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The effects of video games and computers Possible question: discuss research into the effects of videogames/computers on young

people' (9+16 marks) A01-Research into video games and aggression Experimental studies Experimental studies in the lab have demonstrated short term increases in levels of psychological arousal, hostile feelings and aggressive behaviour following sessions of violent game play compared to sessions of non violent game play. Arousal tends to tends to be measured by blood pressure and heart rate and hostile feelings by self report measures such as the 'state hostility scale'. Anderson and Dill found that participants blasted their opponents with white noise for longer after playing a violent video game compared to those who played a slow paced puzzle game. A02/A03-research into video games and aggression -ve. Aggression cannot be measured directly, as this is not permitted due to ethical issues. +ve. instead Participants blast each other with high levels of white noise, this is a random multi frequency sound. +ve. Anderson and Dill found that participants blasted their opponents with white noise for longer and rated themselves higher on the 'state hostility scale' after playing a violent video game compared to those who played a slow paced puzzle game. +ve. major strength. the causal relationships between exposure to violent game play and subsequent aggressive behaviour can be determined -ve. such studies only used to measure short term effects. Correlational studies Correlational studies use surveys that identify patterns of video games use and of aggressive feelings and behav. Gentile et al. found that the time spent playing violent computer games was associated with aggressive feelings, arguments with teachers and a greater incidence of fights. Children with low levels of trait hostility who spent more time playing violent video games were more likely to get into physical fights than were high trait hostility children who played less violent video games.

+ve. strength. correlational studies overcome the primary weakness of experimental studies because they use a range of 'real world' measures of aggression. +ve. they can relate exposure to violent media to subsequent real life aggressive behaviour. +ve. can be used as a long term effects of video game play rather than short term effects observed in labs. -ve. major weakness. no cause and effect relationship causality cannot be determined, this problem is addressed by the 'bi-directional model' (mentioned later)

Longitudinal studies Longitudinal studies, where a group of individuals are followed over time after exposure to a particular stimulus. Anderson et al. found children who had high exposure to violent video games over the year became more aggressive and less prosocial over the year. This study indicates a repeated exposure to violent video games does not only increase aggressive behaviour, it increases prosocial behaviours.

+ve. strengths. Longitudinal studies allows researchers to overcome the shortcomings of both experimental and correlational studies. +ve. by studying the same ppl over the same period of time. allows researchers to observe to observe patterns of behaviour and document both short and long term effects. -ve. major problem. Participants may be exposed to other forms of media violence e.g. TV, during the course of study, effect of video game exposure alone is uncertain. -ve. longitudinal studies on the effect of playing video games are rare.

Meta analyses. Meta analyses allow researchers to compare results across many different studies to establish an average effect size Meta analyses have found a link between violent games and aggressive behaviour. The association holds for both children and adults.. They also found a larger effect size with more recent studies (because violent video games have become more violent).

Publication bias? -Publication bias occurs when articles with positive results are selected for publication in greater proportion than those which report negative results. -As a result published research may provide a biased view of all studies actually carried out. providing more positive findings than what it actually is. Distinguishing between 'violent' and 'non violent' games. -many studies have used violent and non violent games which are not particularly different from each other.

A01-Explanations of the video games and aggression link The Bi-Directional model'Research has established a reliable causal link between violent game play and aggressive behaviour. This model proposes that: Although playing violent games may cause an increase in aggressive behaviour, it is just as likely that ppl who already possess personality traits that orientate them towards aggressive behaviour, they select video games for recreational purposes.

A02/A03-Exp. of the video games and aggression link Individual differences -ve. Not everybody plays games in the same way. -ve. research suggests that ppl with a more aggressive personality engage in more aggressive style of game playing -ve. unlike exposure to violence in TV and Films, the same game can present different content to different players on a basis of how they choose to play it. Example: Sensation seeking players can activate game features to show more roughness and use more gruesome weapons. Wei et al. found that PPs who had answered questionnaires on physical aggression played more aggressively, with more freq. violent interactions; kicking, punching shooting. A physiological perspective +ve. Mathiak et al. Placed male PPs in an fMRI scan and had them play a violent video game. During a fight in the game parts of the brain that deal with emotions (amygdala) and the ACC (generate empathy) were less active. ACC allows ppl to imagine how others feel but in the presence if violence in the game the ACC is suppressed,

Desensitisation People who are repeatedly exposed to violent video games become desensitised to violence and therefore are less likely to show an averse response (disgust) towards violence in real life and show a greater susceptibility towards violent behav. Interactive and passive video games. Porter and Starcevic suggest that 'interactive' media violence in video games may exert a greater influence than 'passive' media violence in TV and films, as games reward violent actions and convey a msg that violent responses are appropriate and effective.