Researcher: Puzzle Test Not a Valid Measure of Aggressive or Helpful Behavior

June 19, 2009 -

On Wednesday GamePolitics reported on a study which linked players of violent games with aggressive behavior while claiming that those who played games with prosocial themes were more likely to be helpful. Prof. Brad Bushman of the University of Michigan and Prof. Douglas Gentile of Iowa State were among the study's more recognizable authors.

Yesterday we reported on Texas A&M Prof. Chris Ferguson's reaction to the Bushman-Gentile study. Ferguson slammed the research methodology involved, including a somewhat academic foray into concepts like multicollinearity, which made our brain hurt just a bit.

So, in the interest of keeping things simple, we went back to Ferguson with a follow-up question concerning the methodology used in one portion of the Bushman-Gentile research. 161 U.S. college students served as test subjects:

After playing either a prosocial, violent, or neutral game, participants were asked to assign puzzles to a randomly selected partner. They could choose from puzzles that were easy, medium or hard to complete. Their partner could win $10 if they solved all the puzzles. Those who played a prosocial game were considerably more helpful than others, assigning more easy puzzles to their partners.  And those who had played violent games were significantly more likely to assign the hardest puzzles.

Given the uniqueness of the methodology, GamePolitics asked Ferguson whether, in his opinion, the "puzzle test" was a valid measure of aggression or a reasonable predictor of violent behavior. Ferguson quickly said that it was not:

No, not even remotely.  It is worlds apart from any real world aggressive or helping behavior on many levels.  Unfortunately this is a typical ad hoc outcome with no validity.


Comments

Re: Researcher: Puzzle Test Not a Valid Measure of ...

I'd say the best study as to whether games make people more violent is real life! If games really did make people violent then the world would be in complete chaos right now. Instead we have federal records that show crime is at an all time low.

The simple fact is that while little kids shouldn't be playing violent games, doing so isn't going to turn them into rabid serial killers or rapists. If we really want to solve societies problems we need to stop looking for scapegoats or an easy quick fix.

Re: Researcher: Puzzle Test Not a Valid Measure of ...

I think I can leave this at, wow.

Re: Researcher: Puzzle Test Not a Valid Measure of ...

Well, there you go. Supposedly aggressive or devious behavior doesn't lead to violence.

The best results are observed in real life, not in an enclosed room with artificial goals.

GameSnooper

Re: Researcher: Puzzle Test Not a Valid Measure of ...

I thought puzzle tests were for IQ grading and perhaps gaugeing anger/frustration of an indevedaul......

 


I am a criminal because I purchase media,I am a criminal because I use media, I am a criminal because I chose to own media..We shall remain criminals until Corporate stay's outside our bedrooms..


http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Researcher: Puzzle Test Not a Valid Measure of ...

Videogames encourage violence! We'll make up enough flawed surveys until people accept it!

Re: Researcher: Puzzle Test Not a Valid Measure of ...

Don't forget the part about how it only measures short term effects and completely ignores the fact that long term effects will be much different

Re: Researcher: Puzzle Test Not a Valid Measure of ...

But we already knew that.

--------------------------------------------------

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Researcher: Puzzle Test Not a Valid Measure of ...

 I would say the study shows ppl that played violent video games were more competitive, and wanted a challenge.  

"Their partner could win $10 if they solved all the puzzles."  So... you mean that they had to do all 3 puzzle anyways, no it only a strategic choice of the participants if they want to start hard or easy, if you can't do the hard one, why waste your time doing the easy ones.

Re: Researcher: Puzzle Test Not a Valid Measure of ...

That was my assessment too. The study seemed nice and diverse, but the final conclusion, violent games lead to least helpful, seemed too contrived. They just felt more competitive.

It's like assuming kids that play non-violent games grow up to be pre-school teachers while those that play violent games grow up to be drill instructors.

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Poll

Have you visited a video game arcade in the last year?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
Papa MidnightThe Verge says the sequel to Flappy Bird is nearly impossible. http://www.theverge.com/2014/8/21/6053297/swing-copters-flappy-bird-sequel08/21/2014 - 12:22pm
SleakerPC-Gamer wrote an article on what's going on with the Minecraft stuff: http://www.pcgamer.com/2014/08/21/minecraft-bukkit-team-lead-tries-to-end-development-but-mojang-steps-in/08/21/2014 - 11:55am
SleakerEVE had a high-profile ban today: http://massively.joystiq.com/2014/08/20/eve-online-lottery-site-somer-blink-shutting-down/#continued08/21/2014 - 10:26am
SleakerBut where have all the Ethics gone?08/21/2014 - 9:08am
Sleaker@EZK - one of the bigger things is that since Mojang has owned Bukkit for 2 years now, people contributing to the project have basically been doing work for them pro-bono. On top of never formalizing support. They hid the fact probably to prevent support08/21/2014 - 9:07am
SleakerIf you've played on a server with mods/plugins, you've almost for sure played on a Bukkit-based server.08/21/2014 - 8:56am
SleakerHere's Bukkit's explanation attempt at shutting down due to EULA changes: http://forums.bukkit.org/threads/bukkit-its-time-to-say.305106/08/21/2014 - 8:55am
SleakerEZK - it's the largest server mod for MC, in actuality without it minecraft for sure would not have been as popular (#1 game now).08/21/2014 - 8:54am
SleakerTo the point that it seems they have completely lost what it means to be for-community, and having transparency. Along with dumping restrictive EULA's onto people.08/21/2014 - 8:53am
E. Zachary KnightWhat is Bukkit and why should I care?08/21/2014 - 8:53am
SleakerMinecraft community exploded again today. Apparently Mojang owns all of Bukkit, and never put out a statement saying as such 2 years ago when they acquired them. I have to say, their transition from indie has been rough.08/21/2014 - 8:52am
james_fudgeThere aren't many left in America08/21/2014 - 1:50am
MechaTama31I sure have. Dorky's barcade in Tacoma, WA.08/20/2014 - 5:56pm
Matthew WilsonI have not been to a arcade in years. I know arcades are still big in japan.08/20/2014 - 5:38pm
Sleaker@AE - Ah no it's called GroundKontrol - I was just referring to it as a Bar-Arcade.08/20/2014 - 4:39pm
Andrew EisenStill looking for confirmation that High Moon Studios (dev behind the PS3/360 versions) isn't working on it.08/20/2014 - 4:38pm
ZenGotcha.08/20/2014 - 4:37pm
Andrew EisenI already updated the story with it!08/20/2014 - 4:36pm
Zenhttp://www.gonintendo.com/s/235574-treyarch-isn-t-working-call-of-duty-advanced-warfare-for-wii-u-either08/20/2014 - 4:36pm
ZenLet me send the link for the Tweet as well...they state Treyarch is not working on it. Grabbing it now.08/20/2014 - 4:34pm
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician