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Violent Computer Games

In: Psychology

Submitted By Helga
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Violent Computer Games

What effects do such games have on aggression?

Theoretical approaches
• Idea of catharsis: “The occurrence of any act of aggression is assumed to reduce the instigation to aggress.”
(Dollard et al., 1939; p. 50)

further violence is less likely • • The frustration-aggression hypothesis
(Dollard et al., 1939)

Unspecific release of aggressive energy
(Lorenz, 1974)

Exemplary Evidence - Violent Computer Games
• Watching a trailer for a violent computer game causes higher aggression-related judgments (Möller & Krahé, 2006) Playing violent computer games increases hostility
(Anderson & Ford, 1986)

• •

Playing violent computer games increases the accessibility of aggression-related constructs and aggressive behavior (Anderson & Dill, 2000) No valid empirical evidence for catharsis after violent computer games.

Accessibility from Semantic Sources
• • Subliminally primed aggression-related constructs lead to higher aggressiveness ratings. (Bargh & Pietromonaco, 1982) Unconsciously activated aggression causes more aggressive behavior. (Bargh, Chen, & Burrows, 1996) Weapon effect: Presence of aggression-related cues increases accessibility of aggression-related constructs.
(Berkowitz & LePage, 1967; Anderson, Benjamin, & Bartholow, 1998)



Accessible aggressive constructs influence aggressionrelated judgments and aggressive behavior. Recent and frequent construct use determine accessibility.

Accessibility from Goals
Construct activation from motivational sources is a function of goal-fulfillment: Prior to goal-fulfillment: Activation of goal-related constructs. After goal-fulfillment: Inhibition of goal-related constructs. see Denzler, Förster, Liberman, 2009; Förster & Denzler, 2008; Förster, Liberman, & Higgins, 2005, Gollwitzer & Denzler, 2009 and also Cesario, Plaks, & Higgins, 2006; Förster, Liberman, &...

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