ArticleLiterature Review

Playing Violent Video Games and Desensitization to Violence

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Abstract

This article examines current research linking exposure to violent video games and desensitization to violence. Data from questionnaire, behavioral, and psychophysiologic research are reviewed to determine if exposure to violent video games is a risk factor for desensitization to violence. Real-world implications of desensitization are discussed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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... Farmers are frequently exposed to a range of animal welfare issues, yet they are often unwilling to implement recommendations to improve animal welfare [1][2][3]. It is known that frequently witnessing human suffering can disrupt human emotional, cognitive and behavioral responses to witnessing distress [4,5]. The current study investigates for the first time whether exposure to animal suffering disrupts farmer responses to animal suffering, using pig aggression as a case study. ...
... Desensitization is a well-established defense mechanism which occurs automatically and unconsciously [4,5]. For example, regular exposure to violence can lead to a reduced emotional response to violence [6], reduced empathy for the victims of violence [4] and increased violent behavior [7]. ...
... Desensitization is a well-established defense mechanism which occurs automatically and unconsciously [4,5]. For example, regular exposure to violence can lead to a reduced emotional response to violence [6], reduced empathy for the victims of violence [4] and increased violent behavior [7]. When witnessing human suffering, the decision to intervene is determined firstly by perceiving there to be an urgent problem that needs to be addressed, followed by feeling personal responsibility to act [8]. ...
... Farmers are frequently exposed to a range of animal welfare issues, yet they are often unwilling to implement recommendations to improve animal welfare [1][2][3]. It is known that frequently witnessing human suffering can disrupt human emotional, cognitive and behavioral responses to witnessing distress [4,5]. The current study investigates for the first time whether exposure to animal suffering disrupts farmer responses to animal suffering, using pig aggression as a case study. ...
... Desensitization is a well-established defense mechanism which occurs automatically and unconsciously [4,5]. For example, regular exposure to violence can lead to a reduced emotional response to violence [6], reduced empathy for the victims of violence [4] and increased violent behavior [7]. ...
... Desensitization is a well-established defense mechanism which occurs automatically and unconsciously [4,5]. For example, regular exposure to violence can lead to a reduced emotional response to violence [6], reduced empathy for the victims of violence [4] and increased violent behavior [7]. When witnessing human suffering, the decision to intervene is determined firstly by perceiving there to be an urgent problem that needs to be addressed, followed by feeling personal responsibility to act [8]. ...
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Article
Several animal welfare issues persist in practice despite extensive research which has been linked to the unwillingness of stakeholders to make changes. For example, most farmers do not perceive pig aggression to be a problem that requires action despite the fact that stress and injuries are common, and that several solutions exist. Frequent exposure to animal suffering could affect farmer responses to distressed animals. This study investigated for the first time whether this occurs, using pig aggression as a focus. Using video clips, 90 pig farmers judged the severity of aggression, level of pig exhaustion and the strength of their own emotional response. Their judgments were compared to objective measures of severity (pigs’ skin lesions and blood lactate), and against control groups with similar pig experience (10 pig veterinarians) and without experience (26 agricultural students; 24 animal science students). Famers did not show desensitization to aggression. However, all groups underestimated the outcome of aggression when they did not see the fight occurring as compared to witnessing a fight in progress. We suggest that farmers be provided with evidence of the economic and welfare impact of aggression as indicated by lesions and that they be advised to score lesions on affected animals.
... La desensibilización a la violencia es una reducción a respuestas cognitivas, emocionales y comportamentales que se manifiestan ante ciertos estímulos; se presenta de manera automática e inconsciente ante los acontecimientos cotidianos. Es un proceso adaptativo (Brockmyer, 2015), por lo que quienes se encuentran expuestos a violencia suelen tener menor empatía y angustia (Mrug, Madan, Cook y Wright, 2015). ...
... La desensibilización de las personas tiene como consecuencia la disminución de la censura de la violencia, las reacciones emocionales, la gravedad y la atención que se confiere a ella, en detrimento de la solidaridad, la empatía y el interés por ayudar a víctimas Carozzo, 2015;Plot et al., 2016;Sun et al., 2019;Scharrer, 2019). Reduce los indicadores físicos de los estados de alarma, el remordimiento y prosocialidad (Brockmyer, 2015;Luna, 2015;Fernández y Revilla, 2016;Soral et al., 2017, Scharrer, 2019, además de la participación cívica y la previsión de consecuencias (Carozzo, 2015;Anderson, 2016;Choudhury et al., 2019). La desensibilización a la violencia incrementa la posibilidad de emprender conductas violentas, así como la desinhibición de conductas agresivas, aumenta los prejuicios, la aceptación de contenido violento, refuerza el egoísmo, contribuye a tolerar la violencia en la vida real y, a su vez, deshumaniza a víctimas o les culpabiliza, incluso, racionaliza los eventos, muchas veces desvinculando a las personas de las víctimas en especial en violencia extrema Carozzo, 2015;Fernández y Revilla, 2016;Haq, 2017). ...
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El presente libro es producto de las reflexiones y pesquisas de académicos e investigadores, quienes despliegan a través de la Red Latinoamericana de Estudios sobre la Violencia escritos de carácter ensayístico o empírico que develan fenómenos acerca de las violencias por parte del Estado y las instituciones, las cuales se expresan en grupos focalizados, como es el caso de infantes, adolescentes e igualmente mujeres, este último grupo analizado a partir de la perspectiva de género. En dichos trabajos, se profundiza en la comprensión de los sujetos que vivencian y habitan una sociedad ensanchada en violencia. Este texto constituye un espacio por el cual se comparten y se difunden escritos a fin de ampliar la comprensión sobre las violencias para su análisis y reinterpretación por parte de estudiantes, profesionales y personas interesadas sobre esta temática.
... Crucially, reduced empathy for pain has been consistently found not only for long-term media violence exposure (Funk et al., 2003;Bartholow et al., 2005) but also for short-term violence exposure ( Guo et al., 2013). More in detail, in the study by Guo et al. (2013), participants were exposed to either 5-min violent or non-violent video clips while their neural activity was measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). ...
... In the case of violence, it is suggested that prolonged exposure leads an individual to believe that violence is mundane and inevitable, decreasing the likelihood that it will be censured or perceived negatively. In other words, initial exposure to violence may lead to a degree of cognitive aversion, but after repeated exposure, individuals may develop violence-supporting beliefs-a process referred to as "violence normalization" ( Funk et al., 2003;McMahon et al., 2009). This mechanism involves a generalized delay in the development of Theory of Mind ability: being repeatedly exposed to some mental states, like anger, individuals become less able to recognize and understand different emotions, ending to identify signs of anger in other people even if not present ( Pollak et al., 2000). ...
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Article
In the present review, we illustrate how exposure to violence results in an increased probability of developing functional impairments of decision mechanisms necessary for moral behavior. We focus in particular on the detrimental effects of exposure to violence on emotional (e.g., Empathy), cognitive (e.g., Theory of Mind), and inhibitory control abilities. Relying on studies that document impaired moral behavior in individuals with deficits in these abilities, we propose a “model” of how exposure to violence can affect moral behavior. We then discuss how impaired moral decision making can also be a factor increasing the likelihood of reiterating violence: agents who lack abilities such as understanding and resonating with others’ emotions or inhibitory control, can lead to an increase of violent displays. Thus, if not properly addressed, the noxious effects of exposure to violence on morality can lead to a violence generating cycle. We conclude proposing that interventions targeted at improving moral behavior can maximize their efficacy focusing on mitigating the impact of violence on the basic cognitive, emotional, and inhibitory abilities discussed.
... Moreover, a desensitization toward violent content and a decrease of empathy and prosocial behavior has been hypothesized (Huesmann, Moise-Titus, Podolski & Eron, 2003;Sparks & Sparks, 2002). Metaanalytic reviews reported a significant association between playing violent video games, an increase in aggressive cognition, and a decrease in empathy and prosocial behavior, resulting from chronic violent video games exposure (Anderson et al., 2010;Brockmyer, 2015;Greitemeyer & Mügge, 2014). Coherently, many neurobiological studies have reported that the long-term exposure to external stimuli can be considered as a cognitive cuing that could lead to the emergence of specific changes in neuroplasticity and to impaired behaviors or psychological diseases (Serafini, Hayley, Pompili, Dwivedi, Brahmachari, Girardi, et al., 2014). ...
... The neural pathways consisting in the activation of limbic and temporal cortex seems to correlate with the emotional involvement during emotional task as showed in previous neurobiological and The BAs intensity post orientation video game was higher compared to the post violent video game one for all the comparisons, except for those indicated with behavioural studies (Bates, Kiehl, Lauren, & Liddle, 2002;Lai, Altavilla, Mazza, Scappaticci, Tambelli, Aceto et al., 2017;Tonioni, Mazza, Autullo, Cappelluti, Catalano, Marano et al., 2014;Yau, Potenza, Mayes, & Crowleyet, 2015). According to the previous studies, the lower limbic and temporal activation after playing violent video game suggests a reduction in emotional engagement in social processing (Brockmyer, 2015) and may bring insights in the association between the performance of violent video games and the subsequent aggressive behaviour. As reported by Anderson and Bushman (2001), the effects of violent video game on aggressive behaviour could implicate a desensitization to violence, resulting in a reduction of physiological reactivity (Bartholow et al. 2006;Engelhardt et al. 2011), as well as in a decrease of empathy processing (Anderson & Bushman, 2011;Anderson et al., 2010). ...
Article
Exposure to violence in video games has been associated with a desensitization toward violent content, a decrease of empathy, and prosocial behavior. Moreover, violent video games seem to be related to a reduction of neural activation in the circuits linked to social emotional processing. The purpose of the present study was to compare the neural response to social inclusion images after violent and nonviolent video game playing. Electroencephalographic data of the 32 participants were recorded during a visual task with three presentations (T0, T1, T2) of 60 stimuli (30 social inclusion vs. 30 neutral images). After the T0 presentation, the participants played with a video game (orientation or violent). After the T1 presentation, the participants played with the other video game (orientation or violent). The two types of video games were randomly displayed. Event-related potential (ERP) components and low-resolution electromagnetic tomography (sLORETA) were analyzed. The main findings showed a longer latency of the P2 component on occipito-temporal montage and a lower activation of the limbic and temporal areas in response to the social inclusion images post violent video game compared with the post orientation video game. The findings suggest a reduction of emotional engagement in social processing after playing violent video game.
... While the scientific literature studying the effects of youth exposure to violent media has been extensive and methodologically diverse, in aggregate, it supports an association between exposure to violence and aggression. Specifically, exposure to violent media (TV and video games) is associated with an increase in fear and anxiety, violent behaviors and aggressive thoughts, and desensitization to real-world and media violence [31,32]. Parents can mitigate these effects by heightening exposure to prosocial video games, discussing the difference between on-screen and off-screen violence, and promoting empathy-building civic experiences [32]. ...
