Human see, human do. Learned violent behaviour


The debate as to whether violent video games and films make children more violent/aggressive has been ongoing for decades. Games that have been accused of causing violent behavior are games such as , Call of Duty, Counter Strike and Grand Theft Auto (2/3 are FPS, First Person Shooter). However, Dr Simon Goodson at Huddersfield University found that FPS games are less likely to cause violent behavior compared to games related to real life sports, such as FIFA. Dr Goodson and Sarah Pearson measured the brain activity and heart rate of 40 male and female participants, playing either a FPS game (Gears of war 2) or a sports game (Pro evolution soccer).


*Also: Road Rage is more likely to cause aggressive behavior because it’s a situation that we can relate to. Peaceful person? – Buy a bike.


They found an increase in brain activity when the subjects were playing the sports games and lesser brain activity while playing shooter games. (Therefore it doesn’t take that much brain capacity to fire a gun, but quite a genius to kick a round object in a net). The hypothesis established was that people become more emotionally engaged and more angry when presented a situation to which they can relate.

This supports that it’s not the game itself that causes violent behavior, but the emotional engagement to the game itself.


The Bobo doll experiment, conducted by Albert Bandura 1961, studied aggressive behavior associated with aggression. Bandura’s goal with the research was to support the theory that violence and aggression can be explained by social learning: “Monkey see, Monkey do”.

Bandura used a total of 26 boys and 36 girls between the ages of 3 and 6. The children were split into three groups of 24 each. Two of these groups were then exposed to scenarios with different levels aggression, and the third one was used as a control group. Half of each of the “aggression” groups observed the scenario with a same-sex adult model, and the other half observed it with a different-sex adult model. 


With the groups categorized like this:

  • Aggressive adult model scenario (24 children)      Same-sex adult model

                                                                           Different-sex adult model


  • Non-aggressive adult model (24 children)          Same-sex adult model

                                                                           Different-sex adult model


  • Control Group (24 children)


The experiment was qualitative, studying  one case at a time, isolated from the other children. The child and the adult model would enter a play room at the same time, but before entering the room the child was told that the toys in one corner were for the adult to play with, these being a toy set, a mallet and the Bobo-doll. After one minute the adult model started to show aggression ( or not) towards the doll, depending or what group were tested. 

The results were that the children behaved the same way as the adult role-model had behaved earlier towards the Bobo-doll. The children that observed the aggressive adult role model were more likely to show aggression towards the doll, supporting the social learning theory.

Playing a video game is not watching someone else do something or preform an action. It is making the choice yourself. Film on the other hand, is  watching someone else act. And if the Social learning theory is to be applied, films are more likely to cause violent behavior than video games.
Looking at it, where do we learn a “football” behavior? Cheer for a team, complain about the referee or get angry when our team is losing? – It’s probably from older generations, as children.

Further reading:

Bobo-doll experiment summary –

Dr Goodsons study summary - (Is to be taken with moderation, it’s a gaming organization that did the interview)

Dr Goodsons study #2 –

And of course The daily Mails contribution…. ( Not a source, but good read anyway)







At last, science has not yet discovered why blue is for boys and pink might be for girls.

Reading two different articles about the same thing can sometimes make you wonder ‘Did I really read the same thing a few seconds ago? Because this news article just doesn’t make sense’. Mark Hendersons article in The Times (August 21,2007) appears to be a lot different from Anya C. Hurlbert and Yazhu Lings article (2007), on the same subject.

The name of Hendersons article is ‘ At last, science discovers why blue is for boys but girls really do prefer pink.’ To begin with, this is wrong. Hurlberts paper did not suggest this. The study does supports that there is a difference between the sexes, but that the preference in color also is influenced by culture. This factor is altered in Henderson’s study, saying that the results still showed that men preferred blue, when the Chinese male’s in fact preferred the color red ( This can be explain by red being the color of Good luck in Chinese culture).

