Date of Award

Spring 2014

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Dina Anselmi


The relationship between different types of video games and male and female adolescent behavior has been widely speculated in the recent past. Research has suggested that violent video games may increase aggressive behavior, and prosocial video games may enhance altruistic behavior (Willoughby, Adachi & Good, 2012; Greitemeyer, Osswald, & Brauer, 2010). Bartholow and Anderson (2002) suggested that men may be more influenced by violent video games than women. Interestingly, past research on prosocial video games has not found any gender differences (Gentile et al, 2009). The current study examined the effect of gender on aggressive and prosocial behavior in relation to gaming technology. Participants were given the Buss-Perry Aggression Questionnaire and Self-Report Altruism Scale and randomly assigned to one of the following three games: Monster Shooter 2: Back to Earth, Ants: Mission of Salvation or Super Monkey Ball 2. After playing the designated game, participants engaged in a Prisoner’s Dilemma task in order to determine the game’s influence on their competitive or cooperative behaviors. A total of forty undergraduate students at Trinity College participated in this research. It was hypothesized that students assigned to Monster Shooter 2: Back to Earth would display more aggressive behavior in the Prisoner’s Dilemma task and students assigned to Ants: Mission of Salvation would exhibit more prosocial behavior in the task. I predicted that men would generally display more aggression than women in the Prisoner’s Dilemma task, and specifically that men would be more aggressive than women after aggressive game exposure. Additionally, I predicted that there would be no gender difference after altruistic game exposure. Results indicated that exposure to one of the three games did not influence subsequent behavior. Moreover, regardless of game exposure, there were no significant gender differences in behavior in the task. Lastly, there were no significant gender differences in the aggressive game condition or the prosocial game condition.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.