The study wanted to examine the role of denying humanness to other people in accounting for the effect that playing a violent video game has on aggressive behavior. Sixty students from the University of Sussex participated in Experiment 1. All participants were randomly assigned to one of three video-game conditions with 20 participants in each condition. The three conditions included violent, neutral, and prosocial. Lamers was the violent video game, Tetris was the neutral video game, and Lemmings was the prosocial video game. The participant played their game for 15 minutes and then went on to the second study to actually measure dehumanization. Experiment wanted to assess whether increased aggressive behavior after playing violent video games is due to increased denial of humanness to other people. The prosocial condition was abstained from this study. The results from Experiment 2 extended the findings of Experiment 1, meaning playing violent video games appeared to increase dehumanization not only in an intergroup but also in an interpersonal context.
Is there an interesting direction where this study is could go? Yes. Currently we are talking about aggression and concepts associated with it in class. There is hostile vs. instrumental, proactive vs. reactive, and physical vs. relational. Primarily I think the article focuses more on the instrumental piece of aggression which means it is committed for other purposes. Aggression does not solely correlate with violence. For instance, an example of instrumental aggression could be high school football. The players use their aggression in order to win for their team. The study includes video games that are not so violent in order to test one’s actual aggression and dehumanization. The study could also go in the direction of measuring frustration and what makes the participant frustrated when they play the game. I know I get frustrated while playing Tetris as the blocks fall... [continues]
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