Undergraduate Honours Theses
Previous studies have shown that playing violent video games can cause an increase in aggressive thoughts, aggressive feelings, and physiological arousal towards aggression. Streaming of violent video games has become a trend among video gamers and the effects of watching violent video game streams may be similar to actually playing violent video games. However, there is very little research on the effects of video game streaming. The current study tests the effects of streaming of video games on levels of aggression. Participants were randomly assigned to watch 5 minutes of either of two video game streaming. They were asked to complete the Buss & Perry Aggression scale as well as the Word Competition Task. A Two-way between subject’s ANOVA was conducted with streaming type (violent or non-violent) as an independent variable, as well as gender as a predictor variable. The covariates were trait aggression, that included the sum of physical aggression, verbal aggression, anger, and hostility scores and age. The dependent variable measured the accessibility of aggressive thoughts in individuals’ cognitions and was determined by words completed on the Word Completion Task. The results indicated that there was a significant main effect of streaming type, where those individuals’ who watched the violent video game streaming completed a higher percentage of aggressive words completed in the word completion task. There was no main effect of gender on the percentage of aggressive words completed, however, after controlling for the streaming type, men completed more aggressive words compared to females in the violent video game streaming. There was a significant interaction between gender and streaming type on the percentage of aggressive words, more specifically that males completed a higher percentage of aggressive words in the violent streaming condition. This present study discusses the implication of exposure to violent video game as well as the long-term effects.
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