Effects of violent video games on aggressive behavior, aggressive cognition, aggressive affect, physiological arousal, and prosocial behavior: a meta-analytic review of the scientific literature

Psychol Sci. 2001 Sep;12(5):353-9. doi: 10.1111/1467-9280.00366.


Research on exposure to television and movie violence suggests that playing violent video games will increase aggressive behavior. A metaanalytic review of the video-game research literature reveals that violent video games increase aggressive behavior in children and young adults. Experimental and nonexperimental studies with males and females in laboratory and field settings support this conclusion. Analyses also reveal that exposure to violent video games increases physiological arousal and aggression-related thoughts and feelings. Playing violent video games also decreases prosocial behavior.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Affect*
  • Aggression / psychology*
  • Arousal*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control*
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Behavior*
  • Thinking
  • Video Games*
  • Violence / psychology*