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Do Video Games Influence Real-World Judgments?

Do Video Games Influence Real-World Judgments?Many video games involve a central plot that involves making moral judgments.

A new study looks at whether an individual takes on the character of the video figure, or if the performance of immoral actions, such as violence, make the game more enjoyable.

In the study, Andrew Weaver, Ph.D., and graduate student Nicky Lewis, of Indiana University, Bloomington, studied how players make moral choices in video games and what effects those choices have on their emotional responses to the games.

They wanted to know if players of online video games perceive the content and characters as real and thus make moral judgments to avoid feeling guilty. The study is published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.

The researchers learned that players generally tended to make “moral” decisions and to treat game characters as though they were actual people. However, although behaving in antisocial ways was associated with greater guilt, it did not affect player enjoyment.

“Although preliminary, these results point to the utility of games as teaching and educational tools, as well as important tools for the assessment of behavior,” said Brenda K. Wiederhold, Ph.D., M.B.A., the journal’s editor-in-chief.

“These findings indicate how real the virtual world can become when one suspends disbelief and immerses oneself in the scenario.”

Source: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

Young man intently playing a video game photo by shutterstock.

Do Video Games Influence Real-World Judgments?

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Do Video Games Influence Real-World Judgments?. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 24, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
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