Ohio State University study: Video games negatively affect the white player’s views of blacks

22 Mar

The Center for Sport Policy and Conduct (Sport Center) at Indiana University, Bloomington has excellent capsule definitions of violence, aggression, and deviance According to the Sport Center violence is defined as:

Violence can be seen as a form of physical assault based on an intent to injure another person or destroy the property of others. To continue this definition, “violence in sport violates the norms and rules of the contest, threatens lives and property, and usually cannot be anticipated by the persons affected” (Smith, 1983, p. 6). http://www.indiana.edu/~cspc/violence.htm

Aggression is defined as:

Aggression can be generally defined as all behavior intended to destroy another person’s property or to injure another person, physically or psychologically. It has been reported that action has to violate norms and rules shared by society in order to be defined as aggressive. Several experiments (Tedeschi, Gaes, & Rivera, 1977) found that a protagonist who intends to cause injury is only judged by witnesses to be aggressive when his behavior is also judged to be antinormative; in other words, when they are opposing the social rules that apply to that particular situation. Judgment is the same when the action or “intent to injure” constitutes a response to a previous provocation. If, however, the action exceeds the preceding deed, the revenge is viewed as excessive and judged as inappropriate and aggressive.

Deviance is defined as “Deviant behavior is usually that which departs from the norm; anything that goes against the accepted societal standards could be classified as such.”

Benjamin Fearnow of CBS reported in the story, Study: Violent Video Games Encourage Racist, Aggressive Attitudes Toward Blacks:

Violent video games encourage negative racial attitudes and thoughts, with white game players displaying stronger implicit and explicit aggressive attitudes toward blacks when they play as black characters.
A new study from researchers at The Ohio State University and the University of Michigan finds that white gamers who played as black avatars exhibited more racist sentiments, including connections made between blacks and weapons and photos of black people being linked to words such as “horrible” and “evil.”
“This is a very troubling finding,” the researchers write in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.
“Our research suggests that people who play violent video games as violent black characters are more likely to believe that blacks are violent people,” writes a research team led by Grace Yang of the University of Michigan and Brad Bushman of the Ohio State University. “Playing a violent video game as a black character reinforces harmful stereotypes that blacks are violent.”
The study examined the effects of playing violent video games as a black avatar (versus a white character) on racial stereotypes and aggression. Games such as Grand Theft Auto V and Saints Row 2 allow players to choose the race of their character, and the study findings suggest that a player’s aggression against others is increased “immediately afterwards” in some cases, “even more than playing a violent game as white characters would.” http://cleveland.cbslocal.com/2014/03/21/study-violent-video-games-encourage-racist-aggressive-attitudes-toward-blacks/

Citation:

Effects of Avatar Race in Violent Video Games on Racial Attitudes and Aggression
1. Grace S. Yang1
2. Bryan Gibson2
3. Adam K. Lueke2
4. L. Rowell Huesmann1
5. Brad J. Bushman3,4⇑
1. 1University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
2. 2Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, MI, USA
3. 3The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA
4. 4VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
1. Brad J. Bushman, The Ohio State University, 3127 Derby Hall, 154 North Oval Mall, Columbus, OH 43210, USA. Email: bushman.20@osu.edu
Abstract
The media often link Black characters and violence. This is especially true in video games, in which Black male characters are virtually always violent. This research tested the effects of playing a violent game as a Black (vs. White) avatar on racial stereotypes and aggression. In Experiment 1, White participants (N = 126) who played a violent video game as a Black avatar displayed stronger implicit and explicit negative attitudes toward Blacks than did participants who played a violent video game as a White avatar or a nonviolent game as a Black or White avatar. In Experiment 2, White participants (N = 141) who played a violent video game as a Black (vs. White) avatar displayed stronger implicit attitudes linking Blacks to weapons. Implicit attitudes, in turn, related to subsequent aggression. Black violent video game avatars not only make players more aggressive than do White avatars, they also reinforce stereotypes that Blacks are violent.

