Bartholow, B.D., & Anderson, C.A. (2002).  

Effects of Violent Video Games on Aggressive Behavior: Potential Sex Differences. 

Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 38, 283-290.


Evidence of the effects of playing violent video games on subsequent aggression have been mixed. This study examined how playing a violent video game affected levels of aggression displayed in a laboratory. Forty-three undergraduate students (22 men, 21 women) were randomly assigned to play either a violent (‘Mortal Kombat’) or nonviolent (‘PGA Tournament Golf’) video game for 10 minutes. Then they competed with a confederate in a reaction time task that allowed for provocation and retaliation. Punishment levels set by participants for their opponents served as the measure of aggression. The results confirmed our hypothesis that playing the violent game would result in more aggression than playing the nonviolent game. In addition, a Game x Sex interaction showed that this effect was larger for men than for women. Findings are discussed in light of potential differences in aggressive style between men and women.

© Copyright 2001 by Bruce D. Bartholow & Craig A. Anderson 

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