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The effects of computers and video games. Negative Effects. Experimental Studies – Lab experiments only find the short-term effects - Aggressive behaviour cannot be studied directly as it has ethical issues, so other types of behaviour has to be used instead.

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The effects of computers and video games


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    1. The effects of computers and video games

    2. Negative Effects • Experimental Studies – • Lab experiments only find the short-term effects • - Aggressive behaviour cannot be studied directly as it has ethical issues, so other types of behaviour has to be used instead. • Study to support this – Anderson and Dill (2000) – PP’s blasted opponents with white noise (multi-frequency sound) Findings showed PP’s who played Wolfenstein 3D blasted opponents for longer and rated themselves higher on the state hostility scale compared to PP’s who played Myst.

    3. Negative Effects • Longitudinal Studies – • Have found long term increases in levels of aggression from video games - Study to support this – Anderson et al (2007) – Surveyed 430 children aged between 7 – 9 years old at two different points in the day. Children who had high exposure to violent video games became more verbally and physically aggressive rated by peers and teachers.

    4. Negative Effects • Meta Analyses – • A number of meta analyses have found a consistent link between violent game play and aggressive behaviour. This link appears to affect both children and adults. • A study to support this – Gentile and Anderson (2003)- findings showed that there were larger effects with newer studies as violent video games have become more violent over time.

    5. Negative Effects • Computers (Facebook) – • It is suggested there is a link between Facebook use and stress. • People feel the need to comply what they have identified is required. (E.g. To be funny) • Study to support this – Charles (2011) – used interview techniques to investigate FB habits of 200 Scottish undergraduates. 12% experienced anxiety linked to using FB. This percentage reported stress from deleting unwanted contacts, and pressure to be humorous. 32% said that rejecting friend requests made them feel guilty and 10% reported disliking friend requests.

    6. Negative Effects - Physical • Funatsuka – argued that gaming can bring on epileptic seizures. Then prior to the release in the US, Nintendo’s Pokemon had to be reformatted due to its link with epileptic seizures in more than 7000 Japanese viewers. • Matthews et al (2006) – suggested that video games can have a short term effect on the functioning of different areas of the brain. 44 randomly assigned adolescents played either a violent video game (Medal of Honour) or a non-violent video game (Need for Speed) for 30 mins. Then PP’s had brain scans to measure brain function. PP’s playing the violent video game showed increased activity in the amygdala (this stimulates emotions) and decreased activity in the pre-frontal lobe (regulates inhibition, self-control and concentration). These reponses were not shown in the non-violent video games. This was a lab experiment and measurements were reliable.

    7. Negative Effects - Behavioural • Many studies point to a correlation between exposure/playing violent video games and negative actions such as aggressive thoughts and behaviours. • A study to show this is Anderson and Bushman (2001) – conducted a meta analyses and measured effects of exposure on 5 variables. These were Aggressive behaviour, Aggressive thoughts, Pro-social behaviour, Aggressive mood and Physiological arousal. Findings showed that short term exposure to video game violence was significantly associated with temporary increases in aggression in all PP’s.

    8. Negative Effects – Behavioural • Lin and Lepper (1987) – found that impulsiveness and aggression was related to frequency of computer game use. The study was conducted in Florida on male and female adolescents and were asked about their computer game use and perceptions of their own aggressiveness ratings. These were then compared to various teacher aggression rating scales. The aggressive effect from the use of computer games was only shown in males.

    9. Negative Effects – Psychosocial • Grusser et al (2007) – surveyed 7,000 gamers and found that approximately 12% of these could be classified as addicted using the WHO criteria.

    10. Evaluation of Negative Effects • Problems with research evidence – • Lab experiments – cannot measure “real life” aggression and can only measure short term effects. • Longitudinal studies – measure both long term and short term effects, but as they are measured over time PP’s may be exposed to other forms of media violence (TV) which means the measurement from video games is uncertain.

    11. Evaluation of Negative Effects • Why might there be an effect? – • There is no reliable casual link between violent game play and aggression. • A study to support this argument – Gentile et al (2004) – proposed a “bi-directional” model where playing violent games may cause an increase in aggression but people could just possess personality traits that make them behave in an aggressive manner but just prefer to select violent video games for recreational purposes. So basically, it could be a pre-position.

    12. Evaluation of Negative Effects • Facebook use and college grades – • There is a link between excessive Facebook usage and low grades. • Karpinski (2009) - suggests that personality factors are likely to be involve as well. She found that students using FB everyday underachieved by as much as a entire grade. Found that FB users spent between 1-5 hours a week studying compared to non-users who studied 11-15 hours a week. This link has even been found in graduates. • Greenfield (2009) – argued that social networks “infantilise” the brain by shortening the attention span and providing instant gratification although she has failed to provide evidence.

    13. Evaluation on Negative effects • There are risks associated with letting children play violent video and computer games. • Over-dependence on video games could lead to social isolation. • Woman are often portrayed as weaker characters that are helpless or sexually provocative. As it is mainly men playing video games then this could lead to them stereotyping all women to act like this. An example would be grand theft auto. • Game environments are often based on plots of violence, aggression and gender bias. • Games can confuse reality and fantasy as the person plays through the eyes of an character and becomes more violent.