates drunk driving deaths to gun deaths, which is not correct because nearly every drunk driving death is an accident and he doesn't include accidental gun deaths.

To put it in perspective, the US has the highest per-capita gun ownership in the world, and is #11 as far as gun deaths. I certainly wouldn't want to move to any of the countries beating us in that race.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-related_death_rate [wikipedia.org]

It's often hard to know when a death is a murder, but it's pretty easy to tell if a death is from a bullet. Lots of murders go unreported and lots of gang deaths get reported as self defense. Just because it's legal to start a fight with someone and kill them once you start to get your ass kicked doesn't mean that the violence rate is any better.

Its called blowing off steam (1)

Stan92057 (737634) | 1 year,19 days | (#44700975)

Its called blowing off steam and it can be accomplished mush better by going outside and playing with other kids. Thats how i did it all i see are kids playing video games or watch cartoons which in my day was saturday mornings. But blowing off mental stress killing zombies is fun its just not enough in my book.

Re:Its called blowing off steam (1)

ackthpt (218170) | 1 year,19 days | (#44701019)

Its called blowing off steam and it can be accomplished mush better by going outside and playing with other kids. Thats how i did it all i see are kids playing video games or watch cartoons which in my day was saturday mornings. But blowing off mental stress killing zombies is fun its just not enough in my book.

You, sir, are a veritable fossil, much as myself - get out on that bike, ski, run around in the woods, get into a boat and paddle like mad, swat at 12,507 mosquitoes at summer camp, catch a few 15 lb carp, go sledding, swipe pumpkins, chase girls, etc. Don't wake up at 40 to find half your hair gone along with most of your life in empty pursuit of points and levels.

Re:Its called blowing off steam (1)

epyT-R (613989) | 1 year,19 days | (#44701559)

You do realize that today we live under the iron curtain of the 'liberal' oprah-tic soccermom mentality right?

biking is too dangerous.. same thing for sledding/boating/camping and the mosquitoes carry disease! That's why you see kids on bikes with 4000 protection devices...even when the kid's still on training wheels (even training wheels are lame)

Haven't you heard? chasing girls is 'sexual harassment.' Boys are rapists in training!! zomg

and no, this is not a troll. These attitudes are becoming more and more dominant every day.

Re:Its called blowing off steam (1)

tftp (111690) | 1 year,19 days | (#44702905)

Don't wake up at 40 to find half your hair gone along with most of your life in empty pursuit of points and levels.

But what is the difference between virtual life and achievements in a game vs. life and achievements "in real life" (which may well be just as virtual.) Is chasing levels and points somehow worse than chasing money, alcohol and women, and then raising children? Do you even have a scale by which you can measure worth of any of these activities?

It's easy to say that your neighbor probably doesn't care if you are earning skill points or making babies at your house. (He would be better off if you are a gamer - gamers cause less trouble.) If so, the only scale that anyone can possibly use to judge these activities is you. Nobody else gives a damn what you do. Therefore... do what you want, unless you have a certifiably holy book that says what you shall do and what you shall not do. Then, I guess, you become a slave of that book.

Re:Its called blowing off steam (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | 1 year,19 days | (#44701073)

Yes, exercise reduces stress, this is a proven fact. Kids aren't allowed as much outside today, or want to for that matter due to the internet, and parents fearing pedos. Somewhere I'm sure we can blame the media for this situation and slashdot.

TL;DR (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | 1 year,19 days | (#44700995)

Can we please go more than month without someone posting an article about how there's little to no relationship between gaming and violent behavior?

Seriously - this was news 8 years ago. Nowadays it's just re-blogger-rent-seeking.

Re:TL;DR (4, Insightful)

Nemyst (1383049) | 1 year,19 days | (#44701305)

If there wasn't any movement towards restricting the distribution and sales of games, if we didn't constantly get games being censored for content deemed too violent or too gross (games targeted at adults no less!), if we didn't see all the blatant misinformation being circulated by the media concerning games and violence, then yeah, it wouldn't be news.

As is, the point needs to be hammered home as much as possible if we're to keep the medium on an equal footing to all other media.

In other news.... (4, Funny)

sconeu (64226) | 1 year,19 days | (#44701009)

In other news, Jack Thompson's body was found in Florida. Apparently his head had exploded. A copy of the Journal of Youth and Adolescence was found on his desk.

Re:In other news.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44701241)

In other news, Jack Thompson's body was found in Florida. Apparently his head had exploded. A copy of the Journal of Youth and Adolescence was found on his desk.

Another sad example of violence caused by video games...

Re:In other news.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44701803)

Perhaps but where are all the jackasses who kept screaming "correlations != causation" when the opposite was found? Isn't this study suffering from the same assumptions? Or do you accept "science" when it fits your model of the world... or at least your vision of the world?

Re:In other news.... (1)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | 1 year,19 days | (#44702169)

Perhaps but where are all the jackasses who kept screaming "correlations != causation" when the opposite was found? Isn't this study suffering from the same assumptions? Or do you accept "science" when it fits your model of the world... or at least your vision of the world?

"Correlation is not causation" only applies when a study yields an incorrect result. When the conclusion is correct, then obviously correlation does mean causation.

Re:In other news.... (1)

Sique (173459) | 1 year,19 days | (#44704273)

"Correlation is not causation" only applies when a study yields an incorrect result. When the conclusion is correct, then obviously correlation does mean causation.

It applies only if you are finding a correlation in data produced by passively monitoring events in a given system. It does not apply if you are actively changing one variable and then watch other variables.

Re:In other news.... (1)

Sique (173459) | 1 year,19 days | (#44704259)

If I understand the setup of the experiment correctly, then this study was about showing causal effects. So "correlation != causation" does not fit. It only fits if you are mining a given dataset and then find a correlation. It does not fit if you intentionally change one variable and then find another variable mimicking those changes.

Yes, a meme can be completely misleading.

Um (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44701027)

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Captcha: exempt

Re:Um (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | 1 year,19 days | (#44701129)

---- MISSING MISCELLANEOUS DATA SEGMENT --- [byline] block not found

I've seen this before when the Enterprise was caught in a time causality loop. The answer is the number 3.

Re:Um (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | 1 year,19 days | (#44701395)

Gahh! I hated that episode! It made even less sense than usual, which is really saying something.

True.. for now (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44701035)

When I was growing up games were what the nerdy kids played. Even on the 8-bits many were 'violent' and the 16-bits likewise, but if you were a gamer you got bullied because you were a gamer. Being a gamer however required good levels of thought, understanding, and in the really early days patience and imagination! It actually required a high level of dedication and a different type of person to your average school bully to play them. I'd say playing games in that period did shape me for the better.

These days I think things are shifting a bit, games are heading more and more towards semi-interactive movies, they require minimal skill, minimal thought, and minimal creative input. EVERYBODY has completed the main titles, the school bullies are playing them too, and possibly being influenced by them. I've noticed with my own kids that the kids who favour puzzle games and 'cute' games or 'god' games where you create something (aside pop-culture stuff like Minecraft) get bullied significantly more than back in my day.

While we might not have reached a tipping point yet I believe it is still a subject we need to keep an eye on because I'm almost certain the same study done 15-20 years prior would have shown a much greater negative correlation than the one we're seeing today.

Sample size? (2)

metrix007 (200091) | 1 year,19 days | (#44701139)

Is 377 sufficient? What is an adequate sample size? How do you determine what the sample size should be?

Re:Sample size? (2)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | 1 year,19 days | (#44701191)

The sample size needed 960 more players.

Re:Sample size? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44701369)

Formally, it's all here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statistical_significance

Of course if the sample is not representative of the population, or if the survey is biased, no size is adequate.

Re:Sample size? (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | 1 year,19 days | (#44701401)

Any sample size can be used for a study. You just get less precision in the results when the sample is smaller (ie. a very small sample will basically give you random noise). A proper statistical analysis can give you exactly how precise they are. My statistics are very rusty, but you can see on the tables used throughout the paper that they're using Student's t-test, which seems appropriate given the situation (assuming normal distribution).

Re:Sample size? (1)

umafuckit (2980809) | 1 year,19 days | (#44701673)

Ultimately, you want a big sample size to convince yourself that your effect is real in the sample in which you're measuring it and that it generalises to the population of interest. It's very hard to decide what is an adequate sample size. In some studies a sample size of 30 is considered large. In these sorts of survey-type studies, however, a much larger size is called for. 300 or 400 isn't bad but some may have thousands. Cost limits you. To assess if the sample is large enough you really need to look at the data and honestly judge if the effects appear believable. What does the distribution look like? Do you see anything weird, like multiple modes, which you can't explain? That sort of thing. Unfortunately, as I pointed out in a different post, the authors don't provide any graphs so we can't assess their results in any meaningful way. Apart from sample size, though, it really matters how you select your population. If you do it in a fucked up way then your results may not generalise well. Generalising well is important for obvious reasons.

Racist, Sexist, and Homophobic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44701279)

It may not make them violent but given the comments for some multiplayer games there's a hatred for anyone who isn't a hetrosexual white male just beneath the surface of many gamers.

