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See detailMoral Judgment in Video Games: Effects of Medium, Moral Intuitions and Media-Based Empathy
Grohmann, Lara; Holl, Elisabeth UL; Melzer, André UL

Scientific Conference (2021, September)

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See detailAn Integrative Model of Moral Processing for the Video Game Medium
Melzer, André UL; Holl, Elisabeth UL

Scientific Conference (2021, September)

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See detailNationwide implementation of media literacy training sessions on internet safety
Tiemann, Aline; Melzer, André UL; Steffgen, Georges UL

in Communications: the European Journal of Communication Research (2021)

Although numerous media literacy training sessions on internet safety for children and adolescents have been conducted, their number contrasts sharply with the few systematic studies on their ... [more ▼]

Although numerous media literacy training sessions on internet safety for children and adolescents have been conducted, their number contrasts sharply with the few systematic studies on their effectiveness. In this study, we describe the evaluation of nationwide-implemented training sessions on internet safety in Luxembourg, which included perceptions of learning outcomes and evaluations of implementation and effectiveness. Training data from 2011 to 2018 were analyzed, including 28,060 students and 5,031 teachers. Students reported pronounced learning effects, especially for younger students and for repeated training participation. Teachers greatly appreciated the implementation and effectiveness, which generally increased over the years. The perceived effectiveness of the training was significantly related to teachers’ planning to cover internet safety topics in future lessons. The present study shows that carefully planned and continuously evaluated training sessions on internet safety successfully support children’s understanding and teachers’ willingness to implement internet safety in their curriculum. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Hormones of Dark Souls: The Dark Tetrad and Violent Gaming Effects on Aggression, Cortisol and Testosterone Levels
Wagener, Gary; Felten, Andrea; Melzer, André UL

Scientific Conference (2021, May)

Although playing violent video games may lead to detrimental effects on cognition, emotion and behavior, the role of hormones and its interplay with personality characteristics is not well understood. An ... [more ▼]

Although playing violent video games may lead to detrimental effects on cognition, emotion and behavior, the role of hormones and its interplay with personality characteristics is not well understood. An experimental study tested how playing a violent versus non-violent video game affects cortisol and testosterone levels, whether these hormonal changes increase implicit aggressive cognition, and whether Dark Tetrad personality traits moderate these effects. In an experimental design, 54 male participants played either a violent or a non-violent video game. Participants provided salivary samples at the beginning of the experiment (T1), right after 25 minutes of gameplay (T2), and 20 minutes after that (T3). There were no significant effects on implicit aggressive cognition. However, participants in the violent game condition had a significant decrease in cortisol levels (T1 to T2) and a significant negative trend in cortisol levels from T1 to T3. Participants with higher Machiavellianism scores in the violent condition had a stronger decrease in cortisol (T1 to T2). In contrast, participants with higher Machiavellianism scores in the non-violent condition had a higher increase in cortisol (T1 to T2). The present findings illustrate the complex interplay between personality, hormones, and game content, thus specifying current notions on violent game effects. [less ▲]

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See detailPsychological contract violation or basic need frustration? Psychological mechanisms behind the effects of workplace bullying
Sischka, Philipp UL; Melzer, André UL; Schmidt, Alexander F. et al

in Frontiers in Psychology (2021)

Workplace bullying is a phenomenon that can have serious detrimental effects on health, work-related attitudes, and the behavior of the target. Particularly, workplace bullying exposure has been linked to ... [more ▼]

Workplace bullying is a phenomenon that can have serious detrimental effects on health, work-related attitudes, and the behavior of the target. Particularly, workplace bullying exposure has been linked to lower level of general well-being, job satisfaction, vigor and performance, and higher level of burnout, workplace deviance, and turnover intentions. However, the psychological mechanisms behind these relations are still not well understood. Drawing on psychological contract and self-determination theory, we hypothesized that perceptions of contract violation and the frustration of basic needs mediate the relationship between workplace bullying exposure and well-being, attitudinal, and behavioral outcomes. Self-reported data were collected among employees with different working backgrounds (N = 1,257) via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk in an online survey. Results showed that feelings of contract violation and frustration of basic needs accounted for unique variation in well-being, work satisfaction, burnout, vigor, and turnover intentions, pointing to individual contributions of both psychological mechanisms. However, when controlled for frustration of basic needs, feelings of psychological contract violation were no longer a mediator between workplace bullying exposure and work performance. Helping employees to deal effectively with workplace bullying exposure might buffer its negative effects and reduce their experienced frustration of basic needs, preserving their well-being, vigor, and work performance and, eventually, prevent burnout. The present study is the first to concurrently elucidate the proposed psychological mechanisms and unique contributions of psychological contract violation and frustration of basic needs in the context of workplace bullying. [less ▲]

