Previous research shows that playing violent video games leads to increases in aggressive feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. However, recent research has questioned the reliability of these findings. Two important variables associated with aggressive outcomes that have yet to be fully explored in the violent video game literature are the competitive aspects of the games and the outcomes of that competition (e.g., winning or losing). The present study was a two (gameplay: violent vs. nonviolent) by two (difficulty: easy vs. hard) by three (competition: no competition vs. competition win vs. competition lose) between-subjects factorial design, with aggressive/prosocial behavior measured as the dependent variable. Results revealed only a significant main effect for competition, such that participants became more aggressive after playing a competitive, as opposed to a noncompetitive game (i.e., regardless as to whether the participant won or lost). Although, there were some violations of the analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) assumptions, additional data examining the reasons why respondents behaved the way they did confirmed the initial finding. The present study supports the assertion that competition in video games has an independent and significant effect on subsequent aggression regardless of the level of violence in a video game.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Psychology
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Hawk, Christopher Edward, "Effects of Competition in Violent and Nonviolent Video Games on Aggressive/Prosocial Behavior" (2018). Theses and Dissertations. 7306.
violent media, aggression, competition