... Specifically, exposure to violent media (TV and video games) is associated with an increase in fear and anxiety, violent behaviors and aggressive thoughts, and desensitization to real-world and media violence [31,32]. Parents can mitigate these effects by heightening exposure to prosocial video games, discussing the difference between on-screen and off-screen violence, and promoting empathy-building civic experiences [32]. The AAP, writing about 'Virtual Violence,' advocates for reforming the entertainment industry's portrayal of violence, creating more child-positive media, and legislative bodies taking a more active role in rating media content [33•]. ...
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Article
Purpose of review: Adolescents' use of digital technologies is constantly changing and significantly influences and reflects their mental health and development. Technology has entered the clinical space and raises new ethical dilemmas for mental health clinicians. After an update on this shifting landscape, including a brief review of important literature since 2014, this article will demonstrate how core ethical principles may be applied to clinical situations with patients, using vignettes for illustration. Recent findings: The vast majority of adolescents (95%) across all demographic groups can access smartphones (Anderson et al. 2018•). Technology use in mental health is also expanding, including a proliferation of "apps." While qualitative data from technology experts reports overall positive effects of technology (Anderson and Rainie 2018), concern about its potential negative impact on youth mental health remains high, and an association between technology use and depression is strong. Internet addiction, online sexual exploitation, and accessing illicit substances through the "dark net" pose additional clinical and legal concerns. In this context, clinicians have an ethical responsibility to engage in education and advocacy, to explore technology use with teen patients and to be sensitive to ethical issues that may arise clinically, including confidentiality, autonomy, beneficence/nonmaleficence, and legal considerations such as mandated reporting. New media and digital technologies pose unique ethical challenges to mental health clinicians working with adolescents. Clinicians need to stay abreast of current trends and controversies about technology and their potential impact on youth and engage in advocacy and psychoeducation appropriately. With individual patients, clinicians should watch for potential ethical dilemmas stemming from technology use and think them through, with consultation as needed, by applying longstanding core ethical principles.
... Previous researchers have considered the relationship of affective/emotional and cognitive empathy subtypes to physically aggressive and non-aggressive ASBs (e.g. Brockmyer, 2015;Jolliffe & Farrington, 2004;Lunsford, 2014;van Langen, Wissink, van Vugt, Van der Stouwe, & Stams, 2014;Viding, Simmonds, Petrides, & Frederickson, 2009;Yeo, Ang, Loh, Fu, & Karre, 2011). They have found that emotional reactivity is more likely to inversely predict physically aggressive ASBs while cognitive empathy and social skills are more likely to inversely predict nonaggressive ASBs such as cyberbullying, an indirect form of aggression (e.g. ...
... hitting, kicking, etc) are generally linked to low empathy. Another study found a relationship between low emotional arousal and preference for violent video games (Brockmyer, 2015). However, past research does not indicate if emotional reactivity as a subtype of empathy is more likely to predict physically aggressive ASBs than predict non-aggressive ASBs. ...
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Article
Previous research has linked anti-social behavior (ASB) to subtypes of empathy and also to sensation seeking, but there is limited research on the relative roles of empathy subtypes and sensation seeking traits in predicting ASB subtypes. The current study therefore investigated the relationship between sensation seeking, the three subtypes of empathy (emotional reactivity, cognitive empathy and social skills) and the two subtypes of ASB (physically aggressive and non-aggressive). An online survey consisting of Demographic Variables Questionnaire, Brief Sensation Seeking Scale, Empathy Quotient and the Antisocial Behavior Measure was sent to student volunteers, leading to a total of 537 respondents. Empathy alone accounted for a relatively modest proportion of the total variance in theASBs, with emotional reactivity being the only significant predictor. Adding sensation seeking to the regression led to a marked improvement in prediction for non-aggressive ASB and a slight but significant improvement for physically aggressive ASB. Sensation seeking, emotional reactivity and social skills (but not cognitive empathy) contributed unique variance for both ASB subtypes. The greatest variance for physically aggressive and non-aggressive ASB were accounted for by emotional reactivity and sensation seeking, respectively. The results indicate that both sensation seeking and sub-types of empathy are important in predicting ASBs. This has theoretical implications for different personality models and has practical implications for the development of preventive measures to avoid such behaviors. Sensation seeking or empathy? Physically Aggressive and non-aggressive antisocial behaviors (ASBs) amongst university students. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/288671355_Sensation_seeking_or_empathy_Physically_Aggressive_and_non-aggressive_antisocial_behaviors_ASBs_amongst_university_students [accessed Dec 29, 2015].
... Reduced empathy and desensitization to the suffering of others are significant because both of these factors have been found to encourage moral disengagement from victims depicted in media content [9,[173][174][175]. Brockmyer [176] proposes that this process is likely gradual and unconscious, occurring as a result of repeated presentations of violence as necessary, justified, and enjoyable. Ongoing exposure to IP may also desensitize viewers to the depicted conduct (for a detailed explanation of the neuroscience underpinning this process see Carnegy et al. [177]), in much the same way that is revealed in brain imaging studies of accumulated desensitization to media violence (e.g., see Gentile et al. [178]). ...
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Article
This theoretical review explores the possibility that the consumption of internet pornography (IP) represents a credible risk factor in the perpetration of aggression and violence against women. Sexual violence, abuse, and degradation of women is commonly depicted in mainstream heterosexual IP. Despite the violent tenor, the effect this material may have on beliefs, attitudes and behaviors is understudied, as are the reasons why violent and degrading IP is so widely viewed, enjoyed, and accepted. Both theory and empirical findings support the contention that depictions of violence in IP may contribute to real world aggression and violence against women, with two relevant spheres of inquiry proposed in this theoretical review. The first considers IP as a ‘zone of cultural exception’, in which the perpetration of violent and degrading acts against women are eroticized and celebrated, despite such behaviors being considered antisocial in wider society. It is suggested that this excepted status is enabled by the operation of the third person effect to negate the detrimental effects of IP. The second explores the objectification and dehumanization of women in IP and the use of moral disengagement by viewers to enable their disavowal of any harm in the depicted violence.
... Among them, one must first of all name software products: KinderGate, KidShell, Kaspersky and others (Table 1). Let's consider possible analogs [11][12][13][14]. ...
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This article discusses the main age-related features of the Internet use by adolescents and children. Today more and more computers are connected to the Internet. At the same time, connection via high-speed channels is becoming more common, both at work and at home. More and more children get the opportunity to work on the Internet. But at the same time, the problem of ensuring the safety of children on the Internet is becoming more acute. For this, a security monitor was developed, which has many functions that allow you to use the Internet more safely and under parental control. This security monitor is written in the web programming language JavaScript and PHP, which will allow using the system on almost all modern browsers and on any computer. The article also provides screenshots of the program's operation and a flowchart with a detailed description.
... Desensitization is a natural and defensive phenomenon that occurs spontaneously over time in response to crucial experiences, such as military surgeons operating on soldiers in war-time. The desensitizing steps for media violence are unnatural, unconscious progressive and automatic, as a result of their justified and entertaining presentations, such as repeated use of violence (14). ...
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Preprint
Aim:The violence included shows,that are frequently broadcast on television have a huge impact on society. This study aims to assess how violence is being portrayed on television channels that reaches many children, adolescents, and adult audiences in Turkey. Method:This study is a media content analysis (28 television shows and 84 episodes) on six top-rated scripted Turkish-language primetime television shows aired between November 18, 2019, and December 8, 2019. The violence types have been classified in one of the following five categories: verbal, physical, psychological, social, and economical. Besides, some vulnerable special groups, such as children and healthcare workers, also have been evaluated. Results:Our findings indicate that every show had at least one violent behavior. Contrary to the perception in society, the men are exposed to violence more than the women who (56.6% vs. 27.6%). The number of psychological violence content in the television shows (median:16.5) was significantly higher than the number of physical (median:11.0) and verbal (median:13.0) violent content (p<0.05). Conclusion:Our findings have important implications as exposure to popular media affects the behaviors and perceptions of not only children but also all communities. Our study has the potential to shed light on the need to create new ingredients in television shows watched by Turkish society with educational messages regarding the risks and consequences of violent behavior. U n c o r r e c t e d P r o o f/ahead-of-print Türkiye'deki Primetime Televizyon Şovlarındaki Şiddetin İçerik Analizi Özet Amaç: Şiddet içerikli olumsuzlukları barındıran gösteriler televiyonda sıkça gösterilmektedir ki bu da toplumda çok büyük etkiye sahiptir. Bu çalışma Türkiye'de yayın yapan ve birçok çocuk, ergen ve yetiştkin izleyiciye hitap eden televizyon kanallarında şiddetin nasıl sergilendiğini değerlendirmeyi amaçlamaktadır. Yöntem: Bu çalışma, 18 Kasım 2019 ve 8 Aralık 2019 tarihleri arasında yayınlanan Türkçe yayın yapan ve en çok izlenen altı televizyon kanalındakiprimetime yayınların bir medya içerik analizidir (28 televizyon dizisi ve 84 bölüm). Şiddet türleri şu beş kategoriden birinde sınıflandırılmıştır: sözel, fiziksel, psikolojik, sosyal ve ekonomik. Ayrıca, çocuklar ve sağlık çalışanları gibi savunmasız bazı özel gruplar da değerlendirmeye alınmıştr. Bulgular: Bulgularımız her dizinin en az bir şiddet içeren davranışa sahip olduğunu göstermektedir. Toplumdaki algının aksine, erkekler kadınlara göre şiddete daha çok maruz kalmaktadır (% 56,6'ya karşı% 27,6). Televizyon dizilerinde psikolojik şiddet içeriğinin sayısı (medyan: 16.5) fiziksel (medyan: 11.0) ve sözel (medyan: 13.0) şiddet içeriğinden (p <0.05) anlamlıolarak daha yüksektir. Sonuç: Popüler medyaya maruz kalma sadece çocukların değil tüm toplumların davranışlarını ve algılarını etkilediğinden bulgularımızın önemli sonuçları vardır. Çalışmamız, Türk toplumunun izlediği televizyon programlarında şiddet içeren davranışların riskleri ve sonuçları ile ilgili eğitim mesajları ile yeni içerikler oluşturma ihtiyacına ışık tutma potansiyeline sahiptir. Anahtar Kelimeler: saldırganlık, psikolojik, TV dizileri, sözel şiddet U n c o r r e c t e d P r o o f
... Younger adolescents were found to experience elevation more frequently, contrary to previous research (Daneels et al., 2019) and our hypothesis. A possible explanation for this could be that, through the increasing amount of rich and emotionally deep narratives and characters in games (e.g., Oliver et al., 2016), older adolescents, having more gaming experience compared to younger adolescents, might be desensitized to these narrative themes and emotional characters that lead to elevation, similar to desensitization of sexual or violent media content (e.g., Brockmyer, 2015). Next to this, adolescents who play digital games more 15 frequently and who are more engaged with the game also experience elevation more often. ...
