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Psychol Sci. 2015 Aug;26(8):1187-200. doi: 10.1177/0956797615583038. Epub 2015 Jun 25.

Effects of Violent-Video-Game Exposure on Aggressive Behavior, Aggressive-Thought Accessibility, and Aggressive Affect Among Adults With and Without Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Author information

1
Department of Health Psychology, University of Missouri Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, Columbia, Missouri engelhardtc@health.missouri.edu.
2
Department of Health Psychology, University of Missouri Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, Columbia, Missouri.
3
Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Missouri.

Abstract

Recent mass shootings have prompted the idea among some members of the public that exposure to violent video games can have a pronounced effect on individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Empirical evidence for or against this claim has been missing, however. To address this issue, we assigned adults with and without ASD to play a violent or nonviolent version of a customized first-person shooter video game. After they played the game, we assessed three aggression-related outcome variables (aggressive behavior, aggressive-thought accessibility, and aggressive affect). Results showed strong evidence that adults with ASD, compared with typically developing adults, are not differentially affected by acute exposure to violent video games. Moreover, model comparisons provided modest evidence against any effect of violent game content whatsoever. Findings from this experiment suggest that societal concerns that exposure to violent games may have a unique effect on adults with autism are not supported by evidence.

KEYWORDS:

aggressive affect; aggressive behavior; aggressive-thought accessibility; autism spectrum disorder; open data; open materials; violent video games

PMID:
26113064
DOI:
10.1177/0956797615583038
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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