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Leslie McCuller, Michael Dodd; Examining the influence of video game training on spatial cognition and outgroup bias. Journal of Vision 2013;13(9):439. doi: 10.1167/13.9.439.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Common coding theory indicates that we covertly replicate all perceived and imagined actions (Chandrasekharan et al. 2010) due to a blurring of first and third person views, which are attributed processes in the motor cortex (Ezel et al. 2008; Fadiga et al. 2000). When players see the actions of an avatar on screen they covertly replicate them from the perspective of the avatar (Thirioux et. al 2009), and when the players control the avatar and see it execute their actions it results in a mere exposure effect in which the player forms an unconscious preference for the avatar (Topolinski & Strack, 2009; Beilock & Holt, 2007). Socially, motor activation is implicated in both social biases and preferences (Dijksterhuis, 2005) leading people to unconsciously prefer people who mirror their actions. The purpose of the present study, therefore, was to determine whether baseline levels of racism and sexism could be reduced through video game training. Participants complete a number of pretest measures tapping into racism and sexism, following which they play Kinect Adventures (for the Xbox Kinect which allows for a nearly 1:1 mapping of action between the player and the onscreen avatar) with an avatar that is either an in-group member (e.g., looks like the game player) or an out-group member (does not look like the game player). Following the video game session, participants complete identical post-test measures to determine whether the player has formed an unconscious preference for the avatar based on its replication of the player’s actions. In both experiments we find evidence for a change in attitude (albeit brief) following video game training. These findings have implications in a number of applied areas in addition to providing further insight into common theory.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2013
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