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4703Re: [evol-psych] Video gaming as an adaptation

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  • isa
    Jun 2, 2000
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      roger.d.masters@... wrote:

      Sorry to sound upset, but experiences with real live children these days are revealing a SERIOUS problem, at least in the U.S., with an apparent lack of capacity to intuit, predict, or adjust to the likely behavior of others.  Shootings in schoolyards are really NOT the worst example, but they are EXTREME illustrations.   AND this is, in my view, what you are "missing."

        roger masters

      On John Caulfield's rejoinder, the crucial question is what cognitive neuroscience tells us about the role of emotion in learning and attitude formation.  (Cut the links between the neocortex and the amygdala, and learning STOPS).

      I would like to inquire about another change which has occurred during this same time period.

      My understanding is that prior to WWII, virtually the whole population (more than 90%) had a stable home throughout their childhood, namely families did not break up and move during pre-school and school years. In fact, one usually grew up, got married, raised a family and dies within the same community. This made larger, multi-generation family networks, as well as other social networks stable through childhood. It also made one's play group stable throughout most of one's childhood, and relationships and responsibilities within one's social network clear.

      This changed drastically, starting in the 50s, up to the point where it is now unusual for any family to remain in a stable social network during the individuals' childhoods. Families move, break up, changing schools and neighborhoods. Family networks are reduced to occasional interactions through telephone and gifts and occasional holidays. One can have several sets of siblings which can change and other than one or two individuals, no stable relationships throughout childhood.

      Throughout the evolution of the species for sure, children grew up in stable social networks where bonding was permanent throughout life and social roles were well defined. I mean, there were always the same grandparents, parents and siblings and parents' siblings and so forth throughout childhood at least. Children were not emotionally dependent on only a one or two individuals, and there was a wide range of models and bonds. Close kin were clearly defined and formed a stable emotional network.

      It is well known that poor social networks have serious negative effects on health of adults. Today children grow up in homes where all but one or two individuals are unreliably present, where schools are frequently changed, where there are no stable relationships with play groups, and no stable relationships with either adults or peers.

      It would seem to me that this would have at least as profound an effect on emotional development and learning emotional response and interpretation as lack of social response in media, although what the effect would be would differ. It would seem to me that the grand economic alterations which have occurred in the later half of the 20th Century have created socialization contexts completely unique in the history of the species.

      To what extent have these factors been examined?


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