Dominican University of California
 

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Presentation or Panel Title

Differences in Exposure to Violent Media and Desensitization to Violence in Varying Age Groups

Location

Guzman Lecture Hall

Start Date

4-14-2016 6:00 PM

End Date

4-14-2016 7:00 PM

Department

Psychology

Student Type

Undergraduate

Faculty Mentor

William Phillips, Ph.D.

Presentation Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Description

Many studies have been conducted on the subject of the media’s role in societies’ desensitization to violence (Brockmyer, 2014; Fanti, Vanman,Henrich & Avraamides, 2009; Breuer, Scharkow & Quandt, 2014) . With increased access to media, young adults have amplified potential for exposure to media violence and subsequent desensitization. Violent acts perpetuated by young adults have had a profoundly devastating effect on American communities. Violent acts, such as mass shootings, require researchers to evaluate potential influences for this behavior. The perceived severity of violence in an action may influence a person’s decision to engage in that behavior (Collyer, Brell, Moster & Furey, 2011). Desensitization to violence has the potential to extend beyond personal preference and affect the way individuals treat one another. The purpose of the present study is to determine a relationship between exposure to violent media and desensitization to violence within various age groups and to evaluate whether an increased desensitization to violence exists among traditional college age individuals. Participants will include both men and women from Northern California. Approximately thirty of the participants will be traditional college age (18-24 years old), fifteen participants will be from the age group of 30-39 years old and fifteen of participants will be from the age group ranging from 40-49 years old. Participants will view a violent video game trailer that lasts approximately 2 minutes. After viewing the trailer, participants will be asked to complete The Digital Game Violence Questionnaire (Breuer, Scharkow and Quandt, 2014) and a Demographics survey.

It is hypothesized that the typical college age group (18-24) will have a higher frequency of scores reflecting a higher rate of exposure to violent media and scores reflecting a higher rate of desensitization to the viewed violent content. Secondly, it is hypothesized that all participants who rate the game as less violent then the group average will have a higher rate of exposure to media violence. In addition, it is hypothesized that differences in scores between genders in college age participants will be more similar then for older participants. Finally, participants will indicate that they were most “put off” by the game due to context of the violence, as opposed to the graphic nature of the acts themselves. Data collection for this study will occur in February and March of 2016.

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Apr 14th, 6:00 PM Apr 14th, 7:00 PM

Differences in Exposure to Violent Media and Desensitization to Violence in Varying Age Groups

Guzman Lecture Hall

Many studies have been conducted on the subject of the media’s role in societies’ desensitization to violence (Brockmyer, 2014; Fanti, Vanman,Henrich & Avraamides, 2009; Breuer, Scharkow & Quandt, 2014) . With increased access to media, young adults have amplified potential for exposure to media violence and subsequent desensitization. Violent acts perpetuated by young adults have had a profoundly devastating effect on American communities. Violent acts, such as mass shootings, require researchers to evaluate potential influences for this behavior. The perceived severity of violence in an action may influence a person’s decision to engage in that behavior (Collyer, Brell, Moster & Furey, 2011). Desensitization to violence has the potential to extend beyond personal preference and affect the way individuals treat one another. The purpose of the present study is to determine a relationship between exposure to violent media and desensitization to violence within various age groups and to evaluate whether an increased desensitization to violence exists among traditional college age individuals. Participants will include both men and women from Northern California. Approximately thirty of the participants will be traditional college age (18-24 years old), fifteen participants will be from the age group of 30-39 years old and fifteen of participants will be from the age group ranging from 40-49 years old. Participants will view a violent video game trailer that lasts approximately 2 minutes. After viewing the trailer, participants will be asked to complete The Digital Game Violence Questionnaire (Breuer, Scharkow and Quandt, 2014) and a Demographics survey.

It is hypothesized that the typical college age group (18-24) will have a higher frequency of scores reflecting a higher rate of exposure to violent media and scores reflecting a higher rate of desensitization to the viewed violent content. Secondly, it is hypothesized that all participants who rate the game as less violent then the group average will have a higher rate of exposure to media violence. In addition, it is hypothesized that differences in scores between genders in college age participants will be more similar then for older participants. Finally, participants will indicate that they were most “put off” by the game due to context of the violence, as opposed to the graphic nature of the acts themselves. Data collection for this study will occur in February and March of 2016.