Using the header “…Science discovers why blue is for boys…” does catch the reader’s attention but it also implies things that are not entirely true and feminists all over might turn against Dr. Hurlbert for her “statements”, mentioned in the news article. Only using parts that supports the belief that blue is for boys and pink is for girls are being used in the article, even false statements are being added! We don’t know if Henderson interview Dr. Hurlbert, but from the information given it seems like it, because she never mentions her favorite color in her article! That would be unprofessional. Additionally, mentioning that the Dr. (being an authority figure) who executed the experiments favorite color is pink, somehow gives the whole “girls prefer pink” idea more validity for the everyday person who reads the article.

Overall media customize scientific articles and papers to sell numbers of their own magazine. Henderson only use the bits and pieces that seem to support his header- the header that wakes interest and sells numbers. However, readers cannot be expected to read every scientific version of the news article, but at least take each news article with a pinch of salt.

God Jul och Gott Nytt År!!!

(Christmas tree blog entry )

The scientific validity within the Science Of Dating

The book The Game (2005) by Neil Strauss is a bibliography about Style, Neil’s alter ego who infiltrates a secret society of Pickup artists (PUAs).He has never had a girlfriend in his life, he feels pathetic and is clueless among girls – Until he meets Mystery and the others. I stumbled across this book when searching for supportive evidence for Psuf10’s blog entry, November 18, 2011 Chivalry is dead. Style meets a lot of interesting personalities and a few mentors with different philosophies in the question How to pick up women, all in a different way answering the question – What do women want?

ImageAfter reading the book, it was necessary for me to evaluate this book from a more scientific point of view.  One character mentioned especially caught my interest. A man who calls himself Mystery whose real name is Eric Von Markovic and the author of The Mystery Method (2005).
Sigmund Freud would have a lot of things to say about this man, deprived childhood, father issues, rejected sexuality etc. But that’s not my point here.

Mystery has spent 20 years of his life, finding the way to create attraction, seduction and a way to unlock a women’s hearts. He has developed certain techniques over the years that always give the same results (Heavy amount of induction). Mystery, his wingmen, and rival mentors have all tested every technique they have developed in “the field” with women all over the world, perfecting their hypothesis on how to get the perfect girl – the perfect 10.

They use a Scientific Method by testing the same thing over and over and if the result supports their alternative hypothesis it is supported that this technique works – And they will teach it to others. However, their Null hypothesis is weak – It doesn’t work.

A man called Savoy wrote an E-book I also read called Magic bullets (2007). In this book, the following words can be read “The Science of Dating”. Believe me, this line caught my attention!
Suppose they all use a scientific method to find supportive evidence, they repeat their experiment over numerous of subjects, and mostly get the same results.

  1. A scientific method is used.
  2. They use an alternative and null hypothesis.
  3. Their experiments are repeatable.
  4. Nothing can be proven, only supported because of Induction.
  5. Some devoted their life to the art of picking up women.

The methods used to attract and seduce women, and most of all keep them, is by these men considered a Science. And they devote all their time to perfect the art and science of dating.


Strauss, N. The Game (2005) The Game, United States: ReganBooks.

Savoy,N. (2007) Acknowledgements. Magic Bullets (1st ed) (pp.5-10). Retrieved from:

Markovik,V.E (2005) The Mystery Method, The Venusian Arts Handbook (2005). Mystery Method Corp. (ebook) No longer available.

Can Labeling really be avoided at all times?

After reading Rosenhan’s (1973) ‘sane in insane places’ I can agree about the dangers with labeling, and I also agree with the APA that one should always be cautious*when labeling groups during research. Even after a discussion with Dr Martin, the conclusions were that labeling is always bad, and we should never label or judge other people. We even learned from Dweck’s paper, Self Theories: The Mindset of a Champion, (2000). That learning styles are not real, they are imaginary and results of the placebo effect. And by labeling ourselves and others a learning style, we restrict our learning capacity and knowledge.