Re:Racist, Sexist, and Homophobic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44701503)

shut up nigger faggot

Re:Racist, Sexist, and Homophobic? (1)

Guru80 (1579277) | 1 year,19 days | (#44701749)

We don't need video games for that. All you have to do is look to Twitter or ANY online medium where the user feels safe behind their keyboards to find all kinds of hatred, egotism and racism. That has nothing to do with games. If you think it's only white heterosexuals that conduct themselves in that manner, in online games or elsewhere, than you are naive. It's universal.

Re:Racist, Sexist, and Homophobic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44705183)

If you think it's only white heterosexuals that conduct themselves in that manner, in online games or elsewhere, than you are naive.

Not naive. He is racist, heterophobe, and misandric*. If you are going to serve him back his own politically correctness, please use the accepted terminologies.

*While you did not quote him for it, he did blame all rude comment on the Internet to 'hetrosexual white male'.

where are the graphs? (2)

umafuckit (2980809) | 1 year,19 days | (#44701341)

They're doing a bunch of regression analyses and summarising their results using tables. Not a graph in sight. I have to trawl through the text to find R values. Impossible to really evaluate their data. If a student produced this stuff I'd fail them.

Re:where are the graphs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44701539)

Never heard of supporting information?

Re:where are the graphs? (1)

umafuckit (2980809) | 1 year,19 days | (#44701703)

Never heard of supporting information?

No. Do you mean supplemental figures? Because there aren't any.

Re:where are the graphs? (2)

retchdog (1319261) | 1 year,19 days | (#44702709)

At first, I thought you were a bit out of line, and it would be easy to include graphs which look meaningful but illuminate nothing, and we should give these researchers some credit for avoiding obvious pitfalls. Then I looked closer.

All they do is mention that one variable looks pretty much normally-distributed, and don't mention anything about outliers, etc. The effect of stress is radically different (having no effect) for the regression for bullying among children with ADD than it is for all others, without any apparent reason. At least they tested for collinearity.

Even taking their results for granted, the p-values for the effect the article claims (that video game violence modulates the effect of aggressiveness on bullying and delinquency) are, across their groups, 0.53, 0.82, 0.7, and 0.03. At best, the effect was detected only in one regression of four, however even that could be by chance. Aggregating these together as independent experiments under a combined null hypothesis gives a combined significance of ~0.11, which is not very impressive (i.e. the 0.03 could have happened just by chance of doing four separate regressions); performing the same meta-analysis with Fisher's method [wikipedia.org] gives 0.31.

Oh, and that regression where stress was mysteriously insignificant? Yup, it's the same and only one which got the 0.03 significance level. Interesting.

You're right, this is garbage.

Re:where are the graphs? (1)

umafuckit (2980809) | 1 year,19 days | (#44702857)

You're right, this is garbage.

I agree it's easy to include pointless graphs, but when there are no graphs of the primary effects I don't trust the study. In fact, it makes me think they just looked at the textual output of their stats package and never graphed their own data. It's a cliche, but a graph really is worth a thousand words. If they show the data then you have almost everything you need to make up your own mind. If they show only some numbers in a table then you never know what happened. Was a slope value influenced by an outlier? Who knows. Is there some interesting trend they didn't notice or didn't capture in their stats test? Who knows.

We already did this experment with porn (1)

Normal_Deviate (807129) | 1 year,19 days | (#44701343)

Remember when the feminists went after porn because it encouraged rape? Rarely has any hypothesis been so dangerously wrong, and so thoroughly disproved. And lest you think we have learned our lesson, I nervously call your attention to the subject of kiddie porn.

correlation and causation (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44701431)

Correlation does not equal causation so this study is flawed.... owait we AGREE with this one? never mind then

statistics (1)

vasilevich (2969463) | 1 year,19 days | (#44701471)

lies, damned lies, and statistics. you can prove anything given enough statistics.

Must supress that article! (1)

AndyKron (937105) | 1 year,19 days | (#44701477)

That article must be suppressed! Just think of all the time and money people have spent trying to force laws on the public because video games are the cause of all evil. Nothing must get in the way of their agenda! Burn! Shred, Chew!

But Driving is Worse (1)

jader3rd (2222716) | 1 year,19 days | (#44701621)

After the latest Grand Theft Auto came out (I think it was Vice City) I was passenger in my addicted-to-GTA-roommates car and after a close call I remember him saying "I'm not so sure about this 'video games make you violent' thing, but I know my driving sure has gotten more aggressive since GTA came out'.
Could we correlate unrealistic driving video games with insurance premium increases?

