If you have been following our blog recently, you know that violent media has been linked to decreased memory and attention and weaker academic performance. As if this wasn’t bad enough, a new study suggests that violent media hurts verbal skills as well.
A study published just three months ago analyzed the performance of 74 children qualified as academically gifted, and 80 children other randomly selected children. All children completed a verbal task before and after viewing a cartoon. Some of the children watched a violent cartoon, and the rest of the children viewed non-violent cartoon. The researchers found that the gifted children who watched the violent media outperformed the other children on the verbal task before cartoon, but not afterward. The violent cartoon had affected their verbal skills, and not for the better.
While this particular article focuses on gifted children, it adds to the growing body of literature that shows violent media negatively impacts the brains of children and teens. Violence grabs our attention for safety reasons, but viewing violent media serves no constructive purpose. While some media is simply a waste of time, violent content hurts kids surpasses the opportunity cost of an unproductive afternoon and poisons other areas of life. A video game or popular television show is simply not worth it.
To read the original study, click here!
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