Despite all of these theories (facts) People judge and label each other all the time. We receive a first impression about someone, from their cloths, their accent, and their hobbies or just by their appearance. Judging someone takes 2 seconds, and we are not even aware of that we are doing it. It is a subconscious act of our brain. Malcolm Gladwell (2005) explains this as Rapid Cognition in his book ‘Blink’. There are lots of more books to be found on how to judge people, “read other people’s minds” and such. However, if labeling always was bad how could we justify all these books that tell us How to judge others?

Giving someone a label is always easier than to get to know someone in depth. It gives us an idea about someone and whether we a likely to like this person or not. Is he friend or enemy? Biologically this behavior of labeling could be necessary to our ancestor’s survival, instead of rushing into things out of curiosity; they labeled something as Dangerous and survived. Labeling and judging would therefore have been necessary for our survival.

* I my first entry it said “One must always be couscous”

Telepathy – Wishful thinking or social adaption?

Have you ever been thinking of someone, and that certain someone is ringing on your phone, or is just knocking on your door? A best friend who happens to be thinking the exact same thing as you? You even finish each other’s sentences.

Professor Charles Xavier from X-men is probably the most well-known psychic telepath. He is able to read, control and even erase people’s minds. Sadly, real telepathy does not work that way. However, Digby Tantam, is writing in his article, published 2009 that neuroscientists are demonstrating that emotions can spread, not from Mind to Mind, but from brain to brain.

Telepathy means feeling at a distance, according to Digby.T(2009). But when we say it, we don’t mean feeling; we also mean reading what someone is thinking. Feelings others feelings, AKA, Mirroring other persons feelings – having he ability to put yourself into someone else’s situation – Empathy – Compassion! (, Is compassion an emotion?, October,2011)

When we look at someone, we are sometimes, very often, able to read that persons emotion, by looking at their face. And if it is someone we know very well, we don’t even have to look at their face. We just know how that person is feeling. You can also by listening to someone’s way of speaking on the phone, tell who that person is speaking to. Why? You have learned how that person acts in certain situations. When we are on the phone with someone, we mirror our speech to match the persons on the other end. (Fexeus, H. Konsten att läsa tankar, 2007)

Being able to tell other persons feelings, is a very important skill if you live in groups, humans are gregarious animals and our ability to communicate with our group, none-verbal, telling how someone is feeling would increase the groups chances of survival.

Mr Northernstorm

Fexeus,H. Konsten att läsa tankar, 2007. Bokförlaget Forum, Sweden.

Is Compassion an Emotion?

Is compassion an emotion?
The first natural response for the most if us would probably be; Yes of course it! But is it really an emotion?  To be able to discuss this question we must first know what Emotions are.  Emotions are, according to Paul Ekman (2003) something that is universal, they are the same no matter where you go or who you talk to. Saying that a Lecturer of Bangor University, the president of the United States of America, a student from Sweden and the native Indian have the exact same way of showing fear, anger, happiness, sadness, contempt and disgust…and pleasure.

Same facial expression of emotion on four different people, in four different contexts. ( )

These basic emotions are not learned in any way, they are innate, and they are all shown in our face. A study that shows this exceptionally well is Psychology Professor David Matsumotos (San Francisco State University) study where he compared blind and sighted judo athletes. The results showed that blind and sighted individuals use the same facial expressions He analyzed 4’800 pictures of athletes from 23 countries, from 2004 Summer Olympics and Paralympic Games. (unknow. (2008). Facial expressions of emotion are innate, not learned, says new study) This paragraph is more of a detour from my main topic, supporting the theory that facial expressions of emotion are universal and is not something we learn from each other.

