The Positive Effects Of Computers and Video Games


Video Games and Prosocial Behaviour

Helping Behaviour

  • Greitemeyer and Osswald (2010):
    • Participants playing Lemmings = significantly more prosocial behaviour than those who played an aggressive game Lamers, or a neutral game Tetris.
    • Researcher accidently knocked a cup of pencils off a table and onto the floor:
    • Prosocial gamers = 67% helped pick up the pencils
    • Neutral gamers = 37% helped
    • Aggressive gamers = 28% helped
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Computers: Facebook use

Facebook and self-esteem

  • Gonzales and Hancock (2011):
    • Facebook walls can have a positive influence on our self-esteem
    • Feedback posted on them by others tends to be overwhelmingly positive.
    • US university students, were given three minutes to
    • (1) use their facebook page (2) look at themselves in the mirror, or (3) do nothing
    • Those who had interacted with their facebook page subsequently gave much more positive feedback about themselves than the other two groups.
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Video Games and Prosocial Behaviour AO2/3

Why don't prosocial video games have more of an effect?

Because they're not as common - SIMPLES. 

  • Greitemeyer and Osswals (2010):
    • 85% of video games involve some kind of violence
    • Although the content of prosocial games can have some positive effects, people who play video games are much less likely to experience this type of game
    • Could be because they are seen as less attractive 
    • Also, video game industry is less likely to produce such games for commercial reason (less likely to sell)
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Computers: Facebook use AO2/3

How does Facebook increase self-esteem?

Hyperpersonal Model:

  • Self-selection of the information we choose to represent ourselves (photos, personal details, witty comments) can have a positive influence on self-esteem
  • This is because computer mediated communication offers people such an opportunity for positive self-esteem as feedback left on their 'wall' is invariably positive. 
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