Anderson, C. A., & Ford, C. A. (1986).

Affect of the game player: Short-term effects of highly and mildly aggressive video games.

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 12, 390-402.


Two experiments were conducted to examine the effects of playing different types of video games on players' short-term affective states. In the first experiment, college students subjects played 11 different video games and rated them on a number of characteristics. From these ratings, two games were selected for use in Experiment 2. These games differed only in the level of aggression displayed. One was highly aggressive; the other was only mildly aggressive. In Experiment 2, each subject played one of the games or was assigned to a no-game control condition. Hostility, anxiety, and depression subsequently were assessed by the Multiple Affect Adjective Checklist. Hostility was increased in both games conditions, relative to the control group. The high-aggression game led to higher hostility than the mild-aggression game, but the difference was not significant. However, those who had played the high-aggression game were significantly more anxious than either those who played the mild-aggression game or those who played no game (control). As expected, the experimental manipulation of game playing did not yield a main effect on depressive affect. Finally, there was a marginally significant sex by game interaction effect on the depression scores.

©1986 by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc.

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