Do video games reduce or induce stress? The effect of challenge and threat appraisals on stress and aggression when playing violent and nonviolent video games
1 online resource (94 pages) : PDF
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Video game players report using video games for stress reduction, but previous studies have found mixed results when examining stress and video games, and fail to comprehensively measure all relevant psychological, emotional, and physiological stress indicators. The current study used the Biopsychosocial Model of Challenge and Threat (Blascovich & Tomaka, 1996) to examine the effects of stress appraisals and video game content on emotions and cardiovascular activity. The study also examined how appraisals and game content affect aggressive cognitions. In a 2 x 2 factorial design, participants received challenging or threatening appraisal instructions, and played a violent or nonviolent game. Results indicated that threat appraisal instructions increased negative emotion ratings and heart rate, but not blood pressure. Violent gameplay increased heart rate and blood pressure, but violent players also had higher positive emotion ratings than nonviolent players. Stress appraisals and game content had no effect on aggressive cognitions. In conclusion, emotional and physiological stress outcomes showed different results, and violent gameplay predicted a physiological stress response while also inducing more positive emotions. Video games may produce different stress effects compared to stressors used in previous studies, and future research should investigate the longitudinal health and emotional consequences of violent gameplay.
AggressionHealthStressStress AppraisalVideo Games
Reeve, CharlieLevens, SaraWartell, Zachary
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2017.
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