Third-person perceptions and online games : A comparison of perceived antisocial and prosocial game effects

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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  • Zhi-Jin Zhong

Related Research Unit(s)


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)286-306
Journal / PublicationJournal of Computer-Mediated Communication
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009


The popularity of online games has inspired controversial discussion on the effects of game-play in both mass media and academia. However, we know little about ordinary people's opinions about the effects of game-play. The current study applies the theory of the third-person effect (TPE) to examine people's perceptions of game effects on self and on others, and detects significant third-person perceptual discrepancies. The results show that the magnitude of third-person perceptions is influenced by the social desirability of the message, the social distance between self and others, and by differential exposure to online games. The data supports the hypotheses that Internet efficacy and interdependent self-construal are significant antecedents of third-person perceptions, and partially supports the interaction effect of self-construal with Internet-efficacy and the interaction effect of self-construal with media social desirability. Copyright © 2009 International Communication Association.

Research Area(s)

  • Internet efficacy, Online games, Self-construal, Social desirability, Social distance, Third-person effect