Tag Archives: Ohio State

American Geophysical Union study: Warmer winter temperatures linked to increased crime

18 Nov

Ohio State Researchers wrote about the impact of climate on crime in How does climate affect violence? Researchers offer new theory:

Researchers have long struggled to explain why some violent crime rates are higher near the equator than other parts of the world. Now, a team of researchers have developed a model that could help explain why.
This new model goes beyond the simple fact that hotter temperatures seem to be linked to more aggressive behavior.
The researchers believe that hot climates and less variation in seasonal temperatures leads to a faster life strategy, less focus on the future, and less self-control – all of which contribute to more aggression and violence….
Paul van Lange, lead author of the study and a professor of psychology at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU) added, “We believe our model can help explain the impact of climate on rates of violence in different parts of the world….”

The CLASH model states that it is not just hotter temperatures that lead to more violence – it is also climates that have less seasonal variation in temperature.
“Less variation in temperature, combined with heat, brings some measure of consistency to daily life”, Rinderu said.
That means there is less need to plan for large swings between warm and cold weather. The result is a faster life strategy that isn’t as concerned about the future and leads to less need for self-control.
“Strong seasonal variation in temperature affects culture in powerful ways. Planning in agriculture, hoarding, or simply preparing for cold winters shapes the culture in many ways, often with people not even noticing it. But it does shape how much a culture values time and self-control,” Van Lange said.
“If there is less variation, you’re freer to do what you want now, because you’re not preparing foods or chopping firewood or making winter clothes to get you through the winter. You also may be more concerned with the immediate stress that comes along with parasites and other risks of hot climates, such as venomous animals.”
People living in these climates are oriented to the present rather than the future and have a fast life strategy – they do things now.
“We see evidence of a faster life strategy in hotter climates with less temperature variation – they are less strict about time, they have less use of birth control, they have children earlier and more often,” Bushman said.
With a faster life strategy and an orientation toward the present, people have to practice less self-control, he said. That can lead people to react more quickly with aggression and sometimes violence.
The theory is not deterministic and isn’t meant to suggest that people in hotter, consistent climates can’t help themselves when it comes to violence and aggression…. https://news.osu.edu/how-does-climate-affect-violence-researchers-offer-new-theory/

The American Geophysical Union studied the link between temperature and crime.

Science Daily reported in Warmer winter temperatures linked to increased crime:

Milder winter weather increased regional crime rates in the United States over the past several decades, according to new research that suggests crime is related to temperature’s effect on daily activities.
A new study published in GeoHealth, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, finds U.S. crime rates are linked to warmer temperatures, and this relationship follows a seasonal pattern.
The findings support the theory that three major ingredients come together to bring about crime: a motivated offender, a suitable target, and the absence of a guardian to prevent a violation of the law. During certain seasons, namely winter, milder weather conditions increase the likelihood these three elements come together, and that violent and property crimes will take place, according to the new study. Unexpectedly, warmer summer temperatures were not linked with higher crime rates.
The new research abates existing theories that hot temperatures drive aggressive motivation and behavior, according to the study’s authors. Instead, the new research suggests crime is related to the way climate alters people’s daily activities.
“We were expecting to find a more consistent relationship between temperature and crime, but we weren’t really expecting that relationship to be changing over the course of the year,” said Ryan Harp, lead author of the study and a doctoral candidate in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder. “That ended up being a pretty big revelation for us.”
Understanding how climate affects crime rates could expand the boundaries of what scientists would consider to be a climate and health connection, Harp said.
“Ultimately, it’s a health impact,” he said. “The relationship between climate, human interaction, and crime that we’ve unveiled is something that will have an impact on people’s wellbeing.”
Regional climate affects human interaction
Previous studies have found a link between temperature and the incidence of crime, but none have looked at the relationship on a regional level and only some have controlled for underlying seasonal changes, allowing researchers to identify the potential underlying mechanism…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/11/181113110411.htm