Conference Paper
Elevation is an eudaimonic experience that consists of heartwarming and uplifting feelings when witnessing kindness, altruism, sacrifice, or other virtues. While eudaimonic media entertainment research primarily focuses on traditional media such as movies, a limited number of recent studies look at eudaimonic game experiences, especially among adolescents. Elevation can be beneficial for adolescents’ development as it potentially increases prosocial and moral attitudes/behaviors. The present study intends to be the first one to gain more insight into players’ elevating game experiences, by questioning how frequently players experience elevation and which personal and game-related characteristics relate to these experiences. In a survey among 207 adolescent players, we found that elevation during gameplay is experienced on some occasions, but not very frequently. Younger adolescents, frequent players, and strongly engaged players experienced elevation more frequently, while the moral principle of loyalty and feeling responsibility for game characters led to more elevation-related prosocial tendencies. Limitations and future research suggestions are further discussed.
... Ponavljana izlaganja nasilnim video-igricama dovode do merljivih promena u postojećim strukturama znanja, povezanih sa agresijom (npr. agresivne skripte, stavovi i uverenja koji podržavaju agresivno ponašanje, niža empatija, desenzitizacija na nasilne scene), pri čemu dodatni uticaj na dugoročne efekte ima okruženje koje ohrabruje agresivno ponašanje (Anderson et al., 2010;Brockmyer, 2015). ...
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Article
Violent video games, as a modern digital media, have attracted increasing attention of children and adolescents in recent decades, causing many detrimental consequences, most notably aggressive behavior. Therefore, the goals of the paper are: presentation of research findings that testify to the influence of playing violent video games on aggressive cognition, aggressive feelings, physiological arousal, desensitization to violent scenes, as processes that play a significant role in the expression of aggressive behavior; review of research indicating significant effects of playing violent video games on aggressive behavior; summarizing and displaying the factors that mediate and moderate the link between violent video game play and aggressive behavior. Based on the findings of meta-analytic, longitudinal, experimental and correlational studies, it is clear that playing violent video games is positively related to aggressive behavior and underlying processes.
... Atualmente existem várias evidências que apontam para a existência do fenómeno de dessensibilização emocional (DE) consequente a uma única ou repetida e prolongada exposição a estímulos violentos, observado pela diminuição da resposta emocional perante estímulos da mesma valência afetiva, nomeadamente, na sua componente fisiológica (Arriaga, Esteves, & Monteiro, 2007;Carnagey, Anderson, & Bushman, 2007;Funk, Baldaci, Pasold, & Baumgardner, 2004;Huesmann, Moise-Titus, Podolski, & Eron, 2003) com implicações no processamento cognitivo (Carvalho & Esteves, 2009). Essa constatação tem suscitado a hipótese de que a tolerância perante eventos de violência socialmente produzidos e vivenciados no dia-a-dia poderá ter no referido fenómeno da DE um importante contributo (Arriaga, Monteiro, & Esteves, 2011;Brockmyer, 2015;Dittrick, Beran, Mishna, Hetherington, & Shariff, 2013;Huesmann, 2007). Em consonância com o sobredito, o conjunto de investigações que temos em desenvolvimento têm vindo a mostrar que uma única situação de exposição supralimiar a imagens de violência conduz a julgamentos de menor gravidade de comportamentos antissociais apresentados em uma lista de frases descritoras desses comportamentos (Ribeiro, Cardoso, & Pinheiro, submetido). ...
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Article
The first goal was to investigate whether the effect attributed to emotional desensitization (ED) found in experimental studies relating to pre-exposure to violence stimuli and subsequent evaluation of violent behaviors occurs when the stimuli to be evaluated concern prosocial behaviors, specifically, generosity ones. Operationally, ED was observed by decreasing numerical magnitude estimation (NME) judgments of the generosity degree of a set of behaviours. The second goal was to ascertain whether pre-exposure to positive valence stimuli with erotic content increased the estimation of the generosity behaviors. 54 university students, from an initial 60, were randomly assigned to three experimental conditions: Pre-exposure to positive valence stimuli; pre-exposure to negative valence stimuli; pre-exposure to neutral valence stimuli. The participants, per experimental setting, viewed 18 images of the International Affective Pictures System (IAPS) of their respective experimental condition valence, and the affective state evoked by each image was registered in the Self-Assessment Manikin (SAM) to validate the experimental conditions. After a four-minute break, participants carried out NME task, judging the generosity degree of a set of prosocial behaviors. The results point to the existence of a general effect observed by diminished cognitive response regardless of the stimuli valence and show the NME as an adequate procedure to capture it. Keywords Violence, erotic, emotional desensitization, priming, prosocial behaviors. Tivemos como primeiro objetivo investigar se o efeito atribuído à dessensibilização emocional (DE) encontrado em estudos experimentais que relacionam a pré-exposição a estímulos de violência e a posterior avaliação de comportamentos de violência, se manifesta quando os estímulos a avaliar respeitam a comportamentos pró- sociais, especificamente, de generosidade. Operacionalmente, a DE foi observada pela diminuição de julgamentos de estimação de magnitude numérica (EMN) do grau de generosidade de um conjunto de comportamentos. O segundo objetivo foi observar se a pré-exposição a estímulos de valência positiva com conteúdos eróticos incrementava os julgamentos de estimação dos referidos comportamentos de generosidade. Participaram 54 estudantes universitárias, de 60 inicialmente inscritas, distribuídas aleatoriamente por três condições experimentais: Pré-exposição a estímulos de valência positiva; pré-exposição a estímulos de valência negativa; pré-exposição a estímulos de valência neutra. As participantes, por condição experimental, visualizaram 18 imagens do International Affective Pictures System (IAPS) da valência da respetiva condição experimental, registando na Self-Assessment Manikin (SAM) o estado afetivo evocado por cada imagem, com o propósito da validação das condições experimentais. Após um intervalo de tempo de quatro minutos as participantes realizaram uma tarefa de EMN, através de julgamentos do grau de generosidade de um conjunto de comportamentos pró-sociais. Os resultados apontam para existência de um efeito geral de diminuição da resposta cognitiva, observada pelos menores valores de EMN sobre os comportamentos antissociais, independente da valência dos estímulos e ainda revelam a EMN como um procedimento eficaz de o captar.
... Indeed, we observed that playing violent video games caused participants to view targets as weaker and simultaneously increased reports that they would fare better in a fight than participants who played the non-violent game. Poorer anger recognition is also consistent with the desensitization to violence induced by violent video games (Bartholow et al., 2006;Brockmyer, 2014;Carnagey et al., 2007;Engelhardt et al., 2011). In addition, across all three experiments, men rated themselves likely to fare better in a fight than women. ...
Article
Violent video game play can alter how people process social information. We examined the extent to which violent video game play influenced anger facial recognition, perceptions of one's own fighting ability, and perceptions of others' toughness. In three experiments (N = 868), participants were randomly assigned to play a violent or non-violent video game in the laboratory for 15 min (Experiments 1 and 2) or online for 5 min (Experiment 3). Participants then completed anger recognition tasks. Participants also indicated when they would back out of a physical confrontation with images of men that morphed from feminine to masculine. They rated these same target images on how tough they were and how much they could bench press. Participants rated themselves on how well they would fare in a fight against the men. Although not perfectly replicated, the general pattern of findings suggest that violent video game play impaired anger recognition, increased players' self-perceived fighting ability and reduced perceptions of the target men's toughness. Several effects were moderated by gender and/or trait aggression. These results provide insight into improved subjective fighting ability as a reinforcing feature of violent video games that may make them highly attractive to players.
... They found five factors: legitimacy as fair defense, as a parenting strategy, to control the partner, to resolve conflicts, and as difficulties controlling emotions. The scale has 33 Likerttype items, grouped into four subscales, which refer to physical violence among peers (boys), physical violence among peers (girls), parent-child physical violence, and physical and verbal violence in the couple (parents Regarding studies on media and desensitization, we reviewed a paper by Funk (2015) describing physical and psychological measures of desensitization to violence, but none of them used a direct approach to measure the phenomenon. To the best of our knowledge, there is no instrument to date to directly measure desensitization to violence, and the existing instruments fail to address more than one of the several components or factors explained by our instrument, which makes our contribution relevant and innovative. ...
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Article
Introduction: Desensitization to violence is the result of exposure to violence. It reduces the negative emotions in cognitive and physiological responses to violence and can even generate a positive response to it. Method: A mixed sequential method yielding a transactional analytic design for Exploratory Factor Analysis and Confirmatory Factor Analysis with a sample of 1720 participants of 25 different high schools and a juvenile detention center. Followed by convergent validity (as a criterion validity) with a different sample. Results: The EFA’s cumulative explained variance was 52% with a GFI of .98 with a three-factor model: sensitivity to violence, amusement with physical violence, and enjoyment of psychological violence. The CFA showed scores above .50 in Average Explained Variance in every factor, and an ideal model fit in every measure (CFI, AGFI, RMSEA, SRMR, and ECVI). The remaining factors are only those related with enjoying or amusement with violent behavior, indicating that the desensitization to violence is related not only with the normalization and legitimation of violence, but the increasing of the performance and amusement of it. Discussion or Conclusion: The scale of desensitization to violence for adolescents has adequate psychometric properties and can be a valuable instrument to generate intervention or prevention programs, especially for its intimate relationship with high scores in people interned because of their criminal behavior.
... One mechanism through which repetition may shape effects is that of desensitization; exposure to serious news content in the context of a game may lead to desensitize users to the serious consequences of those issues. For example, repeated play of video games has been shown to lead to desensitization toward violence (Breuer, Scharkow, & Quandt, 2014;Brockmyer, 2015). However, studies have also shown that exposure to prosocial behavior and characters that act counter to stereotypes can lead to positive short-term and long-term effects on players' attitudes and behavior (see Greitemeyer & Mügge, 2014 for a meta-analysis). ...
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Chapter
The competition for online news page views increasingly involves strategies designed to promote the “viral” nature of content, and to capitalize on the content's spread by ensuring that the content does not quickly lose timeliness or relevance. As a result of the pressure for these stories, news experiences which can be revisited by consumers are at a premium. In this ecosystem, interactive games and quizzes which can be played to receive different feedback or reach a different ending offer promise for news organizations to receive ongoing and widespread reward for their efforts. This chapter provides an overview of the state of gamification in journalism, challenges and opportunities for the growth of games in online news, and discusses evidence for the impact of increasingly gamified news content on how users process and perceive news information.
... Currently, studies on PVGU are few in number and the variability in defining and measuring PVGU makes it difficult to compare the results of existing studies and to make prevention and treatment recommendations, even though problematic play is associated with negative life consequences. [30][31][32] Current treatment recommendations for PVGU, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy 33 and family therapy, 34 are therefore based on limited information, and actual treatment studies are few in number. 33,35 Research to date suggests that ADHD, nicotine use, and number of hours spent on video games are all independently associated with video game addiction. ...
