Difference in Stress Response and Aggressive Thoughts Between Regular and Non-Gamers After Playing a Violent Video Game

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Morales Gonzalo, Valeria
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BA (Hons) in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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The aim of this study was to further explore if there were any significant differences between regular gamers and non-gamers regarding the physiological stress response composed of skin conductance and heart rate variability responses, as well as propensity to aggressive thoughts (using Anderson’s “Word Completion Task”). Gender differences in relation to the same variables were taken into consideration. A total of (N = 34; males = 17, females = 17) participants partook in this experiment; gaming classification was made based on the number of hours played per week. Independent samples t-test and Mann-Whitney analyses found that there was no significant difference in relation to physiological stress response between regular gamers and non-gamers. No significant differences were observed in aggressive thoughts neither between regular gamers and non-gamers, nor between males and females. The overall stress response between males and females differed slightly, with males’ scores being higher than those of females. Author keywords: Physiological stress response, aggressive cognition, aggressive thoughts, video games, gender differences