Citation:

Warmer winter temperatures linked to increased crime
Date: November 13, 2018
Source: American Geophysical Union
Summary:
Milder winter weather increased regional crime rates in the United States over the past several decades, according to new research that suggests crime is related to temperature’s effect on daily activities.
Journal Reference:
Ryan D. Harp, Kristopher B. Karnauskas. The Influence of Interannual Climate Variability on Regional Violent Crime Rates in the United States. GeoHealth, 2018; DOI: 10.1029/2018GH000152

Here is the press release from the American Geophysical Union:

WARMER WINTER TEMPERATURES LINKED TO INCREASED CRIME, STUDY FINDS
13 November 2018
WASHINGTON — Milder winter weather increased regional crime rates in the United States over the past several decades, according to new research that suggests crime is related to temperature’s effect on daily activities.
A new study published in GeoHealth, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, finds U.S. crime rates are linked to warmer temperatures, and this relationship follows a seasonal pattern.
The findings support the theory that three major ingredients come together to bring about crime: a motivated offender, a suitable target, and the absence of a guardian to prevent a violation of the law. During certain seasons, namely winter, milder weather conditions increase the likelihood these three elements come together, and that violent and property crimes will take place, according to the new study. Unexpectedly, warmer summer temperatures were not linked with higher crime rates.
The new research abates existing theories that hot temperatures drive aggressive motivation and behavior, according to the study’s authors. Instead, the new research suggests crime is related to the way climate alters people’s daily activities.
“We were expecting to find a more consistent relationship between temperature and crime, but we weren’t really expecting that relationship to be changing over the course of the year,” said Ryan Harp, lead author of the study and a doctoral candidate in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder. “That ended up being a pretty big revelation for us.”
Understanding how climate affects crime rates could expand the boundaries of what scientists would consider to be a climate and health connection, Harp said.
“Ultimately, it’s a health impact,” he said. “The relationship between climate, human interaction, and crime that we’ve unveiled is something that will have an impact on people’s wellbeing.”
Regional climate affects human interaction
Previous studies have found a link between temperature and the incidence of crime, but none have looked at the relationship on a regional level and only some have controlled for underlying seasonal changes, allowing researchers to identify the potential underlying mechanism.
In the new study, Harp and his co-author conducted a systematic investigation into the relationship between large-scale climate variability and regionally-aggregated crime rates, using a technique that allowed them to group together detailed spatial data on seasonal temperature and crime rates from across the United States.
They compared crime and climate data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR). The data encompassed 16,000 cities across five defined US regions—Northeast, Southeast, South Central, West, and Midwest—from 1979 to 2016.
Their finding that violent crime is almost always more prevalent when temperatures are warmer in the winter months was especially notable in areas with the strongest winters, like the Midwest and Northeast, according to the researchers.
The new findings showing that increasing temperatures matter more in the winter than in the summer is interesting, said Marshall Burke, assistant professor of Earth System Science at Stanford University, who was not involved with the new study.
“The authors rightly suggest that this is more consistent with warmer temperatures altering people’s patterns of activity, like going outside more, than a physiological story about temperature and aggression,” he said.
The American Geophysical Union is dedicated to advancing the Earth and space sciences for the benefit of humanity through its scholarly publications, conferences, and outreach programs. AGU is a not-for-profit, professional, scientific organization representing 60,000 members in 137 countries. Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and our other social media channels.

There are various theories regarding why individuals commit crimes.

