Thursday, May 26, 2011

Anti-Empathy Training for Children

The researchers found that participants who played one of several popular violent games, such as "Call of Duty," "Hitman," "Killzone" and "Grand Theft Auto," set louder noise blasts for their opponents during the competitive task -- that is, they were more aggressive -- than participants who played a nonviolent game. In addition, for participants that had not played many violent video games before completing the study, playing a violent game in the lab caused a reduced brain response to the photos of violence -- an indicator of desensitization. Moreover, this reduced brain response predicted participants' aggression levels: the smaller the brain response to violent photos, the more aggressive participants were. Participants who had already spent a lot of time playing violent video games before the study showed small brain response to the violent photos, regardless of which type of game they played in the lab. - Science Daily
This is disturbing, as Empathy is the Most Important Survival Skill of the 21st Century!
Bartholow said that future research should focus on ways to moderate media violence effects, especially among individuals who are habitually exposed. He cites surveys that indicate that the average elementary school child spends more than 40 hours a week playing video games -- more than any other activity besides sleeping. As young children spend more time with video games than any other forms of media, the researchers say children could become accustomed to violent behavior as their brains are forming. - Science Daily
Our children get the opposite training of what they and our civilization needs more than ever: EMPATHY.

Read the article in Science Daily: Violent Video Games Reduce Brain Response to Violence and Increase Aggressive Behavior, Study Suggests.

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