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The Hormones of Dark Souls: The Dark Tetrad and Violent Gaming Effects on Aggression, Cortisol and Testosterone Levels
Wagener, Gary; Felten, Andrea; Melzer, André
202171st Annual International Communication Association Conference
 

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Keywords :
Violent video games; Dark Triad; Dark Tetrad; Cortisol; Testosterone; Aggression; Aggressive cognition
Abstract :
[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.
Disciplines :
Communication & mass media
Author, co-author :
Wagener, Gary
Felten, Andrea
Melzer, André ;  University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (FHSE) > Department of Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences (DBCS)
External co-authors :
yes
Language :
English
Title :
The Hormones of Dark Souls: The Dark Tetrad and Violent Gaming Effects on Aggression, Cortisol and Testosterone Levels
Publication date :
May 2021
Event name :
71st Annual International Communication Association Conference
Event date :
27-31 May 2021
Audience :
International
Available on ORBilu :
since 25 January 2021

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