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Heideggerian experience? Or motivated reasoning?
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It seems to be generally understood that people engage will engage in motivated reasoning to justify and defend their attitudes and behaviors. With regard to video games in particular, other authors seem to find motivated reasoning phenomena, wherein gamers will believe whatever evidence supports their views and habits (Nauroth, Gollwitzer, Bender, & Rothmund, 2014).

With that in mind, it seems that whether a study reports "biased assimilation" or "wisdom from experience" could be, to some extent, a matter of framing, or perhaps the authors' personal preference. Supporting the possibility that motivated reasoning is at play, the discussion notes that "some individuals who had direct experience with games were more liable to overestimate the [possible] positive and underestimate the possible negative impact of games on young people."

Do you think the current study is able to distinguish between the two accounts?

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Interesting question Joe, our approached is informed by having studied the humanities before learning about social science theories. Earlier versions of the paper discussed a now discredited social psychological perspective that is been the focus of an ongoing misconduct investigation in Europe (this was removed when we learned of the case).

To your question, I think this will come down to what you treat as ground truth about games effects and what effects you’re considering. In our third study we treated the mixed nature of the literature as empirically accurate and used those who stated they did not know as the comparison contrast. Indeed, it’s equally possible gamers know something science hasn't studied carefully enough, such as indirect benefits to socialisation or peer relationships or that they’re motivated to see things more positively. It’s far too early for a study to say either way. The nuance in your question alludes to the reality that the time course of these dynamics will need to studied in far greater detail before scientists shift from curiosity to drawing conclusions about bias.

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