The effect of graphical quality on aggression in violent video games

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The effect of graphical quality on aggression in violent video games. Kyle Kollstedt & Michael Sterling. Video Game Statistics. 98.7% of adolescents play video games to some extent (Ferguson, John, 2007) Violent video games seem to be the most popular (Buchman & Funk, 1996) - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


The effect of graphical quality on aggression in violent video games

The effect of graphical quality on aggression in violent video gamesKyle Kollstedt & Michael SterlingVideo Game Statistics98.7% of adolescents play video games to some extent (Ferguson, John, 2007)Violent video games seem to be the most popular (Buchman & Funk, 1996)Graphic and realistic-depictions of physical conflict that may involve blood, gore, weapons, and depictions of human injury and death (ESRB).Violent Video Games In The MediaAfter the Columbine shootings in 1999, people have become increasingly concerned with the potential damage that violent video games may cause (Giumetti & Markey, 2007)

Many other perpetrators of high school shootings have been found to play violent video games (Anderson & Bushman, 2001)Psychology Of Violent Video Game UsePsychological research on the effects that violent video games have on aggression has been mixedTwo other meta analyses showed that a positive correlation did exist between violent video game play and aggressive behaviors. (Anderson and Bushman, 2001; Anderson, et al. 2004).The most recent meta analysis in 2007, showed that there wasnt a correlation between violent video game play and aggressive behaviors. (Ferguson, 2007).

Violent Video Games And PsychologyMost research on violent video game effects on aggression has been so flawed that a conclusive result cannot be obtained yet. (Zook, 2008)

Frustration of controls and game

Different games in different settings

Technological advancementVideo games have been advancing for thirty years

It has been found that as video game technology evolved there is an increase in the aggression of the user (Ivory & Kalyananaraman, 2007

A positive correlation between publication year and effect size on aggression exists (r=.39) Anderson and Bushman (2001)

HypothesisAs the graphical settings of a game are improved, the effect on aggression in the user will be increased.Participants25 participants taken from a convenience sample15 male10 femaleAverage age 19.7Were offered extra credit in some psychology classesRandomly assigned to low or high graphical settingsEquipmentA DNX Pixelworks XD-4800 Projector

Computer-Toshiba Satellite A200 (add stats on video card and ram)Xbox 360

Game-Call of Duty 4Game InformationFirst person shooter

Rated M for mature by the entertainment software ratings board (MSRB)

Contains blood, gore, intense violence, and strong language (

Graphical settingsHigh Setting

Low Setting

11Aggression Questionnaire (Buss & Perry, 1992)Divides aggression into 4 subcategoriesPhysical aggressionHostilityVerbal AggressionAngerEach question was rated 1-5, with 5 being the highest.Example QuestionsIf I have to resort to violence to protect my rights, I will.I can think of no good reason for ever hitting a person.Has an overall internal consistency of .93

12Likert scale for frustrationWere rated from 1-5, five being the most frustrating.

How frustrated did you feel before playing the game?

How difficult did you find the controls?

Developed to rule out a potential confounding variable

Competitive Reaction Time Task (Bushman & Saults, 2007)Participants were given a chance to set the intensity and duration of a sound blast for a fictional student from Centre College.If they did not react faster than the other student they were given a sound blast that the challenger set.The challengers levels were randomly generated by the computer.Experimental roomCan have all lights blocked out in order to minimize distractions.

Blocking of windows prevented anyone else knowing about the study.Also controlled for levels of light which helped improve image qualityProcedureThe Aggression questionnaire was given.Game was played until both a training level and an intense level were completed.Half of participants will experience maximum graphical settings, the others will be set at minimum.Frustration Likert scale was administered.Second Aggression Questionnaire was given.At this time one of the researchers left the room to call the fictional other participantCompetitive Reaction time task was given.Demographic information was obtained and subjects were debriefed and thanked.

Difference Between GroupsAggression AverageSex Differences In GroupsMen had a significantly higher level of aggression (M=2.71) then women (M=2.09), t (25) =2.801, p=.01FrustrationParticipants were not significantly more frustrated in the high graphical settings (M=2.10) than in the low (M=2.149), t (15) =0.098, p=0.923 AngerTime X Anger F(1,15)=3.833, p=.069HostilityTime X Hostility F(1,15)=7.492, p=.015 Aggression AverageTime X Aggression Average F(1,15)=4.212, p=.058 DiscussionThe low graphics setting didnt involve the participant at all.

Only hostility and anger were significantly affected by the game play.

Thoughts were changed but the participants actions stayed the same.

Games with sufficient graphics to involve the player may just be activating aggressive thoughts.

DiscussionThis research looks at effects that an ever evolving industry may have on the user.

May help researchers understand what types of aggression are affected by violent video game play.Future researchFuture researchers should look for a more reliable, objective, measure of aggression, or implement the competitive reaction time task successfully. Such as a situation where they can aggress towards a person differently.This research may help future researchers better understand which types of aggression are activated by what types of cues.Ex. Verbal Aggression not affected by game play.It may also be interesting to look at how long the effects on the participants thoughts last.This research suggests that a more nuanced look at aggression may be necessary.24Questions?