Past research on consequences of video game play have conflated two distinct psychological mechanisms, habituation and generalization, into a unified process dubbed “desensitization.” The current paper reports the results of two studies, a repeated exposure study and a single exposure study, which examine habituation and generalization of biophysiological and self-reported arousal responses to violent video games. The findings indicate that repeated play leads to habituation in both biophysiological and self-report responses. Notably, evidence of generalization is more apparent in the biophysiological data. The results are discussed in terms of: (1) implications for game developers and players, (2) implications for game researchers, (3) current conceptual ambiguity between cross-sectional and longitudinal models, and (4) the appropriateness of utilizing self-report measures in longitudinal studies examining arousal.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2015 National Communication Association.
- Blood Pressure
- Cardiovascular Activity
- Media Effects
- Video Games