Effects of Violent Versus Nonviolent Video Games on Children's Arousal, Aggressive Mood, and Positive Mood

Centre for Applied Psychology University of Canberra Canberra, Australia
Journal of Applied Social Psychology (Impact Factor: 0.83). 09/2001; 31(10):2047 - 2071. DOI: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2001.tb00163.x


This study investigated the relationship between violent video games and children's mood. A total of 71 children aged 8 to 12 years played a paper-and-pencil game, a nonviolent video game, and a violent video game. Results indicate that arousal, as measured by heart rate and self-reported arousal, increased significantly after playing the violent video game, as compared with the other two game conditions, with girls reporting more arousal than did boys. There was no significant increase in aggressive mood scores for either boys or girls after playing the violent game. Positive mood, as measured by positive affect, showed no significant increases or decreases after playing either video game. However, positive mood, as measured by general mood, showed a significant increase after playing the violent game for both boys and girls, but only as compared with the paper-and-pencil game. Results are interpreted in terms of social learning and cognitive information processing theories of aggression.

55 Reads
  • Source
    • "Att barn stöter på sådana sidor kan utgöra risker för den psykologiska och sociala utvecklingen. Aggression, rädsla, isolering och antisocialt beteende är några eventuella negativa följder som kontakt med tvivelaktiga sidor på nätet kan medföra (Fleming & Rickwood, 2001). "
    [Show description] [Hide description]
    DESCRIPTION: Teorier kring utsatthet och risktagande i traditionella vardagsmiljöer visar på ett samband mellan föräldrastrategier, föräldrabarnrelationen och tonåringens utsatthet på nätet. I den aktuella studien är Internet som vardagsmiljö i fokus. Negativa Interneterfarenheter ses som en konsekvens av risktagande. Syftet var att undersöka hur sambandet mellan föräldrastrategier tillsammans med föräldrabarnrelationen och tonåringens negativa Interneterfarenheter såg ut. De negativa Interneterfarenheterna delades upp i tre kategorier: 1) Tvivelaktigt material, 2) Upprörande material samt 3) Erfarenhet av hot. Regressionsanalysen visade att föräldrabarnrelation har samband med alla negativa Interneterfarenheter. Vidare visade resultatet att föräldrarnas insyn, disclosure, regler, säker användning och solicitation också hade samband med de negativa Interneterfarenheterna. Föräldrastrategier som inte var signifikanta var kontroll och sällskap vid Internetanvändning.
  • Source
    • "Based on arousal theory (Eysenck, 1997), it is assumed that low baseline arousal leads children to seek out arousal-enhancing activities because low arousal is experienced as an unpleasant physiological state. Violent media use is an activity that can evoke intense arousal and therefore qualifies as a suitable arousal enhancer (Anderson & Bushman, 2001; Fleming & Rickwood, 2001). Our hypothesized relationship between genetic susceptibility and violent media exposure is an example of a phenomenon in the literature that has been named as gene–environment correlation (Rutter & Silberg, 2002). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study examined the relationship between media violence exposure and Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)-related behaviors. Using survey (parent-reported) and genetic data of 1,612 Dutch children (aged 5 to 9 years), we examined genetic disposition as a possible cause of individual differences in children's use of and susceptibility to media violence. The gene variant of interest was the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism, which has been associated with ADHD-related behaviors in previous research. Results showed that the “long” variant of the gene polymorphism was related to greater violent media use, which in turn was related to more ADHD-related behaviors. The 5-HTTLPR genotype did not moderate the effect of media violence on ADHD-related behaviors. This study provides insight into the role of genetic factors in media effects.
    Journal of Communication 02/2014; 64(1). DOI:10.1111/jcom.12073 · 2.45 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "The second is the logical extension of the culture of violence argument, and stems from a growing body of literature in the fields of social-and neuropsychology identifying some problematic connections between those who become immersed in digital gaming activities and their tendency to act violently or aggressively when engaged in real-world tasks (Dill and Dill, 1998). Controlled laboratory experiments which expose research subjects to video games with the sole or primary objective of using violence to achieve a desired end, then measure the user's heart-rate, anxiety levels or responses to short reactiontime activities (Fleming and Rickwood, 2001), suggest a strong causal connection between the requirement to act violently during immersive video game-play and increased levels of aggression when the research subject is confronted with a complex real-world activity. This trend is observed more commonly in young men (Bartholow and Anderson, 2002). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Regulation, governance and harms stemming from the use of virtual worlds and other Massive Multi Media Online Role Playing Games (MMMORPGs) in higher education, are poorly understood and under-researched issues. Second Life, developed by Linden Labs, provides users with a series of generic 'terms of service' and codes of conduct, yet place the bulk of responsibility on individual users or groups to report misbehaviour or develop their own behavioural codes, enforcement procedures and punishments suited to their particular needs. There is no guidebook to assist users in the processes of risk identification and management. As such, the various benefits of MMMORPG technologies could be offset by the risks to users and user-groups from a range of possible harms, including the impact of actual or perceived violence within teaching and learning settings. While cautioning against the direct translation of real-world regulatory principles into the governance of virtual worlds, this paper suggests theoretical and practical guidance on these issues can be taken from recent criminological developments. Using Lawrence Lessig's (1999) landmark work on cyber-regulation as a starting point, this paper examines the literature on video-game violence to illustrate the need for educators show awareness of both real and perceived risks in virtual worlds as a core element of an emerging educational pedagogy. We identify how the multiple roles of the virtual-world educator become useful in framing this pedagogy to improve student learning, to dispel myths about the risks of immersive technologies and advocate for their adoption and acceptance in the educational community.
Show more

Similar Publications