Article
Problematic video game use (PVGU), or addiction-like use of video games, is associated with physical and mental health problems and problems in social and occupational functioning. Possible correlates of PVGU include frequency of play, cigarette smoking, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The aim of the current study was to explore simultaneously the relationships among these variables as well as test whether two separate measures of PVGU measure the same construct, using a structural modeling approach. Secondary data analysis was conducted on 2,801 video game users (Mage = 22.43 years, standard deviation [SD]age = 4.7; 93 percent male) who completed an online survey. The full model fit the data well: χ2 (2) = 2.017, p > 0.05; root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) = 0.002 (90% CI [0.000-0.038]); comparative fit index (CFI) = 1.000; standardized root mean square residual (SRMR) = 0.004; and all standardized residuals <|0.1|. All freely estimated paths were statistically significant. ADHD symptomatology, smoking behavior, and hours of video game use explained 41.8 percent of variance in PVGU. Tracking these variables may be useful for PVGU prevention and assessment. Young's Internet Addiction Scale, adapted for video game use, and the Problem Videogame Playing Scale both loaded strongly onto a PVGU factor, suggesting that they measure the same construct, that studies using either measure may be compared to each other, and that both measures may be used as a screener of PVGU.
... El efecto parece ser mayor en niños de menor edad y en varones y correlacionarse con las horas de juego (Gentile, Li, Khoo, Prot y Anderson, 2014;Gentile, Reimer, Nathanson, Walsh y Eisenmann, 2014). Se han propuesto como mediadores una menor empatía y las cogniciones agresivas (Brockmyer, 2015 de seguimiento con adolescentes observó la asociación entre jugar a VDJ violentos y el desarrollo de agresividad física, así como entre uso patológico de los VDJ (violentos o no) y el desarrollo de agresividad física. Este efecto sólo se verificó en varones (Lemmens, Valkenburg y Peter, 2011). ...
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Article
La difusión de los videojuegos ha aumentado exponencialmente en los últimos años. Un porcentaje de jugadores puede hacer un uso perjudicial con características de adicción. Se llevó a cabo una revisión de referencias bibliográficas (2009-2015) y su análisis. La mayor parte de los estudios se centran en población infantojuvenil, faltando datos recientes de población española. No existe una definición clínica consensuada de la adicción a videojuegos, aunque sí se han desarrollado instrumentos para detectar el uso perjudicial. Jugar a videojuegos tiene implicaciones neurobiológicas y psicosociales beneficiosas y perjudiciales. Un mal funcionamiento psicosocial parece el factor fundamental para el desarrollo de patrón adictivo de uso, que también se ha relacionado con el sexo masculino, juego online, tiempo de juego y factores sociofamiliares. Los resultados indican que a nivel preventivo es necesario concienciar a la población del riesgo de jugar a videojuegos de manera descontrolada. Asimismo, a nivel de intervención, es preciso saber detectar y abordar el uso perjudicial.
... Most previous studies have focused on immediate effects of VVG use (Brockmyer, 2015). For example, Weber et al. (2006) looked at fMRI activations during the performance of violent computer games and reported a suppression of amygdala and anterior cingulate gyrus activity which was taken to suggest a blunted emotional reactivity. ...
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Article
The use of violent video games has been often linked to increase of aggressive behavior. According to the General Aggression Model, one of the central mechanisms for this aggressiveness inducing impact is an emotional desensitization process resulting from long lasting repeated violent game playing. This desensitization should evidence itself in a lack of empathy. Recent research has focused primarily on acute, short term impact of violent media use but only little is known about long term effects. In this study 15 excessive users of violent games and control subjects matched for age and education viewed pictures depicting emotional and neutral situations with and without social interaction while fMRI activations were obtained. While the typical pattern of activations for empathy and theory of mind networks was seen, both groups showed no differences in brain responses. We interpret our results as evidence against the desensitization hypothesis and suggest that the impact of violent media on emotional processing may be rather acute and short-lived.
... Although there is some controversy surrounding the potential link between video game play and aggression (Bushman, Rothstein, & Anderson, 2010;Ferguson & Kilburn, 2010), research linking video game play and aggression has found that increased exposure to these games influences aggressive affect, cognitions, and behavior (American Psychological Association, 2015; Anderson & Bushman, 2001;Anderson et al., 2010;Greitemeyer & Mügge, 2014). Furthermore, research also suggests that increased game play is linked to individual's desensitization to real-life violence (Brockmyer, 2015;Carnagey, Anderson, & Bushman, 2007) as well as decreased empathy for others (Bartholow, Sestir, & Davis, 2005). However, little is known about how video game play influences player's broader worldviews, partic-frequently featured in violent videogamesfirearms. ...
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Article
Although there is a long empirical record exploring links between violent videogame play and aggression, little is known about how these games potentially affect players’ political attitudes. Specifically, with firearms frequently featured in videogames, including games where players are required to use firearms to succeed during gameplay, it is worth examining whether players’ experience with firearms relates to their attitudes toward guns and gun policy. Utilizing the General Learning Model, this survey explores whether public policy outcomes regarding gun control and public safety are related to exposure to violent video games, first-person shooter games, and realistic gun controllers. Results show that increased exposure to first-person shooter games was related to more negative attitudes concerning gun control. In addition, more experience using realistic gun controllers was associated with negative attitudes toward gun control and greater support for the idea that greater gun availability can help guarantee public safety. Thus, video game exposure may shape the gun attitudes of young people in small but important ways.
... In any case, it seems that video gaming taken by itself did not foster aggressive or antisocial behavior, but the consumption of violent content from any kind of media could have detrimental effects on subjects with aggressive dispositions. Especially young children and persons with preexisting hostile or oppositional-defiant personality traits have been shown to be vulnerable to chronic and to a lesser extent also acute display of violence (Brockmyer, 2015;Funk et al., 2003). Typically, desensitization effects, which manifested as reduced empathy and reduced emotional arousal when confronted with violence were observed. ...
... Previous results, based on self-report measures and peripheral psychophysiology have similarly yielded inconsistent results (see introduction for an account of previous studies). Most studies focused on the acute effect of VVG use rather than on the long-term consequences (Brockmyer 2015). Imaging studies have the clear advantage of allowing to study the responsivity of emotion-sensitive brain areas directly. ...
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Article
Playing violent video games have been linked to long-term emotional desensitization. We hypothesized that desensitization effects in excessive users of violent video games should lead to decreased brain activations to highly salient emotional pictures in emotional sensitivity brain regions. Twenty-eight male adult subjects showing excessive long-term use of violent video games and age and education matched control participants were examined in two experiments using standardized emotional pictures of positive, negative and neutral valence. No group differences were revealed even at reduced statistical thresholds which speaks against desensitization of emotion sensitive brain regions as a result of excessive use of violent video games.
... One mechanism through which repetition may shape effects is that of desensitization; exposure to serious news content in the context of a game may lead to desensitize users to the serious consequences of those issues. For example, repeated play of video games has been shown to lead to desensitization toward violence (Breuer, Scharkow, & Quandt, 2014;Brockmyer, 2015). However, studies have also shown that exposure to prosocial behavior and characters that act counter to stereotypes can lead to positive short-term and long-term effects on players' attitudes and behavior (see Greitemeyer & Mügge, 2014 for a meta-analysis). ...
Full-text available
Chapter
The competition for online news page views increasingly involves strategies designed to promote the "viral" nature of content, and to capitalize on the content's spread by ensuring that the content does not quickly lose timeliness or relevance. As a result of the pressure for these stories, news experiences which can be revisited by consumers are at a premium. In this ecosystem, interactive games and quizzes which can be played to receive different feedback or reach a different ending offer promise for news organizations to receive ongoing and widespread reward for their efforts. This chapter provides an overview of the state of gamification in journalism, challenges and opportunities for the growth of games in online news, and discusses evidence for the impact of increasingly gamified news content on how users process and perceive news information.
... 4 A more scholarly content analysis estimated that "the violence levels in games and magazine advertisements vary from 56-89% … [from 1995 to the present] violent game themes dominated the industry." 5 While researchers in psychology and sociology actively debate the impact of violent or aggressive games on those who play them, 6,7 there is as yet no research on the vocal performers who serve both players and game producers by voicing the sounds of such combat and mayhem. ...
... However, these rates are much higher than what is reported in national samples in the United States where approximately 40% of youth report witnessing violence in their lifetimes (Zinzow et al., 2009). Boys and those in the older age group watched more internet violence and played more violent video games that are in line with previous research findings in the West (Funk, 2015). Children in the middle SES group played the most violent video games most likely because the lower SES group did not have as much access to video games, and the high SES group may have been involved in other forms of entertainment, or their parents may have been more vigilant in monitoring the media content their children watch. ...
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Children exposed to multiple sources of violence may become desensitized, increasing the possibility of them imitating the aggressive behaviors they watch and considering such behavior as normal. The purpose of this article is to assess the association between exposure to various types of violence (including war) and desensitization in Lebanese children. A cross-sectional design with 207 school-aged children assessed exposure to violence using three surveys: (a) violence in the media (the Media Preference survey), (b) exposure to violence (the KID-SAVE survey), and (c) desensitization attitudes (the Attitude Toward Violence-Child Version). Children were between 8 and 12 years old, 56% were males, and 70%were from middle socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds. Seventy-six percent of children reported being exposed to violence, with more exposure in males and in the lower SES group. Impact, however, was greater on girls. The predictors of attitude toward violence were "Frequency" of exposure, "Impact" of exposure, and the amount of violence viewed on television. Children are massively exposed to violence in Lebanon resulting in desensitization, which may habituate them to accept violence as normal and put them at risk for imitating violent behaviors. © The Author(s) 2015.
Chapter
In this article we encourage conflict sensitive attitudes and multicultural awareness based on the potential for creative responses. Through digital media art and serious games strategies we seek to create safe areas for dialogue, debate, and awareness of hate speech. These solutions will be even more effective if they are based on the understanding of how different forms of expression emerge, interact, and potentially dissipate in the virtual environment. Grounded on the possibilities of digital media art, through a practice-based research methodology, we explore the process of creating a gamified counter-narrative, designed with the objective of responding to hate speech, and, at the same time, capable of providing an experience of aesthetic enjoyment. Foreseeing the establishment of a collaborative network with the educational community and the non-specialized public (parents, youth, associations, educators), this project is also based on the key concepts of media and information literacy, which are important not only to understand and analyze the phenomenon of online hate speech, but also to develop strategies and tools that allow the containment of this type of speech.
Chapter
Behavioral pediatrics is a multidisciplinary field that involves many healthcare specialists revolving around the practicing pediatrician and primary care clinician; also, various additional, associated fields of training have developed such as developmental-behavioral pediatrics, neurodevelopmental pediatrics, pediatric psychodermatology and medical care for those of all ages with developmental disabilities (1-16). Experts in psychiatry and psychology work closely with pediatric clinicians in a variety of professional relationships, including co-located and non-co-located mental health settings (17-24). Pediatricians can provide a wide variety of care to children and adolescents with complex disorders, depending on their training as well as interests, and this book seeks to provide au courant perspectives in behavioral pediatrics (25-29). Behavioral health screening remains an important task of pediatricians and behavioral pediatricians as they evaluate their pediatric patients (30-40).
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El estudio, planteó como objetivo “encontrar la relación entre la adicción a los juegos de video y la agresividad en los estudiantes del primer año de secundaria,”. La metodología empleada, fue descriptiva correlacional, la cantidad del trabajo, estuvo compuesta por 49 estudiantes comprendidos entre los 11 y 12 años de edad; los recursos empleados para evaluar el comportamiento de las variables, fueron: “el test de dependencia a videojuegos”, el cual tiene una confiabilidad de 0.79; así también se empleó el cuestionario de agresión, que se adaptó y estandarizó a la realidad de nuestro país, con confiabilidad 0.83”. Los resultados obtenidos mostraron que en los valores sobre la variable adicción a los video juegos, el nivel es normal y leve; en la variable agresividad, se encontró que los niveles son bajos y muy bajos señalándose que los estudiantes no presentan conductas de agresividad. La conclusión indica que “existe relación entre las variables estudiadas en la población participante” obteniéndose índice de correlación de Pearson de 0,777, mostrando una relación positiva significativa entre la población de estudio.
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Brought dead cases are of concern not only clinically with regards to medical certification of cause of death, but also medico legally. Generally, brought dead cases are considered as medico legal, which in fact need not be always. Need has arisen to study the provisions and practice of handling brought dead cases with respect to whether medico legal post-mortem is required for all such cases or not. A retrospective, cross-sectional, observational study was carried out by examining case files, police papers and post�mortem reports of brought declared dead cases (n=62) received at a tertiary care hospital in Ahmedabad with the objective being to observe the epidemiology of brought dead cases and to review the provisions and practice of handling brought dead cases, as well as, medico legal post-mortem examination (Under S. 174 Cr.P.C.) for such cases. Majority cases belonged to more than 50 years of age with a history of previous/current major illness. Hence, ascertaining the cause of death became quite obvious after excluding common unnatural causes. Only 23.72% cases were subjected to autopsy. In some cases police denied permission for performing the autopsy. A protocol to handle brought dead cases is suggested which might require some reforms in relevant law(s) and state resolutions. The centers with high load of autopsies of brought dead cases from natural manner should carry out such a study to decide whether really medico legal autopsy is required in such cases or not and to request the state authorities to amend the provisions accordingly
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Nowadays, weight gain and obesity are major health‐threatening issues for children. Emotional eating, a negative health condition that can lead to obesity in children, is a defence mechanism for coping with negative emotions. This cross‐sectional study aimed to evaluate the relationships between emotional eating behaviour and digital game addiction, which can cause stress and aggression in adolescents. This study was conducted with 856 adolescents from the Mediterranean region of Turkey. The data were collected using a personal information form, the Buss‐Perry Aggression Questionnaire (BPAQ), the Digital Game Addiction Scale (DGAS‐7), and the Emotional Eating Scale (EES). In this study, 32.4% of the adolescents were addicted to digital games. The male adolescents had higher BPAQ, DGAS, and EES mean scores. There was also a relationship between digital game addiction, aggressive behaviour, and emotional eating. This is a significant study because it shows that digital game addiction and aggressive behaviour are important determinants of emotional eating. The results of this study indicate that emotional eating is a component of digital game addiction that increases the risk of adolescent obesity.
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Las investigaciones sobre videojuegos cada vez cobran mayor relevancia en el campo de la psicología, su influencia en la estructura cultural de los escenarios digitales es relevante. Este estado del arte tiene como objetivo analizar los cambios que han tenido los estudios realizados desde el campo de la psicología alrededor de videojugar y las apuestas a generar pesquisas desde la cognición social.
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هدفت الدراسة إلى الكشف عن واقع ممارسة الألعاب الإلكترونية لدى الشباب والعوامل الدافعة إلى ذلك، والعمل على رصد أهم الآثار السلبية المترتبة على إدمان الألعاب الإلكترونية. واعتمدت الدراسة على منهج المسح الاجتماعي من خلال العينة، وعلى الاستبيان الإلكتروني كأداة لجمع البيانات. وتمثلت عينة الدراسة في 600 مفردة من طلاب المرحلتين الثانوية والجامعية. ومثلت النظرية السلوكية مدخلًا نظريًا مفسرًا للدراسة. ولقد توصلت الدراسة إلى العديد من النتائج من أهمها أن هناك حالة إدمان لممارسة الألعاب الإلكترونية لدى فئة مرتفعة من الشباب. ومن أهم العوامل الدافعة إلى ذلك هو ما تحتويه تلك الألعاب من أساليب للتشويق والإثارة، وكذلك حالة العزلة التي يعيشها كثير من الشباب. وكشفت الدراسة أن هناك العديد من الآثار السلبية المترتبة على إدمان ممارسة تلك الألعاب، من أهمها الآثار الاجتماعية والأسرية التي تمثلت في حالة انعزال الأفراد عن الحياة الاجتماعية وارتباطهم بالعالم الافتراضي الذي توفره لهم الألعاب الإلكترونية، وكذلك التقصير في أداء الفروض الدينية والإصابة ببعض المشكلات الصحية وضعف التحصيل الدراسي، زيادة على اكتساب العديد من السلوكيات التي قد تمثل تهديدًا لسلامة المجتمع وأمنه .وقدمت الدراسة بعض التوصيات من أهمها ضرورة العمل على رقابة ما يمارسه الشباب من ألعاب، والتأكد من موافقتها لثقافة المجتمع والعمل على إنتاج ألعاب إلكترونية تحتوي على نفس مقومات الجذب للشباب مع مراعاة قيم المجتمع وثقافته ويكون لها أهداف علمية وثقافية مفيدة.
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Background. The prevalence of video game play has continued to increase. Previous literature has suggested negative emotional consequences related to violent video game play, such as an increase in aggression and decrease in empathy. Healthcare providers require high levels of empathy to effectively work with patients. The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of video games on empathy on a sample of graduate-level healthcare trainees. Methods. A sample of 81 students on a healthcare campus completed a 30-item survey assessing video game habits and empathy levels. Participants were then placed into two groups (violent and non-violent) based on the amount of video game violence they are exposed to. Results. The results revealed no differences between healthcare trainees on overall empathy. A follow-up analysis examining individual subscales that comprise the overall empathy score, indicated the violent video game players had lower scores on the Personal Distress scale. Conclusion. Findings suggest that healthcare trainees who play violent video games do not experience decreased Empathic Concern or Perspective Taking, compared to individuals who do not play violent games. However, healthcare trainees who play violent video games indicated lower levels of Personal Distress. Given the intensity in healthcare settings, findings suggest violent video game play may be adaptive to healthcare trainees, as lower personal distress can lead to better decision-making and potentially prevent burnout. Further research is necessary to determine the role of video game play in healthcare professionals.
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Cambridge Core - Social Psychology - Ethical Challenges in Digital Psychology and Cyberpsychology - by Thomas D. Parsons
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Previous video game research has not focused on personality variables that may result in variations within aggression after playing a violent game as much. This study is to investigate the role of emotion dysregulation, trait empathy, and previous exposure to violent media in explaining the effects of game play on emotional and behavioral responses, including immersion, guilt, enjoyment, and physically aggressive intentions. In addition, this study examines potential links among violent media use and psychological variables: previous violent TV viewing, previous violent game play, emotion dysregulation, and empathy. The theoretical explanation of the General Aggression Model—specifically, desensitization effects of media violence—is applied to the hypothesized relationships within the path model being tested. This study employs a post-test only between-group design where college students played either a violent or a nonviolent video game to test a proposed path model. A revised model improving the model fit indices and path coefficients of the proposed model supports the desensitization effects of violent game play. Results indicate that heavy violent game play negatively predicts emotion dysregulation, which is a positive predictor of immersion and guilt. Immersion, which is also positively linked to guilt, increases enjoyment; but guilt decreases it. Guilt positively predicts aggressive intentions whereas empathy that is negatively predicted by emotion dysregulation decreases aggressive intentions. Along with these findings, a violent game condition model focusing on the violent game play condition only stresses the desensitization effects of violent game play on guilt, enjoyment, and aggressive intentions.
Conference Paper
The present paper focuses on moral choices in interactive narrative games. Particularly, it investigates factors that contribute to moral engagement in short-term decision making in games; as opposed to the somewhat better understood factors that underlie moral disengagement in games. To this end, the paper proposes factors for assessing moral engagement in games, that build upon (1) the general aggression model, (2) the moral disengagement model, and (3) self-determination theory. The paper reports on two case studies that explore the factors in actual interactive video games; it investigates meaningful choices in the games Life is Strange and The Walking Dead Season 1.
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While social and behavioral effects of violence in the media have been studied extensively, much less is known about how sports affect perceptions of violence. The current study examined neurofunctional differences between fans and non-fans of North American football (a contact sport) while viewing violent imagery. Participants viewed images of violence in both football and non-football settings while high-resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data were acquired from their brains. Neurological activation was compared between these violence types and between groups. Fans of football show diminished activation in brain regions involved in pain perception and empathy such as the anterior cingulate cortex, fusiform gyrus, insula, and temporal pole when viewing violence in the context of football compared to more broadly violent images. Non-fans of football showed no such effect for the types of violent imagery and had higher activation levels than fans of football for the specified brain regions. These differences show that fans of football may perceive violence differently when it is in the context of football. These fan attitudes have potential policy implications for addressing the issue of concussions in North American football.
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Violence in screen entertainment media (ie, television, film, video games, and the Internet), defined as depictions of characters (or players) trying to physically harm other characters (or players), is ubiquitous. The Workgroup on Media Violence and Violent Video Games reviewed numerous meta-analyses and other relevant research from the past 60 years, with an emphasis on violent video game research. Consistent with every major science organization review, the Workgroup found compelling evidence of short-term harmful effects, as well as evidence of long-term harmful effects. The vast majority of laboratory-based experimental studies have revealed that violent media exposure causes increased aggressive thoughts, angry feelings, physiologic arousal, hostile appraisals, aggressive behavior, and desensitization to violence and decreases prosocial behavior (eg, helping others) and empathy. Still, to more fully understand the potential for long-term harm from media violence exposure, the field is greatly in need of additional large-sample, high-quality, longitudinal studies that include validated measures of media violence exposure and measures of other known violence risk factors. Also, although several high-quality media violence intervention studies have been conducted, larger-scale studies with more comprehensive and longer-term assessments are needed to fully understand long-term effects and to inform the development of tools that will help to reduce problems associated with aggression and violence. The evidence that violent screen media constitutes a causal risk factor for increased aggression is compelling. Modern social-cognitive theories of social behavior provide useful frameworks for understanding how and why these effects occur.