Steven Briggs wrote in Important Theories in Criminology: Why People Commit Crime:
Here is a broad overview of some key theories:

• Rational choice theory: People generally act in their self-interest and make decisions to commit crime after weighing the potential risks (including getting caught and punished) against the rewards.
• Social disorganization theory: A person’s physical and social environments are primarily responsible for the behavioral choices that person makes. In particular, a neighborhood that has fraying social structures is more likely to have high crime rates. Such a neighborhood may have poor schools, vacant and vandalized buildings, high unemployment, and a mix of commercial and residential property.
• Strain theory: Most people have similar aspirations, but they don’t all have the same opportunities or abilities. When people fail to achieve society’s expectations through approved means such as hard work and delayed gratification, they may attempt to achieve success through crime.
• Social learning theory: People develop motivation to commit crime and the skills to commit crime through the people they associate with.
• Social control theory: Most people would commit crime if not for the controls that society places on individuals through institutions such as schools, workplaces, churches, and families.
• Labeling theory: People in power decide what acts are crimes, and the act of labeling someone a criminal is what makes him a criminal. Once a person is labeled a criminal, society takes away his opportunities, which may ultimately lead to more criminal behavior.
• Biology, genetics, and evolution: Poor diet, mental illness, bad brain chemistry, and even evolutionary rewards for aggressive criminal conduct have been proposed as explanations for crime. https://www.dummies.com/education/psychology/important-theories-in-criminology-why-people-commit-crime/
One crime reduction strategy is predictive policing.
The National Institute of Justice described predictive policing:
Overview of Predictive Policing
Law enforcement work is frequently reactive: Officers respond to calls for service, quell disturbances and make arrests. Today more than ever, law enforcement work is also proactive.
In proactive policing, law enforcement uses data and analyzes patterns to understand the nature of a problem. Officers devise strategies and tactics to prevent or mitigate future harm. They evaluate results and revise practices to improve policing. Departments may combine an array of data with street intelligence and crime analysis to produce better assessments about what might happen next if they take various actions.
What Is Predictive Policing?
Predictive policing tries to harness the power of information, geospatial technologies and evidence-based intervention models to reduce crime and improve public safety. This two-pronged approach — applying advanced analytics to various data sets, in conjunction with intervention models — can move law enforcement from reacting to crimes into the realm of predicting what and where something is likely to happen and deploying resources accordingly.
The predictive policing approach does not replace traditional policing. Instead, it enhances existing approaches such as problem-oriented policing, community policing, intelligence-led policing and hot spot policing.
Predictive policing leverages computer models — such as those used in the business industry to anticipate how market conditions or industry trends will evolve over time — for law enforcement purposes, namely anticipating likely crime events and informing actions to prevent crime. Predictions can focus on variables such as places, people, groups or incidents. Demographic trends, parolee populations and economic conditions may all affect crime rates in particular areas. Using models supported by prior crime and environmental data to inform different kinds of interventions can help police reduce the number of crime incidents…. https://www.nij.gov/topics/law-enforcement/strategies/predictive-policing/Pages/welcome.aspx
Learn more about NIJ’s predictive policing and geospatial police strategies research. https://www.nij.gov/topics/law-enforcement/strategies/predictive-policing/Pages/research.aspx

Crime reduction strategy is based upon a variety of factors which affect the crime reduction strategy used in a particular locale.

Resources:

Crime & Crime Prevention: Community Crime Prevention Strategies https://www.crimesolutions.gov/TopicDetails.aspx?ID=10

5 Common-Sense Ideas to Combat Crime https://www.citylab.com/equity/2013/05/5-common-sense-ideas-combat-crime/5527/

Effective Crime Reduction Strategy Includes Prisoner Re-Entry https://www.justice.gov/usao-edmi/archived-district-reports/effective-crime-reduction-strategy

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Ohio State University study: Narcissist parents create narcissist children

16 Mar

Chris Weller examined two studies dealing the “participation trophy” culture.
Weller opined in the Newsweek article, Two Words That Could Hurt Your Kids: Nice Job:

The most controversial topics in professional sports may be doping and concussions, but in youth sports, no two words are more inflammatory than “participation trophy,” those “awards” given to kids just for showing up, regardless of how well they played…

But a new trio of studies from Utrecht University in the Netherlands and Ohio State University suggest that this strategy can backfire. They also suggest that parents often dole out inflated praise to the children most likely to be hurt by it. “If you tell a child with low self-esteem that they did incredibly well, they may think they always need to do incredibly well,” Eddie Brummelman, lead author of the studies and a doctoral candidate at Utrecht University’s department of psychology, said in a statement. “They may worry about meeting those high standards and decide not to take on any new challenges.”

