Trevor - a fine role model for the youth of today.
By Liam Gilroy on July 2, 2014 at 1:43 pm
Yes, that’s the surprising finding of a new study by Matthew Grizzard, PhD – an assistant professor at Buffalo University’s Department of Communication – apparently committing horrible acts in virtual environments can lead players to be more sensitive to moral codes and better behaviour.
The study, titled “Being Bad in a Video Game Can Make Us More Morally Sensitive” was published on June 20th in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, found that immoral behaviour in a video game creates guilt in players who, generally, then feel the need to work off that guilt through better behaviour.
Researchers promoted guilt in study participants through the use of a video game which, when played, had participants violating two of five moral domains – care/harm, fairness/reciprocity, in-group loyalty, respect for authority and purity/sanctity. These domains shift depending on the participants’ cultural values, but the effect remains the same.
“We found that after a subject played a violent video game, they felt guilt and that guilt was associated with greater sensitivity toward the two particular domains they violated — those of care/harm and fairness/reciprocity. The first includes behaviors marked by cruelty, abuse and lack of compassion, and the second, by injustice or the denial of the rights of others.
Our findings suggest that emotional experiences evoked by media exposure can increase the intuitive foundations upon which human beings make moral judgments. This is particularly relevant for video-game play, where habitual engagement with that media is the norm for a small, but considerably important group of users.”
This would all be of enormous interest to groups like the JSCCCYP, who think the opposite based on no evidence at all – but evidence hasn’t swayed their opinion up until now so I doubt it’s going to start with this paper. Oh well, if you’d like to read more about Grizzard’s findings you can do so via the University of Buffalo.
Source: The University of Buffalo