Reference : The Hormones of Dark Souls: The Dark Tetrad and Violent Gaming Effects on Aggression,...
Scientific congresses, symposiums and conference proceedings : Unpublished conference
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Communication & mass media
The Hormones of Dark Souls: The Dark Tetrad and Violent Gaming Effects on Aggression, Cortisol and Testosterone Levels
Wagener, Gary mailto []
Felten, Andrea mailto []
Melzer, André mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (FHSE) > Department of Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences (DBCS) >]
71st Annual International Communication Association Conference
27-31 May 2021
[en] Violent video games ; Dark Triad ; Dark Tetrad ; Cortisol ; Testosterone ; Aggression ; Aggressive cognition
[en] Although playing violent video games may lead to detrimental effects on cognition, emotion and behavior, the role of hormones and its interplay with personality characteristics is not well understood. An experimental study tested how playing a violent versus non-violent video game affects cortisol and testosterone levels, whether these hormonal changes increase implicit aggressive cognition, and whether Dark Tetrad personality traits moderate these effects. In an experimental design, 54 male participants played either a violent or a non-violent video game. Participants provided salivary samples at the beginning of the experiment (T1), right after 25 minutes of gameplay (T2), and 20 minutes after that (T3). There were no significant effects on implicit aggressive cognition. However, participants in the violent game condition had a significant decrease in cortisol levels (T1 to T2) and a significant negative trend in cortisol levels from T1 to T3. Participants with higher Machiavellianism scores in the violent condition had a stronger decrease in cortisol (T1 to T2). In contrast, participants with higher Machiavellianism scores in the non-violent condition had a higher increase in cortisol (T1 to T2). The present findings illustrate the complex interplay between personality, hormones, and game content, thus specifying current notions on violent game effects.

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