Whether Violent Video Games Increase Aggression Spurs Violent Debate

(Developmental Psychology)

Two Competing Theories in the Literature

Social learning theory (APA, 2020b) posits that individuals learn behavior through social interactions and modeling the behavior of others. These behaviors can then be strengthened or weakened through rewards or punishments. This theory applies to violent video games in the way that the violent characters in them might serve as role models where players imitate their aggressive behavior (Konjin et al., 2007). Playing violent video games may also increase aggressive thoughts and increase the chance of aggressive behavior (Lee et al., 2021). This prediction is called the stimulation hypothesis.

Study 1 — Support for Social Learning Theory

IMAGE: The cover art for one of the realistic violent video games used in the Konjin and colleagues (2007) study, Killzone. © Sony Computer Entertainment.

Study 2—Support for Drive-Reduction Theory

IMAGE: The cover art for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, a popular violent video game in South Korea that was likely one of the games played by the participants of Lee and colleagues' (2021) study. © PUBG Corporation.

References

American Psychological Association [APA]. (2020a). APA dictionary of psychology — Drive-reduction theory. https://bit.ly/2RpqyiG

--

--

🧠 Psychological Science Student, UQ ✏️ Designer, Design Good Design Studio 🌏 Climate Reality Leader 💁‍♂️ Pronouns: he/him 🔗 https://bio.site/jarrennylund

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Jarren Nylund

🧠 Psychological Science Student, UQ ✏️ Designer, Design Good Design Studio 🌏 Climate Reality Leader 💁‍♂️ Pronouns: he/him 🔗 https://bio.site/jarrennylund