Violent Video Games and Attitudes Towards Victims of Crime: An Empirical Study Among Youth

Violent Video Games and Attitudes Towards Victims of Crime: An Empirical Study Among Youth

Lavinia McLean (Nottingham Trent University, UK) and Mark D. Griffiths (Nottingham Trent University, UK)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0988-2.ch038
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Previous research has indicated that playing violent video games may be associated with an increase in acceptance of violence and positive attitudes towards perpetrators of crime. This study is the first to investigate the relationship between playing violent video games and attitudes towards victims of crime. A total of 206 young people (aged 12-24 years) completed measures of attitudes towards victims and violent video game exposure. The results suggest that exposure to violent video games is associated with less concern being reported for victims of crime. Young people who play more violent video games reported less concern for general victims and for culpable victims, and these effects cannot be explained by gender or age differences. The results are discussed in relation to relevant research in the area, along with recommendations for future research.
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Azjen (2005) argues that attitudes can be described as “dispositions to respond favourably or unfavourably to an object, person, institution or event” (2005, p.3). Social psychologists are interested in the impact of attitudes on behaviour and in particular the impact of attitudes of different strengths on behaviour. The MODE model of attitudes (Fazio, 1986; 1990; Fazio & Towles-Schwen, 1999) argues that attitudes are learned associations in memory and that the strength of attitudes has a bearing on their influence on our perceptions and our judgments regarding the information we process. It can be argued that the impact of video games on a person’s attitudes according to this theory could increase the accessibility of attitudes, where a person’s attitude could be easier to access due to long-term exposure to similar attitudes in video game scenes.

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