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See detailEffects of Emotional Music on Facial Emotion Recognition in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Wagener, Gary; Berning, Madeleine; Pinto Coelho da Costa, Andreia UL et al

in Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (2020)

Impaired facial emotion recognition in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is in contrast to their intact emotional music recognition. This study tested whether emotion congruent music enhances ... [more ▼]

Impaired facial emotion recognition in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is in contrast to their intact emotional music recognition. This study tested whether emotion congruent music enhances facial emotion recognition. Accuracy and reaction times were assessed for 19 children with ASD and 31 controls in a recognition task with angry, happy, or sad faces. Stimuli were shown with either emotionally congruent or incongruent music or no music. Although children with ASD had higher reaction times than controls, accuracy only differed when incongruent or no music was played, indicating that congruent emotional music can boost facial emotion recognition in children with ASD. Emotion congruent music may support emotion recognition in children with ASD, and thus may improve their social skills. [less ▲]

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See detailCorona and the Media
Holl, Elisabeth UL; Hale, Miriam-Linnea UL; Melzer, André UL

in Mein, Georg; Pause, Johannes (Eds.) Self and Society in the Corona Crisis (2020)

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See detailMediennutzung in den Zeiten von Pandemie und Lockdown
Melzer, André UL; Holl, Elisabeth UL; Hale, Miriam-Linnea UL

in Benoy, Charles (Ed.) COVID-19 - Ein Virus nimmt Einfluss auf unsere Psyche. Einschätzungen und Maßnahmen aus psychologischer Perspektive (2020)

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See detailUnderstanding Moral Decision-Making in Video Games: A Focus Group Study
Holl, Elisabeth UL; Bernard, Steve; Melzer, André UL

Scientific Conference (2020, May)

Moral dilemmas have become increasingly popular in video games, although it is still widely unknown why players might find them pleasurable, how they process dilemmas, and which factors affect the ... [more ▼]

Moral dilemmas have become increasingly popular in video games, although it is still widely unknown why players might find them pleasurable, how they process dilemmas, and which factors affect the processing. Therefore, three different focus groups sessions with expert gamers (N = 16) were conducted. Gamers’ expressions of their experience with meaningful and morally relevant game situations were grouped for relevant topics. Topics are supported by direct quotations from participants of discussion groups, referring to up-to-date video game titles and presented together with respective theoretical assumptions. Results show that besides the game-defining theme of interactivity, statements can be grouped broadly into factors that describe why players engage or disengage in the first place (motivation) and factors that shape the moral interaction itself (influencing factors). In summary, our findings support the notion that moral-decision making in video games is a dynamic interplay between several game and user-dependent variables. Findings provide insights into players’ processing of moral dilemmas in video games, which also offers promising suggestions for future research using experimental setups. [less ▲]

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See detailVon Pong zur Panik? Videospiele als gesellschaftlich relevantes Forschungsthema
Melzer, André UL

in Amann, Wilhelm; Sieburg, Heinz (Eds.) Spiel-Räume. Das "Spiel" in Diskursen der Kultur und Wissenschaften (2020)

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See detailPlayers' moral decisions in virtual worlds: Morality in video games
Melzer, André UL; Holl, Elisabeth UL

Book published by Oxford University Press (2020)

From complex multi-players to casual gaming: video games are the most common virtual environment for entertainment that younger generations spend a significant time in. Although early game titles already ... [more ▼]

