Teenagers take a lot of risks. In some ways, they are hard-wired for adventure-seeking, but could some of the risk-taking be a result of too much time playing video games or watching television?
According to a report published online in the journal Psychological Bulletin, video games and other media that depict risk-taking increase the likelihood that people will take dangerous risks in their real lives.
Some of the risks video games commonly glorify are:
- Substance abuse
- Reckless driving
- Risky sexual behavior
The report, which analyzed data from more than 80,000 people over 25 years, identified both short- and long-term risks that were more severe the longer people were exposed to video games and other media.
Video games were most likely to trigger risky behavior, as compared to music or movies, but all forms of media showed a similar correlation.
“These results support recent lines of research into the relationship between risk taking and the media,” the researchers said. “There is indeed a reliable connection between exposure to risk-glorifying media content and risk-taking behaviors, cognitions, and emotions.”