Here is the press release from Ohio State:

Playing As Black: Avatar Race Affects White Video Game Players
Whites act more aggressively after they play as black avatars
COLUMBUS, Ohio – What happens when white video game players see themselves as black characters in a violent game?
A new study suggests some disturbing answers: It makes the white players act more aggressively after the game is over, have stronger explicit negative attitudes toward blacks and display stronger implicit attitudes linking blacks to weapons.
These results are the first to link avatar race in violent video games to later aggression, said Brad Bushman, co-author of the study and professor of communication and psychology at The Ohio State University.
And it raises another troubling impact that violent video games can have on players, he said.
“Playing a violent video game as a black character reinforces harmful stereotypes that blacks are violent,” Bushman said.
“We found there are real consequences to having these stereotypes – it can lead to more aggressive behavior.”
The results appear online in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science and will be published in a future print edition.
The study involved two related experiments. In the first, 126 white university students (60 percent males) played the violent game Saints Row 2. They were randomly assigned to play the game either as a black or white male avatar.
Before the participants arrived, the researchers set up the game with the black or white avatar and rotated the game view so that the avatar was visible to the participant when he or she started playing.
The participants were assigned to play with a violent goal (break out of prison) or a nonviolent goal (find a chapel somewhere in the city without harming others).
Afterward, those who played with the violent goal and as a black avatar showed stronger explicit negative attitudes toward blacks than did those who played as a white avatar. For example, those who played as a black avatar were more likely to agree with the statement “It’s really a matter of some people not trying hard enough; if blacks would only try harder they could be just as well off as whites.”
But the negative attitudes weren’t just explicit. All participants took the Implicit Association Test (IAT), which is designed to reveal unconscious bias. During this test, researchers measure how quickly participants link a white or black face with a “good” word (joy, love, peace) or a “bad” word (terrible, horrible, evil). If it takes a participant longer to link a black face to good words than it does to link a white face, then that is considered showing more negative attitudes toward blacks.
Results showed that participants who played the violent version of the game as a black avatar were more likely to associate black faces with negative words on the IAT than were those who played as a white avatar.
“The media have the power to perpetuate the stereotype that blacks are violent, and this is certainly seen in video games,” Bushman said.
“This violent stereotype may be more prevalent in video games than in any other form of media because being a black character in a video game is almost synonymous with being a violent character.”
This stereotype can affect people’s actions, as found in the second experiment.
In this study, 141 white college students (65 percent female) played one of two violent games: WWE Smackdown vs. RAW 2010 or Fight Night Round 4. These games both used a third-person perspective, allowing the player to see his or her avatar’s race throughout the game.
Again, participants were assigned to play as a black or a white avatar. After playing, the participants completed another version of the IAT, which took an implicit measure of the stereotype that blacks are violent. In this version, photos of black and white male and female faces were paired with photos of weapons or harmless objects like a cell phone or camera.
The students who played the game as a black avatar were more likely to associate black faces with weapons than were students who played as a white avatar.
But this study went further by finding that participants who played a violent game as a black avatar acted more aggressively against a partner than did those who played as a white avatar.
“Playing a violent video game as a black character reinforces harmful stereotypes that blacks are violent.”
This part of the study involved a test that researchers have used since 1999 to measure aggression. Participants had the opportunity to force an unseen partner (who didn’t actually exist) to eat hot sauce after the partner revealed that he or she strongly disliked spicy food.
Those who played the violent game as a black avatar gave their partner 115 percent more hot sauce than did those who played as a white avatar.
In a statistical analysis, Bushman found that participants’ implicit attitudes that blacks are violent was linked to their actual aggressive behavior after the game was turned off.
“This suggests that playing a violent video game as a black avatar strengthens players’ attitudes that blacks are violent, which then influences them to behave more aggressively afterward,” he said.
Bushman noted that this study shows that it doesn’t always help white people to take the perspective of a black person.
“Usually, taking the perspective of a minority person is seen as a good thing, as a way to evoke empathy,” Bushman said. “But if white people are fed a media diet that shows blacks as violent, they don’t have a realistic view of black people. It isn’t good to put yourself in the shoes of a murderer, as you do in many of these violent games.”
Bushman conducted the study with Grace S. Yang and L. Rowell Huesmann of the University of Michigan and Bryan Gibson and Adam K. Leuke of Central Michigan University.
Contact: Brad Bushman, (614) 688-8779; Bushman.20@osu.edu
Written by Jeff Grabmeier, (614) 292-8457; Grabmeier.1@osu.edu

Moi wrote in So, we’re all wearing hoodies now? It really is about stereotypes:
The death cult of hip-hop has been on a lot of people’s radar for the past few years. Because of artistic freedom and the romanticizing of some hip-hop and rap stars, those sounding the alarm about this death cult have been labeled as prudes, nervous ninnies, and anti-free speech. A 2005 Nightline story by Jake Tapper and Marie Nelson looked at the links between corporate America and hip-hop

“The blueprint now is an image that promotes all of the worst aspects of violent and anti-social behavior,” said Source editor Mays. “It takes those real issues of violent life that occur in our inner cities, it takes them out of context.”
Attorney Londell McMillan, who represents Lil’ Kim and many other hip-hop performers, says the record labels and radio stations push the artists toward a more violent image. “They all seek to do things that are extraordinary,” he said, “unfortunately it’s been extraordinarily in the pain of a people. They are often encouraged to take a certain kind of approach to the art form.”
Added NYPD Commissioner Kelly, “Whereas some of the other violence was sort of attendant to the business itself, now I think they’re trying to exploit it and make money off of it.”
But C-Murder says if he projected a more benign image his career would be over. “I wouldn’t sell a record because my fans would know that’s not me,” he said. “They don’t expect me to just sit in that booth and write about stuff that the news or the media want to hear about.”
Record executive Dash adds there is a double standard between predominantly black and predominantly white music. “I remember Woodstock Part II was a mess,” Dash said, referring to the 1999 rock ‘n’ roll concert festival that exploded in a mass of riots and rapes. But, Dash said, “nothing more about it than that” transpired. “There wasn’t any new laws, there wasn’t any investigations. It just was.” http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/News/story?id=694982

Lest you think I am anti-capitalism, the real kind, not the corporate welfare of Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase, you are wrong. Most inner city neighborhoods and poor regions like Appalachia and Mississippi desperately need investment and capital to encourage entrepreneurs. As the motto of Homeboy Industries states, the best defense against violence is a job.
Moi has been railing against the hip hop culture for years because it is destructive, produces violence, but just as important it stereotypes Blacks whether they participate in hip hop culture or not. Geraldo Rivera got excoriated for suggesting that Trayvon Martin was shot because of his hoodie. Jack Mirkinson reports in the Huffington Post article, Trayvon Martin Hoodie Comments: ‘Half Of It Is The Way The Young Men Look’ (VIDEO):

The Fox News host caused a firestorm on Friday morning when he said that Martin was shot to death in part because he was wearing a hoodie. “I’ll bet you money, if he didn’t have that hoodie on, that nutty neighborhood watch guy wouldn’t have responded in that violent and aggressive way,” he said.
Instant outrage, and a fair amount of ridicule, followed. Rivera admitted that his own son told him he was ashamed of him. But he stood staunchly behind his comments when speaking to O’Reilly. The two began talking about New York’s controversial “stop and frisk” laws, which disproportionately affect people of color. Rivera said he supported the laws, and then brought up hoodies again.
“I’m telling you, half of it is the way the young men look,” he said. “…If a cop looks at three kids on the corner, and they’ve got those hoodies up — and this is where I got in trouble with the Trayvon Martin case — if they’ve got those hoodies up, and they’re hanging out on the corner, the cops look at them and say, ‘Hmm, hoodies. Who else wears hoodies? Everybody that ever stuck up a convenience store, D.B. Cooper, the guy that hijacked a plane, Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber…’” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/24/geraldo-rivera-trayvon-martin-hoodie-comments_n_1377014.html?ref=email_share

Moi wonders how many of those who were so up in arms about Rivera’s comments have practical experience living in an urban environment. Moi is a bus chick and takes the bus all over Seattle. From observation, moi can tell you that when a group of young men wearing hoodies boards the bus a considerable number of folks exit at the next stop. Or, what about the observation that in large corporate office buildings people don’t want to be the lone person to enter an elevator alone with with a well-dressed Black man. It is about perception of culture and stereotypes. https://drwilda.com/tag/how-hip-hop-holds-blacks-back/

Resources:

A Dozen Things Students Can Do to Stop School Violence http://www.sacsheriff.com/crime_prevention/documents/school_safety_04.cfm

A Dozen Things. Teachers Can Do To Stop School Violence. http://www.ncpc.org/cms-upload/ncpc/File/teacher12.pdf

Preventing School Violence: A Practical Guide
http://www.indiana.edu/~safeschl/psv.pdf

Related:
Stanford University study: Sexualization of women in the tech world
https://drwilda.com/tag/how-using-sexy-female-avatars-in-video-games-changes-women/

Two studies: Social media and social dysfunction https://drwilda.com/2013/04/13/two-studies-social-media-and-social-dysfunction/

Brock University study: Violent video games can delay children’s moral judgment https://drwilda.com/2014/02/07/brock-university-study-violent-video-games-can-delay-childrens-moral-judgment/

Where information leads to Hope. ©Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©
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COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART© http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews © http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

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