Brummelman and his fellow researchers devised three experiments. The first found that children with low self-esteem typically receive twice as much inflated praise as children with high self-esteem. Inflated praise is the difference between “Job well done!” and “You did an incredibly good job!” That adverb, that small boost, can turn a minor success into an expectation that ends up crushing a kid who doesn’t believe in himself.

The second study enlisted the help of parents. The children completed 12 timed math exercises, which their parents then scored. Brummelman and his colleagues watched for any instance in which the parents administered inflated praise – a “You’re so incredible!” or a “Fantastic!” – or opted for a simple, “Good job” or “Nice work.” Correlating the kids’ scores with earlier assessments of self-esteem, the team found that children with lower self-esteem received more inflated praise.

Don’t start slagging supportive parents, though. Co-researcher Brad Bushman, a professor of communication and psychology at Ohio State, says their logic is impeccable: Kids who feel bad about their abilities tend to have very negative responses to poor performance, so the observant parent intervenes with a few supportive words. Problem solved, right?
The team’s third study took the praise administered in the second study and extended it to future performance. Children were asked to recreate van Gogh’s Wild Roses (to the best of their ability) and were told the final drawing would be critiqued by a professional painter. The critic either gave the children inflated praise, noninflated praise, or no praise at all. Then they did a second drawing. This time they had a choice: Would they rather copy an easy drawing or take on a more difficult piece?

To the chagrin of participation-trophy-pushing parents in the group, the children with lower self-esteems chose the undemanding piece. They took the safe route. The high self-esteem kids were actually more likely to seek out the challenge after receiving inflated praise….
“It goes against what many people may believe would be most helpful,” Bushman said. “But it really isn’t helpful to give inflated praise to children who already feel bad about themselves.” http://www.newsweek.com/two-words-could-hurt-your-kids-nice-job-225389#.UshBxlkCHTc.twitter

An Ohio State University study reaffirmed these studies.

Science Daily reported in How parents may help create their own little narcissists:

Children whose parents think they’re God’s gift to the world do tend to outshine their peers — in narcissism.

In a study that aimed to find the origins of narcissism, researchers surveyed parents and their children four times over one-and-a-half years to see if they could identify which factors led children to have inflated views of themselves.

Results showed that parents who “overvalued” their children when the study began ended up with children who scored higher on tests of narcissism later on.

Overvalued children were described by their parents in surveys as “more special than other children” and as kids who “deserve something extra in life,” for example.

“Children believe it when their parents tell them that they are more special than others. That may not be good for them or for society,” said Brad Bushman, co-author of the study and professor of communication and psychology at The Ohio State University.

Bushman conducted the study with lead author Eddie Brummelman, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. The study appears in the early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences….

While the dangers of narcissism are well known, its origins are not, according to Bushman. This is the first prospective study to see how narcissism develops over time.

The study involved 565 children in the Netherlands who were 7 to 11 years old when the study began, and their parents. They completed surveys four times, each six months apart. All the surveys used in the study are well established in psychology research….

Citation:

How parents may help create their own little narcissists
Date: March 9, 2015
Source: Ohio State University
Summary:
Children whose parents think they’re God’s gift to the world do tend to outshine their peers — in narcissism. Results showed that parents who “overvalued” their children when the study began ended up with children who scored higher on tests of narcissism later on. Overvalued children were described by their parents in surveys as “more special than other children” and as kids who “deserve something extra in life,” for example.

