Study refutes link between violence and media

By Brenna Hillier, Monday, 5 January 2015 01:32 GMT

A new long-term study has refuted a connection between violent media and real world violence, and raised doubts regarding the methods of earlier studies with contrary findings.

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In the newly-published results of a study of violence and violent media in the US, psychologist Christopher Ferguson and his team said they found no evidence of a link between real world acts of violence and violent media, such as films and video games.

As reported by the Independent, the team said that earlier studies with contrary conclusions utilised flawed methodologies, presenting violent media without context and measuring aggression through arguably unrelated tasks.

Looking outside the laboratory, Ferguson and his team looked at the frequency of depictions of violence in media between 1920 and 2005, and then compared it to real world incidents during the same period.

Not only did the team not find real world violence rising as media violence did, it even noted that violence in media actually increased as real world violence decreased.

This data corroborates with an ESRB study into youth violence and the depiction of violence in video games, which also noted a correlation between decreased real world incidents and increased video game depictions of violence.

Neither of these studies are saying anything new, despite what the media will have you think sometimes; UKIE CEO DR Jo Twist has said there has never been a creditable study indicating a link between video games and real world violence.

Ferguson concluded his paper on the study by noting that scapegoating of video games and films distracts public interest from social pressures, such as poverty, which may be at the root of violent acts.

Image via Controller Shop.

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