Research: Inexperienced Violent Video Game Players Suffer from the 'Macbeth Effect'

July 12, 2012 -

According to new research from the University of Luxembourg, violent video games suffer from what researchers describe as the "Macbeth Effect" (see Lady Macbeth Effect). Dr. André Melzer from the University of Luxembourg and Dr. Mario Gollwitzer from the Philipps-University Marburg examined the behavior of 76 players after they played 15 minutes of "violent video game play."

These players were asked to select gift products after playing a violent video game; inexperienced players were more likely to select hygienic products such as shower gel, toothpaste and deodorant than more experienced players. Researchers came to the conclusion that inexperienced players felt higher moral distress from playing violent games.

"The need to cleanse to keep moral purity intact, the Macbeth effect, is a psychological phenomenon in which a person attempts to purify oneself in order to cope with feelings of moral distress," says Melzer. "We find that the Macbeth effect can result from playing violent video games, especially when the game involves violence against humans." claims Melzer. "We find that the Macbeth effect can result from playing violent video games, especially when the game involves violence against humans."

He added that more experienced players use different strategies for coping with violence in games. Most experienced gamers probably don't agree with the notion that when they play a violent game there is something contained therein that requires "coping."

Future studies aimed at bridging moral psychology and the effects of violent media, will help to reveal how the long term exposure to violent media negatively affects attitudes towards aggression.

Melzer will present his full research findings at the International Society for Research on Aggression (ISRA) World Meeting 2012 at the University of Luxembourg. The study will also be published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

You can find out more here.

Source: Science Daily

"Shakespeare's Macbeth with old books and a dagger" art © 2012 Anneka / Shutterstock. All rights reserved, used with permission.


Comments

Re: Research: Inexperienced Violent Video Game Players ...

I really take this research as an insult. Inexperienced players needing to wash after killing or beating an artificial opponent. Really?! Inexperienced players have a tendency to buy more cleaning products than experienced. Really?! This whole damn research was stupid from the start and was insulting. It's like they're saying that because you're a hardcore player that you don't like to shower. That adds even further to the stereotype that gamers live under their mothers' basement as virgins who have no life.

Mess like this pisses me off a lot. Not only is it stupid, the data is extremely unrealistic and unreasonable. Don't these so called "scientists" have something better to do?

Re: Research: Inexperienced Violent Video Game Players ...

Literary metaphor is now science? Wow.

Re: Research: Inexperienced Violent Video Game Players ...

Because we feel so damn guilty about turning 1s into 0s.

Re: Research: Inexperienced Violent Video Game Players ...

Here we go again. Novice gamers buy soap after playing violent video games? I've never heard such rubbish. Could it be that the gamepad they played on was filthy?

If it proves anything, it proves that humans are nutcases even BEFORE they pick up a gamepad.

Can't these scientists move on to real issues? I mean, I hear we are approaching peak oil, there's global climate change, people are starving in Africa, the Middle-east is on the brink of war (again). I mean, violent videogames? Really? That's what they choose to study? Give us a fricken break!

Re: Research: Inexperienced Violent Video Game Players ...

Scientists don't come from one big pool that studies everything and allocates resources accordingly. What you're saying is like asking why a dentist is fixing teeth while hospitals are short of nurses. What Andrew asks below is the more pressing concern here. If violent video games do have a negative affect it's for our benefit that people do studies. They just need to do them properly.

Re: Research: Inexperienced Violent Video Game Players ...

My point was that I'm sure there are more pressing issues even in their field of study. My examples of pressing issues are just that - examples.

Re: Research: Inexperienced Violent Video Game Players ...

They're social psychologists, there really aren't any pressing issues in that field of study.  It's the social sciences equivalent of a liberal arts degree.

Re: Research: Inexperienced Violent Video Game Players ...

Future studies aimed at bridging moral psychology and the effects of violent media, will help to reveal how the long term exposure to violent media negatively affects attitudes towards aggression.

This kind of thing bugs me.  Future studies should be aimed at finding what, if any, effect long term exposure has towards aggression.  The assumption that there is an effect and that it is negative renders those studies pointless.

===============

Chris Kimberley

Re: Research: Inexperienced Violent Video Game Players ...

They saw ghosts and murdered their uncles?

Re: Research: Inexperienced Violent Video Game Players ...

Argh, I hate how vague these summaries always are.

-What game did they play?

-What products did they have to choose from?

-What products did the experienced players pick?

-Did you use a damn control group?

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Research: Inexperienced Violent Video Game Players ...

-What products did they have to choose from?

Exactly.  Because to be honest, I myself wouldn't mind getting soap or hand sanitizer.  Usually those are the only good and useful gifts.  The other gifts could have been some crap, like stationary...

Re: Research: Inexperienced Violent Video Game Players ...

Argh, I hate how vague these summaries always are.

If it makes you feel any better (which I hope it doesn't), science reporting is generally terrible whether or not video games are involved.

We'll have answers to those questions once the study gets published, at least.

Re: Research: Inexperienced Violent Video Game Players ...

People that don't play violent games become emotionally compromised when real violence happens and don't react logically. 

Re: Research: Inexperienced Violent Video Game Players ...

Nonsensical much?


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

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Poll

Which video game platform are you most thankful for?:
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician