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Violent and non-violent virtual reality video games: influences on affect, aggressive cognition, and aggressive behavior. Two pre-registered experiments

Citation

Drummond, A and Sauer, JD and Ferguson, CJ and Cannon, PR and Hall, LC, Violent and non-violent virtual reality video games: influences on affect, aggressive cognition, and aggressive behavior. Two pre-registered experiments, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 95 Article 104119. ISSN 0022-1031 (2021) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2021 Elsevier Inc.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2021.104119

Abstract

Immersive Ambulatory Virtual Reality (IA-VR) video games are relatively new and highly immersive. Given speculation that immersion may increase psychological effects of playing games, we examined whether violent IA-VR (cf. flat-screen) games increase aggression. Here, we report the first experimental studies to assess the effects of violent and non-violent IA-VR (cf. flat-screen) games on affect, aggressive cognition, and behavior. In Study 1, 200 participants played violent or nonviolent IA-VR or flat-screen games in a pre-registered protocol. IA-VR was associated with slightly higher positive affect, but no higher aggression than comparable flat-screen games. Although violent games (IA-VR and flat-screen) increased aggressive cognition, this did not translate to hostile affect or aggressive behavior. In Study 2, 96 participants played a violent IA-VR or flat-screen video game. Again, no effects of IA-VR were observed on aggressive cognition, behavior, or hostile affect. In both studies, the relationship between aggressive cognitions, behavior and hostile affect was virtually nil. Though further replications are required with a greater variety of stimulus games, our studies provide early evidence against the notion that IA-VR increase aggression compared to flat-screen games. The lack of relationship between aggressive cognition and behavior suggests potential weaknesses in fundamental assumptions of the General Aggression Model.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:videogames, violence, virtual reality
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Cognitive and computational psychology
Research Field:Cognition
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in psychology
UTAS Author:Sauer, JD (Associate Professor Jim Sauer)
ID Code:143481
Year Published:2021
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2021-03-19
Last Modified:2021-11-16
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