MedicineWorld.Org
Your gateway to the world of medicine
Home
News
Cancer News
About Us
Cancer
Health Professionals
Patients and public
Contact Us
Disclaimer

Medicineworld.org: Virtual racing games linked to risk taking

Back to psychology news Blogs list Cancer blog  


Subscribe To Psychology News RSS Feed  RSS content feed What is RSS feed?

Virtual racing games linked to risk taking

Virtual racing games linked to risk taking
Psychology experts have taken the "media priming" effects of popular video console and PC-based games on the road, finding that virtual racing seems to lead to aggressive driving and a propensity for risk taking. Extending previous findings on how aggressive virtual-shooter games increase aggression-related thoughts, feelings and behaviors, scientists at Munich's Ludwig-Maximilians University and the Allianz Center for Technology observed that of 198 men and women, those who play more virtual car-racing games were more likely to report that they drive aggressively and get in accidents. Less frequent virtual racing was linked to more cautious driving.

The findings are reported in the recent issue of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, which is published by the American Psychological Association.

Linking media priming effects the way virtual aggression can lead to the real thing -- to behavior, a second study observed that men who played even one virtual racing game subsequently took significantly higher risks in critical traffic situations on a computer simulator than did men who played a neutral game. Sixty-eight men were in this study.

Finally, the scientists assigned 83 men to play either typical racing or neutral games on a Sony Playstation. In the racing games, say the authors, "To win, participants had to massively violate traffic rules (e.g., drive on the sidewalk, crash into other cards, drive at high speed)." Those who raced subsequently reported a significantly higher accessibility of thoughts and feelings associated with risk-taking than did those who played a neutral game.

Together, the findings suggest that playing racing games leads to riskier driving. The studies also highlight mediating factors, such as how the racing games prompt greater risk-taking thoughts and feelings, which may then result in higher-risk behavior.

The studies make both theoretical and practical contributions. First, the results support social-cognitive explanations of media priming effects, in which people built up mental models in this case, of aggressive thoughts and feelings easily triggered by a learned stimulus. That inner aggression is then the starting point for aggressive behaviors. The authors also showed that "positively framed" (the games are depicted as exciting and fun; they're also very popular) risky media content activates thoughts and feelings of arousal and excitement that are associated with increased risk taking.

Second, the authors observe that on a practical level, "Our results pose the question whether playing racing games leads to accidents in real-life road traffic." Based on their findings and previous research, they assert that, "Playing racing games could provoke unsafe driving. Practitioners in the field of road traffic safety should bear in mind the possibility that racing games indeed make road traffic less safe, not least because game players are mostly young adults, acknowledged as the highest accident-race group".

Given that children start playing these games on average at age 10 (based on prior research by co-author Jrg Kubitzki),the scientists are concerned that racing games may instill risk-taking attitudes that lead to unsafe driving when children grow up and get behind the wheel.


Posted by: JoAnn    Source




Did you know?
Psychology experts have taken the "media priming" effects of popular video console and PC-based games on the road, finding that virtual racing seems to lead to aggressive driving and a propensity for risk taking. Extending previous findings on how aggressive virtual-shooter games increase aggression-related thoughts, feelings and behaviors, scientists at Munich's Ludwig-Maximilians University and the Allianz Center for Technology observed that of 198 men and women, those who play more virtual car-racing games were more likely to report that they drive aggressively and get in accidents. Less frequent virtual racing was linked to more cautious driving.

Medicineworld.org: Virtual racing games linked to risk taking

Acute bacterial meningitis| Alzheimer's disease| Carpal tunnel syndrome| Cerebral aneurysms| Cerebral palsy| Chronic fatigue syndrome| Cluster headache| Dementia| Epilepsy seizure disorders| Febrile seizures| Guillain barre syndrome| Head injury| Hydrocephalus| Neurology| Insomnia| Low backache| Mental retardation| Migraine headaches| Multiple sclerosis| Myasthenia gravis| Neurological manifestations of aids| Parkinsonism parkinson's disease| Personality disorders| Sleep disorders insomnia| Syncope| Trigeminal neuralgia| Vertigo|

Copyright statement
The contents of this web page are protected. Legal action may follow for reproduction of materials without permission.