Does Violent Video Games Really Make Your Child More Aggressive?

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Article by Dr. Phil

In discussion this week, we watched clips from Power Rangers and Barney. We were then asked to rate what we felt to four questions, after watching each clip. This activity and studies also show, that more violent television shows/video games make your child more aggressive. Dr. Phil also supports this theory in his article in the above link. I find this theory to be true in children because of their young age and how they are at a stage in their lives where they absorb knowledge like a sponge. They haven't matured enough yet to know all the difference between right and wrong. We also see that at a young age they tend to mimic their peers and other influential figures in their lives. This is supported by the video we watched in discussion, where the kids sat in a nice circle and were calm while watching barney, but when they were watching Power Rangers they were up and about physically hitting or kicking each other. So it seems to be true that the more violence children see, the more aggressive they are.
What I don't find to be true is that children will stay aggressive for the rest of their lives. As we grow older we learn that things are fake like television show and video games. We learn that physically aggression towards one another is not acceptable in society. We can't expect to go around shooting people and think that it would be acceptable. I have heard from many of my friends that video games don't make them anymore aggressive. They can take all their anger out on a fake video game rather than a real person. That may sound atrocious and wrong, and I know how bad this can sound, but at least it's not a real person. Studies may show that violent television shows/ video games make children more aggressive, but I believe that children will grow out of that phase.

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What about the study you read for discussion that showed the same increase in aggression in adult participants? Even if all people do not show aggression, could there still be a causal link? For example, smoking causes lung cancer, but not all people who smoke get lung cancer. Is there any evidence that "catharsis" (acting out violence in safe ways) reduces actual aggression?

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This page contains a single entry by eric2833 published on November 6, 2011 10:03 PM.

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