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The purpose of this study is to investigate whether gender traits have any influence on the awareness of cultural codes, the motivation of playing online games, and the degrees of commitment for primary school upper graders. Of 390 students surveyed in Taiwan, a total of 364 questionnaires were returned with 356 being considered valid. The main study findings were summarized as follows: (a) Masculine trait has positive and significant effect on cultural codes, which supports and confirms the mediator role of cultural codes. (b) Feminine trait has positive and significant effect on online games play motivation, which also supports and confirms the mediator role of motivation.
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A controversy exists about the effects of violent video game play, with some studies showing “positive” effects on spatial attention, others showing “negative” effects on aggression, and others suggesting that there are no important effects. The present study examined neural recruitment during violent videogame play among 13 late adolescent gamers, half of whom habitually played violent games and half of whom habitually played nonviolent games. Participants played a video game in violent and nonviolent modes while undergoing functional MRI scanning. Nonviolent gamers had an increase in emotional response regions when playing the violent game; violent gamers demonstrated an active suppression of these same regions. In addition, nonviolent gamers showed increases in spatial attention, navigation, and cognitive control regions, whereas experienced violent gamers showed no change from baseline. These results provide neurological support for both aggression desensitization and improvements in spatial attention, but not for the hypothesis that violent games have no appreciable effect. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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Exposure to violence in media, including television, movies, music, and video games, represents a significant risk to the health of children and adolescents. Extensive research evidence indicates that media violence can contribute to aggressive behavior, desensitization to violence, nightmares, and fear of being harmed. Pediatricians should assess their patients' level of media exposure and intervene on media-related health risks. Pediatricians and other child health care providers can advocate for a safer media environment for children by encouraging media literacy, more thoughtful and proactive use of media by children and their parents, more responsible portrayal of violence by media producers, and more useful and effective media ratings. Office counseling has been shown to be effective. Pediatrics 2009; 124: 1495-1503
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This paper reports a study designed to investigate whether playing violent video games elicits the psychological conditions theoretically required for media use to cause aggressive behavior. Specifically, the study was designed to examine whether these games elicit desensitization, facilitation, and disinhibition. Thus, does physiological arousal in response to violent activity decrease over time during game play, and is there a difference between novice and experienced game players (as would be expected if desensitization had occurred)? Do players experience positive emotional states when actively engaged in virtual violent behavior (fighting and killing opponents) – a necessary condition for disinhibition? Do game players frame their motivations in terms of self-defense and game success, as would be necessary for facilitation to occur? The results showed that playing first-person shooters did elicit these requisite patterns of cognitive, physiological, and emotional states. Violent game play is a positive, arousing, present, dominant experience, as required for disinhibition and facilitation. Experienced game players are less aroused than less experienced game players (as required for desensitization). Further, during a game-playing session, exploring and searching for enemies become less arousing, while fighting and killing become more arousing over time (as required by desensitization and facilitation).
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The study examined whether children who bully others are likely to prefer playing video games that are rated high in maturity and violence. A stratified random sample of Canadian children ages 10 to 17 years from the provinces of Canada was obtained. Parents (n = 397) and their children (n = 492) completed an online survey of children's bullying behaviors and their three favorite video games. Ordinal logistic regression analyses showed that parents’ and children's reports of child preferences for mature and violent video games were significantly related to children's perpetration of bullying and cyberbullying. Panel regression analyses revealed no significant difference between parent and child informants. Children who play highly violent and mature video games were likely to bully and cyberbully their peers, according to both parent and child reports.
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Importance Children spend more time with electronic media than they do in any other activity, aside from sleep. Many of the negative effects that stem from media exposure may be reduced by parental monitoring of children's media use; however, there lacks a clear understanding of the mechanisms and extent of these protective effects.Objective To determine the prospective effects of parental monitoring of children’s media on physical, social, and academic outcomes.Design, Setting, and Participants Prospective cohort design. Data were collected by in-home and in-school surveys in 2 communities in Iowa and Minnesota, where 1323 third- (n = 430), fourth- (n = 446), and fifth- (n = 423) grade students participated. A primary caregiver and teachers also provided data about the student.Interventions Participants in the current study were recruited to participate in a social ecological model–based obesity prevention program.Main Outcomes and Measures Body mass index, average weekly sleep, school performance, prosocial behavior, and aggressive behavior.Results Structural equation modeling revealed that parental monitoring of children’s media influences children’s sleep, school performance, and prosocial and aggressive behaviors and that these effects are mediated through total screen time and exposure to media violence.Conclusions and Relevance Parental monitoring of media has protective effects on a wide variety of academic, social, and physical child outcomes. Pediatricians and physicians are uniquely positioned to provide scientifically based recommendations to families; encouraging parents to monitor children’s media carefully can have a wide range of health benefits for children.
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Importance: Although several longitudinal studies have demonstrated an effect of violent video game play on later aggressive behavior, little is known about the psychological mediators and moderators of the effect. Objective: To determine whether cognitive and/or emotional variables mediate the effect of violent video game play on aggression and whether the effect is moderated by age, sex, prior aggressiveness, or parental monitoring. Design, setting, and participants: Three-year longitudinal panel study. A total of 3034 children and adolescents from 6 primary and 6 secondary schools in Singapore (73% male) were surveyed annually. Children were eligible for inclusion if they attended one of the 12 selected schools, 3 of which were boys' schools. At the beginning of the study, participants were in third, fourth, seventh, and eighth grades, with a mean (SD) age of 11.2 (2.1) years (range, 8-17 years). Study participation was 99% in year 1. Main outcomes and measures: The final outcome measure was aggressive behavior, with aggressive cognitions (normative beliefs about aggression, hostile attribution bias, aggressive fantasizing) and empathy as potential mediators. Results: Longitudinal latent growth curve modeling demonstrated that the effects of violent video game play are mediated primarily by aggressive cognitions. This effect is not moderated by sex, prior aggressiveness, or parental monitoring and is only slightly moderated by age, as younger children had a larger increase in initial aggressive cognition related to initial violent game play at the beginning of the study than older children. Model fit was excellent for all models. Conclusions and relevance: Given that more than 90% of youths play video games, understanding the psychological mechanisms by which they can influence behaviors is important for parents and pediatricians and for designing interventions to enhance or mitigate the effects.
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Despite recent growth of research on the effects of prosocial media, processes underlying these effects are not well understood. Two studies explored theoretically relevant mediators and moderators of the effects of prosocial media on helping. Study 1 examined associations among prosocial- and violent-media use, empathy, and helping in samples from seven countries. Prosocial-media use was positively associated with helping. This effect was mediated by empathy and was similar across cultures. Study 2 explored longitudinal relations among prosocial-video-game use, violent-video-game use, empathy, and helping in a large sample of Singaporean children and adolescents measured three times across 2 years. Path analyses showed significant longitudinal effects of prosocial- and violent-video-game use on prosocial behavior through empathy. Latent-growth-curve modeling for the 2-year period revealed that change in video-game use significantly affected change in helping, and that this relationship was mediated by change in empathy.
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Violent video game playing is correlated with aggression, but its relation to antisocial behavior in correctional and juvenile justice samples is largely unknown. Based on a data from a sample of institutionalized juvenile delinquents, behavioral and attitudinal measures relating to violent video game playing were associated with a composite measure of delinquency and a more specific measure of violent delinquency after controlling for the effects of screen time, years playing video games, age, sex, race, delinquency history, and psychopathic personality traits. Violent video games are associated with antisociality even in a clinical sample, and these effects withstand the robust influences of multiple correlates of juvenile delinquency and youth violence most notably psychopathy.
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Children witness violence at home, at school, in their neighborhood, and in the media. Children may also experience violence, as a victim, at home, at school, and in their neighborhood. A longitudinal study tested whether children who are exposed to a heavy dose of violence come to regard it as normal behavior and subsequently behave more aggressively themselves. Participants were 777 children (8 to 12 years old) who completed questionnaires twice (6 months apart) about exposure to violence (witnessed and experienced), their own aggression, the aggression of peers, and normative beliefs about aggression. The results showed that witnessing violence predicted increases in aggression 6 months later through changes in normative beliefs. Likewise, experiencing aggression as a victim predicted increases in aggression 6 months later through changes in normative beliefs. These findings show that when children think violence is commonplace in many contexts, they are more likely to aggress against others.
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Public discourse about the effect of violent media on aggression has become contentious. We propose that violent media effects can best be understood within a risk and resilience framework that considers multiple factors that facilitate or inhibit aggression. In a prospective study, 430 third through fourth grade children, their peers, and their teachers were surveyed twice during the school year, about 6 months apart. Six risk/protective factors for aggression were measured: media violence exposure (TV, movies, video games), physical victimization, participant sex, hostile attribution bias, parental monitoring, and prior aggression. Each Time 1 risk factor (including media violence exposure) was associated with an increased risk of physical aggression at Time 2, whereas protective factors were associated with a decreased risk. There was also a Gestalt-type effect, where the combination of risk factors was a better predictor of aggression than the sum of their individual parts. The results offer strong support for a risk and resilience framework for aggression. Results also suggest that the effects of media violence exposure may be underestimated by standard data analysis procedures. Exposure to media violence acts similarly to other risk factors for aggression and therefore deserves neither special acclaim nor dismissal as a risk factor.
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This study aims to advance the media effects debate concerning violent video games. Meta-analytic reviews reveal a small but noticeable association between playing violent video games and aggressive reactions. However, evidence for causal associations is still rare. In a novel, event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging study, 13 male research participants were observed playing a latest-generation violent video game. Each participant's game play was recorded and content analyzed on a frame-by-frame basis. Onscreen activities were coded as either "passive/dead, no interactions"; "active/safe, no imminent danger/no violent interactions"; "active/potential danger occurs, violent interactions expected"; "active/under attack, some violent interactions"; and "active/fighting and killing, many violent interactions." Previous studies in neuroscience on aggressive thoughts and behaviors suggested that virtual violence would suppress affective areas of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and the amygdala subsequent to activity variations at cognitive areas of the ACC. Comparison of game play activities with and without virtual violence in 11 participants confirmed the hypothesis. The rather large observed effects can be considered as caused by the virtual violence. We discuss the applicability of neuroscience methodology in media effects studies, with a special emphasis on the assumption of virtuality prevalent in video game play.
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This study tests whether playing violent video games leads to desensitization and increased cardiovascular responding. In a laboratory experiment, 42 men spent 20 min playing either a high- or low-violence version of a "first-person shooter" game. Arousal (heart rate, respiration rate) was measured continuously. After playing the game, emotional responses to aversive and aggressive stimuli – pictures from Lang, Bradley, and Cuthbert’s (1999) International Affective Picture System – were assessed with self-ratings and physiological measurement (skin conductance). Results showed no differences in the judgments of emotional responses to the stimuli. However, different effects of game violence emerged in the physiological reactions to the different types of stimulus material. Participants in the high-violence condition showed significantly weaker reactions (desensitization) to aversive stimuli and reacted significantly more strongly (sensitization) to aggressive cues. No support was found for the arousal hypothesis. Post-hoc analyses are used to discuss possible moderating influences of gaming experience and player’s trait aggressiveness in terms of the General Aggression Model (Anderson & Bushman, 2001) and the Downward Spiral Model (Slater, Henry, Swaim, & Anderson, 2003).
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Previous research has shown that media violence exposure can cause desensitization to violence, which in theory can increase aggression. However, no study to date has demonstrated this association. In the present experiment, participants played a violent or nonviolent video game, viewed violent and nonviolent photos while their brain activity was measured, and then gave an ostensible opponent unpleasant noise blasts. Participants low in previous exposure to video game violence who played a violent (relative to a nonviolent) game showed a reduction in the P3 component of the event-related brain potential (ERP) to violent images (indicating physiological desensitization), and this brain response mediated the effect of video game content on subsequent aggressive behavior. These data provide the first experimental evidence linking violence desensitization with increased aggression, and show that a neural marker of this process can at least partially account for the causal link between violent game exposure and aggression.
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Decades of research have demonstrated that exposure to violence on television can cause increases in aggression. The recent emergence of violent video games has raised new questions regarding the effects of violent media. The General Aggression Model (GAM) predicts that exposure to violent media increases aggressive behavior through one of three primary pathways (arousal, cognitions, and affect). Past psychophysiological research has supported GAM but has been limited to examining arousal-related variables. Recent advances in social neuroscience have opened the door to investigations of exposure to violent media on cognitive and affective components and their neurocognitive underpinnings. Neuroscience tools have the potential to provide answers to the new questions posed by recent advances in media technology.
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Past research shows that violent video game exposure increases aggressive thoughts, angry feelings, physiological arousal, aggressive behaviors, and decreases helpful behaviors. However, no research has experimentally examined violent video game effects on physiological desensitization, defined as showing less physiological arousal to violence in the real world after exposure to video game violence in the virtual world. This experiment attempts to fill this gap. Participants reported their media habits and then played one of eight violent or nonviolent video games for 20 min. Next, participants watched a 10-min videotape containing scenes of real-life violence while heart rate (HR) and galvanic skin response (GSR) were monitored. Participants who previously played a violent video game had lower HR and GSR while viewing filmed real violence, demonstrating a physiological desensitization to violence. Results are interpreted using an expanded version of the General Aggression Model. Links between desensitization, antisocial, and prosocial behavior are discussed.
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Numerous studies have shown that exposure to media violence increases aggression, though the mechanisms of this effect have remained elusive. One theory posits that repeated exposure to media violence desensitizes viewers to real world violence, increasing aggression by blunting aversive reactions to violence and removing normal inhibitions against aggression. Theoretically, violence desensitization should be reflected in the amplitude of the P300 component of the event-related brain potential (ERP), which has been associated with activation of the aversive motivational system. In the current study, violent images elicited reduced P300 amplitudes among violent, as compared to nonviolent video game players. Additionally, this reduced brain response predicted increased aggressive behavior in a later task. Moreover, these effects held after controlling for individual differences in trait aggressiveness. These data are the first to link media violence exposure and aggressive behavior to brain processes hypothetically associated with desensitization.
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Violent video games are increasingly popular, raising concerns by parents, researchers, policy makers, and informed citizens about potential harmful effects. Chapter 1 describes the history of violent games and their explosive growth. Chapter 2 discusses research methodologies, how one establishes causality in science, and prior research on violent television, film, and video games. Chapter 3 presents the General Aggression Model, focusing on how media violence increases aggression and violence in both short and long-term contexts. Important scientific questions are answered by three new studies. Chapter 4 reports findings from a laboratory experiment: even children's games with cartoonish violence increased aggression in children and college students. Chapter 5 reports findings from a survey study of high school students: frequent violent game play leads to an angry and hostile personality and to frequent aggression and violence. Chapter 6 reports findings from the first longitudinal study video game effects: elementary school children who frequently played violent games early in the school year became more verbally and physically aggressive, and less helpful. Chapters 7 and 8 compare a host of risk factors for development of aggression, and find video game effects to be quite important. Chapter 9 describes the role of scientific findings in public policy, industry responses to scientific findings, and public policy options. Chapter 10 recommends that public policy debates acknowledge the harmful effects of violent video games on youth, and urges a more productive debate about whether and how modern societies should act.
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This research focuses on low educational ability as a risk factor for aggression and violent game play. We propose that boys of lower educational ability are more attracted to violent video games than other boys are, and that they are also higher in trait aggressiveness and sensation seeking. Participants were Dutch boys in public schools (N = 830, age-range 11-17). In the Netherlands, standardized tests are used to place students into lower, medium, and higher educational ability groups. Results showed that boys in the lower educational ability group preferred to play violent, stand-alone games, identified more with video game characters, and perceived video games to be more realistic than other boys did. Lower levels of education were also related to higher levels of aggressiveness and sensation seeking. Higher educational ability boys preferred social, multiplayer games. Within a risk and resilience model, boys with lower educational ability are at greater risk for aggression.
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Based on the uses and gratifications perspective, personality was expected to relate to violent video game play frequency and game preferences. Participants completed measures of personality and frequency of violent video game play, and identified their most frequently played video games. Results indicate that individuals higher in openness but lower in agreeableness played violent video games more frequently. In addition, more open and extroverted but less agreeable and neurotic individuals generally preferred to play video games that are more violent. Results suggest personality may be more predictive of violent video game use than traditional media use, though the predictive personality dimensions may be consistent across media types.
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“All television is educational television. The question is: What is it teaching?” “How can you put on a meaningful drama when, every 15 minutes, proceedings are interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits with toilet paper?” “Sex on television can’t hurt you unless you fall off.” “Given the enormous influence that electronic media in all of its forms exerts on the lives of children, it is astonishing how little parents, researchers, and policymakers have been spurred to action.” Children and teenagers now spend more time with the media (more than 7 hours a day)³ than they do in any activity other than sleeping, yet parents, pediatricians, and schools seem to routinely ignore that fact.⁴ “How can you put on a meaningful drama when, every 15 minutes, proceedings are interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits with toilet paper?”
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Meta-analytic procedures were used to test the effects of violent video games on aggressive behavior, aggressive cognition, aggressive affect, physiological arousal, empathy/desensitization, and prosocial behavior. Unique features of this meta-analytic review include (a) more restrictive methodological quality inclusion criteria than in past meta-analyses; (b) cross-cultural comparisons; (c) longitudinal studies for all outcomes except physiological arousal; (d) conservative statistical controls; (e) multiple moderator analyses; and (f) sensitivity analyses. Social-cognitive models and cultural differences between Japan and Western countries were used to generate theory-based predictions. Meta-analyses yielded significant effects for all 6 outcome variables. The pattern of results for different outcomes and research designs (experimental, cross-sectional, longitudinal) fit theoretical predictions well. The evidence strongly suggests that exposure to violent video games is a causal risk factor for increased aggressive behavior, aggressive cognition, and aggressive affect and for decreased empathy and prosocial behavior. Moderator analyses revealed significant research design effects, weak evidence of cultural differences in susceptibility and type of measurement effects, and no evidence of sex differences in susceptibility. Results of various sensitivity analyses revealed these effects to be robust, with little evidence of selection (publication) bias.
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Studies investigating the effects of violent computer and video game playing have resulted in heterogeneous outcomes. It has been assumed that there is a decreased ability to differentiate between virtuality and reality in people that play these games intensively. FMRI data of a group of young males with (gamers) and without (controls) a history of long-term violent computer game playing experience were obtained during the presentation of computer game and realistic video sequences. In gamers the processing of real violence in contrast to nonviolence produced activation clusters in right inferior frontal, left lingual and superior temporal brain regions. Virtual violence activated a network comprising bilateral inferior frontal, occipital, postcentral, right middle temporal, and left fusiform regions. Control participants showed extended left frontal, insula and superior frontal activations during the processing of real, and posterior activations during the processing of virtual violent scenarios. The data suggest that the ability to differentiate automatically between real and virtual violence has not been diminished by a long-term history of violent video game play, nor have gamers' neural responses to real violence in particular been subject to desensitization processes. However, analyses of individual data indicated that group-related analyses reflect only a small part of actual individual different neural network involvement, suggesting that the consideration of individual learning history is sufficient for the present discussion.
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Although dozens of studies have documented a relationship between violent video games and aggressive behaviors, very little attention has been paid to potential effects of prosocial games. Theoretically, games in which game characters help and support each other in nonviolent ways should increase both short-term and long-term prosocial behaviors. We report three studies conducted in three countries with three age groups to test this hypothesis. In the correlational study, Singaporean middle-school students who played more prosocial games behaved more prosocially. In the two longitudinal samples of Japanese children and adolescents, prosocial game play predicted later increases in prosocial behavior. In the experimental study, U.S. undergraduates randomly assigned to play prosocial games behaved more prosocially toward another student. These similar results across different methodologies, ages, and cultures provide robust evidence of a prosocial game content effect, and they provide support for the General Learning Model.
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Two studies tested the hypothesis that exposure to violent media reduces aid offered to people in pain. In Study 1, participants played a violent or nonviolent video game for 20 min. After game play, while completing a lengthy questionnaire, they heard a loud fight, in which one person was injured, outside the lab. Participants who played violent games took longer to help the injured victim, rated the fight as less serious, and were less likely to "hear" the fight in comparison to participants who played nonviolent games. In Study 2, violent- and nonviolent-movie attendees witnessed a young woman with an injured ankle struggle to pick up her crutches outside the theater either before or after the movie. Participants who had just watched a violent movie took longer to help than participants in the other three conditions. The findings from both studies suggest that violent media make people numb to the pain and suffering of others.
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Research has shown that exposure to violent video games causes increases in aggression, but the mechanisms of this effect have remained elusive. Also, potential differences in short-term and long-term exposure are not well understood. An initial correlational study shows that video game violence exposure (VVE) is positively correlated with self-reports of aggressive behavior and that this relation is robust to controlling for multiple aspects of personality. A lab experiment showed that individuals low in VVE behave more aggressively after playing a violent video game than after a nonviolent game but that those high in VVE display relatively high levels of aggression regardless of game content. Mediational analyses show that trait hostility, empathy, and hostile perceptions partially account for the VVE effect on aggression. These findings suggest that repeated exposure to video game violence increases aggressive behavior in part via changes in cognitive and personality factors associated with desensitization.
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Media depictions of violence, although often claimed to induce viewer aggression, have not been shown to affect the cortical networks that regulate behavior. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we found that repeated exposure to violent media, but not to other equally arousing media, led to both diminished response in right lateral orbitofrontal cortex (right ltOFC) and a decrease in right ltOFC-amygdala interaction. Reduced function in this network has been previously associated with decreased control over a variety of behaviors, including reactive aggression. Indeed, we found reduced right ltOFC responses to be characteristic of those subjects that reported greater tendencies toward reactive aggression. Furthermore, the violence-induced reduction in right ltOFC response coincided with increased throughput to behavior planning regions. These novel findings establish that even short-term exposure to violent media can result in diminished responsiveness of a network associated with behaviors such as reactive aggression.
Article
Severe violent behavior is almost always the product of predisposing individual differences and precipitating situational factors. One important environmental experience that contributes both to predisposing a person to behave more violently in the long run and to precipitating violent behavior in the short run is exposure to violence. Psychological theories that have emerged over the past few decades now explain the short-term precipitating effects mostly in terms of priming, simple imitation, and excitation transfer. However, the long-term predisposing effects involve more complex processes of observational learning of cognitions and of emotional desensitization. In this chapter, these theories are elaborated, and the compelling empirical evidence in support of these theories from experiments and longitudinal field studies is reviewed. We explain why the processes operate equally well from exposure to real-life violence or exposure to dramatic violence in the mass media. We focus particularly particularly on the role of low emotional arousal and diminished emotional reactions to violence as consequences of exposure to violence and precursors of violent behavior. We argue that anticipated emotional responses play an important role in the cognitive processing that controls violent behavior. Abnormal violent behavior is not viewed as a consequence of "deficient" processing, but rather as a consequence of "different" processing. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Adolescents are primary consumers of video and computer games, and the games they prefer are often violent. Related research suggests that exposure to media violence may affect attitudes and behavior. Self-concept is a key indicator of core attitudes and coping abilities, particularly in adolescents. This study documents current adolescent electronic game-playing habits, and explores associations among preference for violent games, frequency and location of play, and self-concept. Multivariate analyses identify marked gender differences in game-playing habits and in scores on the Harter Self-perception Profile for Adolescents. For girls, more time playing video or computer games is associated with lower Harter scores on six subscales, including self-esteem.
Article
This study examined the relationship between playing violent videogames and sensitivity to aggressive acts. In 2 experiments, college students were randomly assigned to play violent or less violent videogames. They then read a series of criminal vignettes and assigned prison sentences to violent criminals. In the second experiment, participants returned 1 hr later and completed a second series of vignettes. A significant interaction between gender and videogame was found in both experiments. Men who played the violent game gave more lenient sentences to criminals than did those who played the less violent game. In the second experiment, women, unlike men, assigned harsher sentences after playing the violent game. The effects were found to persist for at least 1 hr.
Article
Deep engagement in video game-playing has the potential to be to be one important determinant of the impact of playing violent video games, but there are currently no reliable measures of this subjective experience. To fill this gap, the Game Engagement Questionnaire (GEQ) was developed using both classical and Rasch analyses. In Study 1 Rasch analyses provide support for the reliability and functionality of the GEQ scores. Rasch analyses also demonstrate that the GEQ has adequate separation, fit, rating scale functioning, and dimensionality, suggesting that one’s tendency to become engaged in video game-playing is a quantifiable construct. In Study 2, behavioral and questionnaire data supported the reliability and validity of the GEQ for predicting engagement in violent video games. The GEQ provides a psychometrically strong measure of levels of engagement specifically elicited while playing video games, and thus shows promise for future research examining risk and protective factors for negative game impact.
Article
To address the longitudinal relation between adolescents' habitual usage of media violence and aggressive behavior and empathy, N = 1237 seventh and eighth grade high school students in Germany completed measures of violent and nonviolent media usage, aggression, and empathy twice in twelve months. Cross-lagged panel analyses showed significant pathways from T1 media violence usage to higher physical aggression and lower empathy at T2. The reverse paths from T1 aggression or empathy to T2 media violence usage were nonsignificant. The links were similar for boys and girls. No links were found between exposure to nonviolent media and aggression or between violent media and relational aggression. T1 physical aggression moderated the impact of media violence usage, with stronger effects of media violence usage among the low aggression group.
Article
Relationships between short- and long-term exposure to violent video games and desensitization, as measured through components of moral evaluation, were examined. Sixty-six children aged 5–12 years old completed questionnaires assessing video game experience and preferences and empathy and attitudes toward violence. The children played a violent or nonviolent video game and then responded to vignettes about everyday occurrences. Vignette responses were coded for aggression and empathy. Preexisting empathy and attitudes towards violence were positively related to the corresponding vignette scores. Long-term exposure to violent video games contributed to lower empathy vignette scores. Playing a violent versus a nonviolent game did not affect vignette responses. Results suggest that long-term exposure to violent video games may be associated with desensitization as reflected in lower empathy, although the direction of causality remains unclear.
Article
Empathic responding is implicated in antisocial behaviors such as bullying, sexual offending, and violent crime. Identifying children and adolescents at risk for antisocial behavior and evaluating interventions designed to address problem behaviors require valid and reliable measures. Definitional controversies and limited measurement models have hindered measurement. This study describes the development and analysis of the Children's Empathic Attitudes Questionnaire (CEAQ) using both classical and modern techniques. Rasch analyses provided probabilistic results over large item and person groups, enabling meaningful inferences from patterns of responses at the construct level. Analyses of fifth through seventh graders' responses to the final version of the CEAQ provide support for its reliability, validity, and functionality. Four meaningful item clusters were identified, each reflecting more cognitively advanced empathic attitudes. These analyses suggest that the CEAQ provides a theoretically sound, hierarchically meaningful measure of empathic attitudes that will be useful in identification and intervention with children and adolescents at risk for antisocial behavior.
Article
The present case-control study investigated the processing of emotional pictures in excessive first-person-shooter-video-players and control persons. All participants of the fMRI experiment were confronted with pictures from four categories including pleasant, unpleasant, neutral content and pictures from the first-person-shooter-video-game 'Counterstrike'. Compared to controls, gamers showed a significantly lower activation of the left lateral medial frontal lobe while processing negative emotions. Another interesting finding of the study represents the higher activation of frontal and temporal brain areas in gamers when processing screen-shots from the first-person-shooter-video-game 'Counterstrike'. Higher brain activity in the lateral prefrontal cortex could represent a protection mechanism against experiencing negative emotions by down-regulating limbic brain activity. Due to a frequent confrontation with violent scenes, the first-person-shooter-video-gamers might have habituated to the effects of unpleasant stimuli resulting in lower brain activation. Individual differences in brain activations of the contrast Counterstrike>neutral pictures potentially resemble the activation of action-scripts related to the video-game.
Article
The relationship between exposure to violent electronic games and aggressive cognitions and behavior was examined in a longitudinal study. A total of 295 German adolescents completed the measures of violent video game usage, endorsement of aggressive norms, hostile attribution bias, and physical as well as indirect/relational aggression cross-sectionally, and a subsample of N=143 was measured again 30 months later. Cross-sectional results at T1 showed a direct relationship between violent game usage and aggressive norms, and an indirect link to hostile attribution bias through aggressive norms. In combination, exposure to game violence, normative beliefs, and hostile attribution bias predicted physical and indirect/relational aggression. Longitudinal analyses using path analysis showed that violence exposure at T1 predicted physical (but not indirect/relational) aggression 30 months later, whereas aggression at T1 was unrelated to later video game use. Exposure to violent games at T1 influenced physical (but not indirect/relational) aggression at T2 via an increase of aggressive norms and hostile attribution bias. The findings are discussed in relation to social-cognitive explanations of long-term effects of media violence on aggression.
Article
It is believed that repeated exposure to real-life and to entertainment violence may alter cognitive, affective, and behavioral processes, possibly leading to desensitization. The goal of the present study was to determine if there are relationships between real-life and media violence exposure and desensitization as reflected in related characteristics. One hundred fifty fourth and fifth graders completed measures of real-life violence exposure, media violence exposure, empathy, and attitudes towards violence. Regression analyses indicated that only exposure to video game violence was associated with (lower) empathy. Both video game and movie violence exposure were associated with stronger proviolence attitudes. The active nature of playing video games, intense engagement, and the tendency to be translated into fantasy play may explain negative impact, though causality was not investigated in the present design. The samples' relatively low exposure to real-life violence may have limited the identification of relationships. Although difficult to quantify, desensitization to violence should be further studied using related characteristics as in the present study. Individual differences and causal relationships should also be examined.
Article
To understand better the relation between media violence exposure, brain functioning, and trait aggression, this study investigated the association between media violence exposure and brain activation as measured by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in groups of normal adolescents and adolescents with disruptive behavior disorder (DBD) with aggressive features. Seventy-one participants underwent neuropsychologic evaluation and assessment of exposure to violent media. Subjects also were evaluated with fMRI while performing a counting Stroop (CS) task. Frontal lobe activation was reduced in aggressive subjects compared with control subjects. In addition, differences in frontal lobe activation were associated with differences in media violence exposure. Specifically, activation during performance of the CS in control subjects with high media violence exposure resembled that seen in DBD subjects. Our findings suggest that media violence exposure may be associated with alterations in brain functioning whether or not trait aggression is present.
Article
Desensitization to violence is cited frequently as being an outcome of exposure to media violence and a condition that contributes to increased aggression. This article initiates the development of a conceptual model for describing possible relationships among violent video games, brain function, and desensitization by using empathy and attitudes toward violence as proxy measures of desensitization. More work is needed to understand how specific game content may affect brain activity, how brain development may be affected by heavy play at young ages, and how personality and lifestyle variables may moderate game influence. Given the current state of knowledge, recommendations are made for clinicians to help parents monitor and limit exposure to violent video games and encourage critical thinking about media violence.
Article
This study examines the effects of exposure to online videogame violence on Chinese adolescents' attitudes toward violence, empathy, and aggressive behavior. Results of bivariate analyses show that playing violent videogames on the Internet was associated with greater tolerance of violence, a lower emphatic attitude, and more aggressive behavior. Results of hierarchical regression analyses showed sustained relationships between exposure and pro-violent attitudes and empathy when exposure was examined simultaneously with gender, computer use, and Internet use. However, the linkage between exposure and aggression became non-significant, suggesting that the effects of playing violent videogames were greater for attitudinal outcomes than on overt behavior. Gender differences in playing videogames and in effects were also found.
Article
The effects of witnessing community violence on aggressive cognitions and behavior were investigated in an ethnically diverse sample of 4,458 children living in urban neighborhoods. Prior violence exposure had a significant effect in increasing aggression, normative beliefs about aggression, and aggressive fantasy. Although exposure to violence predicted aggressive behavior both in Grades 1 through 3 (ages 5 ??? 8) and Grades 4 through 6 (ages 9 ??? 12), the effects on social cognition were only evident in the later grades. Furthermore, the effect of violence exposure on aggression in the later grades was partially mediated by its effect on social cognition. These findings suggest that witnessing community violence has an effect on children???s aggressive behavior through both imitation of violence and the development of associated cognitions as children get older.
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