College papers help


The effects of video games on personality and behavior relating to aggression

Received 2017 Jun 28; Accepted 2017 Oct 9. The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author s or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms. Research has also shown that empathy, as a personal factor, can protect gamers from the impact of media violence. However, past research has focused primarily on single factors affecting the player rather than more comprehensive investigations.

The participants were 120 Chinese university students 61 females and 59 males with ages ranging from 17 to 27 years.

Video games and aggressive thoughts, feelings, and behavior in the laboratory and in life.

Participants first completed a series of questionnaires: All participants then had 5 min of practice playing a violent video game. They were then divided into three groups: After the practice, participants in the high and low empathy groups read empathy materials relating to the game characters; participants in the no empathy group began formal gameplay. All participants played the game for 20 min. The results show that empathy and the morality of game characters both influence aggression, but empathy affected aggression differently in the participants playing justified roles i.

In the high empathy condition, the implicit aggression of justified players was significantly higher than those playing unjustified roles. However, high empathy does not always play a protective role, and its effect is restricted by the features of the game characters.

Frustration with Video Games Leads to Aggressive Behavior

With the rapid development of the video game industry, the picture quality of the game scene is increasingly more delicate while game characters are becoming ever more realistic.

As a result, players can better acquaint themselves with the game characters they play and the game as a whole. Studies have found that the features of the game characters in violent video games such as appearance, race, costume, and moral attributes have an effect on the players. The more attractive the appearance of the game characters, the more confident the players are in the social context; as a result, the players have closer relationships with other players in the game, which shapes stronger interactions Yee and Bailenson, 2007.

The players in black garments display a stronger tendency toward aggression in virtual tasks and weaken group cohesion Johnson and Downing, 1979 ; Meier et al. Individuals playing Black characters tend to have more negative assessments and exhibit more aggressive behavior after playing a game Yang et al. Research has also shown that characters from different countries can have an effect on individuals. A study by Alhabash and Wise 2012in which the research subjects were required to play characters acting against their country in an educational electronic game, found that this could promote attitude changes to a certain degree.

Many aspects of the game characters are influential: Morality is the core attribute of game characters. Many researchers have explored this issue by giving game characters different types of in-game instructions, such as invading other countries for justifiable or unjustifiable reasons Tamborini et al. Research also showed that empathy lowered aggression in the justified-role condition, but enhanced aggression in the unjustified-role condition Happ et al.

Additionally, players in the unjustified-role condition had more worries, pains, and other negative emotional experiences Happ et al. Studies have also shown that both moral anxiety and negative emotions decrease when individuals play in the justified roles in, for instance, Ally of Justice and Counter-Strike Schneider et al. From the trait empathy perspective, empathy is a crucial mediation variable between violent video game exposure and aggressive behavior Calvert et al.

Research has shown that individuals with high trait empathy are opposed to unjustified violent behavior Hartmann et al. Therefore, some researchers have suggested that empathy can be treated as a protective factor that adjusts the influence of media violence on individuals and can weaken the negative effects of video games Miller and Eisenberg, 1988 ; Zhen et al.

According to the General Aggression Model GAM Anderson and Bushman, 2002personal factors and situational factors affect not only the internal status of individuals such as cognition, affection, and physiological activationbut also their decision-making and subsequent behaviors. Studies indicate that the relevant personal factors making players more offensive include personality traits Markey and Markey, 2010empathy Funk et al.

The Influence of Empathy and Morality of Violent Video Game Characters on Gamers’ Aggression

Situational factors include game content, such as violent or prosocial tendencies Anderson et al. Gentile 2011 argues that these factors do not function separately but instead interact. However, past research has focused primarily on a single factor affecting the player and failed to conduct a more comprehensive investigation, such as the interaction of two factors. Further, there is debate about the relationship between violent video games and empathy and aggression Gao et al.

To remedy this deficiency, the present study investigates the influence of the moral attributes of game characters and that of empathy in the players, as well as their interactive effect. The research investigates the effect of different levels of empathy on aggression specifically by inducing empathy during gameplay. On the basis of GAM and previous findings, the study proposes the following hypotheses: Following gameplay, the aggression of unjustified-role players will be higher than that of justified-role players.

