Aggression and exposure to violent video games: The role of agreeableness, neuroticism and empathy

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Tolentino, Vanessa
Issue Date
BA (Hons) in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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The aim of the current research focuses on whether the personality dimensions of agreeableness and neuroticism affected aggressive responses to violent video games. In addition to whether empathy levels would determine aggression after being exposed to violent video games whilst also controlling for desensitisation. The experiment consists of 43 male (N=22) and female (N=21) participants who were split into 2 conditions - the control group who played a non-violent videogame (Firewatch) and the experimental group who played a violent videogame (Black Ops 3, Zombies) on the PS4. Participants were also connected, while playing the game, to a Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) and Electrocardiography (ECG) unit measuring skin conductance and heart rate. Results found that neither agreeableness nor neuroticism affected aggressive responses, however, empathy was found to be significant. Desensitisation was found not to contribute to this significant effect, as evaluated by physiological responses of players and previous gaming experience.