Origins of narcissism in children
1. Eddie Brummelmana,b,1,
2. Sander Thomaesb,c,
3. Stefanie A. Nelemansd,
4. Bram Orobio de Castrob,
5. Geertjan Overbeeka, and
6. Brad J. Bushmane,f
Author Affiliations
1. Edited by Susan T. Fiske, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, and approved February 12, 2015 (received for review November 7, 2014)
1. Abstract
2. Authors & Info
3. SI
4. Metrics
5. Related Content
6. PDF
7. PDF + SI

Significance

Narcissistic individuals feel superior to others, fantasize about personal successes, and believe they deserve special treatment. When they feel humiliated, they often lash out aggressively or even violently. Unfortunately, little is known about the origins of narcissism. Such knowledge is important for designing interventions to curtail narcissistic development. We demonstrate that narcissism in children is cultivated by parental overvaluation: parents believing their child to be more special and more entitled than others. In contrast, high self-esteem in children is cultivated by parental warmth: parents expressing affection and appreciation toward their child. These findings show that narcissism is partly rooted in early socialization experiences, and suggest that parent-training interventions can help curtail narcissistic development and reduce its costs for society.

Abstract

Narcissism levels have been increasing among Western youth, and contribute to societal problems such as aggression and violence. The origins of narcissism, however, are not well understood. Here, we report, to our knowledge, the first prospective longitudinal evidence on the origins of narcissism in children. We compared two perspectives: social learning theory (positing that narcissism is cultivated by parental overvaluation) and psychoanalytic theory (positing that narcissism is cultivated by lack of parental warmth). We timed the study in late childhood (ages 7–12), when individual differences in narcissism first emerge. In four 6-mo waves, 565 children and their parents reported child narcissism, child self-esteem, parental overvaluation, and parental warmth. Four-wave cross-lagged panel models were conducted. Results support social learning theory and contradict psychoanalytic theory: Narcissism was predicted by parental overvaluation, not by lack of parental warmth. Thus, children seem to acquire narcissism, in part, by internalizing parents’ inflated views of them (e.g., “I am superior to others” and “I am entitled to privileges”). Attesting to the specificity of this finding, self-esteem was predicted by parental warmth, not by parental overvaluation. These findings uncover early socialization experiences that cultivate narcissism, and may inform interventions to curtail narcissistic development at an early age.
• childhood narcissism
• childhood self-esteem
• parental overvaluation
• parental warmth
• socialization
Footnotes
• 1To whom correspondence should be addressed. Email: e.brummelman@uva.nl.
• Author contributions: E.B., S.T., B.O.d.C., and G.O. designed research; E.B. performed research; E.B. and S.A.N. analyzed data; and E.B., S.T., S.A.N., B.O.d.C., G.O., and B.J.B. wrote the paper.
• The authors declare no conflict of interest.
• This article is a PNAS Direct Submission.
• This article contains supporting information online at http://www.pnas.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.1073/pnas.1420870112/-/DCSupplemental.

Stephanie Pappas wrote in the Livescience article, 10 Scientific Tips For Raising Happy Kids:

1. Last But Not Least, Know Your Kids

Everyone thinks they know the best way to raise a child. But it turns out that parenting is not one-size-fits-all. In fact, kids whose parents tailor their parenting style to the child’s personality have half the anxiety and depression of their peers with more rigid parents, according to a study published in August 2011 in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology. It turns out that some kids, especially those with trouble regulating their emotions, might need a little extra help from Mom or Dad…

2. Don’t Aim For Perfection
Nobody’s perfect, so don’t torture yourself with an impossibly high bar for parenting success. According to a study published in 2011 in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, new parents who believe society expects perfection from them are more stressed and less confident in their parenting skills….
3. Don’t Sweat a Little Sassing
Teens who talk back to their parents may be exasperating, but their argumentativeness is linked to a stronger rejection of peer pressure outside the home. In other words, autonomy at home fosters autonomy among friends….
4. Mamas, Be Good to Your Sons
A close relationship with their mothers can help keep boys from acting out, according to a 2010 study. A warm, attached relationship with mom seems important in preventing behavior problems in sons, even more so than in girls, the research found. The findings, published in the journal Child Development, highlight the need for “secure attachment” between kids and their parents, a style in which kids can go to mom and dad as a comforting “secure base” before venturing into the wider world….
5. Tend to Your Mental Health
If you suspect you might be depressed, get help — for your own sake and your child’s. Research suggests that depressed moms struggle with parenting and even show muted responses to their babies’ cries compared with healthy moms. Depressed moms with negative parenting styles may also contribute to their children’s stress, according to 2011 research finding that kids raised by these mothers are more easily stressed out by the preschool years….
6. Nurture Your Marriage
If you’re a parent with a significant other, don’t let your relationship with your spouse or partner fall by the wayside when baby is born. Parents who suffer from marital instability, such as contemplating divorce, may set their infants up for sleep troubles in toddlerhood, according to research published in May 2011 in the journal Child Development. The study found that a troubled marriage when a baby is 9 months old contributes to trouble sleeping when the child is 18 months of age….
7. Let Go
When the kids fly the nest, research suggests it’s best to let them go. College freshmen with hovering, interfering “helicopter” parents are more likely to be anxious, self-conscious and less open to new experiences than their counterparts with more relaxed moms and dads….
8. Foster Self-Compassion
Parental guilt is its own industry, but avoid the undertow! Research suggests that self-compassion is a very important life skill, helping people stay resilient in the face of challenges. Self-compassion is made up of mindfulness, the ability to manage thoughts and emotions without being carried away or repressing them, common humanity, or empathy with the suffering of others, and self-kindness, a recognition of your own suffering and a commitment to solving the problem….
9. Be Positive
Parents who express negative emotions toward their infants or handle them roughly are likely to find themselves with aggressive kindergartners. That’s bad news, because behavioral aggression at age 5 is linked to aggression later in life, even toward future romantic partners…
10. LOL! Joking Helps
Lighten up! Joking with your toddler helps set them up for social success, according to research presented at the Economic and Social Research Councils’ Festival of Social Science 2011…. http://www.livescience.com/17894-10-scientific-parenting-tips.html

Moi agrees with Pappas’ suggestions with one huge addition the role of fathers. Dr. Gail Gross wrote in The Important Role of Dad:

Fathers are central to the emotional well-being of their children; they are are capable caretakers and disciplinarians.

Studies show that if your child’s father is affectionate, supportive, and involved, he can contribute greatly to your child’s cognitive, language, and social development, as well as academic achievement, a strong inner core resource, sense of well-being, good self-esteem, and authenticity.

How fathers influence our relationships.

Your child’s primary relationship with his/her father can affect all of your child’s relationships from birth to death, including those with friends, lovers, and spouses. Those early patterns of interaction with father are the very patterns that will be projected forward into all relationships…forever more: not only your child’s intrinsic idea of who he/she is as he/she relates to others, but also, the range of what your child considers acceptable and loving.
Girls will look for men who hold the patterns of good old dad, for after all, they know how “to do that.” Therefore, if father was kind, loving, and gentle, they will reach for those characteristics in men. Girls will look for, in others, what they have experienced and become familiar with in childhood. Because they’ve gotten used to those familial and historic behavioral patterns, they think that they can handle them in relationships.

Boys on the other hand, will model themselves after their fathers. They will look for their father’s approval in everything they do, and copy those behaviors that they recognize as both successful and familiar. Thus, if dad was abusive, controlling, and dominating, those will be the patterns that their sons will imitate and emulate. However, if father is loving, kind, supportive, and protective, boys will want to be that…. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-gail-gross/the-important-role-of-dad_b_5489093.html

Our goal as a society should be healthy children raised by healthy families.

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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/

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