Does viewing violent imagery cause aggression?

According to our text book, violent video games can prime those that play them to have aggressive thoughts, decrease their empathy, and increase their aggression. The book gives us an incident of which in 2002, two Grand Rapids, Michigan, teens and one man in his twenties spent part of a night partying and playing the video game Grand Theft Auto III. These two teens and young man went out and mimicked the precedent of this game. In the game, the players use cars to run down pedestrians and then beat them by punching and kicking, and then leave their bloody bodies behind. These three went driving, saw a bicyclist and ran him over, punched and stomped him and then returned to their home to continue playing the game, after they left the 38 year old father of three to die on the street. Our textbook also says that University men who spent the most percentage of hours playing violent video games tended to be the most psychically aggressive.

On, in their article Do violent video games lead to real violence? There is a study mentioned that was conducted in 2006 at the Indiana University School of Medicine. The study researchers scanned the brains of 44 kids right after they played video games. Half of these children played the video game ‘’Need for Speed: Underground,” a racing game that has a component that is not violent, and the other half of kids played the game ‘’Medal of Honor: Frontline,” an action game that includes violent first-person shooter activity. The brain scans of these kids, who played the violent video game, showed increased activity in the amygdala, which stimulates emotions, and decreased activity in the prefrontal lobe, which regulates a person’s inhibitions. The kids who played the nonviolent game on the other hand, did not show any of these changes on their brain scans.

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In our textbook is also mentioned the effects of watching violent pornography. It says that people that are heavily exposed to pornography, such as X-Rated films, see the world as being more sexual. Watching X-Rated films repeatedly, even ones that are nonviolent, our textbook says, has many effects such as: ones partner could seem less attractive, extramarital sex could seem less troubling, women’s friendliness could seem more sexual, and sexual aggression could seem to be less serious. So I think, based on the research, that viewing violent imagery such as violent video games and pornography, can lead some to act out aggressively. Works Cited Layton, Julia. “Do violent video games lead to real violence?” 24 Apr. 2008. Web. 17 April 2013.

Meyers, David G. Psychology in everyday life. 2 ed. 3 vol. New York: Worth Publishers, 2012.