Video Games and Aggression: the effects of violent game play on self-reported and peer-observed anger
Nelson Andrew Dissertation March 2009.doc (436Kb)
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Nelson, Andrew R
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The continued upsurge in the popularity of video games has lead to persistent debate over the effects of play, particularly the use of violent video games. The present experimental study aimed to replicate the results of numerous research groups who found that playing violent video games lead to an increase in aggression and to examine peer-observer perceptions of violent game play. Two experiments were carried out; the first used 24 participants in a within-subjects design being filmed while playing a violent and a non-violent video game and recording state anger scores after each game type. The second had 28 participant observers making judgements about the film clips created in experiment one in an attempt to establish whether differences in aggression were observable. It was found that there were no differences between the experimental conditions in experiment one, and although observers performed better than chance in their judgments of experiment two, there were no differences between successful identifications of violent versus non-violent condition clips. These findings oppose the General Aggression Model of Anderson and Bushman (2002) and possible alternatives are discussed.