The effect of violent video game play on emotion modulation of startle
Elmore, Wade Russell
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Previous research investigating the effects of violent video games have repeatedly demonstrated a connection with increased aggression. The General Aggression Model has incorporated many different theories of aggression into a unified model which suggests two routes (priming and desensitization) through which exposure to violent video games might increase aggression. The present research tests these routes using the emotion modulated startle technique. Startle was elicited while participants viewed a set of negative violent images before and after playing a violent or nonviolent video game. Competing hypotheses predict startle potentiation in support of priming, and startle attenuation in support of desensitization, while viewing violent negative images. The results indicate a differential attenuation of the startle response for game play conditions. Results ultimately support the desensitization hypothesis through a less negative emotional reaction to the violent negative pictures for those playing the violent video game, but not those playing the nonviolent video game.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- Methods -- Data analysis and results -- Discussion