From complex multi-players to casual gaming: video games are the most common virtual environment for entertainment that younger generations spend a significant time in. Although early game titles already featured morality-related topics, implementing meaningful eudaimonic playing based on moral decision making has become increasingly popular. Unfortunately, scientific analyses of game-related moral decisions mostly revolve around the effects of players engaging in virtual violence, leading to ongoing heated debates in academia and the general public (e.g., Anderson et al., 2010; Ferguson, 2007). To date, however, only few studies have tried to disentangle the moral aspects of video games from virtual violence (e.g., Joeckel, Bowman, & Dogruel, 2012). The present chapter provides an overview on both established and novel theories on psychological processing of moral decision making in virtual worlds in line with cutting-edge game examples. These theories aim at explaining how games can elicit moral processing as well as the factors that modulate these processes once the player is morally engaged. Based on i.a. aspects of the theory of presence (Biocca, Harms, & Burgoon, 2003; Tamborini & Skalski, 2006), moral disengagement (Bandura, 2002; Hartmann & Vorderer, 2010) and a dual process model of moral judgement (Greene, Sommerville, Nystrom, Darley, & Cohen, 2001; Gubbins & Byrne, 2014; Haidt, 2001), a new model is proposed. Furthermore, individual characteristics such as playing experience, player motivation and moral salience according to the moral foundations theory (Haidt & Joseph, 2008; Tamborini, 2011) are integrated in the model. [less ▲]

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See detailMoral decision-making in video games: A focus group study on player perceptions
Holl, Elisabeth UL; Bernard, Steve UL; Melzer, André UL

in Human Behavior and Emerging Technologies (2020)

Moral dilemmas have become increasingly popular in single player video games, although it is still widely unknown why players find them pleasurable, how they process dilemmas, and which variables affect ... [more ▼]

Moral dilemmas have become increasingly popular in single player video games, although it is still widely unknown why players find them pleasurable, how they process dilemmas, and which variables affect the processing. Therefore, three different focus groups sessions with experienced players (N = 16) were conducted. Player perceptions of meaningful and morally relevant decision situations in video games were grouped for topics and contextualized with theoretical background (e.g., moral disengagement theory). Our findings support the notion that moral decision-making in video games is a dynamic interplay between game and user-dependent variables. Results show that in addition to interactivity, which reflects the inherent property of video games, statements can be broadly grouped into factors that describe player motivation (i.e., why they morally engage or disengage) and influencing factors that shape the moral interaction itself. In summary, the present findings provide insights into players' processing of moral dilemmas in video games. [less ▲]

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See detailMale vs female gamers: Testing the stereotype threat effect in video gaming
Holl, Elisabeth UL; Wagener, Gary Lee; Melzer, André UL

Scientific Conference (2019, September 17)

Stereotype threat (ST), defined as the risk of confirming a negative stereotype about one’s own group, has been demonstrated in various social contexts. Regarding video games, for example, informing ... [more ▼]

Stereotype threat (ST), defined as the risk of confirming a negative stereotype about one’s own group, has been demonstrated in various social contexts. Regarding video games, for example, informing female participants that men would outperform women in gaming leads to gender differences in performance. To date, however, these studies have not looked into the mechanisms of this ST effect in gaming. In two lab studies (N=186), some participants were confronted with ST-related information before playing a video game. In Study 1, half of the participants read a bogus article confirming the “standard” gender stereotype (“men outperform women”). In Study 2, a reverse stereotype was presented to half of the participants (“women have outpaced men in some game genres”). In contrast to hypotheses, both studies failed to show the expected significant interaction effect of gender and ST condition on performance, although female participants confronted with the “standard” gender stereotype reported greater frustration in Study 1, for example. In sum, results indicate a complex relationship between gender, social identity, experience with the game genre, and behavior. Identifying oneself as a gamer and being experienced in a particular game genre were found to be better performance predictors than reading stereotype threatening information. [less ▲]

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See detail“It felt wrong to me to play that way” Understanding moral decision-making in video games through focus group discussions
Holl, Elisabeth UL; Bernard, Steve; Melzer, André UL

in Nebel, Steve; Pietschmann, Daniel; Schneider, Sascha (Eds.) et al Proceedings of the Media Psychology Division (2019, September 05)

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See detailCraving for violence: The role of Dark Personality traits in violent video game preference
Melzer, André UL

Scientific Conference (2019, June)

Background: Violent and antisocial video games are popular, but little is known why players are drawn to these kinds of games. This present research tested whether there is a connection between player ... [more ▼]

Background: Violent and antisocial video games are popular, but little is known why players are drawn to these kinds of games. This present research tested whether there is a connection between player preferences for violent games and characteristics of so called “dark” personality traits. Method: Relying on a user-centered approach, three online studies (N=662) examined the role of “dark” personality traits together with a novel violent game preference short scale. Results: Study 1 and 2 indicated strong correlations between trait aggression and players’ interest in explicit depictions of blood and gore and games that provide experiences of domination and antisocial behavior. In Study 3, the new scale was tested together with participants’ trait aggression, trait empathy, and the Dark Triad traits of psychopathy, Machiavellianism, and narcissism. Games featuring violence and the possibility of antisocial behavior were found to meet the needs of players who lack empathy and show callous, impulsive, and exploitive (but not narcissistic) attributes. Conclusions: Findings of individual motivators for game violence significantly extend the literature that is predominantly focusing on the effects of playing these games. Apparently, game preferences and playing habits fulfill individual needs that are at least partly determined by particular, i.e. “dark”, personality characteristics. [less ▲]

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See detailOf princesses, paladins, and player motivations: Gender stereotypes and gendered perceptions in video games
Melzer, André UL

in Breuer, Johannes; Pietschmann, Daniel; Liebold, Benny (Eds.) et al Evolutionary psychology and digital games. Digital hunter-gatherers (2019)

Video games have been labeled a male space, and playing video games an activity created by men and for men (Fox & Tang, 2014; see also Lange & Schwab, this volume). The present chapter analyses the ... [more ▼]

Video games have been labeled a male space, and playing video games an activity created by men and for men (Fox & Tang, 2014; see also Lange & Schwab, this volume). The present chapter analyses the typical roles of male and female video game characters, their presentation in games, their effects, and how players perceive these characters. To this end, gender in video games will be analyzed on different levels. Although women and men share the same overall interest in playing video games as a medium for entertainment, they differ substantially with regard to genres and game titles they prefer. These gender differences have been attributed to the overrepresentation of male characters in video games, uninviting game contents that strongly rely on competition and physical aggression, and the stereotypical portrayal and scripted behavioral patterns of hyper-masculine or “macho” male and sexualized female game characters. The issue of gender portrayals in video games will be discussed in the light of theoretical considerations on evolved dispositions that differ by sex versus the social structural account that attributes sex differences to the differing placement of women and men in the social structure. It will be argued that both theoretical approaches make similar predictions regarding gender-specific video game preferences. [less ▲]

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See detailWho’s afraid of Donkey Kong? Testing the Stereotype Threat Effect in Video Gaming
Holl, Elisabeth UL; Wagener, Gary L.; Melzer, André UL

Scientific Conference (2019, May)

In two studies (Study 1: N = 130; Study 2: N = 56) participants played a video game (Bejeweled 3; SkyChasers) and were either confronted with a stereotype threat (ST) or not. ST is defined as the risk of ... [more ▼]

In two studies (Study 1: N = 130; Study 2: N = 56) participants played a video game (Bejeweled 3; SkyChasers) and were either confronted with a stereotype threat (ST) or not. ST is defined as the risk of confirming a negative stereotype about one’s own group and has been investigated in various field, i.a. in gaming. In the first study participants were confronted with the stereotype that women would perform worse in video games than men. In the second study we worked with a reversed stereotype, namely that women would have now outpaced males in some genres of video games. Our results show that performance varies across gender and genre. Although we did not find the hypothesized interaction effect of gender and ST condition in performance, self-reported measures, such as perceived frustration, and moderating variables indicate performance differences both for women and men, but on different psychological dimensions. [less ▲]

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See detailLerneffekte interaktiver Medien bei Kindern und Jugendlichen
Melzer, André UL; Happ, Christian; Steffgen, Georges UL

Report (2019)

Detailed reference viewed: 98 (7 UL)