Based on previous research about the effect of video games in aggression, Paul Adachi and Teena Willoughby conducted a research to determine if it was the competitiveness or violence of video games that could cause an aggressive response on university students. According to Adachi & Willoughby, much of the previous research on the topic had failed in leveling external variables such as competitiveness, difficulty and pace of action, and that those variable could have easily affected the results. They have also not taken into consideration if the aggressive behavior was caused either by competitiveness or by the violence or by the combination of both.
In their research Adachy and Willoughby (2011 p. 260) included and defined he following independent variables: violence (e.g. fighting wrestling, shooting or killing), competitiveness (e.g. competing with other players or computer-created opponents), difficulty (e.g. how difficult is to win the game) and pace of action (e.g. how fast are the action sequence happening). They also defined aggressive behavior (dependent variable) based on Lieberman’s Hot Sauce Paradigm (1999), which assigned a standardized number depending on the hotness rating and the weight in grams.
Pilot Study 1
The purposes of the pilot study was to define if Conan and Fuel (two video games selected) differed in terms of violence, but were similar in terms of competitiveness, difficulty and pace of action (Adachi & Willoughby, 2011 p. 262). Conan was defined as a violent game where battle players would fight using words and axes to survive and defeat their opponents. Fuel is a race game in which players go through a series of races using cars and motorcycles.
In this study, fourteen students (6 men and 8 women) played for the first time Conan and Fuel for twelve minutes each. Afterwards they had to fill a questionnaire and rated the violence, competitiveness, difficulty and pace of action of each game. Results showed that as expected, Conan was rated as more violent but not different in terms of competitiveness, difficulty and pace of action.
The purpose of this experiment was to prove if Conan and Fuel could produce differences in aggressive behavior (using the Hot sauce Paradigm). Participants consisted in 42 students (25 men and 17 women). Participants were divided in two groups. Of those, 13 men and 8 women played conan and 13 men and 8 women played Fuel. They were told to be participating in two different experiments, the first to evaluage the eye-gaze, and the second about food and personality. Regarding the food experiment, participants were told that they were randomly assigned to either eat or cook, and that for those assigned to cook, they must prepare a recipe for the other participants. After filling the two questionnaires (georgraphic and food preference), participants were randomly assigned to play either the non-violent or the violent games for a total of 12 minutes. Immediately after that they were...