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You might have heard that playing violent video games makes people more aggressive, but is it true or is it just a myth?

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Video games come in all shapes and sizes whether you love leading raids in World of Warcraft, exploring Hyrule at Breath of the Wild or launching very Angry Birds into piggies on your phone. And a lot of games involve some kind of violence from battling monsters to guns and explosions and that's where some controversy comes into play.

I assume you've heard it before violent video games are dangerous because they make people playing them more aggressive in real life. So do they? Psychologists have been trying to figure this out since the 1980s but a lot of new research is helping us better understand who might be most at risk and why in 2010 a meta-analysis of a hundred and thirty six papers looked at whether video games caused aggression and other negative outcomes.

A typical experiment had people play either a violent or a non-violent game and then measured aggressive thoughts, feelings or behaviors. Now, it's not like researchers stick participants into an MMA fight in the lab. Instead, psychologists create situations where people think they're harming someone like blasting them with loud noises or forcing them to drink a lot of hot sauce but nobody is actually there to hear the loud sounds or to feel the burn to try and measure thoughts or feelings.

Psychologists might record someone's heart rate or they could ask questions like how calm do you feel? Or give a scenario and ask how will this person solve their problem? Other times they have people play quick mind games like completing words with missing letters to see how many.

Aggressive sounding ones they choose. Overall the meta-analysis showed that playing violent video games seems to temporarily increase aggressive behaviors thoughts and feelings as well as. Desensitize people to violence and Decrease empathy they also found some long-term effects although not as many studies looked at that.

But not all research has shown negative results plus some papers have shortcomings with their methods like comparing a violent action shooter to a non-violent. Puzzle game even though they're completely different genres and like a lot of behavioral psychology the results aren't. One-Size-Fits-all different players have different preferences and personalities.

So instead of just asking whether people can be affected newer research is trying to understand who might be more. Affected various studies have found that the angrier or more aggressive someone tends to be the more likely they are to show aggression after playing a violent game games psychologists have also tested for Moral disengagement in players the feeling that Moral standards don't apply in some. Situations like it's okay the steel can be sometimes because like at least you're not burning down the candy store one study in 2014.

For instance had people play either a violent grand theft auto game or a non violent like pinball or golf game. And then answer survey questions to measure their moral disengagement then. Participants did a short logic test to win raffle tickets for a prize and they scored that test themselves so if they wanted to they could cheat.

Lastly they were placed in a competitive Reaction time game where they could blast a partner with a loud noise and after playing the violent video game the more moral disengagement. Someone reported the more aggressive behaviors in cheating they showed. I will say that GTA is basically a game that, like, its entire worldview is moral disengagement.

So it's not just the violence it's got a perspective. Another line of research uses Self-Determination theory to understand people's motivations while they play game this theory states that people have three innate psychological needs competence or feeling capable autonomy or feeling in control and. Relatedness or feeling connected to others.

You can experience all these things while playing video games But without them researchers think games can cause negative things like aggression what a series of experiments in 2014 focused on competence. They made games more or less difficult by making the controls easy or hard to use or by changing the challenge level of the game itself and when the participants felt like a bad player they showed more aggressive feelings thoughts and. Behaviors whether the game was violent or not didn't even matter.

I mean. There's a whole genre of YouTube videos of this and this could also explain why some research has found a difference between. Hardcore and casual gamers a 2015 study for instance found that more skilled players showed fewer.

Aggressive thoughts after playing a violent game made from like a modded version of Skyrim the researchers thought more experienced gamers might be more like in the zone while playing. Focusing on the actions as a means to an end instead of on the violence of it all. But players with less skill could have Just been more frustrated by the game and any difference in aggression could be chalked up to frustration not the violence which could be a flaw in those kinds of.

Now what you do in video games might also matter when experiments in 2010 controlled the narrative of a violent game people played as U. N. soldiers trying to free tortured prisoners or played as the forces trying to stop the U. N. soldiers those who played with Justified violence since freeing prisoners seems like the right thing to do showed less guilt and fewer negative emotions afterward and a 2015 experiment had similar results.

They found that when people played as the hero rather than the antihero. They showed less aggression. Afterwards so psychologists can't exactly say what effect a game like Grand Theft Auto might have on you.

Personally because new studies seem to show the differences in gamers and the games. Matter a lot if you want [to] learn more about different types of games and their history our sister channel crash course. Created a whole series on games you could check it out in the link in the description below.

Thanks for watching and don't forget to go to if you want to learn more about your brain [ 🎜 OUTRO 🎝].