Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Playing highly competitive video games may lead to aggressive behavior

Date:
August 29, 2011
Source:
American Psychological Association
Summary:
While most research into video games and aggressive behavior has focused on violent games, competitiveness may be the main video game characteristic that influences aggression, according to new research.

While most research into video games and aggressive behavior has focused on violent games, competitiveness may be the main video game characteristic that influences aggression, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.

In a series of experiments in which video games were matched on competitiveness, difficulty, and pace of action, researchers found video game violence alone did not elevate aggressive behavior. However, more competitive games produced greater levels of aggressive behavior than less competitive games, no matter how much violence was in the games, according to research published online in Psychology of Violence. The study was conducted by lead author Paul J.C. Adachi, M.A., a PhD candidate at Brock University in Canada.

In one experiment, Adachi had 42 college students (25 men, 17 women) play one of two video games, "Conan" or "Fuel," for 12 minutes. "Conan" is a violent game in which the main character battles for survival using swords and axes. "Fuel" is a nonviolent racing game. In a pilot study, both games were rated evenly in terms of competitiveness, difficulty and pace of action, but differently in terms of violence. After participants finished playing the game, they were told they were going to take part in a separate food tasting study. Participants had to make up a cup of hot sauce for a "taster" who they were told did not particularly like hot or spicy food. The participants could choose from one of four different hot sauces (from least hot to most hot) for the taster to drink. The authors found that there was no significant difference in the intensity and amount of the hot sauces prepared by the participants who played "Conan" and those who played "Fuel." The authors concluded that, in this study, video game violence alone was not sufficient to elevate aggressive behavior.

In a second experiment, Adachi had 60 college students (32 men, 28 women) play one of the following four video games: "Mortal Kombat versus DC Universe," a violent fighting game rated as highly competitive and very violent; "Left 4 Dead 2," a violent, moderately competitive first-person shooter game in which the main character battles zombies using guns; "Marble Blast Ultra," a nonviolent, noncompetitive game where players control a marble through a series of labyrinth-like mazes as quickly as possible; and "Fuel," the highly competitive, nonviolent racing game from the first study. Afterward, the students completed the same hot sauce tasting test from the first study. Electrocardiograms measured the participants' heart rates before and during video game play.

On average, students who played the highly competitive games, "Fuel" and "Mortal Kombat versus DC Universe," prepared significantly more of a hotter sauce than participants who played "Marble Blast Ultra" and "Left 4 Dead 2," the least competitive games. They also had significantly higher heart rates.

"These findings suggest that the level of competitiveness in video games is an important factor in the relation between video games and aggressive behavior, with highly competitive games leading to greater elevations in aggression than less competitive games," wrote Adachi.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Psychological Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Paul J. C. Adachi, Teena Willoughby. The effect of video game competition and violence on aggressive behavior: Which characteristic has the greatest influence? Psychology of Violence, 2011; DOI: 10.1037/a0024908

Cite This Page:

American Psychological Association. "Playing highly competitive video games may lead to aggressive behavior." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110829114714.htm>.
American Psychological Association. (2011, August 29). Playing highly competitive video games may lead to aggressive behavior. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110829114714.htm
American Psychological Association. "Playing highly competitive video games may lead to aggressive behavior." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110829114714.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

AP (July 28, 2014) AP Investigation: As the Obama administration weans the country off dirty fuels, energy companies are ramping-up overseas coal exports at a heavy price. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Newsy (July 27, 2014) The satellite is back under ground control after a tense few days, but with a gecko sex experiment on board, the media just couldn't help themselves. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cellphone Unlocking Bill Clears U.S. House, Heads to Obama

Cellphone Unlocking Bill Clears U.S. House, Heads to Obama

Reuters - US Online Video (July 27, 2014) Congress gets rid of pesky law that made it illegal to "unlock" mobile phones without permission, giving consumers the option to use the same phone on a competitor's wireless network. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins