ERIC Number: ED413986
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Apr
Seeing the World through "Mortal Kombat" Colored Glasses: Violent Video Games and Hostile Attribution Bias.
Kirsh, Steven J.
Although positive effects of children playing video games have been found, recent research suggests that exposure to violent video games may lead to an increase in aggressive behavior. This study investigated the effects of playing violent versus nonviolent video games on the interpretation of ambiguous provocation situations. Participants were 52 third- and fourth-grade children. Children played with either a very violent video game, "Mortal Kombat II," or a relatively nonviolent video game, "NBA Jam: TE," for 13 minutes. Following the video game play, children were read five stories in which a same-sex peer caused a clearly negative event to happen but the intent of the peer causing this negative event was ambiguous. After each story, children were asked a series of questions about the peer's intent, subsequent actions, and whether the peer should be punished and how much. Responses were coded in terms of amount of negative and violent content. Results indicated that children playing the violent video game responded more negatively on three of the six ambiguous provocation story questions than children playing the nonviolent video game. These data suggest that playing violent video games leads to the development of a short-term hostile attribution bias. (Author/HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (62nd, Washington, DC, April 3-6, 1997).