ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2019, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (3): 453-464.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2019.00453

• Meta-Analysis • Previous Articles     Next Articles

How violent video games affect prosocial outcomes: A meta-analysis

SHAO Rong, TENG Zhaojun, LIU Yanling()   

  1. Research Center for Mental Health Education, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China
  • Received:2017-11-24 Online:2019-03-15 Published:2019-01-22
  • Contact: Yanling LIU


Violent video game is a new kind of medium which depicts intentional attempts by individuals to inflict harm on others. Prosociality is an important characteristic that distinguishes human beings from animals, which includes prosocial cognition, emotion and behavior that show in interpersonal communication, such as altruism, helping behavior and so on. The current research conducted a meta-analytic review of studies that examined the impact of violent video games on prosocial outcomes, and focused on the role of moderating variables in the relationship between violent video games and prosocial outcomes. Data from 24 journal articles and 63 effect sizes with 18554 participants revealed that violent video games had negative main effects on prosocial outcomes, but the effect size was small (r = -0.10); moderation analysis showed that the effects between violent video games and prosocial outcomes were moderated by gender, age of participants, measurement and types of prosocial outcomes. Future research should consider using new models such as take together for GAM and GLM model to guide the research which explore the relationship between violent video games and prosocial outcomes, optimizing the experimental paradigm which measures prosocial outcomes. What’s more, it is necessary to pay attention to the effects of individual differences and features of video games.

Key words: violent video games, prosocial outcomes, meta-analysis, moderated effects

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