Blind/ sighted comparison. ( )

Now that we think us knowing that Emotions are universal and that they are innate, what about compassion? There is a difference between the compassion a mother feels towards her newborn child, the one we feel towards friends and colleges and the one we feel towards a complete stranger, says Paul Ekman in an interview at Lund’s University, Sweden 2011-05-27. And a mother’s compassion is the one closest to fit Ekman’s criteria for being an emotion because it is stronger and long-lived compared to the compassion we feel for the ones who dies in the tsunami in Thailand. Some people can see pictures of suffering people in a distant country and become to touch that they devote the rest of their life to help them, but they are a minority, says Paul Ekman during his lecture at Lund’s university.

Own thoughts.

So why is it that some people devote their life to save others, whilst some just don’t give a damn about others? Some people have absolutely no compassion at all, we call them psychopaths. Emotions are something we feel and respond to, the same way over and over, and we show it, even if the think we don’t.  Compassion is varying from time to time, sometimes we have it, and sometimes we don’t.  Compassion can also be trained away, if it couldn’t be – How would you explain the human habit of killing each other off? Without compassion (or the risk of going to jail) would we even hesitate to commit an act of murder?

I think that compassion is something we learn from our parents, friends and neighbors. Just as we learn how to separate Right from Wrong – Ethics. We are not born with the knowledge about Ethics. If you were to say that Compassion is with us from birth, you are in a way saying that the human is born with an innate goodness. Which I don’t think is the case, we are as easy to affect and easy to predict. Hell, even what we think is attractive can be calculated by a computer – The golden face ratio.

Hopefully you have Compassion enough to comment 🙂



Parental Alienantion Syndrome?

Parental Alienation Syndrome is when one parent,
intentionally influences his/her child or children to takes distance from the
other adult.  It is often the mother who
practices PAS in such ways as refusing to talk to the father, avoiding him or
directly insulting him in front of his children. One is to think that this
should make the children resent their mother, but it actually has the opposite
effect. Nowadays it is becoming more and more common that men are inducing
their children with PAS ever since this phenomenon was discovered.

PAS is seen as emotional abuse, and Richard, A. argues in
his article (Parental Alienation Syndrome
(2nd edition)
Richard, A. and Gardnern, M.D, 1999) that it actually is
worse than physical or sexual abuse. With the result that children, who have
been exposed to anything out of the latter fact, at some point in life may be
reuniting with the parent. But a victim of PAS will never come in contact with
the targeted parent again.

At first, during the late 80’s and mid 90’s when this syndrome was first
discovered, it was believed that it was women who used themselves of PAS, but
after Richard A. and Gardnern, MD released their first book and the subject
became more widely known to people who are facing divorce, the number of men that
had been convicted of having programmed his children to distance themselves
from the mother increased.

This phenomenon have been tested on later occasions, where they tested 50
undergraduate psychology students from the age 18 to over 50, who studied at
the University of Texas at Dallas and University of North Texas. Thirtytwo of
the students lived with both their parents and seventeen lived with either
their mother or father. The student were given questionnaries with scale based
questions including statements as “My mother wanted me to respect and admire my
father”, then they’de have to rate on a scale from 0-8. As in 0 is ‘strongly disagree’ and 8 would be ‘strongly agree’. This statement were
also asked the other way around later on in the same questionnarie to help the
researches meassure whether they could detect PAS behavior, and who was more
likely to use it, the mother or the father? The research resulted in the
following figures you can see below.

The figures shows that women are more likely to use
PAS to make children distance themselves from their fathers. This study was
made available on the internet in 2011, and yet, you can see from the figures
that women still are more likely to use PAS to program their children into
distance themselves from the father, in both catecories.

I still believe that there are some holes in their
research, things you need to take into consideration here is the family
situation. Why are they divorced? That is a question with major importance for
this kind of study that you need to consider. What if the father was an abuser,
or the mother a drugadict?

And can you really do a study using only 50 test
subjects? To be able to state something as serious as this I believe that they
should have done more studies using more people.

Parental Alienation Syndrome (2nd edition) speaks
Richard, A. and Garndern, MD (1999)