Toronto Metropolitan University
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Emotional memory in violent video game players and nonplayers

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posted on 2021-05-22, 13:02 authored by Holly J. Bowen

The present study examined whether chronic exposure to violent media was associated with alterations in emotional long-term memory. Derived from the finding that violent video games reduce physiological arousal to violent stimuli I predicted that violent video game players would show lower recognition accuracy for negative images in general but higher accuracy for violent images in particular, compared to a control group of non-players. Participants completed an old-new recognition task with 300 pictures of scenes ranging in emotion (negative nonviolent, violent, neutral and positive). Violent video game players were matched to non-players on age and gender. Memory accuracy, measured by d', showed no significant effects of group or valence, but there were effects of valence on reaction time. Diffusion modelling analysis revealed that across groups, participants were more liberal in their responses to emotional items and more efficient at detecting novel (unstudied) pictures than at recognizing studied pictures.





  • Master of Arts


  • Psychology

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

  • Thesis

Thesis Advisor

Julia Spaniol