Video Games Relationship to Impulsivity & Aggression

Normally I do not re-post the extra material we give to our students on Balanced Life Skills  student site, but this is too important for all parents to know in regard to their children.


The playing of video games have long been a concern of many parents.  For some the concerns have been about encouraging violence, physical health, the addictiveness and time spent on the little screen, depressive behaviors.  There are many other concerns that we will discuss at other times dealing with stereotyping too that do not get the attention they deserve.

But here is a new concern that I have not read about previously but is backed up with a study that makes a lot of sense.  The playing of fast paced video games can “reduce the ability of the person to inhibit impulsive behavior.”

If you have ever tried to play some of these games, you will find that it requires a great deal of hand / eye coordination.  Very quick decisions also need to be made and in fact they are being made without “thought” – you just do.  This fast paced process does increase the players visual skills, but there is a downside.

The fast pace processing is training the brain to behave without thinking just doing “automatically” with impulsive reactions being quick and automatic.  The implications are far reaching including ADD, ADHD and impulsive aggression of all kinds.  In future posts I will show other examples of how our behavior is trained by what we surround ourselves with.

Anger management and education is self defense, protecting ourselves and our relationships from damage. To read more on these studies here are two resources: