Bringing Empathy into Play: On the Effects of Empathy in Violent and Nonviolent Video Games
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While violent media has adverse effects on cognition, emotion and behavior, prosocial content promotes these variables in a prosocial way. Greater individual levels of empathy as well as increasing the level of empathy in media content typically foster prosocial behavior and reduce aggression. Two experiments replicated game content findings, and also showed that inducing empathy prior to a video game had a positive influence on behavior. However, under certain circumstances, inducing empathy before playing a violent video game may even have negative effects on behavior. As empathy is a common tool in prevention programs, the implications of these findings are discussed.
Keywordsvideo games empathy aggression prosocial behavior
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