Sex Roles

, Volume 41, Issue 7–8, pp 541–558 | Cite as

Video Game Violence and Confederate Gender: Effects on Reward and Punishment Given by College Males

  • Mary E. Ballard
  • Robert Lineberger


We examined reward and punishment behavior amongmale college students (N = 119) following video gameplay. Most participants (N = 96) were White, theremainder (N = 23) were African American; most were from middle- to upper-middle-class backgrounds. Theparticipants played either a nonviolent (NBA Jam) or oneof three levels of a violent (Mortal Kombat) video game.After playing the video game for 15 minutes participants rewarded and punished a male orfemale confederate in a teacher/learner paradigm.Participants rewarded male (but not female) confederateswith significantly more jellybeans under the basketball condition than under any of the martial artsconditions. Participants rewarded confederates moreunder the NBA Jam condition than any of the MortalKombat conditions, but the Mortal Kombat conditions did not differ significantly from one another.Participants punished confederates significantly moreafter playing Mortal Kombat II than after playing NBAJam. While participants were punished more harshly under the Mortal Kombat II condition than theMortal Kombat conditions, these differences were notsignificant. Post hoc analyses showed that females werepunished significantly more stringently as game violence increased, but this finding should beinterpreted with caution.


College Student Social Psychology Video Game Video Game Violence Game Violence 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary E. Ballard
  • Robert Lineberger

There are no affiliations available

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