This will never do! (1)

Guru80 (1579277) | 1 year,19 days | (#44701675)

We have politicians that have staked their career on this not being the case, who have spent massive amounts of money (so they could line their own pockets with some of it) on speculation which is much more important than those damned scientific studies and the children, who is going to protect these sweet, innocent children. We are now going to have a whole generation of mass murdering, raping, drug addicted, Mortal Kombat killers running our streets. Don't let REAL data tell you otherwise. It's true, because it makes me millions and don't forget to re-elect Dumbass A next election.

Acknowledgements (1)

jcrada (1876280) | 1 year,19 days | (#44701687)

The authors would like to acknowledge the industry of violent video games for funding this research.

Same as online porn (1)

Helio Spheric (2900181) | 1 year,19 days | (#44701719)

Next they'll be suggesting that online porn reduces sexual crime rates. See http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/06/30/smut_freakonomics/ [theregister.co.uk] And that Child Pornography Reduces Child Abuse, see http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2011/06/30/child-pornography-reduces-child-abuse/ [forbes.com]

Experts on aggression? (2)

roeguard (1113267) | 1 year,19 days | (#44701731)

Somehow I doubt the contributors to "Journal of Youth and Adolescence" are focused experts in human aggression. I similarly wouldn't put much confidence in any paper they published regarding how well children are able to code complex database applications.

The US Military has a large body of research they've conducted over the past 60 years in exactly how to cultivate and control aggression in youths, which is why our soldiers are some of the most lethal on the planet. They also have a similarly large body of research on how to inhibit it -- its instructive how relatively few war crimes have been committed by US Soldiers over the past decade in our many myriad wars.

My layman's summary of their research? Video games are excellent training simulators for violence, but don't actually cause aggression. Aggression is cultivated/controlled through supervised training (or lack thereof). Very similar to Milgram's findings in the 60s.

Dave Grossman's books do a pretty good job of explaining this research in an relatively accessible way.

Re:Experts on aggression? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44704841)

what are you doing on /. ????

you should be banned! Moderators - put troll flame on him!

Maybe... (1)

w1zz4 (2943911) | 1 year,19 days | (#44701809)

Maybe people should stop trying to find correlation between video games and violence... Maybe there is just no relation between those twos...

LoL (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44702323)

lol... anything else needed?

troolkore (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44703491)

Did they corellate weight ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44704283)

The big fat flappy gamer has no energy to be agressive.
Games makes him self-destruct instead of destroying others.

If the correlate for weight gain, it might make the gamers more aggressive.

One of these days (1)

John Allsup (987) | 1 year,18 days | (#44704621)

Moralistic mindless campaignaholics will get it that what they are campaigning against won't help what they say they are campaigning for.  If people understand their instincitive desires surrounding violence, they are better equipped both to live them out and to control and train them out.  People need to be encouraged to do the latter, and given good role models.  Avoiding stimulating material only makes people more sensitive to it, and more interested in seeing it, and more likely to live out their 'caveman tendencies' in real life.

Strength and violence were important to man in evolutionary terms, as were feeding and sex.  It is no wonder we have deep evolved instincts to seek out and enjoy the four F's in life: that is what we are evolved to seek.  In modern day civilisation, we need to temper these instincts consciously, and live disciplined productive lives, and this cannot happen if people insist on hiding material which brings these tendencies to the surface.  Sex and violence in media are challenging in how they can affect us, as are sex and violence in daily life.  We must develop the discipline to live good productive lives despite these possibilities, rather than trying to hide in a 'civilised' corner where such things are absent.

Consider solidier's deaths in training (1)

John Allsup (987) | 1 year,18 days | (#44704641)

There was a recent case where three SAS trainees tragically lost their lives due to training in hot weather.  The banaholics thinking would suggest that training is an evil scourge that causes death and should thus be banned, and that we should stop training our soldiers in cases more training deaths occur.  Anybody with half an ounce of sense can see that this would be silly.  When it comes to exposure to media and games with strong content, we must take that as part of the challenge in how we develop: learn to resist the age-old 'monkey-see-monkey-do' instinct, rather than doing a 'see-no-evil-hear-no-evil' thing.

This can't possibly be true! (1)

sabbede (2678435) | 1 year,18 days | (#44705231)

My son used to be so sweet helpful when he was 10, but then he started playing video games, and now that he's 15, he is sullen, moody, angry and argumentative! Also, the games gave him acne and made his spend all his time thinking about sex! What's next, masturbating?
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