Treasure Trove of Game Research in Psychology Publication

June 7, 2010 -

A special issue of the Review of General Psychology published this month turns its attention entirely to videogames.

Guest edited by Texas A&M International University researcher Christopher Ferguson, the special issue features articles by Ferguson (Blazing Angels or Resident Evil? Can Violent Video Games Be a Force for Good? [PDF]), Charlotte Markey from Rutgers University and Patrick Markey from Villanova University (Vulnerability to Violent Video Games: A Review and Integration of Personality Research [PDF]), Cheryl Olson (Children's Motivations for Video Game Play in the Context of Normal Development [PDF]), Pamela Kato from the University Medical Center Utrecht (Video Games in Health Care: Closing the Gap [PDF]) and Massachusetts General Hospital’s T. Attila Ceranoglu (Video Games in Psychotherapy [PDF]).

For our purposes, we will focus on the writings of Ferguson and the Markey’s, as they focus on the subject of violent videogames and aggressiveness.

The Markey’s study suggests that “that the notion that all, or even most, individuals who play violent videogames will inevitably become aggressive may be unwarranted,” instead, the authors concluded that it was “crucial” to “consider various personality traits of the person playing” the violent game when attempting to predict any adverse effects.

The researchers wrote that the “perfect storm,” in terms of FFM (Five-Factor Model of personality) traits which might make a person susceptible to violent media were high neuroticism, low agreeableness and low conscientiousness.

The Markey’s added:

Although the incidences of violence, particularly school violence, linked to video games are alarming, what should perhaps surprise us more is that there are not more VVG [violent videogame]-driven violent episodes.

Ferguson’s piece outlines the moral and social panic caused by violent videogames in the past decade or so, and includes a longer look back at media violence debates that may have begun  in the time of Plato (who cautioned that “plays and poetry might have a deleterious effect on youth") and Socrates (who “is reported to have been suspicious even of the alphabet").

Ferguson then lays out a laundry list of “methodological and theoretical” problems which limit interpretation of videogame violence and aggression research:


•  Many aggressive measures used are invalid
•  The “third variable” effect - “Univariate statistics may be overinterpreted at the expense of multivariate statistics”
•  Citation basis – “media effects scholars ignore work, even from their own results, which contradicts their hypotheses”
•  Publication bias
•  Small effect sizes
•  Absence of clinical cut-offs
•  Unstandardized use of aggression measures
•  The mismatch between violent videogames consumption and violent crimes
•  Low standards of evidence

Ferguson goes on to point out the positive effects of violent videogames, which include visuospatial cognition, social involvement and use in education, before concluding:

Particularly in light of increased video game consumption and declining youth violence, at present time, there appears to be little reason for speculation that violent video games are a significant factor in promoting youth violence. Unfortunately, by maintaining a myopic view on negative issues related to video game violence, a broader discussion of the benefits and risks of violent game playing is prohibited.

It is argued here that if psychology is serious about understanding violent video games from an objective rather than ideological view, a broader and less activist stance must be taken.


Thanks Adam!


Comments

Re: Treasure Trove of Game Research in Psychology ...

"The researchers wrote that the “perfect storm,” in terms of FFM (Five-Factor Model of personality) traits which might make a person susceptible to violent media were high neuroticism, low agreeableness and low conscientiousness. "

So basically, in order for violent video games to make a person act violently, not only does the person need to be a psycho, but he has to be an angry and paranoid psycho.

Did anyone suggest that angry paranoid psychos don't need violent games to spur them into violent action? I mean anything can set these loons off - a smile can do it, or a glance, or a friendly word. Heck, a change in the weather can do it.

So basically, violent videogames are as dangerous to society as anything else that's completely harmless.

Can we all go home now? I, as a non-angry, non-paranoid, non-psycho want to play a bunch of completely harmless Mature-rated games with my non-angry, non-paranoid, non-psycho 7 year-old daughter.

Re: Treasure Trove of Game Research in Psychology ...

The only problem I have with that report is the supposed 'link' between school violence and Video games, the 'link' was the fact that the person, usually a teen, played computer games, and that's not really a link, it's fish in a barrel phsychology, it's like saying that because they were wearing socks, socks must cause school violence. Practically everyone between a certain age in the US plays violent computer games in one form or another, so it's hardly surprising that someone who commits a school shooting also does so, it's horse before cart thinking in my opinion.

