Violence and Video Games: Correlation vs. Causation

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Original article http://www.aacap.org/cs/root/facts_for_families/children_and_video_games_playing_with_violence

One claim that has been made in today's society is that video games, especially violent ones, are detrimental to children's mental capacity, saying that they become immune to the effects of aggressive behavior and criminal activity, therefore morphing their morals at a young age. With this claim, there is no real way to test that the violence in adolescents in modern times derives from any form of violent video game. There are other factors that come into play in the equation; this claim falls into the scientific thinking principle number two which states that correlation isn't causation, and illusory correlation. Also, there is no way to prove that violence in adolescents derives from video games, therefore the theory is not falsifiable. This theory could possibly be developed from simple heuristics, or shortcuts that the mind takes to make sense of things. To explain, adults in general would like to find an explanation for the increase in violence in today's youth, therefore they found something to blame it upon: video games. There could be many reasons why there is an abundance of violence and aggression in today's adolescents, therefore to evaluate this particular claim one should use the principle of replicability, and prove without a doubt that the correlation between violence and video games is definitely caused by the other.

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There are studies showing that aggression increases after certain (but not all) video game play. You can test hypotheses about gaming (i.e., this is falsifiable) by coming gamers vs. non-gamers...

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This page contains a single entry by hugge014 published on October 2, 2011 11:45 PM.

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