Dramatised violence as bad as real thing

SYDNEY: Brain scans of children who saw dramatised violence showed a similar reaction to those who witnessed real violence, a scientist says.

Developmental psychologist Wayne Warburton of Macquarie University in Sydney said impacts of violent media on children are well demonstrated in research.

“They include increases in the likelihood of aggressive behaviour, increases in desensitisation to violence and an increase in the overall view that the world is more scary and hostile than it is,” Warburton said before the launch of a book he co-authored, Growing Up Fast and Furious.

Warburton said magnetic resonance imaging brain scans of children exposed to dramatised violence showed similar reactions to those who saw real violence.

Tests showed children who played violent video games had a heightened likelihood of aggression for up to 15 minutes after switching off the console. –