Publication Date

2014

Abstract

[Correction Notice: An Erratum for this article was reported in Vol 106(3) of Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (see record 2014-07574-006). In the article, the name of author Edward Deci was missing his middle name initial and should have read as Edward L. Deci. In addition, an incorrect version of figure 1 was published.] Recent studies have examined whether electronic games foster aggression. At present, the extent to which games contribute to aggression and the mechanisms through which such links may exist are hotly debated points. In current research we tested a motivational hypothesis derived from self-determination theory—that gaming would be associated with indicators of human aggression to the degree that the interactive elements of games serve to impede players’ fundamental psychological need for competence. Seven studies, using multiple methods to manipulate player competence and a range of approaches for evaluating aggression, indicated that competence-impeding play led to higher levels of aggressive feelings, easier access to aggressive thoughts, and a greater likelihood of enacting aggressive behavior. Results indicated that player perceived competence was positively related to gaming motivation, a factor that was, in turn, negatively associated with player aggression. Overall, this pattern of effects was found to be independent of the presence or absence of violent game contents. We discuss the results in respect to research focused on psychological need frustration and satisfaction and as they regard gaming-related aggression literature.

School/Institute

Institute for Positive Psychology and Education

Document Type

Journal Article

Access Rights

ERA Access

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