Positive Effects of Computer Games Research in focus

News in: Austria Health

The positive effects of computer games on thoughts, feelings and behavior are now being investigated by social psychologists for the first time in more detail. In three studies is Illuminated, “how”, “how” and “how long” cooperative game behavior positive influence on the personality takes. Supported by the Science Fund FWF project completed so the state of research into personal effects of computer games, which has been dominated more by studies of its adverse consequences. Thus important food for thought for the analysis and long-term strengthening of social skills are gained at all ages.

Violent video games cause aggressive behavior. This is currently regarded as assured. Different in the position of research in cooperative play, so games that you shared with others (human) play partners and plays in which one pursues a common goal. This success is one of the game / a player from the game a success / from another player and vice versa. These games can have positive effects on thoughts and feelings as well as cooperative behavior? A team of social psychologists is now coming to exactly this clarification in a project of the Science Fund FWF.

From first-person shooter for the team player
to the background of the project, the project leader Prof. Tobias Greitemeyer explained by the Institute of Psychology at the University of Innsbruck. “Already in two previous pilot studies, we have positive effects of the common computer playing notes, but to verify these results, more detailed and requires longer studies. It is this conduct, we can now. ” The project now beginning is divided into three clearly defined studies to answer the different questions.

An initial correlation study examined the strength and nature of the impact of cooperative video game on the accessibility of prosocial cognitions. Here, the participants are asked about their preferences and playing habits. Then word completion tasks to show the degree of prevalence of cooperative structures of thought. These are indicators of the willingness to gemeinschaftsorientiertem behavior. Surveys and so-called “dilemma tasks,” in which the participants are faced with decision tasks in social conflict situations give clues about their personality orientation. So cooperative to active players of competitive and individualistic orientation can be distinguished. This differentiation provides important reference points between game behavior and emotional attitudes.

Furthermore, a longitudinal study focuses on the degree of beneficial effects after consumption of cooperative video games, even over months. Both ways of thinking and feeling and behavior patterns are examined. Extensive surveys at two time points with 4-6months-point distance both change and the predictive power of the first survey on.

High score in social behavior
, the third study of the project is designed and experimentally measurable directly concerned with causal relationships between gambling behavior and positive effects. In two experimental arrangements, the participants are pursuing a common goal to either second or play alone. Then the accessibility of prosocial thoughts and empathy of participants are measured. The results of the surveys and tasks to provide information about whether pro-social thoughts, feelings like empathy, or both the origins of which are community-oriented behavior.

Overall, the three studies were methodologically designed so that they can provide both a universal as well as scientifically sound results. As Prof. Greitemeyer: “Are the correlation study and the long-term study directly related to the lives of the participants, then created the third study experimentally and thus allows the direct identification of causalities.” But not only the project design is extensive. In fact, the total is 300-2700 schoolchildren, students and adults interviewed over a period of 4-6 months. But just because his first volume of this FWF project well verified data to a little-studied, but deliver high current phenomenon.

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