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Ayisha J

on 27 April 2014

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The negative effects
Video games and aggression

Experimental studies
-lab experiments have found short-term increases in levels of physiological arousal, hostile feelings and aggressive behaviour following violent game play compared to non-violent game play (Gentile and Stone 2005).
Aggressive behaviour cannot be studied due to ethics, other forms of behaviour must be used instead. Pps blasted opponents with white noise (multi-frequency sound) for longer and rated themselves higher on the State Hostility Scale after playing Wolfenstein compared to those who played Myst (Anderson and Dill 2000).
Longitudinal studies
- Anderson et al (2007) surveyed 430 children age 7-9 yrs two points during school year. Children who had high exposure to violent video games became more verbally and physically aggressive and less pro-social (rated by peers, teachers).
Meta-analyses on the video games and aggression link
- several meta-analyses have found link between violent video games and :( behaviour. This seems to be the case for both adults and children (Gentile and Anderson 2003). Earlier studies showed smaller effect sizes than more recent studies. Kirsch (2003) found during adolescence biological and physical changes lead to increase aggression, exposure to violent games reinforces aggressive feelings and arousal. However Williams and Skoric (2003) found gamers who played average 56 hours did not have more aggressive beliefs compared to control group (no link),
Problems with research evidence
- major weakness of lab experiments is lack of ecological validity. Plus researchers cannot measure real-life aggression, so they must use measures that have no relation to real-life aggression; and can only measure short-term effects. Longitudinal studies are able to meaure both STE and LTE and observe real life patterns of behaviour. However during this period pps may be exposed to other forms of violent media (apart from video games)- conclusion unclear?
Why might there be an effect?
research is yet to determine a strong link between violent video games and aggressive behaviour. A bi-directional model has been proposed (Gentile et al 2004) where playing such games does cause :( behaviour, people whose personality pushes them towards :( behaviour, select violent games for recreational purposes.
Computers:Facebook Use
Facebook friends and stress
- Charles (2011) used interview techniques to investigate FB use in 200 undergraduates in Scotland. A significant number 12% of them had anxiety linked to their use of the site, majority of them had more FB friends than other FB users. They reported stress from the constant pressure to be entertaining and dlt unwanted people. 32% of them stated that rejected FR made them feel guilty, 10% disliked receiving them.

Facebook use and college grades
- Karpinski acknowledges her study suggests a link between these two factors. Suggests other personality factors are likely to be involved, FB users prone to distraction. Greenfield (2009) at House of Lords, argued social networking sites such as FB 'infantilise' the brain by shortening attention span-failed to provide evidence.
Facebook use and stress
- this has been supported by a case study of an asthmatic 18 yr old, whose condition was stable until his girlfriend erased him from her FB page (D'Amato et al 2010). He ecame depressed and changed his FB name to be friends with her, but this lead to his asthma worsening. FB could lead to psychological stress.
The positive effects
Video games and pro-social behaviour
Helping behaviour
- research shows paying pro-social game can increase such behaviour. Greitemeyer and Osswald (2010) showed pps who played :) game Lemmings displayed more :) behaviour afterwards, than those who played and aggressive (Lamers) or neutral (Tetris) game. After playing these for 8 min, pps saw researcher knock cup of pencils, 67% of :) game helped, only 33% neutral helped, 28% :( helped. VG stimualtion has been used to train pilots.
Multiplayer games and social commitment
- Kahne et al (2008) found that majority of those who listed The Sims as favourite game said they learned about problems in society and explored social issues whilst playing.
Lenhart et al (2008) carried out large scale US survey to see influence of MP games on SC, found 64% who played MP games (Halo) were committed to civic participation (compared to 59% solo players), 26% tried to get others to vote in election (19% solo). Found MP were more committed civically and politically. Gardner (1991) used VG as form of psychotherapy for children. Drew and Waters (1986) found link between playing VG and improvement in hand eye coordination and reaction time.
Why pro-social games don't have a larger effect?
Greitemeyer and Osswald (2010) suggest that 85% of games involve violence, content of :) games causes behavioural shift in altruistic direction, gamers are less likely to come across such games, they are seen as less attractive. Industry commercial reasons makes :( games.
Therapeutic applications of video games
- VG have been successfully used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder. Virtual Iraq computer game allows soldiers to suffering from PTSD to relieve and comfort physical trauma in low threat context.
Computers: Facebook Use
Facebook and self-esteem
- Gonzales and Hancock (2011) argue that FB walls can have a positive influence our self-esteem becuase feedback posted on them by others is a overwhelming :) response. Study at Cornell Uni US students given chance to 1) use FB 2) mirror 3) nothing. Those who used FB gave more positive feedback about themselves than other groups.
How does FB help increase self-esteem?
one explanation comes from Hyperpersonal Model (Walther 1996), this claims that self-selection of info we choose to represent ourselves can have a positive influence on SE. Leaving :) comments on peoples walls.
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