In justified-role players, the aggression of individuals with high or low levels of empathy will be lower than the aggression of those without empathy. The opposite will be seen in unjustified-role players. The aggression of individuals with high empathy will be significantly lower than the aggression of those with a low level of empathy. Materials and Methods Participants Hundred and twenty college students were recruited online to volunteer in this experiment.

Advertisements for recruiting participants were posted on Internet community sites and stated the remuneration for the research, which would be paid following participation. Individuals interested in the study could send their personal information and contact details to the researcher. The researcher selected 120 persons from the applicants to join the study.

  • Researchers from the University of Rochester developed a study to learn more about the psychological effects of video games, focusing on the user experience rather than the content of the games;
  • They were then divided into three groups;
  • With the rapid development of the video game industry, the picture quality of the game scene is increasingly more delicate while game characters are becoming ever more realistic;
  • Participants first completed a series of questionnaires;
  • Background information about these main characters is readily available, which was helpful in compiling empathy materials;
  • Situational factors include game content, such as violent or prosocial tendencies Anderson et al.

As in previous games in the series, it has a cast of characters for players to choose from; they are then guided through a series of battles against other opponents. Background information about these main characters is readily available, which was helpful in compiling empathy materials.

Empathy Materials We selected two game characters, Nightwolf and Rain, to represent the justified and unjustified characters respectively, and to serve as the leading roles in empathy materials.

In high empathy materials, Nightwolf was raised in an Indian tribe filled with love and harmony, and then joined a justified alliance to fight against invaders. Conversely, Rain grew up in a training camp full of violence and killing, and later followed an unjustified alliance in invading other countries.

In the low empathy materials, only the appearance, skills, and allegiances of the characters were described. It includes 22 items divided into four dimensions; namely, PT perspective takingFS fancy sympathyEC empathic concernand PD perspective distress. The scale uses a five-point scoring system from 0 to 4. The higher the score, the stronger the empathic ability of the individuals. It includes 29 items in total divided into four dimensions: A five-point scoring system was used in this questionnaire, and the higher the score, the stronger the aggression level of the individual.

The Chinese scale includes a total of 29 questions. The scale adopts a five-point scoring system from 1 to 5. There are two steps to this test: Both tasks contain seven blocks, with block 4 and block 7 being formal phases.

Additionally, block 4 is the compatible task, while block 7 is the incompatible task. Data were analyzed using the algorithm proposed by Greenwald Greenwald et al. The higher the d-score, the stronger the implicit aggression. Before each trial, subjects are required to set noise punishing levels for pretend rivals, including intensity and duration.

The 10 grades range from 0 to 9. At the start of each trial, a pure tone is presented and the subject should compete to press the K on the keyboard as fast as possible. Competing results are then presented to the subject.

  • One experiment involved the participants placing their hands in painfully cold water for 25 seconds;
  • The gamers reported that the inability to master a game or its controls did cause feelings of frustration, which affected their sense of enjoyment in playing the games;
  • Competing results are then presented to the subject;
  • In other words, the more a person failed at mastering a game, the more aggressive he or she might feel.

If the subject was slower than his rival, he receives punishment set by that rival. This was considered a failure. Conversely, if the subject succeeded, the trial proceeded. Research Procedures Following the selection of the participants, the subjects signed an informed consent form and provided socio-demographic information.

Subjects were allowed to practice the game for about 5 min to establish a good command of the basic game operations.

There was a problem providing the content you requested

In the game, the basic task was to attack people on the street. After the practice session, the no-empathy group began formal gameplay.

Subjects in the high and low empathy groups were required to read the materials relating to the game character.

  • The scale uses a five-point scoring system from 0 to 4;
  • However, past research has focused primarily on a single factor affecting the player and failed to conduct a more comprehensive investigation, such as the interaction of two factors;
  • After the practice, participants in the high and low empathy groups read empathy materials relating to the game characters; participants in the no empathy group began formal gameplay;
  • In justified-role players, the aggression of individuals with high or low levels of empathy will be lower than the aggression of those without empathy.

Afterward, these subjects were required to play the game for 20 min. To avoid confounding variables, these two factors were taken into subsequent analysis as being covariant. The implicit aggression of high empathy individuals -0. Table 1 The mean scores M and standard deviation SD of each variable.