The Negative Effects Of Computers and Video Games

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Video Games and Aggression

Experimental studies

  • Lab experiments:
    • Short-term increase in levels of physiological arousal, hostile feelings and aggressive behaviour following violent game play compared to non-violent game play.
    • Aggressive behaviour can't be studied directly = ethical grounds = other forms of behaviour must be used instead.
  • Example
    • Participants who blasted their opponents with random, milti-frequency sound for longer rated themselves higher on the State Hostility Scale after playing a violent first person shooter game compared to those who played a slow-paced puzle game.
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Video Games and Aggression

Longitudinal studies

  • Anderson et al. (2007):
    • 430 children surveyed 
    • 7-9 years old
    • At two points during the school year
  • Findings:
    • Children + high exposure to violent video games = more verbally and physically aggressive and less prosocial.
  • How tested?
    • rated by themselves, their peers and their teachers... <=== makes you wonder about validity doesn't it?
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Video Games and Aggression

Meta-analyses on the video games and aggression link:

  • The association between video games and aggression appears to exist in children and adults.
  • RECENT- it is expected that with newer studies, effects of violent video games would be greater as games have become more violent over time.
  • Gentile and Anderson:
    • Earlier studies showed smaller effects of violent video games whereas, more recent studies showed an increase in effects of such games.
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Computers: Facebook use

Facebook friends and stres

  • Charles (2011)
    • Facebook habits of 200 undergraduate students in Scotland
    • 12% experienced anxiety linked to the use of facebook
    • Those who reported anxiety had significantly more friends than others
    • Stress = deleting unwanted contacts, pressure to be humours and entertaining
    • Out of 200, 32% felt guilty for rejecting friend request and uncomfortable 
    • 10% disliked receiving friend requests
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Video Games and Aggression AO2/3

Problems with research evidence

  • Experiments:
    • Cannot measure REAL-LIFE aggression
    • They use measures of aggressive behaviour that hev no relationship to real-life aggression and can only measure short-term effects.
  • Therefore:
    • The research into video games and aggression lacks internal validitymeaning that the assumptions can't be generalised beyond laboratory setting and even then the hypothesis is limited.
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Video Games and Aggression AO2/3

Problems with research evidence

  • Studies:

Longitudinal studies are able to observe real-life patterns of behaviour in SHORT-TERM and LONG-TERM.

  • However:

Don't account for lifestyle, in this case it could be that the participant may be exposed to other forms of media violence (on TV) during the course of the study, this means that it becomes nearly impossible to observe effects from video games alone.

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Computers: Facebook use AO2/3

Facebook use and stress

  • Case study:
    • 18-year-old asthmatic man whose condition was stable until he split up with his girlfriend and she erased him from her facebook page.
    • He became depressed and even changed his facebook name to become 'friends' again.
    • After logging on to the site and seeing her picture, his maximum breath force was reduced = asthma worsening.
  • So what?
    • This indiciated that social networking sites such as facebook could be a significant source of psychological stress and this therefore supports the view that social networking sites are a source of stress to some degree.
  • BUT!
    • It could be that the stress from the split up that caused the asthma attack and not the actuall facebook experience.
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