Next Article in Journal
The Death and Life of Walter Benjamin
Next Article in Special Issue
Catharsis and Media Violence: A Conceptual Analysis
Previous Article in Journal
The French Participation in the Korean War and the Establishment of a “Path of Memory” in South Korea
Previous Article in Special Issue
Biased Estimation of Violent Video Game Effects on Aggression: Contributing Factors and Boundary Conditions
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Societies 2013, 3(4), 445-456;

Charging Neutral Cues with Aggressive Meaning through Violent Video Game Play

Department of Psychology, University of Potsdam, Karl-Liebknecht-Straße 24/25, D-14476 Potsdam, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 September 2013 / Revised: 30 October 2013 / Accepted: 4 November 2013 / Published: 12 November 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Understanding Media Violence Effects)
Full-Text   |   PDF [199 KB, uploaded 12 November 2013]   |  


When playing violent video games, aggressive actions are performed against the background of an originally neutral environment, and associations are formed between cues related to violence and contextual features. This experiment examined the hypothesis that neutral contextual features of a virtual environment become associated with aggressive meaning and acquire the function of primes for aggressive cognitions. Seventy-six participants were assigned to one of two violent video game conditions that varied in context (ship vs. city environment) or a control condition. Afterwards, they completed a Lexical Decision Task to measure the accessibility of aggressive cognitions in which they were primed either with ship-related or city-related words. As predicted, participants who had played the violent game in the ship environment had shorter reaction times for aggressive words following the ship primes than the city primes, whereas participants in the city condition responded faster to the aggressive words following the city primes compared to the ship primes. No parallel effect was observed for the non-aggressive targets. The findings indicate that the associations between violent and neutral cognitions learned during violent game play facilitate the accessibility of aggressive cognitions. View Full-Text
Keywords: media violence; aggressive cognitions; associative networks; learning media violence; aggressive cognitions; associative networks; learning

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Busching, R.; Krahé, B. Charging Neutral Cues with Aggressive Meaning through Violent Video Game Play. Societies 2013, 3, 445-456.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Societies EISSN 2075-4698 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top