Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Psychology



First Advisor

John N. Young

Second Advisor

Karen A. Christoff

Third Advisor

Todd A. Smitherman

Relational Format



The aim of this study was to determine what impact (if any) the context (isolated vs. social) of playing different types (violent vs. non-violent) of video games have on people's aggression and positive social behaviors. Participants were randomly assigned to play either a violent video game or a non-violent video game in an isolated context or with another player for 30 minutes, after which they completed the same questionnaires again. Data were then collected on behavioral tasks measuring aggression and prosociality. This experiment failed to find significant effects of violent video game exposure on aggression. Participants who played a violent video game cooperatively scored higher on self-report scales of public prosociality after gameplay. Additionally, participants who played a non-violent game cooperatively scored higher on self-report scales of altruism after gameplay than participants who played a violent video game cooperatively.


Emphasis: Clinical Psychology



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