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Title: The Effects of Video Games on Mental Health: Beyond Negative Misconceptions, Towards Real Positive Outcomes
Authors: Benvegnu, Neilen
Advisors: Conway, Andrew
Contributors: Jacobs, Barry
Department: Psychology
Class Year: 2013
Abstract: There have been several common misconceptions about action video games (AVGs). Many believe that AVGs cause aggressive behavior, decreased social skills, and contribute to obesity. However, most scientific research has shown that these claims are false. Rather, AVGs have been found to be associated with several positive outcomes, most notably, increased visuospatial abilities (VSA) and enhanced social interactions. In particular, Massively Multiplayer Online games have shown to act as a type of social networking. In my thesis I conducted a randomized controlled experiment to investigate both cognitive and social benefits of AVGs. Participants were first classified as either video game players (VGPs) or non-video-game players (NVGPs). Participants were then paired with another participant in either a physically together condition or physically alone condition. VGPs had greater VA in comparison to NVGPs on the pre-test. After training non-video-game players with AVGs, we found an increase in their VA on post-test. NVGPs were not significantly different from VGPs on the post-test. Although we did not find an increase in empathy and interpersonal attraction, or decrease in social avoidance and distress across conditions, we did find predicted increases and decreases in all respective conditions.
Extent: 64 pages
Access Restrictions: Walk-in Access. This thesis can only be viewed on computer terminals at the Mudd Manuscript Library.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Psychology, 1930-2017

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