Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


34th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2008

Event Details

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Symposium #193
Video Game Play: Treatment and Research
Sunday, May 25, 2008
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Chicago & Alton
Area: EAB/CBM; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: James Bordieri (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: Video games represent a huge enterprise and societal issue. Traditionally, video games have been viewed as entertainment. More recently, they have been viewed as a medium for instruction. However, for some, playing video games can be considered a disorder. Others have argued that some video games can lead to societal problems such as increased violence. The present symposium will present both applied and basic research that has focused on behaviors associated with video game play and the issues described above.
Preliminary Evaluation of a Behavioral Intervention to Decrease Excessive Video Game Play.
RAYMOND G. MILTENBERGER (University of South Florida), Christopher Gillis (University of South Florida), Kali Gillis (University of South Florida)
Abstract: This study tested an intervention designed to decrease the amount of time played in the online game World of Warcraft. Six participants, 18–23 year old, were chosen from a population of college students. The intervention, implemented for 2 weeks, included goal setting, self-monitoring, a behavior contract, and the use of a timer. All participants decreased their game playing during the intervention with most achieving their goals on most days. Mean hours of game play per person per week decreased from 34.8 during baseline to 18.3 during the intervention.
Behavioral, Attitudinal and Decision-altering Effects of Aggressive Video Games on Young Adults.
KENT D. SMALLWOOD (Western Michigan University), R. Wayne Fuqua (Western Michigan University), Scott Latour (Western Michigan University), Derek Szafranski (Western Michigan University ), John Ceglarek (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Each year, interactive video game technology becomes more and more advanced, offering more lifelike environments, immersive experiences, and realistic situations in which the player must decide how to act. As a result of these technological advancements, the violent content in video games has become increasingly realistic and graphic. Unlike the passive viewing experience of television, video game players adopt roles in which they initiate actions and direct the progression of video game experience. In these active roles, they may engage in and be rewarded for violent acts against fictitious video game characters or other online players. However, technological advances have quickly outpaced our understanding of the effects of certain types of adult content, including violent content, on the game player. Despite the absence of sound scientific research on the effects of violent game play on aggressive behavior or attitudes of the game player, legislation continues to be proposed attempting to outlaw certain types of games for certain age groups, only to be struck down on first amendment grounds. To date, the few (approximately 10) recent studies of the impact of videogame play on aggressive behavior and attitudes that used modern, graphically realistic games still have several shortcomings, mostly in their choice of dependent measures. The purpose of this investigation was to build upon the small research base related to effects of violent video games on behavior and attitudes by adopting several dependent measures that have not used in previous studies, including realistic behavioral simulations, computer simulations of aggression, and vignette-based measures of aggressive attitudes. Results demonstrated virtually no behavioral or attitudinal difference between the groups that played the nonviolent game, compared to the group that played the violent game. Subsequent analysis identified a subgroup of participants, classified as responders, who had higher preexisting aggressive tendencies that were also detected at posttest, although these differences were not increased as a function of game play. Implications of these findings, limitations, and suggestions for future research are discussed.
Provoked Aggression and Violent Video Game Play in Intoxicated and Non-Intoxicated Males.
JESSICA R. MUGGE (University of North Dakota), Jeffrey N. Weatherly (University of North Dakota)
Abstract: This study assessed the effects of alcohol on the tendency to aggress following low vs. high provocation (i.e., shock). Eleven male undergraduates were randomly assigned into an alcohol or placebo condition. This study utilized the Taylor Aggression Paradigm (TAP) in which participants selected the level of electrical shock to administer to a fictitious opponent during a competitive task. Following participation in the TAP, aggression was measured by having participants play a violent video game in which the object was to kill as many pedestrians and opponents as possible. Alcohol did not influence the level of shock administered or the number of pedestrians killed. However, there was a significant effect of level of shock set in the TAP as a function of low vs. high provocation.
Video Golfing, Risk-Taking and Gambling.
MICHAEL BORDIERI (Southern Illinois University), James Bordieri (Southern Illinois University at Carbondale), James W. Jackson (Southern Illinois University at Carbondale), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: The present investigation explored how experimental conditions of money gain and money loss impacted performance of golfers playing a video-based golfing simulator. Participants were initially assessed for skill level and history of golf play. Following assessment, players were orientated to a computerized video golf simulator that utilized actual golf swings on real-life simulated golf courses. Players were exposed to conditions in which shot accuracy led to financial rewards, and other conditions in which shot accuracy led to financial punishers. Results suggest that monetary conditions resulted in increased shot variability compared to non-monetary baseline performances in most players. Implications for a behavioral understanding of golf performance, wagering at sports, and the "choking" response are presented.



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