I'll readily agree that over-consumption of violent media can be dangerous, but the word 'over' is important here, simply 'plays computer games' is not really applicable, it's like with the VTech shooter, where, despite it being repeatedly re-iterated that the shooter actually played more basketball than computer games, the focus still swung round onto those games.

Other than that, it seems pretty balanced to me.

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Poll

Will Code Avarice's Paranautical Activity make its way back onto Steam?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
MechaCrashHey Neo, that bit with "he instigated it"? That is called victim blaming. Stop it.10/25/2014 - 11:05pm
KronoAnd a rebuttal to that article: https://medium.com/@cainejw/an-actual-statistical-analysis-of-gamergate-dfd809858f6810/25/2014 - 9:42pm
Technogeekhttp://www.newsweek.com/gamergate-about-media-ethics-or-harassing-women-harassment-data-show-27973610/25/2014 - 8:54pm
TechnogeekAnd speaking of harassment and Gamergate, Newsweek had a social media analytics company analyze the hashtag in the interest of finding out what the movement was really about. The results should surprise absolutely nobody at this point.10/25/2014 - 8:54pm
Neo_DrKefkaI was called a traitor for speaking out on harassment and I was put on a list for people on twitter to mass report me. Only GamerGate site that has come out of this that has been reputable would be TechRaptor. 2/210/25/2014 - 7:09pm
Neo_DrKefka@Neeneko The reason why I ended my support of #GamerGate was the fact KingofPol (The guy who was sent the knife) ended up saying crap about those with autism. At this point I confronted the community and some big wig writers on the #GamerGate side. 1/210/25/2014 - 7:08pm
NeenekoIt would also mean they have to confront that the sites already mostly cater to them and wiping that small percentage of otherness just does not justify new sites.10/25/2014 - 6:55pm
Neeneko@ quiknkold - problem is it has never been about freedom, it is about dominance, ownership, and priviliage. women and minorities should be the ones leaving and creating their own spaces, not them!10/25/2014 - 6:54pm
Neo_DrKefka@Mecha I hear you about KingofPol this is a guy who is using GamerGate to boost his career. Most of his streams are crap about him talking about him being drunk. What happened to him was wrong but it doesn't change the fact he has instigated much of this10/25/2014 - 5:40pm
Craig R.And I'll be perfectly happy in never seeing the phrase 'false flag' ever again, as it is one of the worst notions to ever come out of the camp of the tinfoil brigade that is already completely overused.10/25/2014 - 3:50pm
Craig R.Gone for a week and come back to find GG didn't go away at all. Dammit.10/25/2014 - 3:48pm
Matthew Wilsonif they were serious, they would go to youtube. most youtube game reviewers tend to revew games as product, and tend leave social issues out of it.10/25/2014 - 1:42pm
quiknkoldif the gamergaters were serious, they'd realize that Kotaku and Polygon arent the only games in town, and that with the freedom of the internet, they could create their own websites and achieve the goals they are trying to achieve without arguement.10/25/2014 - 1:35pm
james_fudgehe should have called the police.10/25/2014 - 1:20pm
TechnogeekAt least my statement still holds if it does turn out to be a false flag.10/25/2014 - 1:03pm
NeenekoThough I admit, since doxxing and false flag where heavily used tactics of the GG supporters, while they are not historical tactics used by detractors, I am skeptical how much it is really 'both sides' doing it in any real volume.10/25/2014 - 1:01pm
NeenekoOne thing that makes all of this messy is 'false flag' is a serious concern here. It does not help that the original GG instigators were also known for doing elaborate false flags to discredit feminism themselves.10/25/2014 - 12:59pm
MechaCrashThe guy who got the knife is the one who advocated doxxing, by the way, and was getting court documents about Zoe Quinn so he could publicly post them. It doesn't make what happened to him right, but he deserves no sympathy.10/25/2014 - 12:42pm
TechnogeekNo, that's a pretty shitty thing to do and I fully support the responsible parties getting a visit from the relevant legal authorities.10/25/2014 - 12:17pm
Neo_DrKefkaSomeone anyone tell me how two wrongs somehow make a right? This is becoming exhausting and both sides are out of there minds!10/25/2014 - 11:40am
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician