ProfilesWeek4 - Week 4 Media Violence Effects of Video...

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Week 4: January 27, 2011 Media Violence – Effects of Video Games 10. Bushman, B., & Anderson, C. (2009). Comfortably numb: Desensitizing effects of violent\ media on helping others. Two different studies tested the hypothesis that those who are exposed to violent media are less likely to help people in pain. The first lab study had 320 college aged participants play either a violent or non-violent video game for approximately 20 minutes. Once the gaming was complete, they would hear an audio recorded fight while answering a questionnaire about the game. This fight led to an injured person, and the participants who played the violent games took longer to help than those who played non-violent games. Those who played the violent video games were less likely to report that they heard a fight than those who played the other games. People who played violent video games also found the fight to be less severe than those who played non-violent games. In study 2, a field study, 162 adult movie attendees saw either violent or non-violent films and then witnessed a woman struggling to pick up her crutches. This happened either before or after the film. A confederate timed how long it took witnesses to help her with her crutches. People who watched the violent film took longer to help the injured woman. Both studies suggest that desensitization caused by media violence generalizes further than failing to help victims of violence. I found it interesting that study 1 used female recordings of a fight or female voices and male recordings of a fight for male participants. Is this because it is more likely for people to help their own gender? Limitations: In study 1, there was a range of violent video games. Were some more violent than others and thus had a stronger impact on the participants? It indicates that there were no significant differences, but aren’t violent acts defined differently by different people? Would it have been more accurate to only have one violent video game or had each person play every game within the time frame? Concern: the topic of the fight- a boyfriend or a girlfriend- seems extremely petty. Would the cause of the fight be an extraneous variable influencing whether a participant helped the injured person or not? Is it possible that if, in study 2, there was a more severe emergency, like someone being hit by a car, the results would be different? If the emergency was staged before the film, how does that accurately contribute to the
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This note was uploaded on 02/11/2011 for the course PSYCH 457 taught by Professor Tardif during the Winter '08 term at University of Michigan.

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ProfilesWeek4 - Week 4 Media Violence Effects of Video...

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