Empathy and Violent Video Games Aggression and Prosocial Behavior

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2014-11-21
  • Publisher: Palgrave Pivot
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The high levels of violence in video games have often been linked to an apparent decrease in empathy and increase in selfishness in Western society, yet surprisingly little research has been conducted on the role of empathy in the context of media. Through three empirical studies, this book explores the mechanisms behind moderating functions of empathy. The chapters discuss factors such as character played and players' interpretation of the character, as well as the effects of inducing empathy before playing a video game upon emotion, cognition and behaviour. The book reveals new insights that will inform the ongoing debates about the effects of violent media content.

Author Biography

Christian Happ is a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the University of Trier, Germany. Before, he studied Psychology in Marburg, Germany, and Stellenbosch, South Africa. He is interested in research focussing on topics from Social, Media and Business Psychology.

André Melzer is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Luxembourg. His main research interests focus on entertainment media. He has published widely on the effects of violent video games on antisocial and prosocial behavior. His most recent publications analyzed empathy and the moral implications of violent video games, both with regard to players' motivation and the consequences of playing these games.

Table of Contents

1. Of Empathy and Media Content: Bringing Together Two Important Areas of Research
2. The E in Media is for Empathy
3. What Empathy Does to Video Gamers
4. 'Dear Researcher, Gamers, Parents, and Teachers…'

Supplemental Materials

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