Study: Violent videos desensitize people

Jul 27, 2006

U.S. psychologists say they have proven, for the first time, exposure to violent video games can desensitize individuals to real-life violence.

Iowa State University Psychology Instructor Nicholas Carnagey and ISU Psychology Professor Craig Anderson collaborated with Brad Bushman, a former Iowa State psychology professor now at the University of Michigan, and the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam.

The scientists define desensitization to violence as "a reduction in emotion-related physiological reactivity to real violence."

The research indicated people who played a violent video game experienced skin response measurements significantly lower than those who had played a non-violent video game. The participants in the violent video game group also had lower heart rates while viewing real-life violence as compared with the non-violent video game group.

"The results demonstrate that playing violent video games, even for just 20 minutes, can cause people to become less physiologically aroused by real violence," said Carnagey. "It appears that individuals who play violent video games habituate or 'get used to' all the violence and eventually become physiologically numb to it."

The study is detailed in the current issue of the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Researchers discover low-grade nonwoven cotton picks up 50 times own weight of oil

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Astronomers measure weight of galaxies, expansion of universe

16 minutes ago

Astronomers at the University of British Columbia have collaborated with international researchers to calculate the precise mass of the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies, dispelling the notion that the two galaxies have similar ...

Security CTO to detail Android Fake ID flaw at Black Hat

10 hours ago

Where have you heard this before: A team of security researchers discover a security flaw in Android devices. This is, however, news. This time, experts are talking about a flaw that involves a widespread ...

Recommended for you

Advanced care decision aids underutilized

10 minutes ago

(HealthDay)—Decision aids are underutilized for advanced care planning and their effectiveness is not well documented, according to a review published online July 29 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Britain to map 100,000 DNA code sequences

1 hour ago

British scientists are to map 100,000 complete DNA code sequences in a project that will make the country a world leader in genetic research on cancer and rare diseases, the prime minister said on Friday.

User comments : 0